You know you’re a success when you’re rocking 16 locations in Chicagoland. Such is the story of Mia Francesca, not your average run of the mill Italiano eatery.

With name recognition by all Chicagoans, one would think the restaurant had been thriving for the past century. Au contraire, only having been open since 1992, Chef Scott Harris opened the original location on N. Clark Street and hence created a sensation. Not that he came out of nowhere, mind you. Chef Scott Harris was no stranger to finePicture 21 cuisine having worked in The 95th, Ambria, Cucina Cucina, Harry’s Café, Sole Mio, Trattoria L’Angelo di Roma and Petthany’s in St. Croix.

But it was his rustic Italian comfort food, homemade pastas and sauces, delicate but pungent salads and cozy Euro-style ambiance that gained him name-status fame and the “Critics Choice – Rookie of the Year” award by Chicago Magazine.

From his first opening to the next 15, all corners of Chicago and its food-loving suburbs called for Mia Francesca locations of their own, and Harris delivered. He stuck to the same rustic Italian menus and paired with more notable chefs to make each restaurant stand on its own. What you can count on at any of its locations is a casual atmosphere with the cuisine of a restaurant charging triple what you’ll find at Mia Francesca- mamma mia!