The 9 Best French Restaurants In Philly

Bistros, brasseries, and upscale restaurants for eating butter-based food by candlelight. Oui oui.
The 9 Best French Restaurants In Philly image

photo credit: Gab Bonghi

We owe the French a lot. They gave us the Statue of Liberty, Serge Gainsbourg, and the newest iteration of Lupin. Oh, and they also figured out that baking a layer of cheese on top of soup makes it extremely delicious. Whether you’re planning a casual dinner with friends, a wine-fueled date night, or a special occasion with your favorite Francophile, these are Philly’s unmissable French spots.

photo credit: GAB BONGHI


East Passyunk

$$$$Perfect For:Corporate CardsDate NightDinner with the ParentsDrinking Good WineFine DiningImpressing Out of Towners
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T-Pain. The Golden Bachelor. Beyonce’s Jolene. No matter the category, we love a creative renaissance, and the same goes for Laurel on East Passyunk—an intimate French restaurant that went from high-end tasting menu to a la carte. They still have the same elements that made it our favorite restaurant in the city—stellar (but never stiff) service, chic interiors, and creative French dishes we can’t get enough of. The mirror-lined space works for a big deal date, but it’s still casual enough to sit at the bar by yourself and blend in. We’re always wowed by the originality of the (ever-changing) menu, but some of our all-time favorites include the boquerones on sourdough brioche, mussels with a paprika aioli, and scallops in an oyster cream sauce you’ll want to bottle.

photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO

My Loup? More like my lawd, amiright? This buzzy Rittenhouse restaurant comes from the same team as Her Place Supper Club, but it’s easier to snag a table at this louder, boozier spot. This is great news, since we can’t get enough of the stunning seafood towers, modern French mains (like the juicy lamb shoulder with stuffed morels), and caviar-topped everything. It works just as well for a martini-fueled group dinner as it does for a romantic night out on the town. No matter why you’re here, an order of the tangy pickled shrimp with ramps and saltines must be on the table.  

Dining at June is like having dinner in a fairy tale. There’s a vintage rolling cart and porcelain tea set in the entry, and crystal chandeliers hang in every corner of the room. The Collingswood BYOB reminds us a bit of Beauty & The Beast, but instead of a candlestick serenading you, a server will joke about taking a swig of Grand Marnier and call you hun. It’s all of the charm and decadence you want from an upscale French restaurant without the pretension you don’t. They make inventive versions of classic dishes—like a rich foie gras with hints of cocoa, apple, and herby shiso—along with a few (surprisingly impressive) non-French cameos, like housemade spaghetti chitarra with crab.

East Passyunk’s Townsend is full of candlelight, white tablecloths, and the general feeling that someone might propose at any minute. The a la carte menu includes takes on French food, like roasted bone marrow with a crisp celery salad, escargot with buttery garlic risotto, and a perfectly cooked cote d’boeuf for two. Despite the formal dining room and excellent service, it’s totally laid back, making it one of our favorite spots for a special occasion. Bonus: the bar closes at 2am, so it’s a great place to seek out after dinner, or the three times a year you stay out past 1am.

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo



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Bistrot La Minette is the closest you can get to dining in Paris without leaving Philly. It’s so French, in fact, that you’ll find couples every night of the week sharing their buttery escargot and tangy beef tartare from the same side of the red leather banquettes, whispering sweet nothings to the sounds of Edith Piaf. Luckily, it’s just as comfortable for a night out with friends, which is good, because you’ll want to share the ruby red duck breast, crispy trout meuniere, and at least two bottles of French wine from the expansive list. 

Between the maps on the walls and the handwritten specials on the chalkboard, this casual Bella Vista restaurant feels like a cozy Parisian antique shop that happens to serve really good food. The dimly lit neighborhood spot works as well for a casual Friday night dinner with friends as it does for a first date on a weeknight. You’ll find bistro hits like steak frites, escargot, and all kinds of duck. Plus, they have an extensive wine list—after all, they own the wine bar upstairs, and a fantastic snacky wine bar in Rittenhouse (that’s also on this list).

This is that fantastic snacky wine bar. The thing about Superfolie in Rittenhouse is that you can be in and out within an hour and not look like a classless monster. The whole point is to enjoy a few drinks, some French-leaning small plates, and get the heck out (or hang around for several hours over steak tartare and tartines, but a full dinner is not on the docket). They carry over 70 bottles of wine, have a tight by-the-glass list, and incredibly knowledgeable servers if tannins and terroir are not in your vocabulary.

Parc is iconic. The long-running bistro has essentially fused with Rittenhouse Square itself, and it’s the city’s go-to restaurant for brunch, date night, or watching a Jack Nicholson lookalike order a grapefruit martini. You can’t go wrong with the roast chicken or the warm shrimp salad, but it’s their gruyere-topped French onion soup that made the cheese pull what it is today. Plop down at the bar for a solo steak frites, or if it’s nice out, snag a seat on 18th Street. Just don't settle for one of those dinky wooden tables in the middle of the dining room where servers will forget you exist. What are you, a tourist?

Lacroix is an international (but heavily French) restaurant on the second floor of The Rittenhouse Hotel, and it is fancy with a capital F. Sommeliers whisper-talk about vine temperatures, dishes are adorned with French mother sauces and Japanese cooking techniques, and chandeliers glow with both candles and bulbs. It's admittedly stiff, but the food often makes up for the snooze. You’re going to have things like risotto of new potatoes with Kaluga caviar and chive that disintegrate in your mouth, perfect Parisian gnocchi with foie gras and trumpet mushrooms, and tender, deliciously gamey quail with brussels sprouts. For as muted as the place is, it screams luxury, and we hear Oprah is a fan. If it’s good enough for her, it’s (occasionally) good enough for us.

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