I’m currently catching up on various places where I’ve had F.O.S. over the past few months.  The idea of this blog is that it will be updated as I try new places.

Please add restaurant suggestions as comments to this entry!

56 Responses to “Notice”

  1. Lori Says:

    Found your FOS blog while searching for FOS recipes. It all started for me about a year ago when I visited my brother in North Carolina and ordered a twist on FOS: a tomato-beef broth based soup with the standard cheese and bread topping. Since then I’ve been scouring the area to find restaurants that serve it. I live in Centralia, WA and have located mostly average FOS. The other day while lamenting the dirth of FOS, I wondered if there was anyone out there who has a blog with information about finding FOS sources. Apparently, there is, and my quest shall continue thanks to your efforts! I only have one recommendation to offer at this time: Alexander’s Country Inn in Ashford, Washington, just outside of Mt. Rainier National Park. I’d rate it worth the drive out there, but then I’ve not had superlative FOS to really make a sound comparison or rating.

  2. admin Says:

    Thanks for the tip, Lori! I’ll definitely try the place out. I wonder if it’s snowed in already? Please keep me informed about other places you find.

  3. Carol Gardens Says:

    I’d be interested in your opinion of the FOS at La Bonne Soupe. I’ve been eating it for at least 20 years.

    An institution!

  4. admin Says:

    Thanks, Carol. I will make this place #1 on the todo list for my next NYC trip.

  5. Lori Says:

    I’d be curious to know how you’d score an F.O.S. served at Barnaby’s located in Tukwila ( The server said it is made on-site (unlike their lobster bisque). It had a good amount of cheese (not sure what type) and the broth was tasty.

    I’m going to Raleigh, NC, next week and will dine at The Angus Steak Barn (Chef Royal was on Iron Chef about two years ago) and I’m dying to try their F.O.S. I’ll be sure to take photos and report back!

  6. admin Says:

    Ask, and ye shall receive, Lori. Check out today’s post.

  7. Dave Says:

    Foody here, have traveled much and you have to check this one out.
    Cecile’s French Corner
    237 West Fourth Avenue, Suite 1
    Mount Dora, FL 32757

    French bistro, will move right to the top 10, greyere cheese, nice portion, puts French back in onion soup.

    Also a great place to spend a day or weekend.


  8. Steve Says:

    Do you have any recommended FOS recipes or best known practices for making your own? I have tried about five or six different recipes that I have found, but have been pretty underwhelmed with the results so far.

  9. admin Says:

    No. Unfortunately, I have had the same experience as you. Actually, my wife has made the attempts. Let me know if you find the trick…

  10. Melonie Says:

    Hi. Great blog!! I too love FOS! I was in a discussion about this soup last weekend while visiting Frankenmuth, Michigan and eating the soup. Is it more common to find restaurants that use sliced cheese or grated/shredded cheese? Thanks for the help!!


  11. admin Says:

    Hi Melonie,

    Glad you like it! I had always thought that it was sliced, but from reading countless recipes it seems like it’s always grated, but they use enough cheese such that it looks sliced.

    Let me know if you find any great ones!


  12. Janet Says:

    If you get to The Dalles, Oregon, please check out the French onion soup at Baldwin Saloon. The address is 205 Court Street, next to the railroad tracks and near the big pink building that you can see from the freeway.

    Their menu is listed at their website: and the soup is described there. Gruyere cheese!

  13. Brandon Says:

    The Black Seal in Essex, Ct. has a what I feel is the best F.O.S. in the tri-state area (CT, MA, and RI). Other establishments serve a bland imitation.

  14. Angela Says:

    I just googled ‘french onion soup ballard, wa’ and Carnegie’s, 2026 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107, showed up as one of the results.

    I didn’t see it on your list, and I haven’t tried this place myself. I was wondering if you had heard anything about their FOS?

  15. Valerie Says:

    Just sailed on the Princess Grand from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome. They have a speciality restaurant called The Painted Desert where they serve the MOST wonderful French Onion soup called (I think) Black & Blue Soup. They have substitued blue cheese for the normal kinds of cheeses used & it was most delicious & unique. Some chunks in the soup, but on the small bread in the crock was a blend of provolone & blue cheeses making the most unusal & unique tase. Would love to have the recipe. Yum-Yum

  16. kari Says:

    As it seems I know already you’re prefernce of cheeses, I was curious if you prefer a sweeter style broth or one that is more vinegary. Many times I find the broths either too thin, too salty, too peppery or just plain thick as theives.

  17. admin Says:


    I definitely prefer sweeter broths. I agree with your assessment of too many of the broths.

  18. Melonie Says:

    Great site! The best FOS restaurant (and I’ve had a lot) closed down because of rent prices, it was Cafe de Paris in Danville (Blackhawk), CA. Now my favorite is my own recipe based on Cafe de Paris.

    Keep up the site, love it!

  19. admin Says:


    Wow, your soup looks delicious! Please let me know if you find another great restaurant.

  20. April Says:

    I recommend Les Halles in Coral Gables, Fl. It’s the best I’ve had in a restaurant. Herbal, properly cheesy, rich.

  21. Melanie Says:

    If you ever get to Nashville, TN then you need to check out
    Mad Donna’s
    1313 Woodland St
    Nashville, TN 37206

    I had their FOS at a Christmas lunch and I can’t stop remembering how great it was, and it has kicked in my constant requests for FOS at every restuarant we go to now. (It’s not easy to find.)

  22. admin Says:


    I looked on their web page, and FOS does not appear to be on the menu. Could it have been a soup of the day? Or is the menu out of date? Please find out and let us know!


  23. A B C D E F G Says:

    If you ever find yourself in the Charleston, WV area, try the FOS at The Chop House in the downtown Charleston mall. It’s definitely a love-it-or-hate-it kind of FOS. It’s very sweet.

    Yes, someone in West Virginia has heard of French Onion Soup.

    Great blog!

  24. Cara Says:

    Saw your post on… I’m a little surprised that you have no review for Scott’s Bar & Grill, in Edmonds WA! One of my faves. Hopefully you can make it there soon.

    Happy travels!

  25. admin Says:

    Thanks, Cara. I will definitely check it out!

  26. James Says:

    I am part owner of a bar/restaurant and I would like to add FOS to the menu. I am looking for an opinion on what the optimal size (in Oz) for a FOS bowl is. Any input is appreciated. Thanks.

  27. Yoko Morgan Says:

    If you ever get to Orlando, FL check out the FOS at Le Coq Au Vin on S. Orange Ave. It’s a more traditional onion soup made with apple cider and cream. I love it!

  28. Bob L Says:

    Enjoyed your blog immensely and am interested in FOS. However, I have never been able to figure out the best way to eat it. Can you give some techniques that cover the entire bowl from beginning to ene: cheese, toast and broth. Thanks

  29. camelama Says:

    I was just perusing the menus up at Fairmont’s Lake Louise hotel, and so far we’re up to 3 different versions of French Onion Soup (including “Swiss Onion Soup”) and I still haven’t read all the menus. I hope someday to vacation there, but I want you to go first and let me know. :)

  30. TomW Says:

    To make your own french onion soup, use Emeril’s beef stock:

    Use the Cooks Illustrated Onion Soup recipe that can be found here:

    I originally made Onion soup with all beef stock, but making emeril’s recipe is pretty pricey, so doing half & half with boxed chicken stock (I use Kitchen Basics) is a good compromise that doesn’t change the flavor too much. (note the recipe says 2/3 chicken and 1/3 beef - haven’t tried that).

    I top the crocks with toasted baguette and gruyere cheese before putting under the broiler. This recipe is so good, it is hard for me to order FOS at a restaurant any more. I don’t want to be disappointed. Be forewarned, this recipe is very time consuming, but worth it.

  31. Tarah Says:

    I always love a good FOS. Last fall I made a less than stellar (to me) recipe, and while searching for others to try, I came across your blog. At first glance, it seems you have not yet made it to Boston.

    I’ve not had it yet, but I’ve heard the FOS at Petit Robert Bistro is very good. But that’s not my reason for commenting. I saw your Applebee’s post. An attempt to lower your average score. I know of a restaurant in Cambridge that might be able to help you. MC2 American Bistro. Overall, it was a painful meal, FOS included.

  32. JD Says:

    Just got back from Vegas last week. We had the FOS at Mon Ami Gabi and I must agree that it is in the top 3 of my list. Lots of cheese and very tasty broth. The FOS looked like their signature item on the menu, so even though the temperature was 110° I had to try it. I’m very glad I did. Excellent atmosphere with a nice view of the Bellagio fountains.

    As for a recommendation, you have to try the FOS at Wildfire. They are also a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant with various locations in Chicagoland and elsewhere. This is absolutely the best tasting broth served with just the right amount of onions and melted gruyere. They used to serve it with fried onion strings on the side, but they stopped doing that a while ago. Good luck and hope you continue with your reviews.

  33. jan myers Says:

    while vacationing in Smithville NJ tried thefrench onion soup at Fred & Ethels and thought it excellant. Would be intresed in what you think.

  34. Rohn Jay Miller Says:


    From the Grand Cafe at the Monaco Hotel in San Francisco. Impressive texture to the bread and a range of interesting herbs–rosemary, tarragon. The soup came to the table at the perfect moment, piping hot, and the “dip” into the soup through the cheese was fantastic.

    Almost as good as the legendary Balthazaar in NYC:

    Take care–Rohn

  35. admin Says:

    Thanks, Rohn!

  36. kent Says:

    Try Cafe Triskell in Astoria NY. If the FOS is not in your top 10, the crepes will do the job.

  37. TF Says:

    I encourage you to try the F.O.S.D.s (French Onion Soup Dumplings) at Continental in Philadelphia. I recommend ordering with the cheese very crispy! Enjoy!

  38. alice Says:

    My obsession with FOS has recently begun and I have only tried it at a handful of locations. My most recent trip for it was to Cozy’s Soup n Burger in New York, NY. They are famous for their FOS and I figured I would give it a try. It was absolutely divine. I have not stopped thinking about it ever since! I’m curious to know how you would rate it. Please give it a shot next time you’re in New York!

  39. Colleen Says:

    I love your blog! Had I known my husband doesn’t like FOS, I might not have married him. Ah, well. Since getting online in 1995, I’ve been looking for a recipe… I even tried calling the restaurant where I had this soup in 1986. What I’m talking about is the Apple Sweet-Onion Chowder served at Arnie’s on Lake Union. Unforgettable! Despite the ‘chowder’ name, it had a clear broth. Have you, in your FOS travels, ever encountered FOS with apples?

  40. admin Says:


    I don’t believe I have. Are you saying that there are apples in addition to melted cheese? Since you call it FOS, I assume so. But I can’t seem to find the restaurant to which you refer. Are you sure it’s called Arnie’s? And it’s on Lake Union in Seattle?

  41. Rene' Lemmons Says:

    In Beaufort, SC…Emily’s is where you go for great French Onion Soup for us.

  42. Matt Says:


    You have to try the FOS at Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia (1523 Walnut St). It is hands down the best FOS I have ever had, and I have had it at both Balthazar and Artisanal in NYC. I would say Balthazar and Artisanal are about even, but I would give the edge to Balthazar because I think their broth is a bit better. But Le Bec-Fin beats them both.

  43. admin Says:

    Thanks, Matt. That sounds like a must-try! I’ll be in DC late June, so maybe I’ll take the Acela up for a quick soup (and cheesesteak).

  44. Matt Says:

    It’ll be worth the trip. The restaurant is divided into two sections: the main dining room and the downstairs bar (Le Bar Lyonnaise). They serve the FOS in Le Bar Lyonnaise. As soon as you walk in the front door, you go down the stairs to your right and you’ll be in the bar. The restaurant is very expensive, but the prices on the bar menu are reasonable. FOS is $11, but worth it. Here’s the website:

  45. Jackie Perry Says:

    F Street Station in Anchorage, AK has the best FOS!!!!! You must try it :)

  46. Jim Mulvey Says:

    I love FOS. The best I’ve ever tasted was at the sidewalk cafe in Paris, Las Vegas. I may be trying Maestro’s Steak House in Costa Mesa CA this evening.

  47. jim Says:

    I have been trying to find the recipe for Wildfire Restaurants FOS because it is by far the best tasting FOS I have ever had. I have tried so many different places all of the nation and nothing compares. everywhere you go the broth never compares and therefore i have been quite discouraged in trying FOS anywhere but Wildfire, in Chicago and I believe they are located in other large cities, a lettuce entertaining you place, as JD said. Anyway, if any of you foodies can get your hands on that recipe it would be quite the gem to anyone who puts a comment on this page. take care to all and keep the search alive.

  48. joan Says:

    It’s an old standby - the 94th aero squadron “kinda” chain. I think the closest to your Florida home would be the one across the road from Miami International Airport, but there’s one at the Executive airport in Chicago and I think one or two other locations if memory serves. The Argentine steak with chimmichurri and the headsets to listen to the tower during your meal are well worth the price of admission!

  49. Karen Says:

    Excellent FOS at Vienna Cafe and Bistro, Cooper City FL. Fun place with wonderful service.

  50. Sandy Says:

    I agree with Jim. Wildfire has the BEST FOS I can ever remember having. Has anyone been able to find the recipe? I would love to have it.

  51. Paul S Says:

    Try Chefs de France in Epcot in Walt Disney World, Orlando.

    Soupe a l’oignon Gratinee - the classic onion soup topped with Gruyere cheese $6.50

    Wife is a FOS nut and loved the Gruyere. Very cheesy, great broth.

  52. Laurel Says:

    My favorite FOS is from the Medalion Restaurant in Arlington, Wa. Best ever!!! I also like the FOS at the Trumpeter Public House in Mount Vernon, Wa. I seem to have a craving for it on Sundays, when both of these restaurants are closed!

  53. Grant Says:

    Thank You for your site. Found when searching for recipies to make myself. Presentation!!! I believe the place was called One East Market in Taylorville Illinois. This was about 8 - 9 years ago. The chef served FOS in Onion Bowls. Great Big Onions with the center cut out and that was the soup bowl for French Onion Soup. WOW! The soup was great and the presentation was off the charts!

  54. Ted Burris Says:

    I have been following your page for sometime ever since I heard of it when you responded to a featured article in The Seattle Times Food section by Nancy Leson about FOS. I have 2 inputs today:

    1. Recently Costco has started to carry FOS in the frozen food section. Any good? Worthy of a review [I don’t work for Costco].

    2. I recently saw on America’s Test Kitchen was a FOS done in a Slow Cooker. I was amazed that the ingredients included Apple butter and soy sauce! Really? I cooked it and I’m amazed at how good it turned out. I posted on my Facebook page under Ted Burris if you want to pickup quick links.

    Keep up the good work. I am going to Napa Valley soon and have look forward to having a cup of goodness at Bouchon in Yountville.

  55. admin Says:

    Thanks for the comment, Ted.

    I figured that the Costco one is the same as the Trader Joe’s one. They look exactly the same. Do you think they’re different?

    The apple butter and soy sauce is interesting. I will forward to the wife and see if she wants to try it.

    Let me know how Bouchon goes!

  56. Laura Says:

    Even though it’s a chain restaurant I highly recommend the Capital Grille. I’ve only had the cups because the crocks are Huge. Some day when I’m very hungry I’ll attempt a crock. I had my wedding reception at this place because of the soup!

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