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Dining à la Française: What are the best French restaurants in Ottawa?

Dining à la Française What are the best French restaurants in Ottawa

Ottawa may be far from the Eiffel Tower, but that doesn’t mean your Francophone tastebuds should suffer. If you’re tired of poutine with a beret on, fret no more! We’re here to uncover the hidden gems of French cuisine in Canada’s capital.

So, maybe let’s stop (just for now) those sad attempts at making crêpes – we’re going to find you the real deal. Get ready to say “Oui, chef!” as we embark on a culinary adventure through Ottawa’s best French restaurants.


– Media from gitanes

Location: 361 Elgin St Unit #6, Ottawa, ON K2P 1M7, Canada

Contact: +1 613-562-0699

Pricing: $$$

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Thursday – 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM
  • Friday to Saturday – 5:30 PM to 1:00 AM


This is a Parisian bistro tucked away on a cobblestone street. But a touch of modern energy keeps it fresh and exciting, too.

You can start with their Aperol Spritz – it’s the perfect way to ease into the evening and get your tastebuds excited. Now, their spaghetti… let’s just say it deserves a standing ovation.

Metropolitain Brasserie Restaurant 

– Media from metropolitainbrasserie

Location: 700 Sussex Dr, Ottawa, ON K1N 1K4, Canada

Contact: +1 613-562-1160

Pricing: $$$

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Saturday – 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
  • Sunday – 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM


Since opening its doors in 2009, Metropolitain has become a beloved staple for locals and tourists alike, offering a taste of France with its sophisticated yet inviting atmosphere.

This place is known for its fresh seafood, with an oyster bar that’s considered the city’s finest. If you’re an oyster aficionado, this place is a must-try. 

But the menu doesn’t stop there. They offer an array of timeless French classics executed with a modern flair – think steak frites done to perfection, rich and creamy escargot, and a croque monsieur that will make you want to lick the plate clean (just do it discreetly, okay?).

L’Orée du Bois

– Media from oreeduboisrestaurant

Location: 15 Chem. Kingsmere, Chelsea, QC J9B 1A1, Canada

Contact: +1 819-827-0332

Pricing: $$$

Opening hours:

  • Wednesday to Friday – 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Sunday – 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM


Set foot inside L’Oree Du Bois and you’ll find yourself enveloped in the warmth of its rustic-chic space, tucked away in the tranquillity of Gatineau Park. 

For nearly four decades, this Ottawa institution has enchanted diners with its refined approach to classic French cuisine and an unwavering dedication to crafting unforgettable experiences.

A must-try? If you’re feeling adventurous, their escargot is a classic done with such finesse, that it might just convert any skeptics.  

Le St. Laurent

– Media from lestlaurentottawa

Location: 460 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1K 4Z2, Canada

Contact: +1 613-421-1444

Pricing: $$$

Opening hours:

  • Wednesday to Thursday – 5:00 PM to 9:30 PM
  • Friday to Saturday – 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM
  • Sunday to Monday  – 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM


Think of Le St. Laurent as Ottawa’s culinary penthouse party –  sophisticated, and stylish, and the views alone are worth the price of admission. Forget stuffy, old-school French here. Their modern Canadian cuisine has a fresh, playful streak. 

They love taking local ingredients and making them sing with French technique. The results? Dishes like seared scallops with a whisper of maple, or duck breast with a vibrant berry sauce. It’s a balancing act done beautifully. 

Plus, being Ottawa’s only rooftop restaurant, that means you get dinner with a side of panoramic cityscapes!

Cocotte Bistro

Location: 123 Metcalfe St, Ottawa, ON K1P 5L9, Canada

Contact: +1 613-216-2912

Pricing: $$

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Saturday – 7:30 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Sunday to Monday  – 7:30 AM to 9:30 PM


Cocotte Bistro is where you go for a warm hug in the form of buttery croissants, steak frites done just right, and the kind of friendly chatter that makes you feel like a regular, even on your first visit. 

Here, the cuisine celebrates French flavours, serving everything from breakfast to dinner, and not forgetting the leisurely weekend brunch. Whether it’s the signature dishes served “en cocotte” or the delightful Ottawa-Brest, a local take on the Paris-Brest, there’s a dish to enchant everyone. 

Ratatouille Bistro

– Media from ratatouillebistro

Location: 278 Dalhousie St, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E6, Canada

Contact: +1 613-695-5785

Pricing: $$

Opening hours:

  • Wednesday to Friday – 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Saturday – 9:30 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Sunday – 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM


This family-owned gem is like a real-life version of Gusteau’s – buzzing with warmth and the kind of passion for food that would impress even Anton Ego.

Executive Chef Sourabh Kumar is like Ottawa’s Remy, a culinary maestro with an international backstory. You can practically see his “Little Chef” guiding his creations (there are no rats here, promise!), infusing classic French dishes with an unexpected fusion of Canadian, Asian, and Mediterranean flavours.

And speaking of delicious, their namesake Ratatouille is a dish that could melt the heart of any food snob. It’s a mix of tomato pepper sauce wrapped in puff pastry served with white wine and tarragon cream sauce, side salad and fries.

St. Martha’s Brasserie d’Orleans

– Media from brasseriedorleans64

Location: 3095 St Joseph Blvd #305, Orléans, ON K1E 3W6, Canada

Contact: +1 613-424-9199

Pricing: $$

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM


You know that feeling when you walk in and the smell of buttery croissants and rich coffee hits you? That’s what you get at St. Martha’s. They dish out those comforting, stick-to-your-ribs French classics that always hit the spot.

Of course, it’s not just about the food (though their French Onion Soup is worth writing home about). The staff make you feel genuinely welcome like they’re happy to see you. 

And don’t even get us started on the mussels on Tuesdays – it’s like a weekly neighbourhood party! Whether you’re a French food fanatic or simply love good food and a warm atmosphere, St. Martha’s is the place where you’ll leave full, happy, and already planning your next visit.

Petit Bill’s Bistro

– Media from petitbills

Location: 1293 Wellington St. W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 3B1, Canada

Contact: +1 613-729-2500

Pricing: $$

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Wednesday – 11:30 AM to 8:30 PM
  • Thursday – 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Friday – 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM
  • Saturday – 4:00 PM to 9:30 PM


This unassuming spot radiates warmth and genuine hospitality from the moment you walk in. Forget any notions of stuffy French dining – here, it’s all about delicious twists on the classics and portions that won’t leave you wanting more.

Think of their seafood chowder, brimming with Atlantic flavours and a richness that’ll make you forget winter even exists. Or the Duck Confit, its sweet cherry glaze adding a touch of unexpected brilliance. 

And those legendary fish & chips? The batter is so light and crispy, it might have you rethinking everything you knew about this classic.

Benny’s Bistro

– Media from just_tinaaaaa

Location: 119 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5M5, Canada

Contact: +1 613-789-6797

Pricing: $$

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Friday – 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM
  • Saturday – 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM


Since 1999, Benny’s Bistro has been a quintessential Ottawa neighbourhood joint, the kind of place where old-school French charm meets a relaxed, unpretentious vibe. 

They’ve nailed that balance of high-quality food and a “come as you are” atmosphere. It’s no wonder Voir Ottawa crowned their weekend brunch “undeniably the best in town” – think fluffy omelets, decadent Benedicts, and all the best sides of the ByWard Market’s bustling energy.

Their food speaks for itself thanks to Chef Scott Adams and Sous-Chef Maxime Farrell. Pair that with curated service and top-notch wine selections managed by Sandra Sauvé, and you’ve got a dining experience that feels both special and entirely down-to-earth.