What most international visitors may not know about Toronto is that French is the official second language in the city, and it is still home to a strong and ever-growing francophone community. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the city also offers outstanding options for casual to high-end French fare. These are the best French restaurants if you’re craving a taste of Europe in the big city.
Nestled away in the Yorkville neighborhood, this intimate restaurant features classic bistro-style tables and floor-to-ceiling windows, flooding the space with natural light. With a menu boasting classic fare, you can’t go wrong with oysters served alongside mignonette sauce or potato gratin topped with cantal cheese and thyme. The food menu is complemented by an extensive curated wine list created by the in-house sommelier.
Alo is the ultimate Toronto French fine-dining experience. Settle in for the blind, multi-course tasting menu in either the dining room or at the kitchen counter helmed by chef de cuisine Nick Bentley. For an exceptional dining experience, opt for the wine pairings, matched by wine director Christopher Sealy. While the menu is ever-changing, expect dishes like foie gras, black venetian caviar and soufflé.
For a taste of Paris in Toronto’s downtown core, try La Palette. Housed in a former stable, the space exudes European charm with bar-top tables, artwork and a bar wall. A chat with the knowledgeable bartender will get you the perfect drink to suit your palate, while the tasting menu offers a wide range of meals. From escargot and fromage fondant to confit de canard, it’s impossible to go wrong with any dish on offer. Once a month, keep an eye out for a night of live music.
This tiny spot often feels more like a friend’s dinner party than an actual restaurant. With an open kitchen and small workstations, guests can watch chefs create delicious dishes. The place has an industrial vibe, but the tiled backsplash spelling out the restaurant’s name is the pièce de résistance. Try bar snacks such as the chicken paté paired with cranberry jelly or the classic french onion soup. For mains, try the steak tenderloin melts with sunchokes and shallot jus, and the french fries served with lemon and mayonnaise remain a classic for a reason.