Whether you’re looking for classic French fares like coq au vin or more modern dishes like duck confit and foie gras, Ottawa has no shortage of amazing restaurants that specialize in French cuisine. What’s more, these restaurants all have fantastic atmospheres that make them perfect places to relax and unwind.
Whether you’re planning a romantic date night or just want to treat yourself to an evening out, one of these six great French restaurants is sure to please. We chose the best French restaurants in Ottawa based on the quality of their food, their atmosphere, and past experiences from customers.
From cozy bistros to chic wine bars, there truly is something for everyone in this diverse city! So if you’re looking for a delicious French meal in Ottawa, look no further than one of these awesome spots. Bon appétit!
If you’re also craving some Italian food while in Ottawa, make sure to check out our list of the best Italian restaurants in the city!
What Are Most Popular French Dishes?
French cuisine is some of the most popular and iconic in the world. If you’re new to French food, some of the most popular dishes include classics like coq au vin (chicken in wine), Boeuf Bourguignon (beef stew in red wine), Ratatouille (a vegetable stew), and escargot (snails in garlic butter).
Cheese is also a huge part of French cuisine, and there are many iconic French cheeses that you may have heard of, such as Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, and Chevre. These cheeses are often used in dishes or served on their own as appetizers.
A great pairing with French cheese is with wine, as France is also known for producing some of the best wines in the world. If you’re looking to try a French wine with your meal, make sure to ask your server for a recommendation!
And of course, when it comes to French food we can’t forget about the desserts! Some of the most popular French sweets include crème brûlée, macarons, and éclairs. No matter what you’re in the mood for, there’s sure to be a French dish that will tantalize your taste buds.
The Best French Restaurants in Ottawa
1) Le St. Laurent
Le St Laurent is a modern French restaurant located in the heart of downtown. It’s run by Ryan Edwards, who has been cooking for years and uses his experience to create innovative dishes using locally sourced ingredients like produce or meats from our very own farms!
The menu changes frequently but you can expect creations such as braised beef short rib with mushrooms served over pureed cauliflower and broccoli vegetables that will make your taste buds happy. You can also try Albacore tuna crudo with warm olives and pistachios which create a complex and delicious taste.
2) Petit Bill's Bistro
With its extensive menu full of comfort food and delicious entrees, there’s something to suit any appetite at this local hotspot. Whether you’re in the mood for a juicy steak or some fresh, crisp fish, their kitchen always has the highest quality ingredients at hand, including those sourced locally whenever possible.
So whether you’re stopping by after work with your coworkers or coming in to unwind with friends on the weekend, you can be sure that your meal will be pure satisfaction from start to finish.
And if you still have room for dessert, the homemade pies and cakes are the perfect way to cap off a great meal. So why wait? Head on down to Petit Bill’s Bistro today and treat yourself to some truly amazing cuisine!
Gitanes French restaurant is the perfect place for a romantic evening. The prices are reasonable and you can enjoy their cuisine with your significant other or friends! The atmosphere inside is amazing too and the staff are attentive and caring.
Their duck dishes are perfectly cooked and paired well with the red wine. The beef tartare appetizer comes in a flawless slice of brioche, which is especially delicious when dipped into its yummy sauce.
You can also try oysters —they are really fresh. They truly will bring you into the world of wonderful service and food!
4) Les Moulins La Fayette
Moulins La Fayette provides a wide range of food options to suit any need. Whether it’s for an office party or family reunion, they can help you out! They also provide catering services which means their clients never have to leave their guests hungry.
They offer options for you and your guests like Sandwiches with cheese and meat, appetizers salad bar with raw vegetables to boot! All this will make it hard not to be satisfied by the end of dinner. They also specialize in savoury pies like shepherds or vegetarians.
5) Chez Lucien
Chez Lucien is a cozy bar bistro on the corner of Byward Market that serves fresh local food and craft beer. It’s been gaining popularity for its appetizing dishes such as mussels cooked in cream sauce, shaved brussels sprouts with bacon fat, and other tasty treats!
The salmon burger is our personal favourite–it’s huge and cooked to perfection, and the tofu one is also great for veggie-lovers. With huge portions of salad, fries or other sides such as onion rings–you’re set for a great dinner date.
So if you’re looking for a relaxed but still upscale atmosphere to enjoy a meal with friends or a romantic partner, definitely check out Chez Lucien!
6) Benny's Bistro
Benny’s Bistro is a great place to get a taste of France. The bistro takes pride in its French heritage and serves up delicious food that is good for your health. The commitment to this philosophy is shown by how many natural ingredients they use.
The mushroom dish and the smoked salmon are both amazing! And the black peppercorn parfait is really soft and rich in flavour. So if you ever get a chance, stop there for some of this delicious food. You won’t be disappointed!