As the spiritual homeland of staple foods like bread, cheese, and chardonnay, it’s easy to see how France has maintained a stable position as the food capital of planet Earth for a few centuries now.
The secret to their success probably lies in their strict adherence to traditional cooking methods – even going so far as to pass baguette-making laws – and all the energy they save by not uttering half the letters d. ‘a given word. .
We value their culinary gifts to the world more than sunrise, and that’s why we delve into the sweet and fragrant world of French cuisine to bring you your definitive guide to the best French restaurants in Brisbane.
Good app teeth …
Not just a restaurant, C’est Bon is pretty much a French Quarter after a recent epic renovation, with five unique spaces for eating and drinking anytime of the day. From brunch on the garden terrace to wine tasting at the rooftop bar before savoring a full French feast in the intimate dining room, it doesn’t get more Parisian than this.
As well as making perhaps the best French fries in town, Boucher gets dozens of them for each of his dishes. Their menu delicately traverses the cross section where classic meets modern, striking a fine balance between respect for French tradition and the temptation to go completely off-piste. I cannot rate the bouillabaisse enough.
Everything in Montrachet burns the embers of the good old days. The luxurious interior with sumptuous furnishings and golden globe lighting will charm your life even before the appetizer hits the table. Naturally, the menu is a feast of French classics that have solidified Montrachet’s position as one of Brisbane’s top French restaurants since 2004.
The age-old MO of French restaurants defends traditional interiors to echo traditional cuisine, but Greenglass is the hip and cool departure from the norm. Merging the best of France and Australia in an underground cave, Greenglass offers a refined, seasonal menu of French fare alongside an impressive list of Australian wines in an almost Nordic space. Perfect for your next energy lunch.
Valley of the Force
New to the French scene, Bisou Bisou comes to us from the team behind Donna Chang, Blackbird and Iris Rooftop right upstairs, so you know it must be good. Bisou Bisou fully supports the Ghanem Group’s stellar reputation in the hospo world with stunning interiors, a list of drinks and dishes that will leave you wondering why you don’t go out more often for French dishes. Whatever you order, make sure it comes with an aligot, a creamy mashed potato that’s almost creamier than a potato.
The Bistro Corner
Another newcomer to the scene, Le Coin Bistro has made itself right at home in Red Hill, with both an outdoor patio and an upstairs enclosed dining area to choose from, depending on whether you want a chic vibe. Parisienne or St Tropez. The best part though, is that you can head for brunch as well as dinner. Start your day with a croque madame topped with béchamel and cheese, then finish with a twice baked cheese soufflé and onion soup with crusty bread.
This South Rim icon has been around for as long as we can remember, and for good reason. It’s not just their epic river views that keep crowds coming back again and again, it’s also their comforting French dishes, which will transport you to southwest France. Start with the baked camembert with black ciabatta and marinated and fossilized carrot, then move on to smoked quail with beetroot mousse, goat yogurt and candied beetroot. They’re creative here, aren’t they?
The good life
Perched at the top of the Bardon, the glass-walled dining room of La Belle Vie offers a pretty breathtaking view of the green districts below. So you might want to have lunch there to make the most of it. Once you’ve managed to grab a table by the window, get ready to feast on classic dishes like foie gras with brioche bread, duck in orange sauce with roasted mushrooms and potatoes. ground, and a black angus sirloin with fries and red wine juice.
Haig Street Bistro
So cute in a white cottage on Haig Road in Auchenflower, Haig Road Bistro is the older brother of Coin Bistro, and just like its sister, offers rich and comforting classic French fare. The tarte flambée here is a must-try – a thin base of rolled dough is spread with soft cheese and sprinkled with toppings like onion, bacon and Gruyere, or mushrooms, Parmesan and truffle, before d to be cooked to perfection.
The Wine Cache
Nestled in a former wine cellar, La Cache à Vín is certainly one of Brisbane’s most romantic French restaurants. Once you’ve entered the underground surroundings (and ordered a bottle of wine – you’re in a wine cellar, after all), start your luxury dinner with a sand crab and lemon thyme risotto or steak tartare, before moving on to roast lamb rump with a cassoulet. Just be sure to make room for the crème brûlée for dessert.
Two Small Bedrooms
That’s literally all there is to this local Milton bistro. Having served classic French cuisine to the people of Brisbane for just over 30 years, Two Small Rooms is as traditional as it gets. After a recent overhaul, their new look is still minimal and hassle-free, siphoning off all efforts to deliver delicious French food.
If you love that other French cuisine, the croissant, here’s where to find the best croissants in Brisbane.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson for The Urban List, Bisou Bisou, La Belle Vie