Toronto's Delicious French Restaurants Go Way Beyond Escargot



This is an interesting time in the history of French food. Although once associated with an attention-to-detail than bordered on the edge of snooty, we do live in a different time. A time of food trucks. Now "young cuisine" is making way and the delicious ingredients that make French food - well, French - are still in place without having the word "haute" in front.

Like the classic dishes that define French food, many of Toronto's best French restaurants have thrived unchanged for years. Auberge du Pommier has served Toronto diners since 1987 from its space in a 19th century uptown cottage. While the kitchen staff changes (some of Toronto's most popular chefs have taken turns operating the stoves here) the food remains consistently good. There is also an atmosphere at Auberge that makes you sit up a little taller and notice the finer details in life.

The newer French restaurant in the Distillery, Cluny, is more modern and relaxed yet still has charming tableware and crusty bread ready to transport you to a place where a "Oui" is in order. Executive chef Paul Benallick came from Auberge du Pommier roots and crafted a menu that leans French architecture on Canadian soil, such as roasted duck poutine.

The restaurants take away the pomp and Michelin stars and leave us with food that makes us go "Ooh la la." Modern or traditional, isn't that what matters?




France ex-pat chef J.P. Challet has made a name for himself in Toronto for more than 20 years, helming the kitchens at some of the city's best French-inspired restaurants. So when he opened Ici Bistro in the Annex neighbourhood in 2009, diners...  Read More




Omelette du jour. L'Hamburger. Even if you don't speak a lick of French, food sounds even more appetizing and sexy when it is French-ified. Colette Grand Cafe knows sexy food, with dishes so beautifully presented it would make anyone sign up for...  Read More


8
Downtown


With its checkerboard floors, chalkboard menus and white tablecloths, everything about Le Paradis suggests Parisian bistro. The menu of this restaurant in Toronto's Annex neighbourhood is classic bistro, too. Start with a bowl of Prince Edward...  Read More


7
North Toronto


Coquine Restaurant markets itself as "European" but let's be honest: it is Parisian all the way. It has all the crusty bread you could hope for (unless you are on a gluten free diet). It has a warm atmosphere with staff that won't make you feel...  Read More


6
Queen West


Everyone, and everything looks better in candlelight and La Palette is well aware of this. Not that they are trying to hide anything. The food is high end French without any pretension. Even the meats are unique. Have you tried Horse Tenderloin?...  Read More




Le Select takes the meticulousness of French cooking and knocks it out of the park in the heart of downtown Toronto. Dishes are diligently prepared with accents as pronounced as the one in the restaurant name. Most ingredients are organic and...  Read More




On a small corner in Leslieville, the little Bonjour Brioche Bakery Cafe brings the taste of a true French patisserie to life. Known mostly for its brunch menu options, Bonjour Brioche is a great choice whether you crave a piece of quiche or the...  Read More


3
North Toronto


Not all of Toronto's best restaurants are downtown, and Auberge Du Pommier proves that. Belgian-born chef Marc St. Jacques brings New French flair through his cuisine at this North York neighbourhood restaurant. Auberge has been constructed...  Read More




This cozy French bistro in the heart of Yorkville focuses on dishes from the South of France, and there are far worse things to focus on, in our opinion. Chabrol refers to the French practice of adding a splash of wine to the last spoonfuls of...  Read More


Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie
Photo courtesy of Cluney Bistro & Boulangerie


Cluny Bistro takes French food and makes it unfussy. You can have your caramelized onion soup and moules frites but you don't need to have a side of snobbery. Even so, the backdrop for your dining experience is absolutely stunning with high...  Read More


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Meet Courtney Sunday

Courtney Sunday has lived in England, Switzerland, Canada and the US, finding her way into the professions of freelance writing and yoga teaching in between travel opportunities. She learned...  More About Courtney

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