Do you want to travel across the globe to France to enjoy Parisian-influenced cuisine, or simply find an equal experience at your doorsteps? Because you can now transport yourself into the romantic Paris or Provence at one of these 10 French restaurants in Chicago. These dining gems scatter all across the city so you have somewhere to go no matter which neighborhood you’re in. Here, you can find bistros and brasseries boasting flavorful and unique dishes that are true to the Parisian lifestyle.
From white-glove service to cafes, these 10 French restaurants are the best in Chicago. Bon Appetit!
177 N Ada St #001, Chicago, IL 60607
At The Loyalist, Chef John Shields refreshed the menu last year to lean even further into French cuisine, inspired by the bustling brasseries in Paris. Every dish is prepared with the same uncompromising attention to detail and love as Smyth, its fancier two Michelin-starred restaurant sibling upstairs. In addition to their beloved cheeseburger, diners can also indulge in creative French dishes from Shields including:
- Éclair D’Oignon featuring – french onion mousse, caramelized shallot, thyme, and mimolette cheese.
- Omelette Au Camembert – spence farm eggs, beurre blanc, sorrel
- Truite À La Grenobloise – ocean trout, carolina gold rice pilaf, meyer lemon, endive
4229 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
A destination neighborhood restaurant, Robert Et Fils is intimate in scale and quaint in detail, infused with the elegance of classic French cuisine. Robert Et Fils utilizes the essence of old-school French gastronomy with an American playfulness, exploring modern culinary techniques and technology and offering thoughtful, elevated service. Though the menu rotates on a daily basis, diners can indulge in French dishes such as:
- Tomatoes & Wakame – Trout Roe, Arbequina Olive Oil, Rye
- Mussels Marinière – White Wine, Mustard, Saffron, Fennel, Shallots, Fines Herbes
- Ris de Veau – chamomile gastrique, glazed carrots
844 Spruce St, Winnetka, IL 60093
Pomeroy, the newest dining destination from Ballyhoo Hospitality, opened in the charming heart of Winnetka this month. Inspired by the great cafes of France, Chef Jason Paskewitz, a Jean Banchet award-winner and James Beard Foundation Award nominee, will transport guests to Paris with approachable classic French fare.
Regarded as one of the most anticipated new French restaurants in Chicago, at Pomeroy, diners can expect dishes such as:
- Salmon Provençal – Tomato, Garlic, Capers, Olives, Pistou
- Trout Almondine – Haricots Verts, Toasted Almond, Brown Butter
- Moules Marinière Garlic, Chablis, Crème, Fines Herbs
1958 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
There’s usually a line at this neighborhood bistro, but to us that’s always a good sign. It’s because guests know the wait is worth it. Beef bourguignon dumplings, Alsace onion tart, cheesy onion soup, and a whole roasted duck for two are just a few of the highlights. Weekly specials include half-price wine on Mondays and a $25 three-course prix fixe menu on Tuesdays.
2100 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
Chef Dominique Tougne’s rustic approach to regional specialties offers dishes like duck confit tart, braised rabbit, and the signature qualidu — quail, duck, and foie gras in a bordelaise sauce.
840 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Located just two blocks off the Mag Mile, this modern-day bistro is the passion project of French vet Martial Noguier. The food is simple, utilizing ingredients sourced from Midwest farms. Additionally, you’ll have various cheese and charcuterie choices alongside signature items, such as homemade ravioli, roasted lamb rack, and an outstanding Le French burger that took home the top honors at Chicago Gourmet’s Hamburger Hop in 2016.
11 E Walton St, Chicago, IL 60611
Celebrity chef Michael Mina made his Chicago debut inside the Waldorf Astoria. Here, his sultry brasserie combines 1920s glam with the traditional fare for a lavish dining experience. Nibble on duck wings à l’orange and escargots à la bordelaise, or indulge in a pristine shellfish tower. Whatever you decide, just make sure to get a side of the macaroni gratineé — a French take on mac and cheese.
224 N Michigan Ave, Chicago,IL 60601
Residing within Michigan Avenue’s famed Carbide & Carbon building, Venteux is a stylish and modern French restaurant serving classic French fare with a contemporary twist.
Through a unique dining experience crafted with passion and precision, the Michelin Star earning and Chicago-native Chef Donald Young transports the guests to the bustling brasseries that define the Parisian lifestyle. Opened earlier this year, this newest brasserie, cafe and oyster bar serves all the iconic French cuisine, including steak frites, whole roasted duck, oysters flown in from the coast daily, but also unique flavors like escargot and their take on a French Onion soup.
222 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611
Les Nomades Truly a white tablecloth experience for those of you looking for a romantic night out. This restaurant is a fine-dining gem that’s been wowing diners since the 70s. Chef Roland Liccioni serves edible art on a plate inside an intimate Streeterville brownstone, making it the perfect spot for a special occasion. However, remember gentlemen are required to wear jackets at this establishment.
Also, it’s tasting menu-only, but those willing to take the plunge are treated to ever-changing luxuries such as chilled foie gras torchon, lobster and shrimp salad, veal sweetbreads, Grand Marnier soufflé, and much more.
534 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
Influenced by the chef’s love for French cuisine, Brindille’s menu bears a strong Parisian accent. We’re talking roasted chestnuts whirled into a creamy soup, then poured over compressed apple, wild mushrooms and puffed rice. If you want some ideas on entrees, we recommend the spot-on Dover sole meunière plated with a purée of watercress and golden-crisp pommes rissolées. Finally, for dessert, preserved cherries are just one option to fill the baked-to-order almond clafoutis.
Image Credit: MapQuest