It’s easy to forget that French is Toronto’s second language. That is until you take a tour of the many excellent French restaurants in the city.
By the end of the day, you’ll realize that the French culture is still very much alive and thriving in the city. Many French chefs eventually move to Toronto to open up their own restaurant and make a name for themselves.
This has led to dozens of upscale French restaurants that are absolutely amazing.
Are you curious about which of those restaurants are worth your time and money? We’ve compiled a list of 12 of the best in the city.
The 12 Best French Restaurants In Toronto
The following 12 restaurants are the best of the best when it comes to French cuisine in Toronto. If you can only visit one, then you should start at the top. But if you’re lucky, you’ll get a chance to visit them all and experience their unique qualities.
1. Le Select Bistro
What Is It: Elegance, class, and comfort: these are all qualities you would expect from a world-renowned French Bistro and they are exactly what you get at Le Select. The menu contains a number of comfort foods that aren’t intimidating to newcomers of French cuisine. Each element, from the bisque to the wine list is perfectly crafted and lends to the atmosphere.
Why People Love It: Le Select manages to perfectly blend fine French cuisine and a comforting atmosphere. It has a menu that you can understand and friendly staff that will answer any of your questions without seeming insulting. Le Select appeals to first time French diners as well as experienced connoisseurs.
Address: 432 Wellington Street W Toronto, ON M5V 1E3
2. Alo Restaurant
What Is It: Every year, Alo finds itself atop multiple lists as not only one of the best French restaurants in Toronto but one of the best restaurants in all of Canada. If you have yet to experience the fine dining experience that is so commonly portrayed on television, then Alo is the place to do it. You will feel like you are a star in your own movie as you move through a 10-course meal on golden plates.
Why People Love It: Alo is all about fine dining at its peak. Getting a reservation can take months, which means that you will truly savor every second that you spend inside their doors. The staff is expertly trained and help tie the entire experience together perfectly.
Price: Super Expensive
Address: 163 Spadina Ave 3rd Floor Toronto, ON M5V 2L6
What Is It: Union is the passion project of renowned chef Teo Paul. He manages to compete with French restaurants that come and go by avoiding trends and sticking to the basics. High-quality ingredients, a comfortable atmosphere, and delicious pairings are always present at Union.
Why People Love It: Take a step in the crowded dining area at Union and you’ll realize this is a restaurant beloved by the entire city.
If you were to step behind the curtain into the kitchen you would see a well-oiled machine crafting some of the best French cuisines in the country. They do this with the best possible ingredients and with one of the best chefs in the country leading the charge.
Address: 72A Ossington Avenue Toronto, ON M6J 2Y7
4. Le Baratin
What Is It: The goal of Le Baratin has always been to bring traditional French cuisine to Toronto without altering too much during the trip. It’s safe to say that they have exceeded at this goal. You honestly feel as if you are dining in a cafe in Paris while dining on the Pela des Aravis or the Magret de Canard.
Why People Love It: Guests can tell that the menu items and even the ingredients remain true to their roots. They do not suffer from the same Western influences that plague many other French establishments. And perhaps the most surprising element is the price. Le Baratin is considerably more affordable than similar establishments in the area.
Address: 1600 Dundas Street. W Toronto, ON M6K 1T8
5. Le Paradis Brasserie Bistro
What Is It: Le Paradis has been in business for more than 30 years and it’s possible that they’ve never had an unsatisfied customer in that entire time. That last part may be an exaggeration, but the fact of the matter is that Le Paradis serves consistently excellent food. Their menu changes daily, yet every item that they serve is carefully selected and cooked to perfection.
Why People Love It: People love Le Paradis for its consistency. Many customers visit on a regular basis because of their affordable prices. They know that each time they place an order they will get a dish that is worth talking about.
Address: 166 Bedford Road Toronto, ON M5R 2K9
6. Gare de l’Est
What Is It: A high-end cafe experience during the daylight hours and a relaxed bar during the night. Gare is run by the same people who are responsible for Ascari, a well known Italian restaurant in the area. Gare sources all of their ingredients from local suppliers and all of their dishes reflect their strong French origins.
Why People Love It: Gara isn’t afraid to experiment with their cuisine. Some people may not like that, but the majority of customers love the risks that they take. They have surprisingly affordable menu items as well with large portions and fast serving times.
Address: 1190 Dundas St E Toronto, ON M4M 0C5
7. Chabrol Cafe
What Is It: One of Toronto’s many hidden gems. Chabrol Cafe may be one of the most underrated restaurants in Toronto. They serve traditional French and European dishes with a large selection of sauces, bread, and pasta. The dessert and wine menu may be lacking, but they more than make up for it with their selection of food.
Why People Love It: Chabrol manages to prepare a variety of French and European dishes while working around the allergies and food preferences of its customers. You can experience some amazing gluten-free and vegan options unlike anything else for miles.
Address: 90 Yorkville Ave Toronto, ON M5R 1B9
8. Auberge Du Pommier
What Is It: Auberge is one of the several successful restaurants that is part of the Liver & Bonacini collection. They have survived and thrived for more than 30 years by providing their customers with a refined French experience. Their menu changes with the seasons and is heavily influenced by local herbs and ingredients that are available.
Why People Love It: The seasonal menu ensures a new experience is available every time that you visit. It also guarantees that only the freshest ingredients are used. The natural flavors of every element are powerful and present in the dish. In this way, each menu item is like a piece of art that will only be around for a brief period of time.
Address: 4150 Yonge St. Toronto, ON M2P 2C6
9. La Palette
What Is It: La Palette has been on the rise for several years. They recently upgraded to a new location on Queen West where they serve truly authentic French dishes. One of their stand-out dishes is horse tartare, which is a common delicacy in France but very seldom seen at French restaurants in the west. This dedication to authenticity is evident in every menu item and ingredient that La Palette chooses.
Why People Love It: The La Palette menu feels as if it was flown over directly from a restaurant in the capital of France. You can enjoy unique French dishes like horse tartare as well as the classic staples like escargot and foie gras.
Address: 492 Queen St. West Toronto, ON M5V 2B2
What Is It: This isn’t the classical French restaurant that you see so frequently throughout Toronto. Chantecler isn’t afraid to embrace the modern era or Western influences. Their menu items include a combination of French staples and Canada-specific ingredients. Customers can enjoy eating at an open bar facing the kitchen.
Why People Love It: Chantecler loves to experiment with its dishes and this often results in unique and impressive menu items. You’ll notice elements of Asian fusion, traditional French cuisine, and local Canadian staples. All of these elements work together perfectly to make Chantecler one of the best restaurants around.
Address: 1320 Queen St W Toronto, ON M6K 1L4
What Is It: Nadege is a French-style cafe and bakery built specifically for people with a sweet tooth. Nadege Nourian opened the cafe in 2009 and has since created a number of unique dessert items that have become instant classics. Nadege was born in France in a long line of pastry chefs. His influences and heritage are clearly evident in the desserts that he crafts.
Why People Love It: Simply put, it’s the best dessert in the town. Nadege is constantly creating new menu items that draw customers back time and time again. They also provide hands-on classes for aspiring pastry chefs who want to improve their craft.
Address: 780 Queen St W Toronto, ON M6J 1G2
12. La Banane
What Is It: A classic French restaurant that specializes in seafood and bread. The menu at La Banane isn’t much different than what you would expect from an upscale French restaurant. But it’s how they prepare and present their seafood items that keep customers coming back for more.
Why People Love It: They have some of the best seafood you’ll ever have at a French restaurant in Toronto. The staff is also very well trained. They move quickly and they always have great recommendations.
Price: Super expensive
Address: 227 Ossington Ave Toronto, ON M6J 2Z8
A Taste Of France In Toronto
No two French restaurants are ever the same. There may be dozens of them in Toronto, but each one is worth visiting.