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Top Restaurants in Philadelphia to Make a French Connection



Sometimes, the urge to have French food strikes, and nothing satisfies until you get it. When that happens, count on 10Best to point you in the direction of some of Philadelphia's best French restaurants. We get those cravings, too. We understand the desire to have a great meal, and we work hard to bring you information on the top places to eat in Philadelphia. We vet restaurants carefully for quality, and when we recommend popular eateries like Bistro St. Tropez or tell you that Bibou gets good reader feedback, you can believe it. From Center City to South Philly, we'll make sure you get - and eat - what's best. Whether you're looking to head out to celebrate a special event or simply want a meal with a friend that's done right, this city's got choices you can count on. Grab an entree, dive into an appetizer or savor a dessert at any of these venues and you're sure to be back for more.


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Laurel


This BYO bistro serves up French-inspired cuisine to South Philadelphia diners looking for a fresh alternative to fine dining. Chef Nicholas Elmi, who has cooked at other top Philadelphia restaurants like Le Bec Fin, fills his menu with just fourteen choices, comprising four courses. Their carefully chosen, intriguing tasting menu is available 5 days a week. With room for just 22 in his eatery, the atmosphere and the experience is both intimate and personal. Whether you're starting out with the melon and yuzu potage, moving on to the arctic char, or digging into the roasted walu, your taste buds will awaken and thank you. End with chef-chosen cheeses and local honey.

Recommended for French because: A small BYOB with expertly-crafted French & American fare fits the bill for delicious dining in anyone's book.

Sharon's expert tip: When a restaurant works as hard as they do on the dishes included in their tasting menus, you'll want to treat yourself.

Read more about Laurel →


9
Outside the city


What could be more quaint than taking a drive through the picturesque Bucks County countryside to an 18th century stone barn which is on the National Historic Register to have a delicious dinner? This restaurant is a wonderful place to enjoy a romantic dinner and time away from the hectic everyday scene. It's pretty, it's scenic, it's steeped in history and it's a great place to grab a satisfying meal as well. The restaurant is BYOB, so remember to grab your favorite vintage wine before you head out. Then select from the many offerings the menu here has to offer. French cuisine has never tasted so good.

Recommended for French because: When saying in the city isn't important, this restaurant offers the benefits of a lovely drive as well.

Sharon's expert tip: It's BYOB, so be sure to compliment your meal with the wine of your choice.

Read more about Inn at Phillips Mill →




Fine artwork, warm lighting, wine and bistro fare combine to produce the casual sophistication of Vintage wine bar. Classic dishes like escargot and steak frites can be found on the menu, but there are also constantly changing daily specials written up on the restaurant chalkboard. However, a chandelier fashioned from wine bottles reminds guests that wine is Vintage's raison d'être, and with over 85 wines on hand, who can argue with that? Visit this venue for a refreshing drink and plate if something delicious and enjoy the atmosphere after work or on a date with friends. It's a nice French find in the city of Philadelphia.

Recommended for French because: This venue is perfect for small plates and drinks with a special someone or group.

Sharon's expert tip: Seating in the front windows is wonderful, and since this is a wine bar, so don't hesitate to try some fresh French wine.

Read more about Vintage →


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This darling little restaurant is the perfect eatery for folks looking to fit a delicious French meal into their schedules. Start with a traditional baguette or a piece of olive bread (with real olives), treat yourself to a starter like steak tartare with hand cut steak and potato gaufrettes and then work your way up to an entree selection like milk-fed veal loin with asparagus, oyster mushroom, veal jus and summer truffle. Its everything you want and nothing you don't. Dessert is of course a treat all its own here, so don't be shy - order something and enjoy it.

Recommended for French because: Located in busy Rittenhouse Square, this warm, cozy restaurant invites guests to enjoy a meal in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere.

Sharon's expert tip: Take time before your meal to enjoy one of their signature cocktails and feel your cares melt away.

Read more about Le Cheri →




Chef Townsend Wentz has been around the block a bit when it comes to the restaurant business. His latest project offers diners a French experience with a distinctively upscale environment. The place isn't stuffy, however, but rather comfortably refined. The menu is not huge, but it delivers on both flavor and interest and is never the same place twice. Feed your inner foodie with options such as foie gras mousse, beef tartare, braised oxtail risotto, pan rated magret duck breast or lamb en cocotte. You'll also want to take advantage of their detailed wine list that pairs perfectly with their delicious cuisine options.

Recommended for French because: The relatively newcomer to the French scene in Philadelphia is making waves with great food and a lovely atmosphere.

Sharon's expert tip: Don't forget to ask about wine pairings with what you're eating, as they specialize in just such offerings.

Read more about Townsend →




While many restaurants may serve French food, few, if any, ever come close to recreating the entire experience of eating in France. Stephen Starr's Parc Brasserie manages to transport diners back to the old world cafes along the Seine. Details like doors salvaged from actual French bistros and distressed tile floors that appear lifted straight from a cafe frequented by the likes of Hemingway, Stein and Fitzgerald are brought together for an uncanny experience. The highlight here is the bread – crusty baguettes, flaky croissants and rich pain au chocolat – baked fresh all day. Diners will also find familiar classics: French onion soup topped with gruyere, steak frites and trout amandine.

Recommended for French because: Parc is located unlovely Rittenhouse Square and features a wine list totally worth checking out.

Sharon's expert tip: Be sure to sit outside here if possible, as it is a great place to people-watch and take in the area.

Read more about Parc Brasserie →




Elegant yet unpretentious, this traditional neighborhood bistro offers fresh, flavorful fare that takes patrons on a sensory stroll through the French countryside. In a quiet candlelit garden, the superb staff delivers ceramic wine pitchers, addictive homemade baguettes and fresh mussels topped with creamy tarragon sauce and poached egg. Diners then savor Dijon-braised rabbit or tender beef bourguignon among other selections, followed by things like decadent Gateau l'Opera, an almond sponge cake with chocolate ganache, coffee butter cream and creme Chantilly. Be sure to ask to dine outside if the weather is nice as the feel is secluded enough to believe you may actually be amongst the French themselves.

Recommended for French because: This eatery is perfect for a date you'd like to impress or for a celebratory occasion with desserts that will wow you.

Sharon's expert tip: Dining on the patio with fresh bread, a glass of wine and a delicious French entree may make you think you're actually in France.

Read more about Bistrot La Minette →




Lauded as one of the nation's best French bistros, this quaint, cash-only BYOB is well deserving of the countless glowing reviews bestowed upon its warm, personalized service and exceptional cuisine. French-born chef Pierre Calmels performs magic magnifique in the kitchen, creating seasonal masterpieces like tarragon-flavored escargots, heavenly foie gras with sautéed apricot, succulent hangar steak with green peppercorn sauce and savory bone marrow stuffing. Lovely créme brulee and buttery fruit pies provide a fantastic finale. Take a date here, a friend, a small group of besties. Just be sure to slow down enough to take in the many flavors and tastes that come your way, as they'll make you want to return again and again.

Recommended for French because: This is one of the most talked-about French eateries in Philadelphia with good reason. Try something from seasonal menu and see why.

Sharon's expert tip: This restaurant is a BYOB, so be sure to bring along the spirit of your choice to complete your meal, and remember it's cash only.

Read more about Bibou →


Lacroix At the Rittenhouse


At LaCroix you can build your own bloody Mary or allow yourself to be treated to a sparkling cocktail while dining on graceful Sunday buffet brunch entrees and salads like edamame hummus with naan bread; assorted caviar and house-cured charcuterie; and chestnut pot de creme. During the week, the buffet table at this four-star hotel-restaurant is laden with breakfast meats, smoked salmon and house-made granola, though smaller appetites will appreciate the a la carte options. Courses are served slowly with attention to detail and meant to be savored. They offer everything from small bites, to smoked fish and caviar, to hot stations which allow a tour of the kitchen and of course: the desserts and specialty chocolate.

Recommended for French because: When it comes time to do French food, this restaurants knows their way around the kitchen.

Sharon's expert tip: The hotel restaurant doesn't abandon its kid-friendly approach at breakfast-time; three entrees designed specifically for little folks may make them actually want to leave behind the morning cartoons.

Read more about Lacroix At the Rittenhouse →




Beau Monde is crazy for crepes! Though this beautifully decorated eatery serves appetizers and salads as well, the crepes are the main attraction. And they aren't just for dessert. For dinner, try a buckwheat crepe stuffed with herbs and chicken or shrimp. For dessert, the sweeter wheat crepes are served with fruit or cream filling. These items are an art form all their own and certainly worth finding out what all of the hype is about. Find one to suit your tastes and alleviate your hunger pangs in the most delicious way possible. Reservations are accepted for groups of six or more.

Recommended for French because: There are plenty of sweet and savory crepes here, and the staff can build one to your liking if you desire.

Sharon's expert tip: Try a seat outside in nice weather with a crepe of your choice for a nice start to the day.

Read more about Beau Monde →


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