Besides its steely skyscrapers, stunning modern urban architectures and a wide range of shopping options, Chicago is a food lovers paradise. Its diverse society has given its locals and foreign visitors the chance to taste different cuisines from different countries, and French cuisine is no exception. From its rustic classic menus to its sophisticated plates, French gastronomy has earned a good reputation around the world. France is in fact the origin of the Guide Michelin rating system that is used worldwide. If you’re in Chicago, you don’t need to travel to France to relish some of its best dishes. Whether you wish to sit in a cozy quaint bistro setting with an unwinding French ambience or dine al fresco, the city offers a myriad of French bistro options. Expect to find typical dishes like steak fries, garlicky escargots, foie gras, or the onion soup, and succulent desserts like the chocolate sponge cake or creme brulee. With that in mind, here are some of the best French restaurants in Chicago, Illinois.
1. Le Bouchon
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
You don’t need to go to France if you’re craving for an authentic, sophisticated French menu. Le Bouchon’s setting has been inspired by Parisian cafés. The interior of this restaurant is cozy, welcoming and will transport you to France, especially when you marvel at its tin ceiling, refined artworks, a rich assortment of French wines, and classic food presentation. Opened in Bucktown in 1993, this charming restaurant offers flavorful French bistro food and has been featured as one of the best French restaurants in America by Timeout Magazine. Whether you wish to have lunch or dinner, you will need to make a reservation in advance. Expect to find dishes such as French onion soup, foie gras, garlic-y escargot and frog legs, bouillabaisse and a full duck for two. Don’t forget to select your favorite wine from its extensive list.
Address: 1958 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647, USA
Prices: Fixed-price menu on Tuesdays at 27.50 USD per person (Appetizer, Entree, and Dessert)
Website: Le Bouchon
2. Bistro Campagne
Located on Lincoln Avenue, the Bistro Campagne invites food lovers to relish some refined and appetizing French dishes in a very warm, cozy setting with an elegant blend of prairie-inspired decor and lively Gallic spirit. Opened in 2002 by Chef Michael Altenberg, the bistro has won the hearts of locals and foreigners alike. The secret of the flavorful dishes lies in the organic, fresh local agricultural produce that they consist of. Besides its scrumptious menu, guests can select some refreshing cocktails from its long list of drinks — try the La Piloto or Bee’s Knees, for instance. The bistro can be rented for various occasions from birthday parties to wedding dinners. It can cater anywhere from 13 to 48 people.
Address: 4518 N Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL 60625
Prices: 33 USD for 3 courses
Website: Bistro Campagne
3. Les Nomades
Les Nomades pampers its guests with Haute French cuisine in a secluded, serene spot near the Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. The smoking-free restaurant is ideal for a romantic dinner getaway within the city. The elegant chic setting, unwinding, cozy atmosphere, stunning floral arrangements with gorgeous Lalique vases, and display of some original artwork, make this sublime restaurant a perfect dining option. Its prix-fixe French menu consists of roasted venison loin with puréed kabocha squash, rack of lamb, and more, as well as an award-winning wine list. The restaurant accepts credit cards and offers valet parking. Nearby facilities include shopping centers, performance venues, and decadent hotels. Les Nomades is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday evenings, and it is closed Sundays and Mondays.
Address: 222 E Ontario Street, Chicago, IL
Prices: From 61 USD
Website: Les Nomandes
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4. Chez Joel Bistro Francais
In the middle of Little Italy’s Taylor Street lies Chez Joel Bistro Francais, a family-operated restaurant that is well known for its southern French cuisine. The atmosphere inside captures the spirit of a true French bistro — its tables are covered with butcher paper and its walls are adorned with French posters. There are also garden tables where couples can enjoy a romantic, al fresco dining experience right in the city. Some of its dishes include steak fries and coq en vin, garlicky escargots, tournedos de boeuf and among others. Deserts consist of a chocolate sponge cake in rum with vanilla mousse, Calvados apple tart with marzipan, and more. The bistro offers complimentary valet services during lunch hours.
Chez Joel Bistro Francais
Address: 1119 W Taylor St Chicago, Illinois
Prices: 31–60 USD
Website: Chez Joel Bistro Francais
5. La Sardine
Tucked away on a side street some distance away from Randolph Street lies La Sardine, the sister property of Le Bouchon. The restaurant offers refined French cuisine in a charming and cozy setting with a charming French ambience. The restaurant has been specializing in French comfort food for over 20 years. There are daily specials on weekdays, including half-priced bottles of any wine on the menu on Mondays, and a $38 prix-fixe dinner on Tuesdays, and dollar oysters at the bar on Friday nights. Recommended dishes include steak fries, mussels, and onion soup. Food is normally accompanied by an extensive French wine list specializing in the wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux. To top it all off, just right across the street is the Oprah Winfrey show.
Address: 111 N. Carpenter Chicago, IL 60607
Prices: 31–60 USD
Website: La Sardine
6. Kiki's Bistro
Recommended by the Chicago Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune, Kiki’s Bistro is a pioneering restaurant which specializes in authentic French fare and has been serving its loyal guests over many years with gracious French hospitality and an outstanding menu featuring the likes of tender duck confit, steak fries, succulent creme brulee, and croustade de poire. Its dimly lit dining room is complemented by a French country atmosphere, evidenced by its antique elements that create a cozy, homely feel in the bustling city. The bistro also serves as a suitable location to hold special events and gatherings with a capacity of up to 150 guests. There is even an extensive and affordable wine menu.
Address: 900 N. Franklin Street Chicago, IL 60610
Prices: 31–60 USD
Website: Kiki’s Bistro
Brindille is a family-run restaurant that has been featured on the recommended list of quality French cuisine in the River North region of Chicago. The restaurant offers a five-course menu consisting of delicious dishes made with premium ingredients. From its appetizers and entrees to its lip-smacking desserts, Brindille has never failed to live up to its hype. There is also a wine list that has one of the best selections of French wines in the city. The restaurant’s head chef, Carrie Nahabedian, has undeniably put all her passion into creating these French specialities, while her business partner has taken care of the aesthetics with a stylish, award-winning interior setting adorned with splashes of dark and light tones and paintings. You can also book a cooking class with the chef herself on Saturday mornings which is then followed by a lunch.
Address: 534 North Clark Street
Prices: From 61 USD
8. La Crêperie Chicago Restaurant
The endearing La Crêperie Chicago Restaurant is sometimes referred to as America’s oldest creperie which was briefly closed and later reopened in 2013. Over the years, it has amassed a large group of loyal customers who couldn’t get enough of its renowned crêpes menu. Choose between various options of sweet and savory crêpes; there is bound to be a flavor that appeals to you. The restaurant is still located in the same place since it first opened in 1972.
La Crêperie Chicago Restaurant
Address: 2845 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657
Prices: 11–30 USD
Website: La Crêperie Chicago Restaurant
9. Maison Parisienne — French Café
Find yourself a warm spot at the chic, elegant Maison Parisienne, a warm cocooning French Café in Chicago located on Lakeview East. The restaurant offers its customers an authentic French breakfast with scrumptious croissants and traditional French fare for lunch, including delicious pastries. Some of the food include croque-monsieur, baguettes, sandwiches, and quiche lorraine. The restaurant uses artisan unbleached flour, French chocolate, and European butter to make their dishes authentic.
Address: 3307 N. Clark St., Lake View
Prices: 11–30 USD
Website: Maison Parisienne
10. Maude's Liquor Bar
Maude’s Liquor Bar has an elegant dining room in an intimate and funky setting where guests can sink into comfortable seating and appreciate the coziness of the bar, as well as its food and cocktail menu, of course. Expect to find rustic French classics, Parisian-inspired dishes like foie gras paté and escargot, succulent fresh seafood such as oysters, handcrafted refreshing cocktails, and a long list of French wines.
Maude's Liquor Bar
Address: 840 W Randolph St Chicago, IL 60607
rices: 31–60 USD
Website: Maude’s Liquor Bar
Relish French gastronomy in Chicago, Illinois
From its rustic rural French dishes to its sophisticated classics, enjoy a delicious French fare the right way in Chicago. Check out these restaurants the next time you find yourself there, and you might just find yourself back in France.
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