Skip to content

The best independent French restaurants in Macao

While elevated French dining is available at Macao’s integrated resorts, some independent bistros and brasseries offer delicious fare as well
  • Macao’s standalone French restaurants serve up classic Parisian as well as regional French flavours, along with some global influences




Less than 1 minute Minutes




Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 05 Jun 2024, 2:28 pm

Whether it’s fine dining, hearty cuisine bourgeois, or rustic dishes that showcase the country’s diverse regions, French cooking is seen by many as the apogee of the Western gastronomic tradition – and it continues to inspire chefs and delight diners globally.

In Macao today, French cuisine is thriving. The most elevated exponents tend to be at the city’s integrated resorts – one thinks of the two-Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse at Morpheus or the lofty, three-Michelin-starred Robuchon au Dôme, among others, when shortlisting the best French restaurants in Macao.

[See more: Six questions for superstar chef Alain Ducasse]

But outside of the grand hotels, there are standalone bistros and brasseries leaving their mark on the dining scene too. As French Gourmay – Macao and Hong Kong’s annual celebration of Gallic cuisine – winds down, there’s no better time to explore them.

Here are four must-visit, independent restaurants bringing the tastes of Paris, Lyon and beyond to the Macao peninsula.

Le Bouchon

At Le Bouchon, diners can try French classics, such as escargot laden in garlic butter and chopped parsley
At Le Bouchon, diners can try French classics, such as escargot laden in garlic butter and chopped parsley – Photo by Macao News/Vienna Sou

Open since January, this small bistro sits on a narrow slope just a three-minute walk from  Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro (popularly known by its Cantonese name San Ma Lo). Red and white chequered tablecloths and napkins give it a bistro feel. As does the size: Le Bouchon has just six tables.

While there are pan-France highlights, the menu largely eschews Parisian streets for the food of Lyon. For instance, les quenelles de brochet with sauce Nantua, a delicacy hailing from the Alps, pairs pike fish dumplings with a creamy lobster reduction.  

[See more: These are the Macao restaurants named in the 2024 Michelin guide]

Whether it’s trout in almond sauce or Lyon-style saucisson (sausage) with brioche, the menu is full of dishes rarely seen in Macao. If you want quintessential French dishes, however, you have plenty of choice. Les escargots de Bourgogne (baked Burgundy snails in garlic butter) is one such classic, arriving at the table smothered in parsley. The beef tartare is another, accompanied with the classic condiments of mustard, chopped shallots, capers, parsley, pickles, and Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces.

Desserts stay true to tradition – the warm apple tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream is a great coda to any meal – and the excellent set lunches are not to be missed. Available from Monday to Friday, they offer a soup, choice of main dish and dessert for just 138 patacas plus service.

Opening hours: Mondays to Saturdays; noon – 3 pm, 6:30 pm – 10 pm
Address: Rua Central 11A, Sé, Macao
Reservations: (853) 2825 8637

Le Pic 

Le Pic’s bistro fare ranges from buttery, cream-filled croissants to hearty mains such as this confit duck leg
Le Pic’s bistro fare ranges from buttery, cream-filled croissants to hearty mains such as this confit duck leg – Photo by Macao News/Sara Santos Silva

Located across from the Portuguese consulate, Le Pic is like a little slice of Paris in the Sé district. Half-close your eyes and you could be sitting in a bistro in the Marais.

The intimate ground-floor dining space features about a half dozen marble-top tables with rattan-backed chairs set upon a tiled floor. The interior design is rounded out with a forest-green and cream palette, wine glasses dangling from a ceiling-mounted rack and rustic lighting fixtures.

This embrace of tradition carries through to the approachable French classics on the menu. Think salad niçoise (seared tuna slices with fried country potatoes, hard-boiled egg, black olives, lettuce and pickled cherry tomatoes); buckwheat galettes and sweet crepes, like caramelised banana, Nutella and vanilla ice cream; and open-faced sandwiches that include the timeless croque madame (Comte cheese, egg and smoked ham).

[See more: Two new Macao restaurants have made it to the 100 Top Tables list]

While these dishes make Le Pic a fine choice for a filling lunch, it also shines at dinnertime. Try the delightful confit duck leg – crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and paired with fluffy, herb-laced barley, sautéed spinach and mushrooms, and deep-fried potato slices – or the superb salmon Wellington, with its shimmering bronze crust covering a thick salmon cut. You need to pre-order it, but it’s worth it.

For a sweet finish, order one of the “escargot” croissants – Instagram-friendly, snail-shaped pastries filled with your choice of cream: green pistachio, coffee, black sesame, or lychee and black tea.

Opening hours: Daily; 11:30 am – 10 pm
Address: Rua de Pedro Nolasco da Silva 34-A, Edifício Hang Tak, Sé, Macao
Reservations: (853) 6233 2600

La Santé 

A dish of summer truffle, lobster and egg, part of La Santé’s four-course menu in May
A dish of summer truffle, lobster and egg, part of La Santé’s four-course menu in May – Photo by Macao News/Sara Santos Silva

La Santé is something of a maman et papa affair, run by civil servant-turned-chef Chi Lam with front-of-house assistance from his wife, Jennifer Cheong. Lam spent a year studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. When he returned to Macao about six years ago, he opened this brilliant bistro in the St Lazarus district.

La Santé serves no more than 16 diners a night, which enables Lam to make the rounds and chat with every table. As guests enter via wood-framed glass doors, they are ushered to candlelit tables that look in at the small show kitchen. The walls are even hung with framed keepsakes, like Lam’s apron from Le Cordon Bleu.

[See more: There are three new Bib Gourmand establishments in Macao]

The food, meanwhile, is seasonal, refined and made from the heart. The menu is limited to just four core dishes, which change monthly. (Lam releases the upcoming menu on social media on the 20th each month.) Recent examples include pâté de campagne (country terrine), made from foie gras, pork and duck laced with cognac and white wine; a main of red sea bream with scallop mousse, carrot puree and herb-flecked cream sauce; and homemade pistachio ice cream with millefeuille.

Since it’s summer, upcoming menus might highlight seasonal vegetables like asparagus. When winter rolls around, you can expect gamier meat, like rabbit or duck. Essentially everything that can be made from scratch is, too, from the terrine to the madeleines.

Be sure to book in advance. La Santé has a loyal following.

Opening hours: Daily; 6:30 pm – 11 pm
Address: Rua de São Roque, Edifício Wa Pan, Sé, Macao
Reservations: (853) 2830 9505


South China Sea marble goby pairs with a hearty Burgundy sauce in a dish that adds a local touch to French cuisine – Photo courtesy of Twelve25

It’s rare to find a restaurant with the fine dining bona fides of Twelve25 outside of an integrated resort in Macao. Especially one that sits on reclaimed land at Fai Chi Kei.

The restaurant is run by alumni from Le Lapin (the restaurant once housed within the Macao Science Center), and it shows. Although it only opened in April, the restaurant operates like a well-oiled machine and the service is spectacular. Whether you opt for the tasting menu, or to dine a la carte, the pacing is perfect. 

The food, like the restaurant itself, is high-end without being pretentious. (You can leave the necktie at home.) And while the technique and inspiration are largely French, the kitchen also incorporates globe-spanning influence, as so often is the case in fine dining today. 

Starters such as red prawn carpaccio, layered with julienned apple and spheres of crème fraiche, speak to the skills required to work at the highest levels of the industry. But the mains really allow the kitchen team to flex their creative muscles.

[See more: Six independent bars in Macao to visit now]

Maybe no dishes showcase Twelve25’s strengths and vision better than the daikon-wrapped marble goby, and the stuffed French chicken. Sourced from the South China Sea, the meaty marble goby is served with cuttlefish mousse and set atop sauteed spinach in a rich Burgundy sauce. It’s a riot of contrasting flavours that also boasts a sense of place – French cuisine with clear Asian influences.

The chicken, on the other hand, is classically French: poached yellow chicken breast stuffed with duxelles (minced mushrooms and herbs) and chicken liver, served alongside seared foie gras, an intricate potato mille-feuille and vin jaune (yellow wine) sauce.

There’s a small but excellent wine list, and owing to the restaurant’s physical links to a whisky bar (with an impressive number of labels: 280 no less) of the same name, there are several cocktails to enjoy before or after dinner, too. 

Opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays; 6 pm – 2 am (last order 10 pm)
Address: Bacia Norte Do Patane Edifício Praia Peninsula R/C A-F, Rua de Fai Chi Kei, Macao
Reservations: (853) 6882 1165

UPDATED: 05 Jun 2024, 2:28 pm

Send this to a friend