About Francesca's al Lago
Francesca's al Lago is the 21st addition to The Francesca's Restaurant Group. The Capital Square location offers guests “simple rustic cooking, friendly service and fair prices,” which has been the winning recipe at all Francesca’s locations since 1992. Our menu features the zesty, earthy cuisine of Rome and the surrounding areas of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio. An expansive wine list, local beers and handcrafted martinis are the perfect accompaniment to an outstanding dining experience.
About The Francesca’s Restaurant Group: Founded in 1992 by Restaurateur Scott Harris, Francesca’s Restaurant Group has grown from a small, welcoming Italian restaurant on Chicago’s North Clark Street to a restaurant group of three concepts across 33 locations and four states. Based in Chicago, Francesca’s Restaurant Group currently owns and operates 23 Francesca’s Restaurants, five Davanti Enoteca, and five Glazed and Infused locations.
Italian, Mediterranean, Wine Bar
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 4:00pm
Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm
Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Francesca"s al Lago has a wide range of catering services available to suite your needs. From full-service to pick-up, Francesca's catering is an easy & reliable way to entertain guests in your home or workplace.
We have validated parking at the Block 89 parking ramp located on Doty St. between Martin Luther King BLVD & Pinckney St.
Metered street parking available as well.
From Milwaukee & EAST
I-94 West WI-30 West Left onto US-151 S/E (Washington Ave)
Right onto Wilson Right onto MLK Jr Blvd
From Chicago & SOUTH
I-90 West/1-94 West US 12-18 toward Madison John Nolen Dr Exit
Left onto Broom Right onto Wilson Left onto Hamilton
Right onto Doty Left onto MLK Jr Blvd
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
Whether celebrating a special occasion with family and friends or hosting a corporate outing, Francesca's al Lago can accommodate all your special event needs.
Francesca's al Lago Ratings and Reviews
Great Pre-Show Dining
My family had tickets for the Lion King and was looking for a kid friendly place to get a good meal before the show. Francesca's fit the bill perfectly! The kids pizza was not your average kids pizza, and since they didn't have pepperoni, they added prosciutto instead. Delish! And the halibut was out of this world! Our servers got us out with ample time to walk to the show.
We have eaten at Francesca's in the past ...
We have eaten at Francesca's in the past so we knew that we would be pleased with the food and atmosphere. Once again, Francesca's did not disappoint. The food and service were both wonderful.
We went here for my son's graduation and the food was great quality - and beverages, too! The 4 of us each ordered something different and all of it was excellent. (Yes, I tried everyone's dish!) I have rarely found good gnocchi in the US and Francesca's was excellent. Service was good, too. I would highly recommend this restaurant.
Have been here several times and the foo ...
Have been here several times and the food is always very good. Service seems to be a little slow, at least that has been our experience. Will go back whenever we are in Madison.
Disappointed in brunch...
I know that I should have known, but on Mother's Day, my son and I went to Francesca's and they weren't serving any pasta or Italian. They were serving omelets and fratata's. Yes, it was still delicious, but we were just disappointing there was not a choice for their usual great Italian food.
Great staff and great service. Wonderful food without being overpriced. Nice view of the Capitol and downtown scene.
I was with a group of young adults with disabilities for dinner on a busy Saturday night. Our waitress, Renee, was incredibly patient with us and extremely knowledgeable. She made great recommendations of food and drinks. She went out of her way to check on items not listed on the menu for one member of our party, and had the kitchen make her a dish that wasn't listed. I will definitely recommend Francesca's to others, and plan to return in the future.
An excellent restaurant just off the Capitol Square with validated parking at an adjacent ramp. We sat on the patio and had an idyllic evening with excellent entree's.
Warm atmosphere, excellent service
This was our first experience here. We came for their "Teacher Appreciation" special as we are both educators. Our server Davide, made the experience even better. From his warm smile to his recommendations to his attentiveness, we were very pleased. The calamari and the tiramisu were the best we have tried in town. Our salmon and scallop dishes were perfectly cooked and flavorful. The wine selection was also good. We will definitely return!
Always good! Never disappoints!
Always good! Never disappoints!
Good for gluten-free.
They handled gluten-free very well for those of us with Celiac disease. I do wish some of their other menu items were on the gluten-free menu. I don't really care if they have to use the GF penne for all the entrees as long as it's GF. I guess I will ask the waitress next time if they could make something on the regular menu GF. My husband said his rosemary chicken dish (not GF) was the best he had ever had.
Our waiter was from Italy doing an exchange program. It was great to have someone so knowledgeable. His recommendation of the Tiramisu which I usually don't like was fantastic.
We brought out-of-town friends here and ...
We brought out-of-town friends here and had a really lovely evening, great food, and good service.
Dinner with a friend
Beautiful interior, Amazing service - our waitress was very attentive and worked with me to accommodate my GF allergy to create a delicious meal.
Solid Italian near the Capital
Exploring Madison for the first time for a college tour with our daughter and in the mood for Italian. This fit the bill perfectly. Very cool ambiance and a tremendous menu.
Great scenic view of capital
Our waitress was very attentive and had many suggestions to offer regarding menu. The mussels were delicious and she even gave us extra sauce to take back with us because we enjoyed it so much. I would highly recommend. One of the best Italian restaurants in Madison
Good meal. Reasonable prices. Great ser ...
Good meal. Reasonable prices. Great service. Nice location.
The pasta portion was small and some of ...
The pasta portion was small and some of the noodles were burnt but after mentioning it to the waitress, the management took it off the bill immediately. The roasted half chicken meal was drowning in a watery "sauce" along with the potatoes which became soggy. The dessert was great though! And the server was very attentive and friendly!
trendy up beat restaurant. Great for date night or just hanging out.
Get the calamari and don't overlook the pizza
They have the best prepared calamari you'll find anywhere. It melts in your mouth... no chewiness. I have never had it better anywhere else. I had the pizza for the first time... and that's an incredible deal for the quality and quantity of pizza you get. I normally stray from pizza on a menu like Francesca's has, since they have so many more unique flavors to offer. But their pizza is an incredible deal! Such fresh ingredients and the dough is delicious and even any leftover pizza reheats so well, unlike most day-old pizza.
Very friendly service
There was 10 of us and we came early. But they set us up and got us seated quickly. The waitress was very attentive and there was something for everyone on the menu. The waitress even gave us all individual checks when someone asked.
For the lack of people in the restaurant ...
For the lack of people in the restaurant the service was very very slow.
Really enjoyed the restaurant week menu! A little loud, but lovely otherwise. Outstanding food and very friendly service. Great affordable wines.
Way above expectations!
Our first visit ti Francesca al Lago, and with the steep competition in Italian food, we kept expections reasonable. Our waitress was timely, not intrusive and patient with our questions. Food was all excellent- we will certainly go back and take friends!
consistently good food and atmosphere
Went to Francesca's al Lago during restaurant week for group lunch of co-workers. As always, a great meal, friendly and knowledgeable waitress and wonderful atmosphere. This place has never let me let down as it is the best atmosphere and most reasonably priced place to go on the Square, with nice selection on its menu, during my busy work week. The chef does magic with soup and salad selections and one of the best burgers in town (go figure, when it doesn't even advertisement it).
The food and service, as usual, were absolutely outstanding. The restaurant was very busy, but we were seated promptly. The delicious bread came out right away, which is a real pleasure when everyone at the table is hungry.
The calamari was the best I've ever had--light and tender. The chicken dish included delicious vegetables in a flavorful sauce. The service was excellent without being intrusive.
Ah, the calamari
We first had the calamari on a visit to Madison eight years ago. We didn't seek out Francesca's; it was a beautiful early fall evening and we saw an outside table with a view of the state Capitol. Now that we live here, we went back to see if the calamari that night was luck or a consistently good product. Again, the best calamari we've had away from a coast. (On value: we were there for restaurant week; a value everywhere (although less of a 'cents off' than at other venues for restaurant week.)
Would go again!
Great food, good service, nice environment. The salmon was excellent, as was the fruit sorbetto. Had a small misunderstanding on happy hour - menu said draft beers $3 but when given the bill, not all beers were priced for happy hour. Explanation was that you need to buy three beers to get happy hour price? Wine that was also listed as happy hour was initially charged full price. Management offered to give us happy hour prices as it was not explained properly by our waiter. Restaurant was a bit chilly! Saw numerous other patrons wearing winter coats inside.
One of my favorite places in Madison for ...
One of my favorite places in Madison for Italian!
My dinner experience at Sardine for 4 people was outstanding in every facet. The service was outstanding. Oysters and scallop appetizer with a white wine were a great start. Each person ordered a different seafood entrée, and all were exceptional. We will definitely return to this wonderful restaurant.
Great Italian and friendly atmosphere!
Excellent food and good wine selection. Staff was very friendly. It was my first time there and I asked about parking validation and they not only handed me a voucher, but someone walked me back to the elevator and ensured I got on and knew where to go. Will definitely be back! Went for a girls night but would make a great date night spot as well!
Comfortable and relaxed dining. Service was good and the food was well prepared. The ingredients seemed fresh and came hot on the plate. The pasta was a good mixture of the spicing and richness of the pesto sauce. I have always had a good meal at Francesca's.
Great for group dinner of 10! Great salmon!
Held surprise birthday dinner for 18 year old with a group of 10. Very attentive staff to making sure the surprise was a surprise! Food and service were very good. I had the salmon and it was excellent!
Enjoyed the National Spaghetti Day special menu, and a few all time favorites as well. Francesca's never disappoints
Awesome as always
Awesome as always - delicious and plentiful food, great welcoming staff, easy downtown parking. Particularly high on my list of faves are the Francesca salad, the Bruschette alla Romana (and, even more so, the Tri-Colore Bruschette when they offer it), the various Ravioli preparations, and to top off everything, the Torte di Lava (yum!).
Family holiday visit
This was a great choice to visit with my niece and her husband. The gluten free menu choices were plentiful and delicious.
One of our favorites. Great food and excellent service.
We waited a long while for tea and drinks before lunch when it was a slow Monday. My plate was luke warm but the food was tasty. Others at our table liked their food
we were looking for a special place for dinner---and found it. everyone enjoyed their meal and we had a great suggestion for wine from the server. and love the pictures of italy
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