The 15 Best French (and Mediterranean) Restaurants In Melbourne

The Melbourne dining scene is probably unrivalled in Australia. Sydney runs it close, but Melbourne’s thriving restaurant scene is a true foodie’s paradise.

Sampling everything that Melbourne has to offer is an impossibility, unless you have a ridiculous budget, unlimited time and the capacity to ingest thousands of additional daily calories.

Assuming that none of these apply to our readers, we have attempted to fine-tune a list of excellent French and Mediterranean restaurants, bistros and eateries, that deserve your attention and custom.

French gastronomy is one of the world’s classic cuisines and is hugely influential. Mediterranean cuisine overlaps and shares some similarities but is generally seen to be ‘lighter’ with a focus on vegetables, legumes, minimally processed grains, fish and smaller amounts of meat and dairy.

French food is generally ‘richer’ with a greater emphasis on classic sauces (hollandaise, bechamel, etc), whereas Mediterranean sauces are more organic and stock-based. The further south one travels in France, the greater the influence of Mediterranean cuisine on the food and lifestyle.

Melbourne, as befits its status of a major hub of fine dining, has dozens of restaurants that serve a fusion of classic Mediterranean and French dishes. Let us guide you through some of the most inventive European food east of the Bosphorus.

Noir 

Location: Richmond 

Overview: 

Located on Swan street, Noir is a bustling French bistro that offers a selection of vibrant dishes, with the restaurant priding itself on the use of fresh and local ingredients.

Known for its modern decor and welcoming atmosphere, Noir’s small and intimate space is the perfect place to spend an evening with close friends, where you can sample its excellent wine list and inventive food.

This part of Richmond (and neighbouring Cremorne) has recently attracted many young businesses to its start-up, tech-friendly environment. The Noir lunch menu is perfect for a quick, efficient business lunch – limited choice, fixed price, promptly served (optional glass of house wine) – and is well worth a try.

Offering a wide menu of classic dishes, Noir’s dinner menu is lauded for its confit duck, as well as its caramelized scallops and rabbit gnocchi. 

If you want to know more about this restaurant, just click here! 

Mosaic Restaurant

Location: Altona

Just a few minutes walk from Altona’s attractive beachfront, Mosaic Bar & Eatery provides a comfortable and relaxed dining experience that befits its Mediterranean cuisine.

The bayside suburb of Altona is a 30 minute drive (allow longer during the week) from Melbourne’s CBD, and a booking at the award-winning Mosaic restaurant makes it a worthwhile endeavour.

Mosaic features vibrant Mediterranean cuisine with a modern Australian influence, a tapas share plate menu, beers on tap and a wide range of cocktails to choose from.

Mosaic is an ideal choice for relaxed lunches and dinners alike or just chilled drinks at the bar. The ambience is of a relaxed bar with a menu to suit everybody.

Looking for a beer garden? Mosaic has its very pleasant Valletta Lounge, with a relaxing outdoor green space and chilled beachside vibe.

Bar Margaux 

Location: Melbourne

Overview: 

If you are the kind of person who prefers to eat in the evening, then you will simply adore this stunning brasserie.

Featuring a well-stocked bar, this restaurant offers signature cocktails, delicious wines and French comfort food throughout the night, which means you can sit down and sample some classic dishes until the early hours of the morning.

When visiting this particular establishment, you will find such French classics as escargot, Pomme Frites and braised meat, although you can also order baked fish, souffle and roast duck. 

If you want to know more about this restaurant, just click here! 

Bistro Gitan 

Location: South Yarra

Overview: 

Based in a stunning Victorian revival, Bistro Gitan is easily one of the best French restaurants in Melbourne, with the menu offering classic dishes with a unique Mediterranean twist.

From the minute you open your menu you will be entranced by all that this restaurant has to offer, which includes classic dishes such as chicken liver parfait, spatchcock with mustard crust and sea rockling with fried mushrooms. Delicious! 

If you want to know more about this restaurant, just click here! 

Hell Of The North 

Location: Fitzroy 

Overview: 

Perfect for a romantic dinner with your favorite person, Hell of the North is a French restaurant that is known for its ambience and atmosphere, with a diverse menu offering some of the best Mediterranean-inspired food in the whole of Australia.

During the week, this particular establishment offers a la carte menus and weekend special, such as four-course meals, that promise to make your taste buds sing.

So the next time you fancy braised ox cheek or mussels in fennel cream, remember this restaurant and give them a call. 

If you want to know more about this restaurant, just click here! 

Philippe 

Location: Melbourne 

The 15 Best French Restaurants In Melbourne

Overview: 

First established by Philippe Mouchel, this French restaurant is considered to be one of the best in Melbourne, with Mouchel’s culinary mastery showcased to full effect.

Born and raised in Normandy, Mouchel was trained by the great Paul Bocuse, allowing him to infuse every dish with rich and authentic flavor.

If you get a chance to visit this particular establishment, then we highly recommend sampling the oysters, although the rotisserie chicken also remains a popular crowd-pleaser. 

If you want to know more about this restaurant, just click here! 

Bistro Guillaume 

Location: Southbank

Overview: 

If you want to sample a classic French menu, then Bistro Guillaume is the perfect place for you.

Based in Crown Melbourne, this popular French restaurant remains one of the best in the whole city, with its decadent dishes and rich atmosphere making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Boasting a wide menu of delicious options,  this establishment offers classic dishes such as cheese souffle, steak frites with bearnaise sauce and a sinful chocolate fondant. 

If you want to know more about this restaurant, just click here! 

France Soir 

Location: South Yarra 

Overview: 

This relaxed establishment is the perfect place to sample some authentic French cuisine, with the restaurant boasting a wide selection of delicious food and French-speaking staff.

While France Soir does not reinvent the wheel, it does offer some classic dishes such as rabbit casserole and French onion soup, although it is also possible to order traditional escargot and tartare. 

If you want to know more about this restaurant, just click here! 

Bon Ap’Petit Bistro

Location: Fitzroy 

Overview: 

The next entry on our list is what we could call a triple threat, as it’s a bar, cafe and restaurant all in one. So if you feel like a morning pastry or an evening meal, this establishment has everything you need.

Sporting comfortable decor and a welcoming atmosphere, this restaurant boasts a wide selection of classic French dishes, which include offerings such as steak tartare, chicken liver parfait and a decadent creme brulee.

Just make sure to pair your food with a bottle of delicious wine and you will get to live out the full French experience. 

If you want to know more about this restaurant, just click here! 

French Saloon Bar & Bistro 

Location: Melbourne 

The 15 Best French Restaurants In Melbourne

Overview: 

Open for weddings, engagements and birthdays, this French restaurant is the perfect place to celebrate your special day, no matter the occasion.

Offering ambience and atmosphere, this establishment boasts a large menu of delicious French classics, which include notable offerings such as whipped cod, steak frites, assorted cheeses and cured meats. 

If you want to know more about this restaurant, just click here! 

Entrecote 

Location: South Yarra 

Overview: 

Established seven years ago, Entrecote has fast become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, with the classy French restaurant offering some of the best food in the whole of Melbourne.

Covering breakfast, lunch and dinner, this establishment promises authentic French cuisine made with fresh and delicious ingredients, with the menu yielding notable dishes such as porterhouse steak, poached chicken, creme brulee and Pommes Frites. 

If you want to know more about this restaurant, just click here! 

The French Brasserie 

Location: Melbourne 

Overview: 

If you want to remove yourself from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne, then we recommend checking out the French Brasserie, which promises to teleport you to the streets of France.

Not only does this beautiful restaurant capture the aesthetic of a Parisian eatery, but it also offers some of the most delicious food in the city.

Complete with friendly service and comfortable seating, this establishment boasts a wide menu of tasty meals, which include classics such as escargot, coq au vin and beef bourguignon. 

If you want to know more about this restaurant, just click here! 

Bistrot D’Orsay 

Location: Melbourne 

Overview: 

Considered one of the best French restaurants in Melbourne, Bistrot d’Orsay has remained a popular eatery for 25 years, with the establishment offering a wide menu of classic French cuisines.

Styled after a Parisian bistro, this restaurant boasts dark wood panelling, painted ceilings and warm lighting, as well as delicious food and friendly staff.

So if you are ever in the mood to sample roasted lamb shoulder or cured Atlantic salmon, then this is the place to go. 

If you want to know more about this restaurant, just click here! 

Chez Oliver Le Bistro 

Location: South Yarra

Overview: 

Although this stunning bistro may seem petite on the outside, it currently offers one of the largest menus in the city.

Featuring classic French dishes such as beef bourguignon, chocolate fondant and duck a l’orange – this is the perfect place to sample authentic French cuisine, especially if you have a penchant for all things Parisian.

So don’t waste any more time and book a table as soon as you can. 

If you want to know more about this restaurant, just click here! 

Oter 

Location: Melbourne 

Overview: 

Based in an underground basement, this rustic restaurant is the lovechild of Chef Florent Gerardin and Mykal Bartholomew, who have worked together to create an establishment that fights against the stereotypes of French cuisine.

Boasting a wide selection of creative dishes, this restaurant offers classic options such as warm cheese tarts and fried crepes filled with ham, as well as more inventive alternatives such as chicken offal with black truffle and dashi. 

If you want to know more about this restaurant, just click here! 

Chez Bob 

Location: Armadale 

Overview: 

Featuring a cosy dining room and picturesque courtyard, this adorable French bistro is the very definition of Parisian.

Sporting a wide selection of classic French dishes, Chez Bob allows locals to sample some of the best food that France has to offer, from rabbit terrine to poussin with sage butter. Although this small space may often get overlooked, you should definitely book a table the next time you are in town. 

If you want to know more about this restaurant, just click here! 

Dylan Cole