Have your fix of soufflé, steak frites and crème brulée – and plenty more – at some of our favourite French restaurants in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Bon appetit!

French cuisine

Bastille Day, 14 July, is the national day of France. It commemorates the 1789 storming of the Bastille, a prison fortress in the centre of Paris, which marked a pivotal point in the French Revolution. Today in France, it’s an important holiday celebrated with military parades, fireworks and gatherings full of food. But why let the French have all the fun, and why stop at a single day? Here's where you can get a French fix anytime of the year!

NEW SOUTH WALES

Brasserie l'Entrecote, Pymble

Image: Brasserie l'Entrecote, Pymble

Bistro Guillaume, Sydney

While we’re talking soufflés, you’ll find benchmarks at the ever-so-elegant Bistro Guillaume in Sydney’s CBD, where chef Guillaume Brahimi’s menu signatures include Chicken liver parfait, Steak tartare with pommes gaufrettes and Duck confit. Guillaume and his team are celebrating Bastille Day with a special dinner on Saturday 13 July, and a menu of French classics:  Pâté en croute, Bouillabaisse, Duck à l’orange and Grand Marnier soufflé.

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Bistro Rex, Potts Point

Located in the heart of Potts Point, Bistro Rex provides a modern take on bistro classics including French onion soup, Pissaladière and Toulouse sausage, with Apple tarte tatin for dessert. It’s offering a fun journey through the wine regions of France to coincide with a Tour de France menu throughout July. Why stop at a single weekend?

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Macleay Street Bistro, Potts Point

This Potts Point stalwart has been doing its thing - French inspired, modern Australian food -  for more than 35 years. The a la carte menu is complemented by weekly blackboard specials and the wine list features drops from France, Australia and New Zealand including an extensive offering by the glass. Don’t miss the Bastille Day special lunch menu of five courses for $85.

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Bistro Papillon, Sydney

Classic French dishes – and regular raclette nights - are the drawcard at this cosy CBD diner, run by two expatriate Frenchmen.  Think Soupe à l’oignon, Boeuf bourguignon and Crêpes suzette among other traditional favourites. Bastille Day lasts the whole weekend at Papillon, with special menus for dinner on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 July and lunch on Sunday 14 July.

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Brasserie l'Entrecôte, Pymble

L’Entrecôte nails the suburban brasserie brief, with a simple concept of classic French starters (scallops, soufflé, tartare) and superb quality sirloin steak in a variety of cuts with frites and the house-made secret sauce. It’s a taste of Bordeaux on the Pacific Highway. The four course Bastille Day lunch and dinner menus ($85) are true bargains.  

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Bistro Cocotte, Haberfield

In a suburb more renowned for its Italian heritage, Bistro Cocotte brings a unique taste of France. In addition to a menu of French favourites, the cosy bistro offers a Menu Express (entrée and plat du jour for $39) and BYO nights on Tuesday to Thursday. For Bastille Day this neighbourhood eatery has five and eight-course degustations ($79 and $119 respectively) for dinner from Friday 12 July to Sunday 14 July. With a Korean-born chef who has an affinity and passion for all things French, Bistro Cocotte reflects the best of multi-cultural Sydney in the inner west.

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VICTORIA

Chez Olivier, South Yarra

Image: Chez Olivier, South Yarra

Small French Bar, Footscray

Offering a tight menu of French classics – from Escargot a la Parisienne to Confit de Canard  and Fondant au Chocolat – and well-chosen wines to match, Small French Bar nails the brief its name suggests. Book in for Bastille Day lunch or dinner, and you’ll enjoy a special five-course menu.  

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Chez Olivier, South Yarra

In a new location in Toorak Road, South Yarra, Chez Olivier prides itself on being the most authentic French bistro in Melbourne, offering classic dishes such as Bisque de Fruits de Mer and Navarrin d’Agneau, and an extensive cellar of international wines. The two-course lunch is a true bargain. Olivier’s Bastille Day celebrations include live music from Alana Aldea and a set menu for $90 per person.

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Bergerac Restaurant, Melbourne

Stalwart French diner Bergerac has been a CBD favourite for business lunchers since it opened in 1985. Chef-owner Jean-François Enconniere’s a la carte menu features classics such as Coquilles St Jacques, Carre d’agneau and Steak au deux poivres, and the extensive wine list includes 12 by the glass.

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Bon Ap', Fitzroy

Part restaurant, part bar, part café, Bon Ap' combines the rustic elegance of an old world cafe with the casual nature of a neighbourhood eatery in a heritage building on Brunswick Street. The owners’ intent is to show locals what contemporary French dining looks like, so expect plenty of smaller share plates in a relaxed environment. The “A Table” menu for $55 per person takes you on a journey through France. Bon Ap’ is celebrating Bastille Day on both 13 and 14 July.

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QUEENSLAND

The French Bistrot, West End

Image: The French Bistrot, West End

The French Bistrot, West End

Offering a slice of France in Brisbane's West End, The French Bistrot is the perfect spot to enjoy delicious French food. The menu includes tradional dishes such as Tartare de boeuf; Snails in garlic butter or Foie Gras de Canard. Enjoy a French cocktail or a glass from the French wine list, alongside Assiette Gourmand or Roasted Camembert with fresh pesto and croutons. On Bastille Day, enjoy any 2 courses for $65pp OR any 3 course for $79pp.

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Lutece Bistro & Wine Bar, Bardon

French chef Romain Bapst has created a taste of France in the middle of Brisbane. With panaramic views of the city, the restaurant brings a sense of French class with French cafe chairs and crisp white tablecloths. The seasonal menu features traditional French dishes with a modern twist. During winter, you can enjoy rich French flavours in dishes such as a 24-hour braised mushroom and truffle stuffed oxtail. 

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Brisbane C'est Bon French Restaurant, Woolloongabba

This is the perfect place to celebrate all that is French! The French decor makes this the perfect place to spoil your date or celebrate a special occasion.  Choose two separate spaces, for a cocktail or a more formal meal. You can enjoy the three-course set menu for $55 per person which includes lovingly crafted dishes such as Soupe à l’oignon, Escargot De Bourgogne or Crispy Duck a l'orange. 

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