Between the wine, bread, cheese and sauces, there’s a lot to love about French cuisine. Luckily, Philadelphia has plenty of French-inspired restaurants. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion with a multi-course prix fixe meal or just looking for a casual bistro to enjoy a drink and hors d’oeuvres, these are the spots that will satisfy any Francophile.
1009 S. 8th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Bibou is an intimate, casual spot that offers rustic French fare in South Philadelphia. Located inside a renovated row home, the atmosphere is cozy, but cheerful yellow walls and a large front window help mitigate the claustrophobia similar spots tend to convey. Like the space, the menu at Bibou is small but inviting. Five appetizers and five entrees have been carefully selected to delight à la carte dinner guests Wednesday through Saturday. On Sunday nights, the chef presents a four-course prix fixe meal for $45 per person. Helping to keep your dinner costs down, the restaurant is BYOB. But it’s also cash-only, so keep that in mind when planning your visit. Reservations are required, with online options making this easy.
Related: Top Bistros In Philadelphia
7 N. 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Bistro 7 is a neighborhood gem located in the Old City section of Philadelphia. Offering modern French cuisine in a relaxed setting, it’s a bit like having dinner at a friend’s home…if your friend just happens to be an amazing French chef! The open kitchen even allows a glimpse of the chefs as they prepare your meal, and the menu changes seasonally to reflect the ingredients from local, organic farmers, so be sure to check the website if you want an idea of what will be available. Open only for dinner, an à la carte menu is offered Tuesday through Saturday nights. To get the full experience, opt for the 10-course tasting menu, available Tuesday through Friday. Just note: Bistro 7 is a BYOB, so bring your favorite wine to complement your meal if you’re looking to enjoy a drink.
Bistrot La Minette
623 S. 6th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Located in the center of the Queen Village, Bistrot La Minette offers authentic French cuisine in a charming atmosphere. The Parisian-style bar, red velvet banquet seating and open courtyard provide plenty of options to suit your mood. The menu is inspired by the various regions of France and changes seasonally, with additional dinner specials offered daily. In addition to the a la carte options, family-style multi-course dinners are also available. Owner and Executive Chef Peter Woolsey recently announced that he has hired a replacement executive chef, Chef Kenneth Bush, to take over as he devotes his time to a new restaurant coming soon. Despite the change in the kitchen, Woolsey will remain very involved in the restaurant, and Bistrot La Minette’s dedication to service and fine bistro cuisine is as strong as ever.
227 S. 18th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Stephen Starr brings a bit of Paris to Rittenhouse Square with the bistro-style Parc. Meals start with a basket of fresh house-made bread. From there, enjoy classic dishes such as escargot, onion soup and oysters. The trout amandine and beef bourguignon are favorites, and Chef Robert Irvine (of Food Network fame) called the roasted chicken one of the best foods he’s ever had. An expansive wine list and a beautiful atmosphere complete the experience. With outdoor seating and a great view of the park, Parc is always a popular warm-weather spot. Reservations are highly recommended here, especially on a nice summer day.
Paris Bistro & Jazz Café
8229 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19118
Chef Albert Paris and brothers Robert and Benjamin Bynum, the team behind Chestnut Hill’s popular Heirloom, have partnered again for the nearby Paris Bistro that opened in late January 2014. The rich velvet and leather upholstery, pressed tin ceiling and large antiqued mirrors successfully give the spot (previously a Melting Pot location) a warm 1930s atmosphere. Stop by the bar after work for a glass of French wine, bottled beer or a cocktail featuring house-made syrups. Choose from over a dozen entrees, with options like rabbit fricassee, a brie-topped burger and beef bourguignon. In addition to the everyday menu, there are daily specials, including classics like frog legs and coq au vin. Local musicians perform in the jazz café downstairs from the dining room and bar area from Thursday through Sunday nights. With the full menu available, you can enjoy your favorites from any seat in the house. While this restaurant is new to the area, the approachable bistro fare, quality ingredients and knowledgeable, friendly staff have made it an immediate hot spot.
Michelle Hein is the social media editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer fiance would love to open.
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