Best French in Philadelphia

July 19, 2016
·
by Zagat Staff

From cafes to bistros and brasseries, here are Philly's must-try restaurants for French food.

Bibou
French · Bella Vista · $$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.6

"Good things come in small packages" say fans of Pierre and Charlotte Calmels' "intimate" BYO bistro in Bella Vista offering the "gold standard" of "classic" French-style cooking and "charming" service; only $100 tasting menus are served, and bring dollars as it's cash only.
Laurel
French · East Passyunk Crossing · $$$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.7

Top Chef winner Nicholas Elmi "rocks the city" at his "inventive" French BYO, a “simple” , "comfortable" salon in East Passyunk showcasing his “exquisite” fare served by a "poised" staff; it only has 26 seats, so "get there before it's too popular" "oh no, it already is."
Le Chéri
French · Rittenhouse Square · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

“Another home run” from Bibou owners Pierre and Charlotte Calmels, this destination in the Art Alliance on Rittenhouse Square offers “outstanding” French bistro fare paired with "interesting" French and Swiss wines and "professional" service in a “lovely room conducive to conversation” ; sweet garden seating completes the “wonderful dining experience.”
Bistrot La Minette
French · Queen Village · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

"Could we be in Paris?" ask fans of Peter Woolsey's "authentic" , "beyond-charming" bistro "tucked away" in Queen Village, where "European-style" waiters tote "exquisite" French “home cooking” ; “theme dinners with wine pairings” and an “under-the-radar” happy hour also make it a “favorite” of many.
The Good King Tavern
Bistro · Bella Vista · $$$
Food 4.1 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.1

A "delightfully unexpected upgrade" to Bella Vista, this “charming, neighborhood-y” haunt "really pulls off" a "modern American spin” on a “Provence-inspired menu” of "hearty" “French-bistro dishes” ; even if the seating at the "community table" and booths can be "a little tight" , with the "classic" bar and "cute" outdoor area factored in, it works for “a date night or night out."
Townsend
French · East Passyunk Crossing · $$$

"Talented" chef Townsend Wentz proves he "knows what he's doing" at this "excellent" bistro on South Philly's bustling East Passyunk Avenue, where the "well-crafted" , "creative" French fare inspires "nods and mm's" of approval and the "knowledgeable" staff is "nice as can be" ; the "charming" white-tablecloth surrounds befit a "date" or "birthday outing" and "high" prices match the "upscale" package.
La Peg
American · Penn's Landing · $$

This production, in every sense of the word, has FringeArts teaming with Bistrot La Minette chef-owner Peter Woolsey on a dramatic American brasserie in a former pumping station on the Delaware Riverfront. The hearty regional plates make the views of the Ben Franklin Bridge even sweeter, and a vast outdoor patio with separate bar provides an urban oasis.