21 best French restaurants in Melbourne and regional Victoria

Close up of duck breast foie gras on white plate

Tianna Nadalin

Posted July 18, 2022

If there’s one thing the French do well, it’s gastronomy. From escargots and sublime steaks to slow-cooked lamb shanks, say bonjour to some of Victoria’s best French food.

When it comes to cookery, the gifts of French gastronomy are everywhere. From croissants and crepes to baguettes, beef bourguignonne, bouillabaisse and even pommes frites (French fries), many of life's greatest epicurean pleasures were cooked up in French kitchens. 

And Victoria has no shortage of mouthwatering restaurants dishing up comfort food with a side serve of French finesse. From laid-back bistros and refined brasseries to slick steakhouses and late-night supper clubs, these are the crème de la crème of Victoria's French restaurants . Bon appetit!

Melbourne's best French restaurants


142 Greville St, Prahran

Whether you’re looking for white tablecloths, antique oak panelling and velvet-cushioned bentwoods or a sprawling, all-weather provincial courtyard, Entrecote’s stunning new Greville St party palace. The chic Greville Street diner’s signature dish is its Cape Grim Angus Porterhouse served with lashings of herb butter sauce – a house secret. Oh, and bottomless frites, anyone?

France Soir

11 Toorak Road, South Yarra

If authenticity and tradition are what you’re after, this South Yarra institution has been feeding hungry Francophiles for more than 30 years. France Soir, which was established in 1986, has been a mainstay on the Toorak Road strip, with its seasonal brasserie-style menu and renowned wine list attracting diners from all corners of the city. 


Clothed tables in front of navy picture-framed timber wall

Tuck into beef and bottomlesss frites at Entrecote. Photo: Facebook.

Bistro Thierry

511 Malvern Road, Toorak

This Toorak Road French-stitution greets guests with a guillotine-style bread board at the bar, and then seats them at white-clothed tables in a room with burgundy-coloured walls adorned with paraphernalia from the mother country. It’s the ultimate setting for a romantic dinner or laid-back lunch. Don’t miss the snails. They are seriously exquisite.

L’Hôtel Gitan

32 Commercial Rd, Prahran

For a classy-yet-casual affair, Commercial Road’s L’Hôtel Gitan, Bistro Gitan's more relaxed sibling, offers all the trappings of French gastronomy, wrapped up in a beautifully restored Prahran pub. A central, open-plan kitchen is the heart of the hotel so sink into a comfy booth with a glass of red or pull up bench seat and catch the chefs in action.

Bon Ap' Petit Bistro

193 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

For classic, home-style French cuisine dished up in a vintage bistro decorated with rustic timber panelling, velour benches and burgundy drapes, Bon Ap is the place to go. Food is the focus at this Fitzroy favourite, where the plates are unpretentious and the service impeccable. Don't miss the garlic butter escargots or the boeuf bourguignon. 


175 Swan St, Richmond

This intimate Richmond restaurant lives up to its name. The moody, modern French bistro, with its dark walls and wooden accents, is inspired by the bustling bistros in the south of France and brings with it a back-to-basics approach to French gastronomy. Everything on the menu is handmade (except the bread, which is sourced from nearby Cobb Lane bakery), and celebrates local produce. 

Roule Galette

104 Koornang Rd, Carnegie and 241 Flinders Ln, Melbourne

Who says you can't have crepes for dinner? At this cosy creperie, you'll find a selection of sweet and savoury options to satiate your appetite at any time of day. From the classic ham and cheese galette (a savoury buckwheat crepe) to Biscoff-stuffed crepes and even fancy flambeed crepes Suzette, you can have crepes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, if you please. 

Bistro La Provence

234 Esplanade, Brighton 

Southern-inspired French food served with sea views? Brighton's Bistro La Provence, located directly opposite the Brighton Yacht Club, is a hidden Bayside gem helmed by a Normandy-born chef and former French restaurateur with more than 30 years' experience cooking in Michelin-starred kitchens across the globe. Warm up with a comforting lamb shank casserole and finish off with a classic tarte tatin crammed with gooey, caramelly apples. 


Guests dining at basement French bistro with mood lighting at chequered floor tiles.

Basement bistro vibes at Melbourne's Bar Margaux. Photo: Visit Victoria.

Bar Margaux

Basement, 111 Lonsdale St, Melbourne

Classic cocktails, fine wine and French comfort food? What's not to love about Melbourne's late-night basement brasserie. Pick a glass of your favourite French bubbly and a dozen oysters or settle in for the night with a hearty bone-in rib-eye for two and a bottle of Bordeaux. Looking to keep it casual? Why not tuck into a French-style boeuf burger washed down with a glass of Burgundy. 

The Little French Deli

524 Nepean Hwy, Bonbeach 

For a more laidback French affair, check out The Little French Deli in Bonbeach. The coastal kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is dishing up all the classic hits. Try the French answer to Melbourne's signature smashed avo: an avocado tartare with smoked trout and a poached egg on rye toast. Or book in for a raclette party; because what better way to celebrate than with copious amounts of antipasto slathered in melty, moreish cheese.

Bistro Voliere

The George, 129 Fitzroy St, St Kilda

Truffle-filled tortellini with creamy blue cheese sauce, onion soup with crusty Emmental bread and slow-cooked veal in white wine and herbs with pommes Anna (a French-style buttery potato bake). These are just some of the mouth-watering morsels on the menu at this refined French bistro, located on the ground floor of Fitzroy's The George, a beautifully restored 1850s hotel and ballroom.

Chez Bagou

132 Bridport St, Albert Park

This elegant Middle Park restaurant describes itself as being part of the new wave of 'Bistronomie' style dining, which combines the warmth and ambiance of a classic French bistro with the refinement and finesse of modern cuisine. Owner Aurelien Bagou grew up in the Normandy countryside and mastered his craft in Michelin-starred kitchens including Alain Ducasse's Le Louis XV in Monaco and Chez Bruno in Provence. His plats de resistance include a filet de boeuf and a deliciously crispy pork belly. 

Bistro Chez Nous

122 Union Rd, Surrey Hills 

Treat your tastebuds to a taste of French gastronomy at Union Street's light and bright Bistro Chez Nous. Visit between 12-4pm on Sundays for a sparkling high tea with gourmet pastries, petit fours and homemade scones with double cream and imported French jam, or stop in for dinner from Wednesday to Saturday and enjoy silky pan-seared scallops or canard a l'orange (duck with orange sauce).

Bar Romanée

25 Anderson St, Yarraville

Don't let its humble facade fool you. Behind this unassuming glass door is one of Melbourne's finest French diners. The envelop-pushing bistro fuses local flavours with classic culinary techniques to deliver a highlights reel of Victoria's best ingredients, prepared to the highest stardard. Don't miss the Humpty Doo barramundi with saffron beurre blanc, leek and potato. A must-visit for any lover of French gastonomy.


Cheese and antipasto platters with red wine on wooden table

Cheese and antipasto platters from Le Sel in Maldon. Photo: Visit Victoria.

Best French restaurants in regional Victoria

Bistrot St Jean

239 Moorabool Street, Geelong

Take a trip to Paris without leaving Victoria at this cosy Geelong bistro. With a chef who mastered his craft in his native France, you can count on classic, hearty, unfussy French fare matched with a range of local wines at Bistrot St Jean.

Dominique Portet

870 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream

Is there anything better than a plate of cured meats, cornichons and fresh baguette? Get your Bordelaise on over lunch, charcuterie or some seriously sumptuous sweets at this oh-so-chic Yarra Valley winery. We’re talking twice-baked cheese souffle with baby leaf salad, pickled walnuts and a tarragon dressing or one of the region’s most tantalising dark chocolate terrines.


12 Thompson Ave, Cowes

Croissants, coffee, cocktails, cheese, champagne and creme brulee: what more could you want in life? If you're a fan of all things French gastronomy, this cosy Phillip Island eatery has all your favourites, and then some, and is dishing them up with serious style. 

Bistro Elba

100-102 Ocean Beach Rd, Sorrento 

When you're up the Paris end of the Mornington Peninsula, it's only fitting to stop in for a French feast. Inspired by the fresh, seafood-focused cuisine of the south of France, Sorrento's Bistro Elba is serving up some of the region's finest Provencal fare. You'll love the twice-baked Shark Bay blue swimmer crab souffle with lobster bisque and the crispy fried whitebait, school prawns and cuttlefish with whipped cod roe. 


Curlewis Golf Club, 1345 Portarlington Rd, Curlewis

Curlewis Golf Club has hit a hole-in-one with Claribeaux, a spectacular, course-side restaurant. Overlooking the gorgeous golf greens, the contemporary French diner offers delicious fusion French dished up with some of the best views on the Bellarine. Try the local Portarlington mussels cooked in a cream and garlic sauce - it comes with a fresh baguette to soak up all the delicious juice. 

Le Sel

12 Main St, Maldon

When you're looking for an epic French deli, Maldon isn't necessarily the first place you'd think to look. But the quaint country town is home to one of the state's finest purveyors of regional French produce.  Stop in for delicious fresh bread, French mustards, cheeses, terrines, pates and even vienoiseries (pastries). Owners Serge and Claudine hail from France and opened their little French Deli in 2015 as a way to give locals an authentic taste of France.

Du Fermier

42 High St, Trentham

No list of Victoria's best French restaurants would be complete without renowned chef Annie Smithers' famed Trentham Bistro, du Fermier. The teeny paddock-to-plate restaurant takes its inspiration from classic French farmhouse cooking, with an evolving menu du jour that is based on what produce Annie can pick each day from her kitchen garden or source from local farms.