Where to get a dose of delicious Parisian authenticity right in NYC.
Arguably the best food city in the world, Paris is a dynamic epicurean destination where cuisine is elevated to an art form and dining is a sacred ritual. But if jet-setting to Gay Paree for a croque monsieur isn’t on your agenda anytime soon, never fear. Here are 11 fantastic French eateries—from restaurants to cafés to pâtisseries—to get your ooh la la fix without needing your passport.
Boucherie brings a joie de vivre vibe to the West Village. The spacious bistro boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and a cozy upstairs mezzanine (complete with wood-burning fireplace) that overlooks the lively main dining room. Meaning “craft of the butcher” in French, Boucherie has a strong focus on quality meats and features an open butcher bar where guests can see their meal being prepared. Executive chef Jerome Dihui’s timeless French fare includes dry-aged steak frites aux poivres, coq au vin, and boeuf bourguignon, while the absinthe-inspired bar offers refreshing signature drinks and classic cocktails.
The French take their bread seriously, and this Brooklyn bakery uses a tried-and-true method of small-batch mixing to ensure their products have the same level of attention and care as the best bakeries in Paris. Walk down Smith Street and you’ll be hit by the aromas of freshly-made, artisan French breads like sourdough miche and baguette along with pastries, dessert tarts, and sandwiches. The recently opened outpost in Grand Central Market offers all the signature items, plus a decadent new treat: croissant bread pudding. Oui!
Keith McNally’s French mainstay in SoHo is one of New York City’s most iconic restaurants. April marked Balthazar’s 20th anniversary, but this lively French brasserie feels as fresh as ever—and continues to transport diners to Paris with its bustling atmosphere and authentic cuisine. Open early morning until late night, Balthazar offers a quintessentially French menu featuring a raw bar, freshly-baked breads and pastries, and bistro fare like escargots, steak tartare, and côte de boeuf. Beverage offerings include an all-French wine list and classic cocktails like the French Martini and French 75. Santé!
Dominique Ansel Bakery
James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel’s flagship bakery in SoHo serves both savory and sweet items, but is most known for Dominique’s whimsical, signature creations including the DKA (Dominique’s Kouign Amann), Frozen S’mores, Cookie Shot, and the Cronut®: an ingenious croissant-doughnut hybrid that gained worldwide acclaim. You can also find beautifully executed French desserts, and most likely lines down the block.
Le Coq Rico
Bird is the word at Le Coq Rico. Meaning “The Bistro of Beautiful Birds,” Le Coq Rico is an elegant, poultry-focused bistro located in the heart of Flatiron. World-renowned French chef Antoine Westermann is passionate about using only the finest quality heritage birds raised responsibly on notable family farms. His focused menu features a variety of whole roasted birds (including heritage breed chicken, turkey, duck, squab, and guinea fowl), along with housemade rillettes and terrines, elevated egg dishes, and brilliantly executed seasonal specialties.
The French Cheese Board
Far from your typical corner shop, The French Cheese Board celebrates French cheese in all its glory. This groundbreaking boutique in Nolita is dedicated to exploring all aspects of French cheese culture: guests can sample a curated selection of exquisite fromages and pick up gourmet goodies to create the ultimate cheese board at home, as well as participate in enlightening cheese-centered experiences, interactive cooking lessons, and wine pairing events.
Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery
Situated at the corner of Lafayette Street and Great Jones Street, Lafayette is a market-driven bistro, café, and bakery that pays homage to regional-style French cooking. Celebrated NYC chef-restaurateur Andrew Carmellini helms the kitchen, offering unique signature items and remastered traditional dishes like housemade spaghetti niçoise, rotisserie chicken, and dry-aged steak frites. Beverages include a selection of Champagne, French apéritifs, craft beers, and a notable wine list organized by grape and provenance. NoHo’s buzzy, full-service brasserie is open morning, noon, and night, and the bakery counter stays open late for all your post-dinner sweet cravings.
Opened by famed Parisian chef Daniel Rose and restaurateur Stephen Starr in June 2016, Le Coucou was named 2017’s Best New Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation. The elegant SoHo eatery showcases a menu of simple yet refined French fare using some of the most exclusive ingredients available. Popular dishes include oysters warmed with seaweed butter, duck with cherries and black olives, and Tout le lapin (all of the rabbit). If you’re a French food lover, you’d be (you guessed it!) Coucou to not try to score a res here.
First established a luxury tea room in Paris in1862, this upscale pâtisserie has two busy locations in New York City: a small sweets shop on the Upper East Side and a full-service restaurant, tea salon, and bakery with an outdoor garden in SoHo. Ladurée is most famous for its colorful French macarons, which are shipped weekly from Paris and offered in dozens of flavors like pistachio, rose, chocolate, and orange blossom. And don’t skip the buttery, flaky croissants—some of the best around.
When it comes to superior seafood and an all-around exquisite experience, Le Bernardin truly is le best of le best. After becoming an instant success in Paris in 1972, Le Bernardin debuted in midtown in 1986. Helmed by highly-acclaimed chef and co-owner Eric Ripert, this elite seafood mecca is regarded as one of the best restaurants in the world, and holds several prestigious records in New York. While the 8-course chef’s tasting menu may be a splurge, it’s one of the most remarkable dining experiences offered in town. And the French-focused wine list—curated by master sommelier Aldo Sohm—is equally exceptional.
Located inside Brookfield Place, Le District is a French shopping district and restaurant destination bringing an authentic Parisian experience to downtown Manhattan. The massive culinary hall is comprised of four distinct districts—offering freshly made crepes and pastries, a dedicated French fry counter, grab-n-go food stations, a wine bar, a curated retail area with groceries and fresh produce, multiple eateries, and interactive wine and cheese classes from in-house experts. There’s also L’Appart, a hidden Michelin-starred fine dining experience led by chef Nicolas Abello. Basically, this place has everything imaginable to satisfy all your French food and drink cravings.