Headed to Mia Francesca? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
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Mia Francesca is one of our Premium partners for Raleigh, so we headed over there to get the DL on how to have the best experience possible. Whether you’re Premium or not, read on to learn why it’s awesome, what dishes not to miss, and pro tips for making the most of your time.
Not in Premium (or not even sure what we’re talking about)? Learn more here about this monthly subscription for exploring your city (or ask one of your Premium friends for a referral to score your first month free!).
Mia Francesca 101
Mama mia, are you in for a Tuscan treat at Mia Francesca. It’s an expansive and rustically-chic spot with authentic Italian fare, classic cocktails, and a lush patio.
It’s tough to say what we love more about Mia Francesca: the food or the ambiance. On one hand, their seasonal, Northern Italian-inspired fare is rich and flavorful. But their stunning interior—complete with rugged brick walls and a sky-high ceiling—is hard to beat. On second thought, why choose? Together, the food and vibe make for an experience that’s unlike anywhere else in Raleigh.
Mia Francesca may live in North Hills, but take a seat and you’ll swear you’re somewhere far more European. Rustic chandeliers cast a soft glow above the bar, the walls are lined with vintage Italian newspapers, and even the ground you walk on has a splash of panache—the warm hardwood floors are made from an old local tobacco barn. It’s a two-story spot with jaw-droppingly high ceilings, perfect for an intimate dinner, breezy brunch, or quick lunch with the team. The patio is adorned with string lights and greenery and their lofted dining room’s got rugged brickwork and an impressive wall of wine.
They’ve got a seasonal menu full of hearty North Italian dishes, as well as a surprisingly wide selection of light fare. They’ve successfully taken the concept of farm-to-table fare, injected it with some Italian authenticity, and created a decadent dining experience that’ll legit have you lost in the sauce.
And, not to steal a so-called *italian restaurant’s* tagline but, when you’re here, _____ _______ (you know the rest and we don’t want to get sued)—at Mia Francesca it’s actually v true. It’s not out of the ordinary to be personally welcomed into the space by one of the owners and their entire staff is beyond accommodating; they’ve got an entire gluten-free menu, and they’re big on customization. Basically, if you want something and they’ve got the ingredients on hand, they’ll gladly make it. But let’s get down to what is on the menu. Buckle up.
What to order
Here, you’ll find a menu made from simple, wholesome ingredients—classic Italian staples like pomodoro tomatoes, hand-pulled mozzarella, shaved prosciutto di Parma, and olive oil abound. They’ve got lunch, dinner, dessert, and brunch offerings (plus lots of vino and cocktails, natch) and, while it’s an extensive menu, one thing remains constant: no matter what meal you make it in for, you’re in for treattoria.
It’s a surprisingly quick and affordable lunch spot, offering a robust menu with something for everyone (yeah, even your super-picky Work Wife). There are plenty of heaping salads, pizzas, and paninis but the Davanti Burger is the real star of the show. It’s got a cult-following (and lots of accolades) thanks to its bacon jam and crispy mozzarella that’s delightfully crunchy on one side, and gooey on the other. They’ve also got a lunch special that’ll get you soup or salad and your choice of fresh pasta for under fourteen bucks.
We’re big board fans, so for dinner we like to start with the Antipasti Misti. It’s a heaping board of assorted charcuterie and cheeses, alongside all the accoutrements you could want. If you’re with a big group (or just v hungry?), this is a must-order.
Their hands-down most popular item is the Salmone alla Fresca. It’s perfectly charred salmon topped with avocado, fresh veggies, and aged balsamic—a light dish that’s flavorful, healthy and vibrant. Looking for something heartier? Pasta and/or pizza will never disappoint.
Come by for Sunday brunch and—in addition to their classic staples—you’ll find American dishes with an Italian twist. The Arancini Benedict boasts crispy risotto, soft poached eggs, hollandaise, and prosciutto di Parma (anyone else feeling like Sunday can’t come soon enough?), and the Vanilla Bean French Toast’s got a blueberry-basil compote that’ll have you licking the plate clean.
Hopefully, you’ve saved room for dessert because they’ve got homemade gelato and sorbet, plus lots of other traditional Italian desserts like Tiramisu, Profiteroles, and Cannoli.
Lastly, we’ve got to talk drinks (after all, you’ll need something to wash this all down with!). They’ve got a full bar with a wide selection of unique Italian wines and handcrafted cocktails. If you’re not feeling the vino, know that the Bedlam Mule and Espresso Martini are their top-sellers. Cheers!
- On Tuesdays, they offer a special three-course meal that changes weekly. Swing by for an app, entree, and dessert for just $30 (it’s like Restaurant Week forever!).
- Wednesdays mean half-price bottles of wine.
- Kids eat free on Thursdays.
- On Fridays, they do half-price apps from 3-6p at the bar.
- They’re chefs cook up specials on the daily. Ask your server!
- Sunday Funday anyone? With mimosas for just $2 a pop, it’s kinda a no-brainer.