French Restaurants in Philly: The Ultimate Guide

Where to go when you’re craving braised meat, red wine, lots of cheese and all the butter.

50 best restaurants

Bar snacks at Forsythia. Photograph by Michael Persico

It used to be that nearly every fancy restaurant in the U.S. was French, but these days, we’re just as likely to splash out on an Israeli or Thai meal as we would on a decidedly Françias one. In fact, it’s getting harder and harder to find classic French restaurants that aren’t doing some kind of New American or modern twist. But we still have a few places in Philly, and this is their season: the colder months are when we crave braised meats, red wine, and gratinee a l’oignon. These are the places we head to when those cravings hit.


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June, Collingswood
Rich Cusack opened June in a small space on East Passyunk Avenue in late 2019, but the restaurant, though excellent, couldn’t escape COVID’s terror. Cusack is trying again, now in a slightly larger space in Collingswood. It’s old-school French food — like roasted venison, pied de cochon (yes, that’s pig’s foot) and red-wine roasted duck breast. June is the type of restaurant that delights in the largely bygone traditions of French cooking, but makes them all feel new again. Somehow.

Bistrot La MinetteQueen Village
Bistrot la Minette is the quintessence of the authentic French bistro experience: Beouf bourguignon, steak tartare, a crusty baguette with a lot of butter, professional service, and of course, several glasses of wine.

Let’s be honest: Philadelphians don’t just love Parc for its food. We love it for it’s straight-out-of-Paris ambience, it’s over-the-top seafood tower, and it’s charming, comfortable sidewalk seating where we can sit for hours and people watch.


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Royal BoucherieOld City
Everyone wishes that Royal Boucherie was in their neighborhood. Somehow their gruyere-topped burger is just as satisfying as their fancy food options: foie gras terrine, lobster cocktail, and bay scallops in red wine. Oh, and the bar? Excellent cocktails, delicious wines, and no fuss in sight.

ForsythiaOld City
Chef Christopher Kearse started over with Forsythia, an upscale French spot that is a level up from his tiny BYOB, Will. It’s a glitzier space with a full bar program, plus luxurious service and a seasonal menu that changes constantly. And an excellent happy hour to boot.


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Good King TavernQueen Village
The Good King Tavern manages to be one of our favorite restaurants and one of our favorite bars all at once. The menu is hearty, classic food that always seems to have a surprise or two in store (a recent visit cemented humble radishes with butter as a favorite dish of the last few months). Upstairs, you’ll find Le Caveau, a moody wine bar with Parisian hot dogs on the menu.

Crêperie BeaumondeQueen Village
An absolutely adorable French cafe that slings savory crepes stuffed with cheese and French ham, and sweet crepes slathered with Nutella or filled with baked pears.

Caribou CafeCenter City
French food does not have to be fancy, and Caribou Cafe knows this, and shows it off with a casual bistro experience. Choose from their $20 two-course lunch menu, or their $39 three-course menu, and have a nice salad, steak frites and profiteroles for a shockingly affordable, satisfying meal.

Louie LouieUniversity City
Louie Louie has pretty much everything you could want: lots of seafood, a very cheesy French onion soup, duck confit, and creme brûlée. They also happen to serve creme brûlée French toast at brunch, which is not, you know traditional, per se — but it is absolutely delicious.


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Spring Mill CafeConshohocken
In this 19th century post office turned general store, Spring Mill Cafe has a distinctly country French vibe, and a menu to match. Rabbit braised in white wine, pork chop doused in buerre blanc, and a so, so, so much pâté.

LaurelEast Passyunk
Is Laurel a strictly French restaurant? No. Nick Elmi pulls in inspiration wherever he sees fit. But his training is distinctly French. He ran the kitchen at Le Bec Fin, and worked at French restaurants all over the world before he opened Laurel. You won’t find duck confit on the menu here, but the French background is there if you look for it.