Imagine a perfectly roasted chicken, Gruyere-topped French onion soup, a glass of Merlot, and Grand Marnier soufflé for dessert. Isn’t it tempting? Make reservations for dinner at any of these French restaurants in Chicago this weekend.
Chicago’s French restaurant scene is thriving and experiencing an upswing, with everything from lavish seafood towers to savory eggplant crêpes.
French food in Chicago has become more inexpensive, vegetarian-friendly, and imaginative than ever before, similar to the recent increase in Italian restaurants throughout the city.
Best French Restaurants in Chicago
Whether you’re looking for a fancy date with your special someone, a dinner with friends, or a special occasion meal, this list of the top 10 French restaurants in Chicago will help you find the perfect restaurant.
1. Bistro Campagne
At Bistro Campagne, one of the best French restaurants in Chicago, you can dine indoors at a white cloth-covered table or outside under the garden’s twinkling lights and green tree branches.
Begin with a big bowl of savory soupe à l’oignon gratinée topped with a thick coating of melted Gruyère. Then, try their wild mushroom duxelles, duck pithiviers, and hazelnuts in puff pastry with a Madeira reduction.
At Bistro Campagne, you get more than just the food; you get to experience France.
2. Le Bouchon
Yes, it’s small and packed, and even with a reservation, you’ll have to wait at the bar for a while, yet it’s one of the best French restaurants in Chicago. Le Bouchon is the closest thing Chicago has to that beautiful little bistro in Paris.
The flaky, caramelly onion tart; onion soup with a good amount of Gruyère; the butter-topped sirloin surrounded by crisp frites; and the simple profiteroles are all fan favorites.
3. La Crêperie
La Crêperie has been serving some of Chicago’s best savory crêpes for brunch and dinner since 1972. Hungry customers can choose from at least 25 crêpe varieties, as well as significant savory vegetarian options like their spinach-creme crêpe.
This French bistro, which is one of the best French restaurants in Chicago, has a delightful indoor space as well as adorable and expansive patio seating. Wines from all over France are available, with a focus on the Bordeaux and Rhône valley regions.
4. Mon Ami Gabi
Lettuce Entertain You’s restaurant, Mon Ami Gabi (“My Friend Gabi”) is the place to go for classic Parisian food in a charming atmosphere.
Head Chef David Koehn has updated the menu with new items such as steak tartare, melted brown butter brie, and skate wing schnitzel that will take you to France for the night.
Their delectable profiteroles are also a must-order, packed with homemade chocolate fudge and vanilla ice cream.
Mon Ami Gab, one of the sleekest French restaurants in Chicago has a weekly $50 dine-in or carry-out prix-fixe menu that includes a freshly baked baguette with a unique carrot amuse-bouche, a small green salad, a sweet cream butter, duc a l’orange, almond, and raspberry macarons.
In this softly lit wine bar beneath Testaccio, you can satisfy your desire for wine, cheese, and music. Soif translates to “thirst” in French, and its menu is designed to quench your thirst with classic and renowned Parisian cocktails, French wines, and Belgian beer.
Soif’s menu has lately grown to include French favorites such as escargot and caviar. For a more informal meal, their grilled cheese with truffle honey is really divine.
Every weekend, listen to some ambient, new-wave DJs to enrich your experience while relaxing on the bar’s red velvet bench. To have a seat in Soif, one of the best French restaurants in Chicago, reservations are strongly advised.
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Obelix, a less traditional, yet inventive French restaurant, opened in early 2022 by brothers Oliver and Nicolas Poilevey, who also run the cozy neighborhood favorite Le Bouchon, which their parents opened.
Obelix features French classics including escargot and French onion soup, as well as modern Chicago twists on French classics like the “Foie-Co,” a foie gras taco with grape jam and salsa macha .
Don’t leave before dessert since pastry chef Antonio Incadella, previously of Spiaggia, has created an appealing dessert menu that will leave you asking for more.
At Obelix, one of the coolest French restaurants in Chicago, dining is more than just food, it is an art.
Brindille was founded by Carrie and Michael Nahabedian (Naha) as an homage to their favorite Parisian restaurants, making it the ideal upscale, romantic restaurant to impress a date.
Brindille has an exceptional cheese selection as well as a menu of French classics including “Belle du Jour” oysters, which are a rotating variety of oysters served with Normandy seaweed cider, smoked trout roe, and basil oil.
Try the sturgeon caviar, a dover sole, and buttery veal after sampling some fresh, lovely oysters. The excitement doesn’t stop there, finish the night with an enhanced chocolate eclair and a glass of Champagne.
Try one of the restaurant’s French afternoon tea experiences, which include finger sandwiches and crumpets to keep you energized and filled.
8. Chez Moi
Dining at Chez Moi transports you to the late chef Dominique Tougne’s home. The simple but lovely restaurant serves typical French meals from the northeast and southwest France.
Come for a relaxed weekend brunch and enjoy classics like croque monsieur, quiche Lorraine, and eggs benedict.
Dinner should include cassoulet Toulousain, escargot wrapped in a pastry crust, or a vegetarian cassoulet, and dessert should be Gateau Breton, a buttery French cake with caramel sauce.
9. Maison Parisienne
Maison Parisienne, one of the best restaurants in Chicago, is a laid-back French cafe with outlets in Lakeview and Lincoln Park, that serves delectable French pastries.
Local Francophiles will enjoy with croissants, quiche, macarons, and opera cakes. If you’re overwhelmed by the options, try an assorted croissant box for $27.50, which includes one of each of their croissants.
Order a Mediterranean tartine with avocado, tomato, a side salad of chia seeds, feta, and olive oil on a French baguette for something more savory. Coffee and tea enthusiasts will like the large beverage menu that accompanies their delectable treat.
Venteux, a restaurant on the first floor of the Pendry Hotel serving French cuisine with a Chicago twist, is all about fresh seafood. Oysters are flown in daily from the East and West coasts, and you can try them for $1 on Oyster Tuesdays which starts at 4 p.m.
If you’re eating in a group, try their chilled caviar served with egg yolk and chilled vodka or fresh seafood tower. Brunch options include the inventive bánh mi hash, short rib, and lemongrass, cilantro, or the Ratatouille pasta with eggless Bearnaisse.
While French cuisine is famed for its hefty meats, buttery taste, and pungent cheeses, the pastries at these restaurants will be the perfect sweet ending to your dinner as you explore de Beauvoir’s existentialism.
A memorable culinary experience goes beyond the food. In this list of the 10 best French restaurants in Chicago, you will find everything you need for a memorable culinary experience.