A comprehensive list of the best French restaurants in Chicago. This list includes casual cafes, bistros, and romantic restaurants fitting for a special occasion.
Last updated: March 2022
The Best French Restaurants in Chicago:
We have organized this list of best French restaurants in Chicago by neighborhood and have indicated which restaurants serve breakfast/brunch and/or lunch in addition to dinner.
French, Romantic, Lunch
You will feel like you have been transported to France when you dine at this charming romantic restaurant. The cuisine is classic French with a menu serving escargots, mules a la Provencal, French onion soup, seared foie gras, steak frites, and duck cassoulet. Le Bouchon serves lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday.
Formerly called Margeaux Brasserie, this stunning restaurant is located within the Waldorf Astoria. Breakfast/brunch and dinner are served daily. As of March 2022, the restaurant is serving a small menu with starters like French Onion Soup, steak tartare, and grilled octopus, and main courses including a burger, roast chicken, and steak frites.
Plein Air Cafe
French, Breakfast, Lunch
Located right next to the Chicago landmark Robey House, the Plein Air Cafe is a French-inspired cafe serving pastries and breakfast daily until noon, plus salads, sandwiches, baguettes, tartness, and bowls after 11 am. Plein Air Cafe closes at 8 pm on weekdays and at 6 pm on weekends.
La Petite Folie
La Petite Foie is an elegant and charming restaurant serving traditional seasonal French cuisine and French wines. The menu includes coq au vin, Atlantic salmon, and bistro steak.
A stylish diner, and six time Bib Gourmand winner, serving seasonally inspired locally sourced small plates with French influences. The menu features confit duck leg l’orange, braised beef bourguignon, and rigatoni with pistachio pesto. Wood also has a walk-up frites window (genius).
Mon Ami Gabi
French, Romantic, Kid-friendly
A traditional French restaurant located beside the park, Mon Ami Gabi has an a la carte menu in addition to a prix fixe menu that changes weekly. The menu has several steaks plus mussels, roast chicken, escargot, and beef bourguignon.
A neighborhood French bistro with a garden patio that serves sustainable farm-to-table cuisine. The menu is traditional French and includes escargots, terrine de foie gras, French onion soup, salads lyonnaise, cassoulet, and steak frites.
Cherry Circle Room
Romantic, American, French
Also in the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, the Cherry Circle Room is an intimate dimly lit restaurant with leather banquettes. It’s the most romantic restaurant in the Loop. The space won a James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant Design. The menu blends American and French cuisine with items such as foie gras, black truffle croquettes, oysters casino, heritage pork chops, and steaks on the menu. Pre-theater dining is offered and most theaters are within easy walking distance. The game room, which is on the same floor as the Cherry Circle Room, is a beautiful place to play billiards before or after dinner.
French, Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch
A brasserie, cafe, and oyster bar are located with in the Pendry Hotel on Michigan Avenue. The cafe has 40 foot tall windows overlooking Michigan Avenue. The sun filled space is stunningly decorated with sage green palm murals, marble tables, and plush velvet sofas. The menu has lighter breakfast and lunch options including eggs, salads, and sandwiches. The brasserie is a separate more formal space that serves traditional French cuisine like duck liver mousse, mussels, tuna Niçoise, seven types of caviar, whole roasted duck, salmon, steak, and roasted chicken.
Breakfast, Lunch, French
An authentic French bakery that serves quiches, sandwiches, salads, crepes, and soups. La Fournette also sells bread, pastries, and desserts.
goosefoot food & wine
The more casual sibling to goosefoot, goosefoot food & wine serves at five-course tasting menu for $95 per person. The menu is inspired by regional Italian and French cuisine.
French, Fine Dining, Romantic
Brindille serves a seasonally changing menu of elegant French cuisine. This restaurant is ideal for a special date night. The dress code is smart casual.
Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf
Steakhouse, French, Romantic
Bavette’s has consistently been on the list of best restaurants in Chicago since it opened a decade ago. Scoring a reservation isn’t easy, but if you go early you might have luck grabbing a seat at the bar where the full menu is offered. The menu focuses on seafood and steaks along with exceptional salads and mouthwatering side dishes. Save room for dessert, the chocolate pie is one of the best desserts in Chicago. The cocktail program is one of Chicago’s top.
Mediterranean, French, Kid-friendly
A Mediterranean French restaurant with a rooftop patio serving seafood and chorizo stew, French herb roasted chicken, duck confit, pork chops, and a burger. The restaurant also hosts monthly wine tasting events.
French, Romantic, Fine Dining
A French fine dining restaurant that serves a prix fixe dinner menu. The menu has traditional French cuisine such as foie gras, caviar, oysters, braised short rib, and roasted duck breast.
Located beneath Smyth, The Loyalist is an upscale neighborhood bar inspired by French brasseries that serves one of the best burgers in Chicago. Beyond the burger, the menu features oysters, foie gras, tartare, mussels, steak Diane, Parisienne gnocchi, and an omelette with the option to add caviar.
The farm to table cuisine at Boeufaus combines old world culinary technique, contemporary style, and French and German influences. The small menu does focus on beef with four different cuts available. Other entrees include halibut, duck, and pork chops.