The Best French Restaurants In Ottawa, Canada

Photo of Harriet Myers
9 February 2017

The rich flavors and lavish presentation of French dining have permeated all corners of the globe, and Ottawa is no exception. Read on for the best French restaurants in Ottawa.

Prime Rib | © Michael Stern/Flickr

Black Cat Bistro

Restaurant, French, $$$
Restaurant 18
Restaurant 18 | © Renato Lorini/Flickr
A relaxed neighborhood restaurant, the Black Cat Bistro serves impressive, modern French cuisine in an elegant, intimate setting. The simple menu is largely based around classic dishes, such as rib eye steak with a mushroom sauce, allowing the quality of the seasonal ingredients to shine through. The interior is relatively compact and can be get very busy at the weekends, so booking is recommended.

Restaurant 18

Restaurant, Canadian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Restaurant 18 is a sophisticated fine dining restaurant, located in the city’s lively ByWard Market neighborhood. Executive Chef Jonathan Korecki and his team have created a beautiful menu focused on bold flavors and exquisite presentation. The restaurant is renowned for its great quality steak and seafood, accompanied by a well chosen range of premium Canadian and international wines.

Play Food & Wine

Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, Canadian, Vegetarian, $$$
French wine
French wine | © Colin/WikiCommons
Created by the chefs behind the famous Beckta dining and wine bar, Play is a chic restaurant serving well crafted small plates that change regularly as to create a constantly engaging menu. Head there for lunch or dinner to sample seasonal dishes such as trout with lemon oil, radish and carrot, or bean salad with watermelon, rocket, pomegranate and ricotta. Or alternatively, drop in mid-afternoon for a drink and cheese/charcuteire board and indulge in a decadent rest stop at the bar.


Restaurant, French, 0
Platter of French-style Oysters
Platter of French-style Oysters | © Vladislav Bezrukov/Flickr
With an simple and compact menu, MeNa delivers stunning French-inspired cuisine using unquestionably fresh ingredients, many of which are sourced from the small vegetable and herb garden at the side of the restaurant. Staff are knowledgeable and happy to go into detail about the background of each dish. Although if you wish to relinquish control completely, the four, five, or seven course tasting menus are all excellent. The sleek interior and beautiful dish presentation create an incredibly special, but still relaxed, dining experience.

Metropolitan Brasserie

Restaurant, French, $$$
French Cheese Board
French Cheese Board | © Michael Stern/Flickr
Advertised alongside its slogan ‘You are closer to Paris than you think!’, Metropolitan Brasserie makes a commendable attempt to bring the tastes of the French capital to Ottawa’s ByWard Market. A bustling spot with a popular outdoor patio, the restaurant mainly concentrates on serving French classics such as mussels & frites and croque monsieur, although there are also nods to Canadian cuisine through dishes like upscale duck poutine with brandy foie gras gravy.


Bistro, Restaurant, Canadian, 0
Although a respected presence on the Ottawa foodie scene, Allium remains somewhat of a hidden gem, tucked away down a side street in the Hintonberg neighborhood. In the spirit of the city itself, the chef uses primarily French cookery techniques, blended with Canadian cuisine and a passion for local sourcing, to create monthly menus that are sure to delight. The food is sleek and well crafted and arrives with stylish, unpretentious presentation.

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