Vancouver’s Best French Cuisine

| © Tamara Polajnar/Flickr
Catrina Pang

A bustling West Coast seaport in beautiful British Columbia, Vancouver is among Canada’s most ethnically diverse cities. Vancouver’s French population has spearheaded the establishment of numerous cafés, bistros, and fine dining restaurants. Below, we guide you through the best places to go in Vancouver for delicious French cuisine.

1. Tour de Feast

Restaurant, French, Contemporary

Tour de Feast, North Vancouver
© Tamara Polajnar/Flickr
A small family-run café specializing in mouth-watering French classics with a casual contemporary style, Tour de Feast strives to bring the highest quality food and guest experience with a cooking style that is simple yet very refined in its French roots. Tour de Feast serves up wonderful traditional brunch items that include braised short rib with poached egg and red wine sauce and a toulouse special cassoulet with swiss cheese, baked white beans, confit pork, sausage, and other goodies. The restaurant also offers amazing pastries, a bread and meat menu for folks in the mood for something light, fantastic appetizers and salads, delicious seafood and pasta dinner dishes, and great daily specials, as well as incredible hand-crafted four-course prix-fixe menus on certain holidays. This place has a simple modern and unpretentious atmosphere, outstanding service and great prices for the quality and quantity of food.

2. Le Crocodile

Restaurant, French, Canadian

Le Crocodile, Vancouver
© wyn ♥ lok/Flickr
One of Vancouver’s most acclaimed restaurants, Le Crocodile blends traditional French cooking with innovative West Coast style. Chef Michel Jacob opened the restaurant upon his arrival in Vancouver, seeking to match and achieve the level of culinary standards and service of the finest restaurant in his hometown of Strasbourg, the three-star Michelin restaurant Au Crocodile. Thirty years later, with some of the original staff still there, Le Crocodile is at the top of the list for business people who want to impress a client, and generation after generation of families have passed through the restaurant’s doors. This understated and elegant restaurant has been host to some of the world’s most famous people, such as Jean Chrétien, Jack Nicholson, Steven Spielberg, Al Pacino, and Cindy Crawford, just to name a few. Patrons love exquisite menu items like escargot, veal and duck, bone marrow, Chilean sea bass, lamb shank, pan seared foie gras and sweetbreads, and the lobster bisque. The chef will even sent out small dishes before each course, which have in the past included caribou tarts before the appetizer, fries before the main course, and a palate cleanser before dessert. Reservations must be made well in advance for this popular fine dining restaurant.

3. L’Abattoir

Bar, Butcher, Restaurant, Canadian, Cocktails, Wine, Beer

L’Abattoir, Vancouver
© wyn ♥ lok/Flickr
Located in the center of Gastown between historic Gaoler’s Mews and Blood Alley, L’Abattoir offers an appealing French-inspired upscale dining experience in a narrow but welcoming and impeccably decorated environment that is full of character. The restaurant was built in the 19th century and is the site of Vancouver’s first jail. Originally buttressed to the city’s main butcher and meat packing district, L’Abattoir pays homage to the neighborhood’s colorful past. Set in a refurbished brick and beam building that combines classic French tilework with industrial fixtures, natural wood, and glass and steel finishes, the restaurant offers a bar and lounge setting, elevated dining room, and plush sun-soaked atrium. Chef Lee Cooper and owner Paul Grunberg aim to highlight the finer points of eating and drinking in L’Abattoir’s informal setting. French-influenced West Coast fare is paired with Wine Director Lisa Haley’s eclectic wine program and Bar manager Thor Paulson’s innovative cocktail list to offer guests a truly unique dining experience. L’Abattoir adds to Gastown’s bustling breakfast scene with a menu that mixes comfortable staples with hearty entrees. Thirsty brunch-goers can enjoy creative cocktails, as well as daily features like vermouth on the rocks or daily bottled house-made ice teas.

4. Les Faux Bourgeois

Bistro, Restaurant, French, Canadian, Cocktails, Wine, Beer

Les Faux Bourgeois, Vancouver
© emmett anderson/Flickr
A vibrant and cozy bistro in the heart of East Vancouver, Les Faux Bourgeois offers classic bistro fare, reasonably priced and faithful to its French roots. Since opening in 2008, the restaurant has specialized in traditional offerings such as Pate de Campagne, Boudin Noir, Steak Frites, and duck confit, in addition to a daily special board featuring cassoulet, lamb sirloin, and sweetbreads among many other French favorites. Guests are immediately transported to France, with the smells of delicious sauces and herbs wafting through the air. The restaurant is often packed with people on romantic dates, family outings, or friendly gatherings, so reservations are a necessity. Service is always excellent, friendly, attentive, and efficient, despite the occasional long waits due to the crowds. There is even a small private dining area in addition to the main dining room for those looking for a quieter and more intimate experience. Les Faux has gained a reputation as the place to go for quality French cuisine at a great price in an unpretentious atmosphere. In addition, the staff are known for giving excellent wine recommendations, and the creme brulee is heralded as one of the best you can find.

5. Absinthe Bistro

Bistro, Restaurant, Argentina, French, Cocktails, Wine, Beer

Offering exceptional bistro fare, Absinthe Bistro is a family-owned and operated business bringing fresh and flavorful French food to the city of Vancouver. Located in the heart of the lively Commercial Drive, this 22-seat neighborhood restaurant blends classic and modern French cuisine with a welcoming atmosphere and friendly service. After living in France for over six years and working for renowned Michelin-starred chefs in Paris, Cory Pearson returned to his native Vancouver to pursue his dream of opening his own restaurant eventually realized with the establishment of Absinthe Bistro. Pearson’s passion for French food and commitment to offering an enjoyable dining experience make Absinthe Bistro a place where customers can discover a taste of France on The Drive. The restaurant’s French menu is composed of three starters, three main entrees, and three desserts that frequently change, with several fixed price as well as à la carte options. In the past, patrons have enjoyed amazing items such as slow braised pork cheeks with scalloped potatoes and apple cider sauce, herbed goat cheese terrine with greens, and chocolate lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream. The restaurant also offers a selection of French, Canadian, Spanish, and Argentinian wines to complement the meals.
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