Chicago’s Best French Brasseries and Bistros

Must read

Lincoln Park’s Argot offers a mix of traditional French fare and vegetarian versions of classic dishes.
Clayton Hauck

Where to find delicious steak frites, French onion soup, and soufflés

View as Map

Lincoln Park’s Argot offers a mix of traditional French fare and vegetarian versions of classic dishes.
| Clayton Hauck

French cuisine is in the midst of a major revival in Chicago and beyond, with classic spots updating their menus with modern techniques as new concepts spotlights regional fare or fold in other culinary traditions. There are still plenty of options for steak frites and escargot in traditional fine dining settings, but the city also boasts more casual options showcasing midwestern ingredients as well as creative vegetarian spins on French staples. These are 20 of the best French restaurants in Chicago. Bon appetit.

Read More

Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Sharing a building with chef Michael Lachowicz’s tasting menu restaurant George Trois, Aboyer manages to be nice enough for date night while also filling tables on weeknights with regulars looking for a burger and a beer. The French-American brasserie is located right across the street from the Metra, so it’s easy to make the trip for escargot in a rich garlic sauce and perfectly cooked steak. Book a reservation through OpenTable.

James Beard Award-winning chef Debbie Gold taps into the Moroccan influences found in Southern France at the latest concept from Amy Morton with dishes like mussels in spicy red harissa broth and chicken tagine served alongside steak frites and brown butter skate wing. The huge patio is partially covered, though the large windows and trees in the dining room make for a beautiful setting even when the weather is too cold to eat outside. Make a reservation through OpenTable.

A neighborhood favorite for nearly 15 years, Café Touché serves generous portions of French comfort food such as beef bourguignon and chicken cordon bleu in a space well suited for both dates and larger parties. Visit for bottomless brunch to sip mimosas and bloody marys while digging into quiche florentine or a French omelette with brie, caramelized onion and herbs. Make a reservation through OpenTable.

While it’s not a literal “countryside bistro” like the name translates to, Bistro Campagne is a homey and reliable spot for some hearty French fare. Emphasizing fresh and organic ingredients, the menu boasts comforting onion soup, steak frites, fig bread pudding, and more. And in the summertime, the outdoor patio provides a relaxing escape from the urban environment. Book a table through Resy.

Dear Margaret has earned a spot on Michelin’s Bib Gourmand list for the past two years, with chef Ryan Brosseau offering an affordable taste of French-Canadian cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients. The often bustling bistro has simple decor but beautifully plated seasonal dishes like parsnip ravioli and slow-roasted duck with golden beets plus housemade bread and charcuterie. Make a reservation through Tock.

Bringing the vibes of an old school French bistro to Lakeview since 1972, La Creperie offers an extensive selection of versions of its signature dish including chicken in curry cream sauce with mango chutney and caramel sauce with salted butter. You’ll also find other French staples like onion soup with a rich covering of melted cheese. Cozy up by the fireplace in winter or grab a patio seat when the weather’s nice.

Sign up for the newsletter Eater Chicago

Sign up for our newsletter.

Decorated with cheerful, wine-themed art, Lincoln Park newcomer Argot offers an extensive collection of bottles to pair with their food or take home. While the restaurant offers all the meaty French standards like duck confit and steak frites, it ensures vegetarians won’t be left out by serving mushroom escargot, carrot tartare and onion soup made with vegetable stock instead of the traditional beef. Book a table through Resy.

Executive chef David Koehn first became interested in French cooking after visiting Mon Ami Gabi as a kid and since taking over Lettuce Entertain You’s Lincoln Park institution in 2022, he’s modernized the menu while staying true to what has made it so popular. Combine a warm baguette with the oven-roasted escargot to soak up all the rich garlic-herb butter then split the côte de boeuf topped with rich leek & shallot butter served with robust whipped horseradish crème. Make a reservation through OpenTable.

Take it as a good sign that there’s usually a line at this small neighborhood bistro. It’s because guests know the wait is worth it. Escargot, Alsace onion tart, cheesy onion soup, and a whole roasted duck for two are just a few of the highlights, though there’s always a good selection of seasonal dishes. Visit Mondays for a half-price bottle of wine.

Located just two blocks off the Mag Mile, this modern day bistro is the passion project of French vet Martial Noguier and his wife Lulu. The food shines with simplicity, utilizing ingredients sourced from Midwest farms. Guests have various French cheese and charcuterie choices alongside items such as housemade country pate, roasted lamb rack, and an outstanding Le French burger. Make a reservation through OpenTable.

Fancy and intricate French dishes are always a pleasure but sometimes all you need is a cup of coffee, a croissant, and prime views. This breakfast and lunch café inside The Peninsula offers a casual setting that’s ripe for people-watching in the heart of downtown. Though the menu includes items like tarte flambée, quiche lorraine and baked mac and cheese, the restaurant’s bakery is its biggest standout. No matter how full you may be, save room for the beautiful macaroons, cakes, and pastry selection.

French dining is a family business for brothers Oliver and Nicolas Poilevey, whose parents operated Le Bouchon and La Sardine. While Oliver keeps things fairly traditional as chef/owner at Le Bouchon, he takes more creative swings at Obelix, which is one of the best restaurants in Chicago, leading a diverse team serving dishes like lemongrass duck sausage, steak tartar with crispy scallion pancake and a showstopping beef wellington with al pastor hollandaise. Book a table through Resy.

The white tablecloth experience to end all white tablecloth experiences, Les Nomades is a venerable fine dining restaurant that’s been wowing diners since the ‘70s. Chef Roland Liccioni serves edible art on a plate inside an intimate Streeterville brownstone, making it the perfect spot for a special occasion. Gentlemen are required to wear jackets and it’s tasting menu-only, but those willing to take the plunge are treated to ever-changing luxuries such as seared foie gras, warm lobster salad, roasted Peking duck breast, creme brulee, and much more. Make a reservation through OpenTable.

James Beard Award-winner Carrie Nahabedian has been running Brindille with her cousin and wine director Michael Nahabedian for a decade, serving both a regularly changing a la carte menu as well as five- and eight-course tastings. Creative and playful dishes include seared foie gras with green almond tea gelee and a breakfast for dinner plate with cheese fondue and crisp pork belly. It’s a meal worth the splurge. Book a table through Resy.

Seafood is the star of Venteux, the brasserie on the ground floor of the Pendry Hotel Chicago. Visit on Tuesdays for $1.50 oysters or go all out with a shellfish tower stacked with lobster, mussels and king crab. Get extra decadent with caviar served with chilled vodka or opt for a shooter from the raw bar. Make a reservation through OpenTable.

The casual brasserie tucked beneath three Michelin-starred Smyth serves up staples like gooey French onion soup and steak frites plus a few more novel creations like a foie gras eclair with lavender cream and the French Smash, a burger soaked in escargot butter and mornay. The cocktail menu is equally creative, with daring ingredients including sweet potato and cream cheese. Book a table through Tock.

Coquette, the bright pink bistro attached to Bambola, serves modern spins on French fare focused on live fire ovens and dry-aged meats with options ranging from lamb merguez-stuffed dates, to beef wellington to baked scallops with beet hollandaise. Pair the meal with a glass of champagne or natural wine or an Armagnac old fashioned. Book a table through Resy.

Bandol offers a little something for everyone, serving grab & go croissants and cappuccinos in the morning, chicken salad on a multigrain croissant for lunch, a luxurious dinner menu with seafood platters and coq au vin, and mimosa flights for a boozy brunch. Visit when the weather is nice to grab a spot at the flower-lined patio and watch the bustle of the Loop. Make a reservation through OpenTable.

The brothers behind Victor Bar and Love Street opened this new casual bistro within the 130-year-old Monadnock Building in 2023, providing a cozy space to enjoy French onion soup or Parisian gnocchi while listening to live jazz. Executive chef Johnny Besch applies his experience at BLVD Steakhouse to preparing steak frites, and the charcuterie is made on site. Book a reservation through Tock.

It’s not just all about Italian food on Taylor Street. Brothers Joël and Ahmed Kazouini proudly fly the French banner with Gallic specialties such as coq au vin, steak frites, and bouillabaisse. For a romantic night out, it doesn’t get much more charming than the dining room here. All that’s missing is a view of Tour Eiffel.

Link copied to the clipboard.

Sharing a building with chef Michael Lachowicz’s tasting menu restaurant George Trois, Aboyer manages to be nice enough for date night while also filling tables on weeknights with regulars looking for a burger and a beer. The French-American brasserie is located right across the street from the Metra, so it’s easy to make the trip for escargot in a rich garlic sauce and perfectly cooked steak. Book a reservation through OpenTable.

James Beard Award-winning chef Debbie Gold taps into the Moroccan influences found in Southern France at the latest concept from Amy Morton with dishes like mussels in spicy red harissa broth and chicken tagine served alongside steak frites and brown butter skate wing. The huge patio is partially covered, though the large windows and trees in the dining room make for a beautiful setting even when the weather is too cold to eat outside. Make a reservation through OpenTable.

A neighborhood favorite for nearly 15 years, Café Touché serves generous portions of French comfort food such as beef bourguignon and chicken cordon bleu in a space well suited for both dates and larger parties. Visit for bottomless brunch to sip mimosas and bloody marys while digging into quiche florentine or a French omelette with brie, caramelized onion and herbs. Make a reservation through OpenTable.

While it’s not a literal “countryside bistro” like the name translates to, Bistro Campagne is a homey and reliable spot for some hearty French fare. Emphasizing fresh and organic ingredients, the menu boasts comforting onion soup, steak frites, fig bread pudding, and more. And in the summertime, the outdoor patio provides a relaxing escape from the urban environment. Book a table through Resy.

Dear Margaret has earned a spot on Michelin’s Bib Gourmand list for the past two years, with chef Ryan Brosseau offering an affordable taste of French-Canadian cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients. The often bustling bistro has simple decor but beautifully plated seasonal dishes like parsnip ravioli and slow-roasted duck with golden beets plus housemade bread and charcuterie. Make a reservation through Tock.

Bringing the vibes of an old school French bistro to Lakeview since 1972, La Creperie offers an extensive selection of versions of its signature dish including chicken in curry cream sauce with mango chutney and caramel sauce with salted butter. You’ll also find other French staples like onion soup with a rich covering of melted cheese. Cozy up by the fireplace in winter or grab a patio seat when the weather’s nice.

Decorated with cheerful, wine-themed art, Lincoln Park newcomer Argot offers an extensive collection of bottles to pair with their food or take home. While the restaurant offers all the meaty French standards like duck confit and steak frites, it ensures vegetarians won’t be left out by serving mushroom escargot, carrot tartare and onion soup made with vegetable stock instead of the traditional beef. Book a table through Resy.

Executive chef David Koehn first became interested in French cooking after visiting Mon Ami Gabi as a kid and since taking over Lettuce Entertain You’s Lincoln Park institution in 2022, he’s modernized the menu while staying true to what has made it so popular. Combine a warm baguette with the oven-roasted escargot to soak up all the rich garlic-herb butter then split the côte de boeuf topped with rich leek & shallot butter served with robust whipped horseradish crème. Make a reservation through OpenTable.

Take it as a good sign that there’s usually a line at this small neighborhood bistro. It’s because guests know the wait is worth it. Escargot, Alsace onion tart, cheesy onion soup, and a whole roasted duck for two are just a few of the highlights, though there’s always a good selection of seasonal dishes. Visit Mondays for a half-price bottle of wine.

Located just two blocks off the Mag Mile, this modern day bistro is the passion project of French vet Martial Noguier and his wife Lulu. The food shines with simplicity, utilizing ingredients sourced from Midwest farms. Guests have various French cheese and charcuterie choices alongside items such as housemade country pate, roasted lamb rack, and an outstanding Le French burger. Make a reservation through OpenTable.

Fancy and intricate French dishes are always a pleasure but sometimes all you need is a cup of coffee, a croissant, and prime views. This breakfast and lunch café inside The Peninsula offers a casual setting that’s ripe for people-watching in the heart of downtown. Though the menu includes items like tarte flambée, quiche lorraine and baked mac and cheese, the restaurant’s bakery is its biggest standout. No matter how full you may be, save room for the beautiful macaroons, cakes, and pastry selection.

French dining is a family business for brothers Oliver and Nicolas Poilevey, whose parents operated Le Bouchon and La Sardine. While Oliver keeps things fairly traditional as chef/owner at Le Bouchon, he takes more creative swings at Obelix, which is one of the best restaurants in Chicago, leading a diverse team serving dishes like lemongrass duck sausage, steak tartar with crispy scallion pancake and a showstopping beef wellington with al pastor hollandaise. Book a table through Resy.

The white tablecloth experience to end all white tablecloth experiences, Les Nomades is a venerable fine dining restaurant that’s been wowing diners since the ‘70s. Chef Roland Liccioni serves edible art on a plate inside an intimate Streeterville brownstone, making it the perfect spot for a special occasion. Gentlemen are required to wear jackets and it’s tasting menu-only, but those willing to take the plunge are treated to ever-changing luxuries such as seared foie gras, warm lobster salad, roasted Peking duck breast, creme brulee, and much more. Make a reservation through OpenTable.

James Beard Award-winner Carrie Nahabedian has been running Brindille with her cousin and wine director Michael Nahabedian for a decade, serving both a regularly changing a la carte menu as well as five- and eight-course tastings. Creative and playful dishes include seared foie gras with green almond tea gelee and a breakfast for dinner plate with cheese fondue and crisp pork belly. It’s a meal worth the splurge. Book a table through Resy.

Seafood is the star of Venteux, the brasserie on the ground floor of the Pendry Hotel Chicago. Visit on Tuesdays for $1.50 oysters or go all out with a shellfish tower stacked with lobster, mussels and king crab. Get extra decadent with caviar served with chilled vodka or opt for a shooter from the raw bar. Make a reservation through OpenTable.

The casual brasserie tucked beneath three Michelin-starred Smyth serves up staples like gooey French onion soup and steak frites plus a few more novel creations like a foie gras eclair with lavender cream and the French Smash, a burger soaked in escargot butter and mornay. The cocktail menu is equally creative, with daring ingredients including sweet potato and cream cheese. Book a table through Tock.

Coquette, the bright pink bistro attached to Bambola, serves modern spins on French fare focused on live fire ovens and dry-aged meats with options ranging from lamb merguez-stuffed dates, to beef wellington to baked scallops with beet hollandaise. Pair the meal with a glass of champagne or natural wine or an Armagnac old fashioned. Book a table through Resy.

Bandol offers a little something for everyone, serving grab & go croissants and cappuccinos in the morning, chicken salad on a multigrain croissant for lunch, a luxurious dinner menu with seafood platters and coq au vin, and mimosa flights for a boozy brunch. Visit when the weather is nice to grab a spot at the flower-lined patio and watch the bustle of the Loop. Make a reservation through OpenTable.

The brothers behind Victor Bar and Love Street opened this new casual bistro within the 130-year-old Monadnock Building in 2023, providing a cozy space to enjoy French onion soup or Parisian gnocchi while listening to live jazz. Executive chef Johnny Besch applies his experience at BLVD Steakhouse to preparing steak frites, and the charcuterie is made on site. Book a reservation through Tock.

It’s not just all about Italian food on Taylor Street. Brothers Joël and Ahmed Kazouini proudly fly the French banner with Gallic specialties such as coq au vin, steak frites, and bouillabaisse. For a romantic night out, it doesn’t get much more charming than the dining room here. All that’s missing is a view of Tour Eiffel.

More articles

Latest article