From Haute Cuisine to Countryside, Chicago's French Restaurants are Tres Bien

French cuisine is often sophisticated, whether it's in the form of haute cuisine or comfort food. The French love to eat well-balanced and flavorful meals based on local and high-quality ingredients. Like many ethnic cuisines, dishes pay homage to their inspiration. Le Bouchon’s style of cooking and atmosphere is unique to the Rhone-Alpes region of France while Everest reminds diners of the French Countryside.

There is no shortage of Michelin winners among our favorite French restaurants. Le Petite Folie is where many University of Chicago professors go to celebrate their Nobel Prizes while Tru, one of the city's top restaurants, elevates the experience of its diners to a true artform.

Not all French restaurants need to blow your budget. La Sardine is surprisingly affordable given its menu offerings and Bistro Campagne offers a great, reasonably-priced wine selection. Also, high-end dining establishments like Les Nomades offer pre-theater prix fixed menus which makes them more affordable than ordering off the regular prix fixed menus.

While most of our selections are throughout the city, two notables are outside city borders. Froggy’s French Café in Highwood (North Shore) and Tallgrass in Lockport get high marks and keeps diners returning on a regular basis.

Many restaurants offer traditional French cuisine with their own twist and as in most places, diners particularly seek out the specials so they can enjoy the best flavors of the season, too. As expected, great French wine almost always plays a leading role in many diners’ experiences.

Capturing the feel of a French neighborhood bistro, Bistro Campagne sits along a bustling stretch of Lincoln Avenue in the Lincoln Square neighborhood, and a few doors down from the Old Town School of Folk Music (a great, intimate place to see...  Read More

If the ambience doesn't absolutely win you over, the wonderful French food certainly will. Romantic, intimate (the restaurant is pretty small) and so French. The menu is in French (with English translations) and includes many of the best and...  Read More


Walk down the stairs, ring the doorbell and once you enter the meticulously restored Victorian, sit back and relax because Tallgrass promises an experience for the senses. The most popular choices are versions of the fixed price menu, which...  Read More

The sister restaurant to the more formal Le Bouchon, La Sardine is a warmer version of classic French cuisine. Dark wood and brass replace crystal and soft color while the open, bustling kitchen beckons with culinary treasures. Choose from...  Read More

This market consists of dozens of different restaurants and bakeries that aren't exclusively French, but almost all of them are delicious. You don't feel like you're in a Parisian market in this concrete-floored, below-the-train station...  Read More

Printers Row

This superior, romantic, and high-end French Country restaurant is on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange building. Some tables have amazing views of the city. Reputed chef Jean Joho brings a taste of Alsace to the cuisine, providing it...  Read More

An evening at Tru presents posh dining in elegant, simple surroundings. The bar serves over a dozen varieties of champagne by the glass, perfect for priming the palate. Expect to spend at least two hours at a dinner that constantly elevates your...  Read More

la petite folie
Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of La Petite Folie

Located near in Hyde Park, near the University of Chicago campus, la petite folie serves traditional and classically well-prepared French food that is elegantly plated. Atmosphere is quaint and appropriate with white tablecloths even though the...  Read More

Considered by many as the best place for French food in Chicago, Les Nomades is quintessentially formal and quintessentially French (read: a traditional French haute cuisine dining experience). Walk into the architecturally beautiful greystone...  Read More


Meet Jamie Bartosch

Jamie Bartosch is a lifelong Chicagoan who thinks her hometown is the greatest city in the world. She is an award-winning newspaper reporter, a freelance travel writer, and the mother of two great kids.

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