Best of Philly

Best French Restaurant

2020 Best Second Act

Chris Kearse’s Forsythia

Chris Kearse kicks a whole lot of ass for a whole lot of reasons, but one of the best things about him is the deep iconoclastic streak that made him close his dream restaurant — Will BYOB — and follow his muse, opening a perfectly realized modern French bistro at a time in Philly’s food history when fine dining, French influences and modernism were all on the wrong side of the curve. What’s more, he nailed it, serving things as simple as a perfect crab omelet, roasted duck with Bing cherries, and ham hock beignet with honey mustard — and making them all unforgettable showstoppers. Not every restaurant in Philly is going to survive 2020, but we’re lighting a candle for Forsythia. Read More »

233 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-644-9395 | Website

2017 Best French

La Maison

There’s something about rustic French cooking that’s just so comforting. It could be the simplicity in a cuisine built on rigid rules and regulations. Or maybe it’s the sense of calm that comes from recipes perfected across generations. And in the hands of chef Martin Gagne, in this 300-year-old farmhouse/24-seat prix-fixe BYOB, you taste all of that and more. Read More »

1470 Old Ridge Road, Coventryville, PA | 484-680-2631 | Website

2015 Best French Restaurant

Bibou BYOB

Pierre Calmels has returned to his original kitchen with a new seven-course prix-fixe menu format that pumps up the refinement without losing the soul. Old-time fans needn't fret: The foie gras and pumpkin bread live on. Read More »

1009 South 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-965-8290 | Website

2014 Best French Restaurant

Le Cheri

Pierre Calmels executes French dishes only seen on culinary-school exams (rabbit ballotine, pike quenelles) so delicately and artfully that they suddenly seem totally fresh and new. This kind of French cooking never gets old. Read More »

251 South 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-546-7700 | Website

2013 Best French Restaurant


Pierre Calmels doesnt just do right by the classics (escargots, terrines, veal sweetbreads); he shows how fresh contemporary French cooking can be. (Think shellfish bisque with pomegranate seeds, or seared foie gras with a lime-tanged plum chutney.) Meanwhile, his lovely wife, Charlotte, turns the dining room into a home away from home for Phillys French expats. Read More »

1009 South 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-965-8290 | Website

2011 Best French Restaurant


Whether you're looking for the earthiest escargots, trotters stuffed with foie gras, or skate wing with rhubarb and watermelon radish, the flavors at Bibou are as big and Gallic as Gerard Depardieu. (And we mean that in the best possible way.) Read More »

1009 South 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-965-8290 | Website

2010 Best French Restaurant


There are BYOBs, and then there are restaurants serving four-star French fare in storefronts that just don't have a liquor license, like Bibou. Pierre and Charlotte Calmels's thimble-size Italian Market spot has earned raves locally and nationally (hello, Beard nomination!), and after tasting the bone marrow, escargots, or seasonal specials like melon soup with slivered prosciutto, you'll know why suit-jacketed Main Liners willingly squeeze into its tiny environs. From the French press coffee to the luxe chir butter, it's darn near perfect Read More »

1009 South 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-965-8290 | Website