Steve Kavakos

13 Best French restaurants in Melbourne | Man of Many

Our list of the best French restaurants goes like this.

Best French restaurants in Melbourne at a glance

This bustling French bistro is bubbling with vibrant dishes made with quality ingredients and warm service. Noir is perfect for a night out of wine, drinking and tasting the delightful rich foods of France, such as the caramelised Atlantic scallops, confit duck with spiced lentils, beef tartare with Packham pear and woodland sorrel. Try a little bit of everything for a well-rounded taste of France.

1. Noir

For those who like eating a little later in the evening, Bar Margaux is the perfect late-night bar and brasserie serving up cocktails, wine and French comfort food until the wee hours of the morning. Here you’ll find your French bistro classics like braised meats, baked fish, pomme frites, tartare, escargot and more. Pair with a drink from the extensive wine list of French wines, champagnes, cocktails and spirits.

2. Bar Margaux

Located in a beautiful Victorian building, Bistro Gitan is one of the best French restaurants in Melbourne. Mediterranean influences accent the contemporary menu and include delicious plates including freshly shucked oysters, spanner crab, spatchcock with mustard crust, gratin dauphinoise and oven baked sea rockling with mushrooms.

3. Bistro Gitan

Bistro Thierry will deliver a ‘night out in Paris’ type of atmosphere, which perfectly complements its classic French dishes. If you’re familiar with Melbourne’s South-Eastern suburbs, you’ll know it’s all about fine wine and better food. This is your perfect date spot, celebratory dinner or straight-up dinner flex. Of course, you must make sure you slowly crack open the smoothest tasting, melt-in-your-mouth Crème brûlée you’ve ever had.

4. Bistro Thierry

Philippe is one of the best French restaurants Melbourne has to offer, and that mostly comes down to the fact that it is run by the multi-talented Philippe Mouchel, who knows his way around a French kitchen. From his days growing up in Normandy to being mentored by Michelin award-winning Paul Bocuse, you will surely not be disappointed after trying these delectable and contemporary dishes at Philippe.

5. Philippe

For a classically rich French menu, Bistro Guillaume is a no-brainer. Ideally situated at the Crown Melbourne, the famous French restaurant has a relaxed, airy space to enjoy decadent dishes such as blue eye trevalla with Grenobloise, Bannockburn chicken with black brioche or a classic steak frites with béarnaise sauce. There’s a selection of cheeses, profiterole, vanilla bean soufflé and chocolate fondant for dessert.

6. Bistro Guillaume

France-Soir is a bustling joint for foodies to indulge in petite French cuisine without going to France. This tiny Melbourne restaurant offers some of the best French food along with expert service and even French-speaking waiters. How’s that for authentic? As for the menu, there’s classic French flavours like pork chops in creamy porcini mushroom sauce or rabbit casserole with mustard sauce, along with traditional French onion soup, escargot and more.

7. France-Soir

Bon Ap’ is a café, bar and restaurant all in one, for a morning croissant and coffee, a long boozy lunch or a late-night dinner spot, you’re sure to enjoy the old-world ambience and comforting French menu. Speaking of the menu, you’ll find classics like steak tartare, coq au vin, and the soupe du jour. For dessert, grab a classic crème brulée or do as the French do and pair an assortment of cheeses with a dessert wine.

8. Bon Ap’ Petit Bistro

If you’ve heard of Scott Pickett, you’d know you’re in for a treat. The chef and creator, home to many Melbourne treasures such as Matilda and The Continental Sorrento, to name a few, has created a French masterclass in the heart of Melbourne. Situated in the iconic Normandy Chambers, which was once home to Vue De Monde, has been transformed by Design studio Bergman & Co, creating a dimly lit European bistro filled with excellent wines and serving some of Melbourne’s most innovative French dishes. The Cape Grim rib-eye is perfect for sharing with a special someone, and be sure to pair it with crispy pommes frites with aioli.

9. Chancery Lane

Entrecote is the undisputed champion of French dining in Melbourne. Since its relocation from South Yarra to Melbourne’s bustling Prahran, this French restaurant will transport you straight to Paris, and you’ll forget you were ever in Melbourne. Not only is the food superb, the menu diverse, and the atmosphere astonishingly Parisian, its location will make for an unforgettable night out with friends and family. You can expect porterhouse steak with frites, poached chicken, confit pork, caviar service and much more. Grab a cocktail or wine, and you’ve got a feast fit for a French king.

10. Entrecote

The best French restaurants in Melbourne are the ones that make you forget you’re in Melbourne at all, and The French Brasserie does just that. The beautifully and contemporarily decorated restaurant offers all the best French dishes with excellent and friendly service. Try French classics like escargot, French onion soup, coq au vin, boeuf bourguignon, pomme frites and sweet desserts like crème brulee and chocolate fondant.

11. The French Brasserie

For 25 years, Bistrot d’Orsay has been one of Melbourne’s go-to best French restaurants for foodies and French cuisine lovers. Step inside, and it’s like stepping into a Parisian bistro with dark wood panelling, painted ceilings and low lighting. The food is the real winner with dishes like the goat cheese soufflé, steak tartare, cured Atlantic salmon, roasted lamb shoulder, and the famous Marseille soup, Bouillabaisse, bursting with fresh seafood.

12. Bistrot d’Orsay

This petite Parisian-style bistro in the heart of South Yarra boasts an extensive flavourful menu with all the greatest hits of French Cuisine. Enjoy Chez Oliver’s entrees and classic mains like boeuf bourguignon, lamb ragout, confit duck, orange roasted duck, foie gras served with chutney, bisque soup, coq au vin and much much more. For the sweet tooths, they’ve got crème brulee for two, chocolate fondant and a classic and decadent chocolate mousse with orange marmalade.

13. Chez Oliver Le Bistro

The key factors to keep in mind when deciding where to go:

Key Things to Consider for Melbourne’s Best French Restaurants

With an editorial team full of foodies, Man Of Many has had the unique opportunity to directly sample and experience French food from the best spots in Melbourne. As expert journalists who guide people between competing products and services, we have provided our independent opinion in formulating Man of Many’s selections. Our editors have taken into account location, service and the quality of food while also making a concerted effort to highlight a few spots outside of the CBD. You can review our editorial policy here surrounding how we maintain our independence in our editorial reviews.

How Man of Many Chose the Best French Restaurants In Melbourne

What’s the difference between a Bistro and a Brasserie? According to Explore France, the country’s official tourist guide, there are a few main types of restaurants, each offering a varying assortment of goodies.

Types of French Restaurants

If you’re looking for other cuisines or dinner ideas in Melbourne, we’ve got you covered with some options listed below. You can also check out our list of Fun Things To Do in Melbourne. If you’re looking for a more specific cuisine, check out our list of Japanese Restaurants in Melbourne or the Best Italian Restaurants in Melbourne. Finally, if you’ve hit a food coma and want to get active, we can also show you the Best Beaches in Melbourne for Surfing and Swimming.

Alternatives to French restaurants in Melbourne

What is the best French restaurant in Melbourne?

Some of the most highly rated French Restaurants in Melbourne are The French Brasserie, Philippe, Noir and Bistrot d’Orsay.

What are some traditional French foods?

Traditional French foods include, escargot, coq au vin, foie gras, boeuf bourguignon, French onion soup, cassoulet, confit de canard, soufflé, crème brulee, mousse, fondant.

Where can you find French food in the Melbourne CBD?

French food can be found all over Melbourne especially in the CBD, but the best place is probably South Yarra which is considered Melbourne’s French pocket. It boasts many French inspired cafes, bars, delicatessens and restaurants.


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