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The Best French Restaurants in Melbourne

From cosy bistros to contemporary diners, say bon appétit at the best French restaurants in Melbourne.


Whether it's croissants and croque monsieurs or soufflé and sweet sweet camembert, French cuisine is something we will never tire of. Luckily for us, Melbourne is spoilt for choice when it comes to phenomenal French fare. An array of bistros, brasseries and restaurants have made it their duty to provide the best that France has to offer. And of course, the libations at each of these institutions are equally as commendable as their cuisine.

Without further ado, here are the best French restaurants in Melbourne to book your next delectable dinner or long lunch date at. 

Normandy Bar & Grill

Normandy Bar & Grill

It's more than necessary to experience a relaxed rendezvous at Normandy Wine & Grill. This sophisticated yet approachable new restaurant is delivering the goods when it comes to French dining in Melbourne. From perfected steak frites to some of the finest seafood dishes we've had in a long time, it manages to balance traditionalist French cooking tactics with clever experimentation. 

Chef Azem Dzevlan has been cooking since the age of 16, and became enamoured by French food on the first day of his apprenticeship at local institution, Bistro Thierry. This passion is clear on the plate, as well as in the wine and cocktails you'll be able to savour alongside. Simply perfect. 

162-164 High Street, Windsor 

Reine & La Rue

Reine & La Rue 

Reine & La Rue is a French-inspired restaurant and bar sitting ornately within the 1890's neo-gothic Melbourne Stock Exchange. With a menu inspired by French classics and designed to allow guests to choose the way they want to dine, you could simply walk in for snacks and Champagne at the bar, or procure a cosy booth for two to indulge in a three-course meal. A selection of cheese for dessert is also served up tableside. It's candlelit sophistication meets impeccable service and we can't get enough. 

Be sure to order the Eastern Rock lobster cocktail with endive and rouille to kick things off appropriately before moving into steak territory, served with Bordelaise or cafe de Paris butter. Sip your way through the large selection of French and American wines, with over 40 available by the glass, and finish things off with a drink from the cocktail list. Inspired by New York classics, you can't go wrong with Reine & La Rue's riff on a Manhattan or Sazerac. 

380 Collins Street, Melbourne

Bar Magnolia

Bar Magnolia

A French bistro with a focus on natural wines from around the world, Bar Magnolia has quickly joined ranks as one of the best French restaurants in Melbourne. Mood lighting and classic fare await in this petite neighbourhood gem. Expect the likes of savoury carrot tarte tartin and courgette flowers filled with scallop and crab, served with a mint and pea pistou, as well as duck and pork terrine, and a coq au vin with a ballotine twist. 

Save room for the dessert - can you ever really go wrong with a perfectly made mille-feuille, or a beautifully procured cheese plate? 

295 Sydney Road, Brunswick

Chancery Lane Bistro

Chancery Lane

Chancery Lane, a French-influenced bistro by Scott Pickett welcomes diners to the historic Normanby Chambers building. Suited for any occasion, from a glass and a bite at the bar to a private dinner party, you can expect classic French and European dishes with a twist. The 100-seater bistro is ensconced in a rich palette of dark green, checkerboard tiling and dark timber, emulating old-world charm and opulence of La Belle Époque. Antique brass and textured gold details are featured throughout.

430 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

Franco Belge

Franco Belge

Enjoy the 'joie de vivre' of classic French-Belgian cuisine, accompanied by wine, family, and friends at Franco Belge, in the heart of Camberwell Junction. It'll quickly become clear why it's one of the best French restaurants in Melbourne, for both its relaxed nature and traditional, flavoursome dishes (and for the fact that it's from the combined brain-power of two former France-Soir alums). Settle in for oysters mignonette, housemade terrine and French onion soup, before tucking into comforting mains like cote de bouef (rib-eye for two) and duck cassoulet, mussels and frites and Poisson du jour (fish of the day). You'll leave feeling inspired to book a trip to Paris via Brussels. 

9 Evans Place, Hawthorn East 



This charming corner restaurant challenges the notion that French food is always rich and heavy. Tartine takes classic dishes and gently modernises them, resulting in the kind of food you could have every day of the week. The menu centres around the tartine, an open-face sandwich that tops toasted sourdough with anything from crab and green apple to pear and roquefort. Ideal for a solo lunch or a light entrée, there’s plenty to explore elsewhere on the menu. Sunlight bathes the airy restaurant during the day, while candles and banquettes create cosiness at night.

105 Swan Street, Richmond

Bistrot d’Orsay

Bistrot dOrsay

Located inside the Athenaeum Theatre, Bistro d’Orsay has catered countless pre-theatre dinners and post-theatre suppers over years. The interior is worth the visit alone – adorned with a trompe l’oeil ceiling, vintage posters and white tablecloths, it’ll transport you straight to the bistros of Paris. The menu makes occasional forays into its Mediterranean neighbours, meaning you can get both a stunning seafood bouillabaisse and a perfectly al dente seafood linguine here.

184 Collins Street, Melbourne



Melbourne’s much-loved steakhouse Entrecôte has moved to bigger and swisher premises in Prahran, but they’re still doing the same classic cuisine you know and love. The main event is the steak frites, a hefty portion of grain-fed Black Angus steak lathered in buttery tarragon sauce and served with zingy salad and fries. While you can’t go wrong with the house specialty, there’s plenty else to enjoy at this relaxed yet elegant bistro. Snack on lobster gougères and garlicky escargot, dig into a classic cheeseburger and end on a sweet note with lemon tarts and chocolate profiteroles. 

142-144 Greville Street, Prahran

Smith St Bistrot

Smith St is renowned restaurateur Scott Pickett’s take on the storied French bistro. The menu is an ode to the classics, plying guests with luxurious oeufs mayonnaise topped with avruga caviar, garlicky escargot vol-au-vents and king dory fillets with sauce gribiche. The space is equally lush with green velvet, brass chandeliers and antique mirrors, while a spiral staircase leads up a mezzanine and private dining space. For an elegant affair, this is certainly up there as one of the best French restaurants in Melbourne. 

300 Smith Street, Collingwood

Bistro Volière

Bistro Volière

Located in the foyer of the historic George Hotel, Bistro Volière is a little slice of Paris in St Kilda. True to the traditions of bistro cuisine, they offer à la carte lunches and three course dinners that will have you spooning escargot and gnocchi Parisiènne or savouring truffle tortellini and rich beef bourguinon. The wine list trots around France’s hallowed vineyards from Bordeaux to Chardonnay, before desserts of both the sweet and cheesy variety end the meal on a high.

129 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda 

Mon Ami

Mon Ami

If you’ve never tried French-Scandinavian cuisine, make a beeline for Mon Ami in Fitzroy. Small in size but big in heart, their 16-seat capacity means you’ll feel like you’re at an intimate dinner party. Mon Ami’s husband and wife team recreate French dishes with the clean flavours of Scandinavian cuisine, resulting in delights like citrusy scallop ceviche with Finnish pickled cucumbers and sous vide lamb loin in a yoghurt orange glaze. 

144 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy 

Bistro Sousou (Image Credit: Will Banks)

Bistro Sousou

Bistrou Sousou (formerly known as Madame Sousou) has been an icon of the Melbourne food scene for nearly 20 years. Throughout that time they’ve never wavered from their mission – classic French food served in a beautiful space straight out of 1920s Paris. Warm light, soft chatter and golden-era décor wraps diners as they tuck into cheese soufflé, coq au vin and apple tarte tatin. There’ll never be any surprises at Sousou, just the greatest hits done well. After all, they’re classics for a reason.

153 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy 

Photo credit: Visit Melbourne

Bar Margaux

This hidden gem is another hit by the crew behind Heartbreaker and The Everleigh. Margaux is a transportative basement bar inspired by the French brasseries of New York, serving classic cocktails and playful bistro fare until late. Vintage-inspired red leather banquettes, black and white subway tiles and dim lighting snatch away all sense of time as you keep the orders rolling, from oysters and champagne to duck frites, fish of the day and clafoutis for dessert.

111 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne



Tucked up the Paris end of Collins St, acclaimed chef Philippe Mouchel’s namesake restaurant is a must-try for French-loving foodies. It may only be a few steps down off the street, but this cosy basement eatery will have you feeling a thousand miles away. With its open kitchen at the helm, Philippe’s refined menu might read traditional, but the final product is far from played out. Atop crisp white tablecloths you’ll be served exquisite plates of Wagyu beef tartare, seafood bouillabaisse and herbed rotisserie chicken. As for dessert, it's crème brûlée all the way.

115 Collins Street, Melbourne

Bon Ap'

Bon Ap

This casual French restaurant-slash-bar-slash-café puts the Bon Ap’ in ‘bon appétit’. They’re committed to the pleasure of good food, serving the neighbourhood everything from their morning croissant to decadent three-course dinners. To make the most of the beautifully traditional menu, dine in a group so you can try a little bit of everything. Overwhelmed by the choice? Say ‘feed me’ and the Bon Ap’ team will take you on a gastronomic tour of France.

193 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Bistro Thierry

Bistro Thierry

Take ‘a nostalgic trip to Paris’ via Bistro Thierry, one of Melbourne’s best French eateries. Breezily elegant with its art-filled walls and richly coloured interiors, the service here is first class and the food is no less. It’s the perfect place to experience authentic Parisian dishes such as beef bourguignon and confit duck, made with top local produce and beautifully plated.

511 Malvern Road, Toorak

France Soir

France Soir

France Soir is a French bistro that celebrates its traditional roots while incorporating influences from seasonal Australian produce. It's a Melbourne institution; a bustling local haunt with a setting that oozes classic Parisian vibes as you enjoy wholesome bistro dining and an impressive array of French wines. From roast quail and escargots to steak tartare and beef bourguignon, there are plenty of classics to sink your teeth into. For classic vibes, it's hard to look past France Soir as the best French restaurant in Melbourne. 

11 Toorak Road, South Yarra

Bistro Gitan

Bistro Gitan

Influenced by the diverse flavours of Europe, Bistro Gitan’s unique cuisine explores the traditional flavours of Western Europe with a strong focus on France. Warm and welcoming with plenty of class, this upscale casual eatery serves up beautiful dishes like Tasmanian bush pepperberries parfait and mustard-crusted spatchcock alongside a generous selection of Australian and international wines and beers. Casual French dining at its best.

52 Toorak Road West, South Yarra



Offering warm ambience and top notch cuisine, Noir serves contemporary French fare with a touch of je ne sais quoi. Innovative dishes like seared barramundi vol-au-vents and pâté eclairs highlight Australian produce and pair excellently with wine. Be sure to save some room for their unique and indulgent desserts – the strawberry and white chocolate soufflé is a fluffy delight.

175 Swan Street, Richmond

Chez Olivier

Chez Olivier

A mainstay of the Melbourne foodie scene, Chez Olivier is known for their attentive service and authentic French fare. Rustic and welcoming décor allows the food to do all the talking – easily done when classics like creamy seafood bisque and foie gras terrine are on the menu. With a generous wine list and banging dessert list, you’re sure to leave this beloved bistro satisfied.

268 Toorak Road, South Yarra

Now that you’ve tackled the best French restaurants in Melbourne, continue your gustatory world tour with our top foodie picks, these are the most delicious Japanese restaurants, Korean BBQand Italian spots in town. 

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