Toxoplasma gondii commonly infects humans and while most infections are controlled by the immune response, currently approved drugs are not capable of clearing chronic infection in humans. Hence, approximately one third of the world’s human population is at risk of reactivation, potentially leading to severe sequelae. To identify new candidates for treating chronic infection, we investigated a series of compounds derived from diversity-oriented synthesis. Bicyclic azetidines are potent low nanomolar inhibitors of phenylalanine tRNA synthetase (PheRS) in T. gondii, with excellent selectivity. Biochemical and genetic studies validate PheRS as the primary target of bicyclic azetidines in T. gondii, providing a structural basis for rational design of improved analogs. Favorable pharmacokinetic properties of a lead compound provide excellent protection from acute infection and partial protection from chronic infection in an immunocompromised mouse model of toxoplasmosis. Collectively, PheRS inhibitors of the bicyclic azetidine series offer promise for treatment of chronic toxoplasmosis.