Beurre, fromage, pâté, garlic – and every other delectable food under their epicurean umbrella. When it comes to French cuisine, Sydney more than has you covered. An array of bistros, cafés, brasseries and restaurants make it their business to fill us with the best that France has to offer. NB: importantly, the libations at each of these institutions are equally as commendable as their cuisine.
Paris meets Sydney at this exquisite Parisian bistro. Transforming an old rum warehouse on Kensington Street in Chippendale’s culinary precinct, Gavroche has become a mainstay among a line-up of renowned restaurants. Classic French dishes hailed from Chef Frederick’s Parisian roots are featured throughout and they match an Australian and French wine list.
1/2-10 Kensington Street, Chippendale
This newly opened fine diner has Potts Point locals vying for a seat. Métisse is Roslyn Street’s latest culinary gem that serves up beautifully curated French cuisine. With classics like beef tartare, featured alongside signature specialties like butter poached lobster with lasagne blanket and veloute, your tastebuds will have a new-found appreciation for the flavour, simplicity and elegance of French gastronomy.
5-9 Roslyn Street, Potts Point
On Clarence Street in Sydney’s CBD, Bistro Papillon is an undeniably classic French experience – from your first aperitif to second crème brûlée. French for butterfly, Papillon’s atmosphere is as playful and light as their menu, with classic dishes strewn across every table with a heavy hit of joie de vivre. Dabble in a flirty Provençale rosé or settle in with a few glasses of a smooth Languedoc – did we mention we’re still in Sydney?
98 Clarence Street, Sydney
Quietly tucked away in the corner of a local Mosman pub, this village gem (formally known as Bistro Moncur) comes oozing with Parisian charm. Sophisticated and refined with a touch of old-school glamour, Bistro Mosman is the epitome of chic, with light-filled interiors, brick archways and ambient lighting. The perfect setting for a decadent banquet français.
Look forward to a quintessential menu full of classics – all the French favourites are in here, but with a modern Aussie twist. From snails slathered in garlic butter and French onion soufflé gratin, to salmon en croute and succulent steak frites – the fillet with Béarnaise sauce is far too good to pass up. This is gourmet feasting at its finest. Leave room for the cheese plate and matching wines. Because what’s a trip to Pairs without a slab of brie and a large glass of French Bordeaux?
76 Middle Head Road, Mosman
été offers authentic French fare for those craving a beautifully presented meal drenched in classic French flavours. This Barangaroo restaurant is the brainchild of Drew Bolton, previously worked for Vine, Aria and Quay. Bistro classics including tartare de boeuf and souffles au fromage reign supreme with the essential crème brule to finish. Unsure of what to dine on? Leave it to the professionals and go for the plat du jour (plate of the day) or set menu.
100 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo
Bunkered down in Bligh Street, Restaurant Hubert is an uber-romantic Parisian post-war style eatery with elegant velvet-draped touches and fringed lamps throughout. Hubert sets expectations high upon arrival – thankfully the food meets them. Fittingly, the wine list is a sight to behold, with an array of tipples available by the glass, half-bottle or bottle.
15 Bligh Street, Sydney
A beloved Merivale venue that pays homage to the delights of French cuisine, Felix is one of Sydney’s most feted brasseries, and with good reason. Subway tiled walls, a mirrored pewter bar and lamps on each table ensure that that archetypal je ne sais quoi romance isn’t left behind. It would be a travesty to ignore the hand cut steak tartare with a selection of condiments and paired with sourdough croutons.
2 Ash Street, Sydney
This small upscale French bistro-cum-microbrewery, showcases the best of French cuisine, with each dish on their traditional menu, skillfully complemented by their moreish range of craft beers. For the full experience, book a seat at their bottomless beer feast with a shared menu (think a whole roast fish in pastry) with paired beers.
6-7/61-71 Mentmore Avenue, Rosebery
Taking direct inspiration from the city of love’s neighbourhood bistros adored by Parisians and tourists alike, Guillaume Brahimi’s George Street Bistro provides everything there is to love about the haughty continentals. With a host of small areas and rooms available to reserve, intimate and group dining options are happily catered for. The dishes for two encourage sharing the spread, and a dessert trolley stacked with treats permits you free reign over delights.
259 George Street, Sydney
Bistro Moncur Woollahra takes the best of Australian seasonal produce to create fine French food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. From the French onion souffle gratin, to the vanilla crème brûlée, you’ll be completely transfixed by the sensory dining experience at this Eastern Suburbs gem. A curated mix of Australian and French wines fill out the (substantial) wine list, with impeccable pairings happily advised by agreeable wait staff.
116A Queen St, Woollahra
In a sandstone cottage in Surry Hills, Loluk Bistro is French through and through – from the décor, to the staff, and the cuisine, which is inspired by the owners’ upbringing in the South of France. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it whips out the raclette. You can indulge in all-you-can-eat potatoes, salad, cornichon, onion and pickles topped with cheesy goodness. You’ll also get a plate of charcuterie, plus profiteroles for dessert – if you can fit them in!
Shop 2, 411 Bourke Street, Surry Hills
Hunters Hill’s very own French Café and Bistro, Le Village has brought an elegance only fitting for the area’s chic surrounds and well-heeled residents. With plenty of breakfast options and fresh pastries, your first-weekend meal can be as light or heavy as you see fit. The Croque Monsieur is hard to pass up. Lunch and dinner offer substantial dishes, with so many choices you have quite a decision ahead of you.
37B Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill
Relaxed and welcoming, the elegant Bronte Road Bistro has been providing classic French dishes with traditional techniques since 2008. This unassuming Eastern Suburbs gem has Matthew Barnett at the helm, borrowing methods and flavours from the Middle East and Spain to elevate his creations. The Reserve Wine list is impressive and makes for a worthy partner throughout your meal.
280 Bronte Road, Waverley