HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


Le Paradis on Bedford

  • c

Looking for great french restaurant. Any views? Thanks in advance.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I love Le Paradis. Very good food, good service, and great value. Only problem is that it's often hard to get a reservation.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sake

      One of my faves in Toronto... prefer it much more to Le Batifole... the steak/frites is wonderful!

    2. I prefer Batifole, and yes... much easier to get in (still new)

      1. Le Paradis is fantastic, but the maitre d' can be a snob. I just wish the dinning room were prettier/

        1. I've read a few places that this place is really inexpensive... is that true? Anyone have an idea what a decent meal, say without wine, would cost?

          2 Replies
          1. re: markdsgraham

            I still haven't made it to Batifole yet, but I think Le Paradis is a great place to have an inexpensive bistro meal. I went this Friday and 2 apps, 2 mains, 1 cocktail, 1 dessert and an digistif cost $67 after tax before tip. Considering the food ranged from good to fantastic, it was great value.

            1. re: aphie

              Sound like an excellent deal. I will try it out for sure.

          2. I'm always underwhelmed at Le Paradis. I would go Batifole or Pastis

            1. Thumbs up for Le Paradis. Good standby and reasonably priced. Always a rather mixed and interesting crowd , which is half the fun of dining out.

              1. I like it, especially the dijon chicken and the flourless chocolate cake. My roommate was totally underwhelmed and I can't ever take her there. She has more "discerning" (let's be polite) tastes than me but if you're looking for a good atmosphere, french food and not to kill the bank, it's a good option.
                Reservations can be hard to get (as previously mentioned) but if you can eat early (say...before 6) then you can just show up, they only take reservations for about 3/4 of the tables.

                1. I love Le Paradis! It's very good food, but not great overall. That's fine with me. The bustling atmosphere and the relatively low prices make up for it. It's a good restaurant to dine at alone if you want to treat yourself to a decent meal. Anything off the grill is good, the sauces are great. I really enjoyed their gelatos, though it's been a while since I've had it.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: merlot143

                    I went to Le Paradis recently and really like the place. The service was wonderful, the ambience was great and the price was definitely right. It's great to see a large list of wines with very few above $50/bottle.

                    Despite a previous post on the virtues of the steak frites, I wouldn't recommend it based on my experience. However I plan to go back and try other menu items since the restaurant has so many other things going for it. Hopefully my steak frites experience was an aberration.

                    1. re: Aardvark

                      I like Le Paradis. I'd prefer to love it and have tried to over the years. It's a (mostly) friendly, neighborhood place, not far from home. I love good steak frites and have almost always been disappointed there. The frites are good (always a draw) but the steak is invariably tough, stringy, full of blood vessels - in short, not very appealing, though the sauces are very flavorful. See? I'm trying.... Other food is generally pretty good. I always have a good time - the total is better than the sum of its parts! On the steak frites front, I recently tried The Rushton because of the raves I'd heard and was quite disappointed. Won't be going there again any time soon. Bistro Tournesol, on the other hand, offered a lovely dining experience and I'd go back for their steak frites. Any other suggestions out there?

                  2. Hm. Lots of love for Le Paradis on this thread, but I've got to beg to differ. I used to like it 10 years ago, but just gradually watched it deteriorate over the years. It's cheapish, yeah, but the service is just okay, the food uninspiring and the room dull. Never awful but never a pleasure either, IMO.

                    FWIW it's a bit of a trek for me; if it were in my neighbourhood I might like it more.

                    Some more views here:


                    1. Love Le Paradis. Despite the insanely snobby service (it's ALWAYS been that way) their food is marvelous. Is it perfect? No. No restaurant is. But 9 times out of 10 you're getting great food and leaving happy.

                      1. Historical note - Le Paradis is the last standing restaurant founded by the late great Freddy Lo Cicero, who in the 80's and 90's cooked in many different places, including Panache (now Lake's), Fred, and Fred's Still Here (possible inspiration for Fred's Not Here). Moment of silence......

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Snarf

                          I had forgotten that the late Freddy Lo Cicero had anything to do with Le Paradis...I remember him very well from Panache ( I worked next door at the (late) Timothy's)..there are two reasons, number one was he would always park in the back of the building by smacking into the wall and the other was...he ALWAYs forgot to order enough coffee for Panache to cover the week/night service..he also came for a smoke and espresso to get away from his restaurant...a delightful, if not somewhat crazy and typical type A Chef!!. I was sorry to see him 'pass' but admit I was not surprized. Panache was a terrific restaurant under his guidance....I live near Le Paradis and would only eat there is someone else insisted... while the food is good.....their attitude is obnoxious to say the least!

                          1. re: pearlD

                            I'm quite surprised about the snobby service/obnoxious attitude comments. I would say service was their strong point for me. Very personable, friendly, down to earth service. As far away from snobby as I could imagine.

                            Perhaps I just got lucky and ended up with the right server, who was friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.

                            1. re: Aardvark

                              Took friends there from out of town a few weeks ago and the only word we could describe for our server was 'surly'. And that was being kind. Food ok; atmosphere eh.

                              1. re: toosie

                                I think 'surly' is a better description than snobby - at least, it fits better with my own experiences there. I've never felt snubbed or looked down upon, but I've had what I'd call indifferent service. Didn't feel personal.

                            2. re: pearlD

                              Funny but I've always had decent service there. Never a problem. The atmosphere amongst the staff seems a bit cliquey, though. I like Le Paradis. It's not great food, but good food at a good price.

                          2. I also love Le Paradis but would also highly recommend Bistro Tournesol, www.bistrotournesol.com. About the same price point.

                            1. If you are looking for a great French restaurant, Le Paradis isn't it. It is good, pleasant and cheap. I prefer it to Batifole by a mile.

                              As far as great French restaurants, there are none in Toronto.

                              1 Reply
                              1. For those of you west of the City. Chef Daniel Graystone and his wife Charlene have opened up a new place in Hamilton called "Pardon my French".

                                It has many of the same items on Le Paradis and has a nice cozy atmosphere (only about 20-25 seats in the restaurant). It's a little place right across from Gage Park on Main St. East in Hamilton...in the summer it should have some lovely views of the park through the front windows, despite the neighbourhood.

                                The food is of the same quality of Le Paradis, however I find the service (Charlene served my party) to be friendlier and more open...

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Mike from Hamilton

                                  I tried "Pardon My French" Saturday night - nothing too fancy - just solid cooking and good value for the money. I started with a nice hearty soup of vegetables, beans, pasta (spaghetti!) with a large dollop of pesto that I was instructed to mix into the soup. This was a nice touch and added an interesting flavour component to the soup. My main was a tilapia meuniere topped with capers and accompanied by veggies and fresh cut frites -very tasty indeed. The portions were quite generous and a good deal for $19. The desserts are apparently all made in-house. I chose the apple-raspberry pie which again was a good-sized piece with a nice crust but the filling was a bit on the mushy side (perhaps it spent some time in the freezer?). The place is small and still has a bit of a takeout vibe to it (previously a wings type place) but I suppose not much can be done about that. Overall, I was pretty satisfied with my meal and I will return.

                                  1. re: Redshifted

                                    Not that this is appropriate to a thread on Le Paradis but we tried Pardon My French on Friday night and it was one of the most disappointing meals I've ever paid for. I really, really, really wanted to like it because I want enterprises like that to survive in central/east Hamilton, but honestly, it was not good. Hopefully, it was just an off night for them.

                                    1. re: WineWidow

                                      Yes, I think it probably was an 'off' night. I have only been there twice, once post-Christmas for lunch and more recently, for lunch, again last Wednesday. I found the food improved and service more welcoming last week. Lunch prices seemed a bit more realistic for the establishment. It IS a bistro and doesn't presume to be a five-star French extravaganza. I am a bistro chowhound and like nothing better than a half plate of frites and a grilled vegetable sandwich on a crunchy baguette with a creamy strawberry custard with great 'mouth feel' for dessert. Prices: luncheon sandwich: $9 and dessert $5 and large enough to share if you like doing that sort of cooperative thing. I love the location. I live in the neighbourhood in a small enclave of Francophones. I doubt most Hamiltonians know this aspect of the neighbourhood. Leafy Gage Park is grand to look at out the front window even if one has to look over traffic. Brunch is now off for the season but gourmet picnic baskets are available - great for taking along on a day in Gage Park. I hope Pardon My French maintains its present standards and then some. Hamilton is a fairly desperate place for dining well and I am glad Pardon My French is in town.

                                2. Le Paradis = terrible service and re-heated frozen food. Would never go there ever again.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: aimeec

                                    I got agree in that Le Paradis is nasty. Last time we went, which was probably about 3 years ago, swore we'd never go back. Not only is the decor tired, is was just dirty. Hopefully they have since painted the place because I gotta tell you 3 years ago it was very dingy and dirty. Pastis is in a totally different class. The food there is fantastic, as is the service. Great wait staff, very professional and food is topnotch.

                                    1. re: millygirl

                                      Thanks! Will definitely try Pastis.

                                      1. re: millygirl

                                        Pastis is quite good. Very upper crust white wash stiff crowd in that place. The kind that wears a baby blue sweater draped accross the shoulders to let loose on a Friday night. It's kinda amusing. Aside from that, the food is good. It's really totally different from Le Paradis. Not in the same class for sure as it's about 3 times the price. Le Paradis is reasonable bistro that is delicious for the most part for the price. Pastis is a great place to take your wealthy Anglo aunt visitting from Windsor.

                                        1. re: food face

                                          Just don't have the Steak Frites @ Pastis... I went there in April for a friend's birthday dinner and it was terrible. Toughest piece of med-rare meat I've had in any resto and the fries were just plain boring.

                                          I know what you mean about the stiff clientele dress code there... :)

                                          1. re: Royaljelly

                                            Sorry food face but I disagree. I suppose it's not your Queen West type crowd but I find they attract a mixed bag. I've been in jeans many times and feel totally comfortable. Prices are not 3 times Le Paradis either. A few years ago they simplified the menu and prices. If I had the time I would check websites to compare prices...perhaps later. I've yet to have a disappointing meal at Pastis, while the last time I was at LeParadis I swore I'd never go back. The place is filthy, in dire need of a paint job....its pretty gross to be sitting against a food stained wall. To me the extra few bucks I'd pay at Pastis is worth every penny.

                                            1. re: millygirl


                                              I haven't been there in a little while so perhaps now I can afford Le Patis now? I do understand what your'e talking about when it comes to Le Paradis atmosphere. They are in desperate need of a restaurantmakeover!

                                              1. re: food face

                                                You should check it out food face, and BTY, forget the Le, it's just Pastis :)
                                                Anyways a meal for two with 2 glasses of wine, appetizer, and dinner would probably set you back $120. I don't think you could get away with less than that. I know someone said the steak frites were bad, but we've never had anything but great food, cooked just right and amazing professional service, without any attitude or pretention. Give it a try and let me know what you think. I read on some other site that the reviewer was surprised how reasonable the prices actually were.

                                    2. How about Merlot on Bloor W in Kingsway? I haven't been in a while, but have been in the past and always enjoyed it. It isn't a knock your socks off experience but the service is friendly and the steak frites are good. Hard to get a reservation. The one time I went to Le Paradis , I too, was underwhelmed, for all the reasons mentioned here.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: sochow

                                        Only experience with Merlot was a comic/frustrating telephone conversation.
                                        Me: Is it wheel-chair accessible?
                                        Them: Yes.
                                        Me: [having gone through this before] Are there stairs to the washrooms.
                                        Them: Um... yeah.
                                        Me: [now curious] How many?
                                        Them: [Long pause, voices in the background] Not many... ten? twelve?

                                        Did they think that my cousin was in a friggin' humvee? Ten stairs are not wheelchair accessible.

                                      2. Celestin on Mt Pleasant at Manor Rd is great...Chef/Owner...is right off the Air France plane....Miranda

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: miranda

                                          Agree! Celestin for higher end. Pastis for more bistro fare. Definitely NOT Le Paradis!!

                                            1. re: Charles Yu

                                              le Select - have sweetbreads on Thursday!

                                          1. Had to post to update this restaurant with a recent experience. Based on the good-to-excellent reviews here, I was looking forward to dinner. I thought judging on what I read here-good food, and snobby/snotty but efficient service. Boy, was I wrong!

                                            We were a party of four women. We had phoned in advance to ensure that sep. cheques would NOT be a problem and we were shown to a good table with drink orders taken and served quickly.

                                            But the wait service was appalling from the moment he appeared. We had reminded him we required sep. tabs when he took the order but he paid absolutely no attention and muddled just about everything from appetizers to coffee.

                                            He mixed up EVERY order as he set it down.He gave away my ENTREE to another table right beside us (two men who had arrived and ordered long after us) and then told me (as he delivered my tablemate's dishes-"ooh, sorry, I meant to tell you- we are all out of sardines but pick something else and I will bring it as quick as I can").

                                            I chose the bavette/frites as the path of least resistance and urged the rest of the party to go ahead.

                                            The soup was so-so, he forgot my salad entirely and then tried to charge us for it on those separate tabs we had requested in advance but which clearly gave him pain in the end..In fact, he was so disorganized we had to all re-construct the entire meal for him when it came reckoning time.

                                            When we protested about the enforced substitution of the steak/frites ($15) for the missing sardine special ($8.00), he offered to remove the coffee ($3.00) from the bill.That math don't work!

                                            I tipped only 10%, looked him right in the eye and told him the tip was adjusted by the amount of the difficulty we had encountered.

                                            Yes, bad experience, but virtually all within the waiter's control-he just failed to make the effort. Snotty is one thing: totally incompetent, quite another. None of us will be returning.


                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: LJS

                                              Le Paradis used to be one of my favourite restautrants in the city. Now I hardly go. Because of the service. As I get older I just find poor/rude service less tolerable. If they hired servers and staff that weren't off the wall rude maybe I'd be going more often than I do. Cuz I did love the food (though sometimes found it alarmingly inconsistent). There are just too many other places to bring my money. Places with decent service.

                                              1. re: magic

                                                After almost a 2-year absence I wanted to give Le Paradis another chance. I’d loved it growing up but as I became older and started paying for my own meals (thanks mum and dad for footing the bill all those years!) I found I’ve become far less tolerant of shoddy service when it’s my own wallet that feels the pinch.

                                                Same abrupt, quasi-rude French service. Same gruff phone manner on making reservations. Some people on Chowhound boards really love their service. I simply cannot figure this out. I stand by my September ’08 posting, there are just too many good places with nicer, warmer service in this city where I can bring my money.

                                                The food was still quite good, save for my poached salmon with citrus beurre blanc that was done far too well for my liking and quite bland. Jacque’s on Cumberland has a far superior poached salmon. But generally the food was quite good tonight, if not missing some of the details seen on many previous visits.

                                                But good enough to return for in spite of the snippy, rude service that some might find charming? Not for me. I think I'm finally done with Le Paradis. I'd rather give my money to a business that doesn't make me feel like they are doing me a favour my serving me before attending more civilly to their regulars.

                                            2. I go to LP once a year, most recently on the last Friday in March for 7 pm supper. My friend had made the reservation but she showed up 20 minutes late; however, I showed up 10 minutes early and was seated immediately, and offered a drink and bread (once they realized she was late). Service was friendly and good (both a man and woman server helped us at various times), and food was good to very good. I didn't like the espresso (if I have to add a teaspoon of sugar, it's a bad sign). Otherwise, I would return. It's out of the way for me, so I don't go often, but the taste and prices keep me wanting to return. I enjoyed the rustique salad and bourride (seafood bouillabaise) and balthazar cake (not chocolatey enough, but my friend's walnut tart was fantastic).

                                              Now, if only I could find a great french bistro with reasonable prices and tasty food in the far west end of Toronto...

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: Food Tourist

                                                You're a food tourist, travelling for good food should not be an issue!

                                                1. re: foodyDudey

                                                  Good one! :) It just gets hard on the wallet since I can't TTC very easily. And I still haven't ventured out to Scarborough for any reason!

                                                  1. re: Food Tourist

                                                    Your not missing anything in Scarberia unless you want to eat at Zen. It's a culinary wasteland.

                                                2. re: Food Tourist

                                                  There is a Quebecois bistro recently opened on the Lakeshore. Sorry the name escapes me (Café du Lac????). Haven't been heard it's pretty good and they were very friendly on the phone the one time I called.

                                                  Is Parkdale too far? Try Cowbell?

                                                  1. re: Sui_Mai

                                                    Good reminder Sui Mai. I have eaten at Cafe du Lac a few times but to me it's more Quebecois. I like that they offer 2-4-1 coupons because some of their mains/specials can be pricey (like duck in a jar). Parkdale is reasonably close (can streetcar in under 30 minutes) but I still haven't tried Cowbell.

                                                3. There are currently no great purely French restaurants in Toronto in my experience. Batifole is not bad, after that Le Paradis. Some good restaurants serve French dishes, of course, like Scaramouche and others.

                                                  Last night we went to Tati on Harbord. Roughly the same as Paradis in quality but not as hearty or authentic. Le Paradis prices its wines well; Tati comes close to gouging. But the downstairs was full on a Thursday night.

                                                  The manager at Tati has hired waitstaff for looks more than talent. The girl (sic) asked twice if I had finished despite the cutlery positioned to avoid any ambiguity. (If the fork and knife form an X on the plate, I haven't finished; if they are parallel at the four or six o'clock position, take it away. Le Paradis servers know this.)

                                                  Tati is LOUD. People at the next table were almost screaming to be heard over the roar. On top of the pandemonium, piped-in chansonneuses added insult to injury. Turn it off; no one is listening! No Paris restaurant I've been to plays music. Take a lesson.
                                                  Without the music, I'd give Tati a passing grade.