Les Faux Bourgeois Bistro
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Par Lise Boullard

French Lessons

Step into Les Faux Bourgeois, with its sleek mahogany paneling, charming French wait staff and joie de vivre ambiance, and you’d think you’d been transported to a bistro off Les Champs Elysées. But look across the street to the small park and you’ll remember you’re in Mount Pleasant’s Fraser and 15th triangle, an area ‘Fauxbo’ helped put on the map when Stephan Gagnon and Andreas Seppelt opened it in 2008. “We realized on the Eastside, aside from neighbourhood pubs and excellent Asian cuisine, there was no place to go out and get French food and a glass of wine,” says Andreas.

But it’s not just Mount Pleasant locals who flock here for a plate of Boudin Noir and what are known as the best steak frites in the city (just try getting a table without a reservation). People come from all over the lower mainland for their Fauxbo fix. What draws them, along with the excellent French comfort food, is the unpretentious vibe, so different from the white linen service of most French restaurants in Vancouver. “The idea was to create a bistro that was truly a bistro in the traditional sense like you’d find in Montreal or France – noisy, utilitarian, reasonably priced,” says Andreas.

The idea was to create a bistro that wasn’t pretentious and truly utilitarian. - Andreas Seppelt, owner
Les Faux Bourgeois - Dinner, Traditional and Contemporary French fare

Food for Thought

With myriad food critics naming it the best French restaurant in the city, Les Faux Bourgeois is a go-to for those who want easy, no fuss, old world French fare. Think duck confit, boeuf bourguignon, coquilles saint Jacques and moules frites, along with contemporary options using local, seasonal ingredients like steelhead tartare, brought to you by chefs of La Terraza, Bin 942 and Umberto’s fame. The service is equally top notch. “The cornerstone of our staff are French hospitality-trained waiters – but they wear jeans and t-shirts,” says Andreas.

And as is expected from any self-respecting French resto, Fauxbo has an extensive wine list – with prices as unpretentious as the bistro itself. “Nico Artiguenave, the sommelier and bar manager, has a savvy and value understanding of wine,” says Andreas. “The idea is you pay the same as a big box restaurant but you get a generous glass of wine and a classically cooked French meal.”

Les Faux Bourgeois - Dinner, Traditional and Contemporary French fare

What’s in a Name?

Stephan chose ‘Les Faux Bourgeois’ as a nod to France’s status-obsessed middle class. “I liken it to the whole city [of Vancouver] being faux bourgeois,” notes Andreas. “We get people from all over the city, from all walks of life. That’s its charm, it’s energy.”

So stop in, grab a spot at the bar and tuck in for a glass of crisp Sancerre and a salade de gessiers (duck gizzard salad) and be swept away to France for an evening. ‘Faux’ bourgeois, or the real deal, you’ll be right at home.

Les Faux Bourgeois - Dinner, Traditional and Contemporary French fare
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