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Best of Toronto

The Best French Restaurants in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / September 4, 2015

French Restaurants TorontoThe best French restaurants in Toronto show off a wide variety of approaches to this iconic cuisine. Whether you have an appetite for moules et frites in a casual bistro setting or intend to celebrate with champagne in one of this city's most upscale dining rooms, these restaurants can accommodate your desires.

Here are the best French restaurants in Toronto.

See also: The best steak frites in Toronto

Cluny

Cluny

Classic Parisian dishes are well represented on the menu of this massive brasserie in the Distillery District, which offers traditional fare including steak frites and frogs' legs, plus some playful takes like Buffalo-style sweet breads and duck confit poutine. More »

Auberge du Pommier

Auberge du Pommier

Exuding undeniable French cottage charm, this uptown restaurant serves pricey, though immaculately prepared bistro favourites. Start with hand cut beef tartare before moving on to pan seared duck breast sauced with vadouvan. The wine list is as showy and expensive as you'd expect. More »

Colette

Colette

Located at the base of the Thompson Hotel, this restaurant is a bastion for classic French fare with a heavy focus on seafood. The menu is rich with opportunities to drink champagne while knocking back oysters and revelling in bowls of lobster bouillabaisse. More »

Le Select

Le Select

This bistro on Wellington remains the go-to destination for many Toronto diners looking to satiate their inner Francophile. Chef Albert Ponzo has all the usual suspects covered - steak frites, bouillabaisse, boudin noir, etc. - but presents them with an air of sophistication that justifies the not-so-bistro-like prices. More »

La Societe

La Societe

Charles Khabouth's Yorkville bistro boasts a grandeur that's unmatched in the city. The menu opens with selections from the raw bar and continues to entice with indulgent entrees like duck confit and slow roasted rabbit. The weekend brunch menu is equally as opulent. More »

Bonjour Brioche

Bonjour Brioche

This east side breakfast spot triumphs the art of French baking and serves up a menu featuring quiches, tarts, and sandwiches built on fresh baguettes. Expect to queue up on weekends, as brunch crowds from near and far flock here to fill up on the delicious croque madam featuring ham and gruyere on brioche crowned with a fried egg. More »

La Palette

La Palette

Once a staple in Kensington Market, La Palette seems right at home in its pitch-perfect bistro setting on Queen West. Horse tartare is once again a fixture on the menu, along with prized French fare like escargot and foie gras. An extensive selection of wine is eschewed in favour of a beer list that's big on both local and international choices. More »

Batifole

Batifole

Batifole's menu may be reasonably priced, but not at the expense of well-executed dishes and intelligently sourced wines. Commonly thought to be the most authentic of Toronto's French restaurants, the unpretentious dining room takes a backseat to classic dishes like cassoulet and fish stews, which are the main draw for east side lovers of Gallic cuisine. More »

Le Paradis

Le Paradis

Find the kitchen at this neighbourhood bistro in the Annex serving up competent takes on standard bistro dishes like escargot, moules a la mariniere, and flank steak with a shallot demi glace. The wine list featuring well-priced Southern French reds is what keeps the crowds coming back. More »

L'Avenue Bistro

L'Avenue Bistro

This Leaside bistro attracts locals out for French onion soup, moules frites, and beef bourguignon, amongst other French classics. The setting is intimate (35 seats), the servers know their wine, and the owners understand how to craft a prototypical French dining experience. Bonus points awarded for the brunch options. More »

Le Neuf Cafe

Le Neuf Cafe

Short of booking a flight to Paris, Le Neuf Cafe might be your best bet for a temporary French escape. Overlooking Clarence Park, the small but bright room functions as a cafe by day before offering a full dinner menu in the evenings. More »

Alo

Alo

This third floor restaurant at Queen and Spadina is a temple to fine dining where haute cuisine is matched not just by the sophisticated decor, but also meticulous service. The tasting menu offers a couple of selections for each of five courses in addition to complimentary surprises from the kitchen along the way. More »

Concession Road

Concession Road

At this boundary-pushing French bistro on St. Clair, diners can delight in classics like beef tartare and steak frites, plus innovative globally inspired dishes that employ classic French technique. The Mediterranean fish stew featuring subtle notes of fennel, saffron, and Pernod is a must. More »

Jacques Bistro du Parc

Jacques Bistro du Parc

This hidden gem in Yorkville has been going strong since 1978 serving up phenomenal all-day omelettes alongside peppery steaks and roasted racks of lamb. Prices are expectedly high, but the service is attentive enough to make diners feel special. More »

Jules Bistro

Jules Bistro

The prix fixe menu, which offers options like onion soup, steak frites, and creme brulee for $25, is a big draw at this casual bistro on Spadina just north of Richmond. It's a popular lunch and dinner option during the week. More »

Discussion

17 Comments

Really / September 4, 2015 at 02:20 pm
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You guys missed Scaramouche has been voted in the top 5 if not #1 restaurant in Toronto for like I don't know....a DECADE!
Eric replying to a comment from Really / September 4, 2015 at 02:44 pm
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I wouldn't call Scaramouche a French restaurant. At least not in the traditional sense.
Really replying to a comment from Eric / September 4, 2015 at 03:10 pm
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"Upscale-casual stop for French plates & pasta served in a clubby setting with panoramic views."

That was written by them on their Google search. They seem to believe they're French.
TrapOrPie / September 4, 2015 at 03:20 pm
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What about Biff's bistro, definitely a top for the city. Also 1$1 oysters come on..... and wild caught Quebec boar charcuterie's
Slacking blogto
Yummm! / September 4, 2015 at 04:05 pm
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Le Select is definitely my fave place. Great food, great service, nice indoor and outdoor seating, not super expensive and they don't rush you out the door. Bonus, they also take reservations for brunch.
jf / September 4, 2015 at 04:36 pm
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Why does ever "best of" list create a deluge of "YOU MISSED X BLOGTO" comments? Do you guys not realize these rankings are the results of user polls? BLAME YOURSELVES.
Wes / September 4, 2015 at 09:44 pm
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So I guess we're talking Paris french restaurants and not Quebec french restaurants otherwise Smokes Poutinerie should be in the list.
UchiUchi / September 4, 2015 at 10:49 pm
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Cluny's is absolutely wonderful. Have gone a few times this year and love their dishes.

Bonjour Brioche is my second favourite, assuming you can get a seat. I love that it's so small and compact!
the difference / September 5, 2015 at 01:24 am
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There are restaurants (of varying quality) in Quebec that serve French cuisine, but French and Quebec restaurants are not always the same thing. Just because a varient of French is being spoken somewhere, do not confuse that place with France. If you are eating food prepared by someone who has not had a relative born in France since 1640 then it is about time to start calling things "Québecois", instead of "French".
wolfrabbit / September 5, 2015 at 10:19 am
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Cluny number 1? Maybe number one in horrible customer service- I had just about the worst dining experience there.

My girlfriend and I decided to try it out during winterlicious last year, and while the food was good, the wait time was atrocious - we ended up waiting close to an hour between our first course and our main. We chalked it up to it being a new restaurant and being swamped by winterlicious, and decided to give it another try a couple months later when things were quieter. Bad move.

We ordered simple finger foods: frogs legs, a cheese board, and then a dessert board of marshmallows and chocolate fondue. First course arrives, we enjoy the legs, and then the wait begins. 45 minutes we wait for a damn cheese board! How long did it take to cut cheese and arrange it? If you're wondering, this was not a busy time of day, in early afternoon.

After approaching a waiter to ask where the hell our food is, I see a man round the corner with a board of food. Excited, I sit down, and what do they bring us? The damn dessert board. 45 minutes of waiting, and they didn't even get the order right. The worst part? When I point this out to the staff, two different waiters say we should just eat the dessert board because it "looks good" to them.

Good food, good decor, but piss poor service. Avoid!
jf replying to a comment from shish / September 5, 2015 at 11:34 am
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Okay, sir/madam, put down your tinfoil hat. I've voted in those polls. Here was the latest one: http://www.blogto.com/news_flash/2015/08/vote_12_new_best_of_categories/
Me replying to a comment from shish / September 5, 2015 at 05:12 pm
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I have voted in the user polls for the top 10 lists before. Not for this one specifically, but yes - Top 10 litss come from user polls. Pay attention when the posting is out.
Jason / September 5, 2015 at 11:02 pm
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I've been to Cluny twice. The restaurant looks spectacular, but I've been disappointed by the food and the service both times. Nothing terrible, but certainly not French bistro service nor French cuisine quality food. And by the way, I don't think that's what they're going for anyway.

The fact they are #1 here is a reflection of who is voting, clearly.
Chaplin Estates Guy / September 7, 2015 at 01:38 pm
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Definitely Le Select, though I still miss the previous Queen Street location. Also Le Paradis because of the menu and the French bistro atmosphere. Agree with the suggestion of Biff's, especially the bar at lunch. And definitely Jacques. Used to be Jacque's Omelettes and they can still cook an omelette. Which brings me to Cluny - definitely not French. Just a large warehouse with a formula menu. They couldn't cook a proper omelette if their lives depended on it. Their Buffalo-style sweetbreads are an insult.
Jordan / September 24, 2015 at 10:54 am
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Went to Cluny last night. The food was mediocre and definitely not very French. I was very disappointed and even had to send back a plate because it was pretty bad. They took it off the bill thankfully. Le Select will continue to be my go to French restaurant. Never leave disappointed.
Randy / September 25, 2015 at 09:59 am
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http://www.blogto.com/grocery/chabichou serves delicious meals. I do recommend.
Michael replying to a comment from Eric / December 14, 2015 at 02:34 am
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Umm Scaramouche is most certainly a French restaurant and is better than any of these places hands down. Bonjour Brioche is definitely number 1 though for breakfast, brunch, and pastries.

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