Most chefs starts their training in classical French cooking, and for good reason: Gallic techniques are the cornerstone of modern cookery. In fact, we owe a lot of our culinary terms to the French. Chefs, sommeliers and maître d’s? All français. (The same goes for the front- and back-of-house structures of modern restaurants, which originated in eighteenth-century Paris.)

Sydney has no shortage of excellent French restaurants worth your time. From brasseries and bistros, to bastions of both haute and nouvelle cuisine, here’s our selection.

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Restaurant Hubert

Updated classics inspired by a 1914 cookbook.

15 Bligh Street, Sydney

Bistrot Gavroche

You'll sit on imported French antiques.

2-10 Kensington Street, Chippendale

Bistro Rex

Colonial French food, without all the butter.

50-58 Macleay Street, Potts Point

Macleay St Bistro

Opened in the mid-'80s. Still going strong.

A 73 Macleay Street, Potts Point

Loluk Bistro

Focused on dishes from Nice and southern Provence.

2/411 Bourke Street, Surry Hills

Franca

A restaurant which samples cuisines from all around the Mediterranean.

81 Macleay Street, Potts Point

Felix

A traditional brasserie experience from Merivale.

2 Ash Street, Sydney

Little Felix

Little Felix channels Paris of the 1920s, has towering platters of cheese and wine served from magnums.

2 Ash Street, Sydney

Bistro Guillaume

Classic French fare delivered with panache.

259 George Street, Sydney

Bistro Manly

Go for a 120-day dry-aged beef sirloin with Café de Paris butter, an apple tarte tatin and something from the whisky cart.

55 North Steyne, Manly

Bistro Moncur Woollahra

Delighting Sydneysiders since 1993.

116 Queen Street, Woollahra

Bistro Papillon

A Parisian-style bistro in the heart of the city.

Clarence Street 98 Clarence Street, Sydney

Bronte Road Bistro

A compact menu with nothing over $40.

282 Bronte Road, Waverley

Bellevue Cottage by Antoine

A waterside French brunch bistro in bushland. It even has water-limo access.

55 Leichhardt Street, Glebe