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.
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.
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.
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.
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.