Photo Courtesy: @TransparentKitchen
This charming hidden gem in Yorkville serves elegant French classics like fois gras, steamed white fish “en papillote” and rich potato gratin in a bright, intimate, 19-seat room. The menu was dreamed up by co-owner and classically trained French chef Doug Penfold, and all of the food (right down to the bread) is carefully made from scratch. Make sure to order the apple tart for dessert, crafted from house-made puff pastry and thinly sliced apples and drenched in a brandy-spiked cream.
Photo Courtesy: @LeSwanFrenchDiner
Toronto restaurateur Jen Agg managed to turn an old-school diner into an upscale bistro with Le Swan, where dishes like steak frites, chicken fried steak and beef cheek bourguignon are done to perfection. A nutmeg-flecked, Emmental and Gruyere fondue is offered after 11pm for late-night snackers to pair with a glass of French wine or a creative cocktail.
Photo Courtesy: @Cafecancanto
Pastel-painted and undeniably welcoming, Cafe Cancan took over the former Harbord Room and transformed it into an unpretentious destination for elevated French classics, including an escargot omelette, duck confit and a French onion burger. They also offer weekday and weekend brunch menus, plus a daily 5 o’clock “Flamingo Fling” where diners can enjoy a two-course menu and a glass of house wine for just $29.
Photo Courtesy: @TheSmallBrunette
This cozy, limited-seating Parkdale pop-up offers French delicacies among dim lights and loud music, welcoming Torontonians who are looking for rich food and lively vibes. Snacks like flakey cheese puffs, buttermilk fried mushrooms and juicy oysters are on the menu alongside crispy duck with jus, stuffed heritage chicken and steak tenderloin, prepared by chef Peter Robson out of their tiny kitchen. This pop-up is a revival of Chantecler after a three-alarm fire struck in 2019.
Photo Courtesy: @GretaSolomons
In the heart of Leslieville lies this sophisticated spot for modern-day takes on French classics. Using locally sourced ingredients, chef Miriam Echeverria dishes out delicacies like escargot with brussels sprouts, blue crab croquettes with dill remoulade and seared duck breast with roasted beets (plus beet green butter), all thoughtfully plated and gorgeously adorned. They also offer a sizeable wine list and a three-course food menu for $40 from Tuesday to Thursday.
Photo Courtesy: @LeSelectBistro
This Parisian bistro serves authentic French fare in a gorgeous space. Come the summer time, their quaint patio makes for the perfect weekday lunch. Dishes like steak tartare, cassoulet and bouillabaisse pair well with wines from their extensive (and impressive) list. There’s a reason customers have come back to Le Sélect for decades.