It’s not complicated to live so Frenchy, so chic in Melbourne. Boulangerie-style bistros and bakeries are scattered throughout the city. It’s no secret Melbourne’s bustling food scene owes a tip of the hat to some of the creators of modern cuisine – from tasting a la carte, France has led the way. Throughout the city there are several outlets for tasting authentic French cuisine, from high-end fine dinners to no-frills pastries.
Here are some of the best French restaurants in Melbourne.
Fries at will. If that is not enough to attract you, Entrecotes the new location of primo Greville Street should sweeten the deal. Inspired by the French steakhouse Le Relais De L’Entrecôte, the steak Frites (steak and chips) of this reinvented Melbourne institution is truly from another world. While the food is exquisite, the venue is filled with glass chandeliers, gilded chandeliers, and colors resembling the French flag. A worthy mention among the best French restaurants in Melbourne.
Bistro Guillaume is a treasure in Crown’s restaurant district. Featuring some of Melbourne’s best French fare in the CBD, try their rich favorites, from Duck Confit to their iconic Boeuf en Croute, a crispy pastry filled with the tenderest meat. Their seafood also deserves a mention, which includes the freshest oysters and the best crayfish in Tasmania. For a gastronomic experience, you will return for a long time to Bistro Guillaume, a restaurant that is really worth its salt.
Chef Philippe Mouchel has created one of Melbourne’s best French restaurants. The basement space features bursts of natural light, white linen, and walls growing leafy greens. The resulting bistro, Philippe, offers a classic French menu of dishes like roast chicken with crispy skin anointed with truffles (they need two days warning), snails and four types of steak if you include the latest generation tartare.
The French Brasserie
Home to some of Melbourne’s most traditional French cuisines, The French Brasserie prides itself on authentic cuisine. The contemporary atmosphere is inviting and the team is dedicated to meeting any need. Enjoy classic dishes like Coq au Vin and decadent desserts like chocolate fondant. The goal of The French Brasserie is to provide Melburnians with cuisine and experience that reflects French heritage and culture. A job well done.
For the atmosphere, warmth and hospitality of a Parisian diner, Bistro Thierry is your place. Owner Thierry Cornevin often welcomes regulars and beginners alike, and together with Chef Fredric Naud, they hope to bring the latest in French cuisine to your plate. Their menu features a range of delicious steaks and a rotating selection of chalkboard specials. Head to one of the best French restaurants in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
A cute little place to try is Black. This is a humble bistro-style restaurant inspired by the south of France. Usually buzzing with the local crowds, the quality food and good energy have made Noir one of Melbourne’s top French restaurants. Whether you’re looking for a snack and glass of wine, a quick dinner, or a full night out, Noir has all the bases covered – serving hearty fare and creating a cozy atmosphere. Their menu is stocked with a bit of everything for all palates, from first-time French diners to established veterans.
A bistro that has aged as well as the city, France Evening, is the first French institution in Melbourne. The jewel of Toorak Road has been serving traditional style food with an authentic and irreverent attitude since it opened in 1986. This non-gentrified wonder has kept its reputation for super cool by sticking to what it does best, offering a range of regional starters and entrees, except everything from frog legs to homemade terrine, snails with garlic butter and more. If this is the best French restaurant you are looking for, this might be it.
The Gitan Hotel
Classic, timeless and reliable. The Gitan Hotel should be on your list of French dishes. Run by Jacques Reymond and his family, The Gitan Hotel is your modern Melbourne gastropub with serious chic. Timeless art-deco furnishings and an open kitchen create a classic bistro atmosphere, and the menu backs it up with cassoulets, steak fries and gratins as well as an artisanal selection of French wines.
Chancery Lane Bistro
Think boujee, bold and beautiful. Chancellery aisle is Scott Pickett’s euro-bistro located in Melbourne’s CBD. While not technically French, the menu is heavily inspired by authentic ingredients and a style that is part of a modern reimagining of French-inspired cuisine, honoring good food and traditional techniques. The monochrome charcoal aesthetic of the place is striking, and the food is an even bigger statement.
Bar, dinner, underground French paradise, Margaux Bar he has got everything. The CBD-based hangout has serious early 20th-century vibes with checkerboard floors, dark stained woods, and cabin seats. The self-proclaimed bar-brasserie offers a selection of quality French snacks and plates like royal prawns with a Paris café, as well as premium cocktails and wines. It’s also open until 5 a.m., which means it can really save you at night.
Have you seen this bakery in Bentleigh with Michelin trained French pastry chefs?
Image credit: Gareth Sobey (Bar Margaux)