10 Best French Restaurants in Chicago, IL [2022 Updated]

When you have the money to spend on a fabulous meal, the kind you would actually put pen to paper to write a letter home about, regardless of how old school that would be, you dine French. In Chicago, French food proves nearly as popular as pizza, although you’ll find fewer French bistros than Uno’s Pizza locations.

When you desire succulent steak, creamy, filling soup, roasted chicken or duck, or a dessert genuinely worth a food selfie, you dine at one of these eateries. Any of these eateries can qualify as the best French restaurant Chicago offers. It just depends on what you’re looking for in a meal and restaurant.

If you missed the chance to dine at La Sardine pre-COVID-19, you won’t get to do so. The eatery sadly closed permanently after more than two decades of serving Chicagoans a luxurious meal. Such a venerable spot closing shows how vital tasting the unique creations of a fine restaurant is.

While many of the eateries on this list participate in high-end delivery services like Took or offer to take out, why cheat yourself of the opulent restaurant experience? French food and its commensurate dining experience wasn’t meant to be enjoyed from a cardboard box or plastic tin.

If you’re visiting Chicago, take advantage of a unique opportunity to dine on some of the best quality food, prepared by some of the finest chefs in America.

If you reside in Chicago, what are you waiting for? Eat! Although it can live up to its well-earned reputation as a heart attack on a plate, you can find healthy French food. Some of the restaurants on this list provide that unusual take on French food.

Never cheat yourself out of the dessert though. Wherever you see it on the menu, try the Crème Brule.

Brindille

$$$$ | (312) 595-1616 | WEBSITE

 

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Head to Chicago’s Brindille to taste the traditional French restaurant Brindille. Located in the River North district, you can dine on whopping portions of lobster drenched in butter, foie gras, and almond clafoutis, a few of the signature dishes of the establishment.

Try its Spot-on Dover sole meunière or pommes rissoles for other gastronomic treats.  If you want a nice French eatery to propose in or you need to impress your prom date, this is the place.

You’ll dine using antique utensils and the waiters fawn over you. Featured in the Michelin guide, Brindille tops the list of Chicago’s French eateries for its experience.

 

Mon Ami Gabi

$$$$ | (773) 348-8886 | WEBSITE

 

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When you land that first big job or want to take your parents out to dinner to announce the birth of your first child, head to this Lincoln Park eatery.

Mon Ami Gabi hides in the lobby of a Lincoln Park apartment building, making you hunt for this upscale French bistro. They serve a great brunch, so order their signature French onion soup and enjoy this hidden gem.

 

Bistronomic

$$$$ | (312) 944-8400 | WEBSITE

What? You don’t think of French food when you think of pre-game food for a football or basketball game? This affordable French bistro offers traditional fare like escargot, but also remember that French food consists of game birds, succulent cuts of red meat, and butter sauces.

That screams game day. Located on the Gold Coast, besides the lovely river view, you get tasty desserts like creme Brule with bittersweet chocolate on top. Try this delicious eatery for date night, too.

 

Les Nomades

$$$ | (312) 649-9010 | WEBSITE

 

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Tucked away just off of Michigan Avenue, you will find one of Chicago’s venerable French restaurants. For more than four decades, Les Nomades in Streeterville has provided succulent meals in unmatched ambiance. Its location in a brownstone offers a peek into another time.

If you want to impress but need to budget, order from the prix fixe (fixed price) menu. You can get a four-course meal from the prix fixe menu for $135 or five courses for $145.

For a quick snack, don’t miss the sweet Grand Marnier soufflé. Les Nomades offers that traditional fine dining restaurant experience that you see homaged in film. Those with allergies should take care because the café fills its tables with bouquets of fresh flowers.

 

Chez Moi

$$$ | (773) 871-2100 | WEBSITE

A warning to the heart-healthy set: Chez Moi is known for its liberal use of butter in dishes. Your order may be drenched in butter sauce, but it will taste delicious.

This casual bistro, located in Lincoln Park makes a lovely lunch spot. Its quiet, uncrowded neighborhood restaurant vibe provides the ideal brunch or lunch spot. The seasonal menu features traditional favs like duck a l’orange.

 

Chez Joël

$$$$ | (312) 226-6479 | WEBSITE

 

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Ideal for a business lunch or brunch, Chez Joël offers traditional favorites in a bar setting. Well known for its frog legs and desserts, you’ll find the rest of the meal tasty, too. Choose the cuisses de grenouilles à la Provençale for your appetizer, try the French onion soup, and many agree that the coq au vin is a can’t miss.

Known for its desserts, either crème brûlée or profiteroles cap the meal nicely. As you’d expect from a bar, this establishment offers an extensive line of wines to accompany your meal.

 

Goosefoot

$$$$ | (773) 942-7547 | WEBSITE

 

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Everything moves slower at Goosefoot, so plan ample meal time. If you want to luxuriate over a romantic dinner, this eatery provides the ambiance and a unique menu. Expect a modern take on traditional dishes.

The pumpkin soup, for example, also contains crab and pheasant sausage. Their tortellini dishes hint at an Italian-French send. Ordering scallops only gets you one, but the kitchen stuff it with coconut and lobster. Goosefoot makes its own chocolates, so enjoy its confections as dessert.

 

Taureaux Tavern

$$$$ | (312) 624-8778 | WEBSITE

 

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Taureaux Tavern offers the French version of bar food. Don’t laugh. This fine French restaurant serves steak in many different preparations. You can also find a tasty roasted chicken if you avoid red meat.

Rather than French fries, your steak comes with crisped potatoes, an amusing bar food joke. Think down-home French fare with a comfortable twist. While it is a favorite of the business set, you could also eat a fine pre-game meal here.

 

Le Bouchon

$$$$ | (773) 862-6600 | WEBSITE

 

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The restaurant is ideal for any occasion, but tiny, so you need reservations which could be tough to come by. In a pinch, you could dine at the bar if you stop in for a bite but no the maître’ d has no table available.

You can feel as if you dine in France since the eatery chooses classic décor to match its classic menu. Located in Wicker Park, you’ll spot groups of friends sharing a table as well as cozy dates going on. Regardless of the occasion, try the bouillabaisse or cassoulet.

 

Bistro Campagne

$$$$ | (773) 271-6100 | WEBSITE

 

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This little bistro could offer two dining rooms – the linen-covered indoor dining or the outdoor dining under the stars. With either choice, you dine on fine French cuisine with a rustic bend and a perfect date setting in Lincoln Park.

Cheese lovers rejoice because the chef loves cooking with Gruyère. On a particularly windy day in The Windy City, warm up with a piping hot bowl of soup à l’oignon gratinée. Try the duck pithiviers or beef bourguignon and wild mushrooms. Choose its puff pastry for dessert.

 

French Restaurants in Chicago, IL

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