Being an international metropolis, it is definitely fitting that New York City would have a huge variety of ethnic food choices. And when it comes to French restaurants, the choices are plentiful, but a few are the cream of the crop. Here are some of the best options you will find in the Big Apple, or anywhere.
The consensus with both locals and tourists is that Le Coucou serves its three meals per day in delectable style. At dinner, choices range from grilled chop with onions and mint braised with chard to lighter fare like Dover sole with grapes and champignons. Classic salads, crepes and desserts (think cheeses and chocolate mousse) round out the plentiful options. As far as atmosphere, it’s both classic and modern, inviting and chic. Dramatic lighting and tall windows offer sweeping details while white tablecloths and candles let you know you’re definitely in a classic French restaurant.
Nearby attractions: It’s not far from Columbus Park and Museum of Chinese in America.
• 138 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10013
Located in the historic West Village neighborhood, Buvette has quickly made a name for itself since opening in 2011. Food is as beautiful as it is scrumptious, and the restaurant makes sure to maintain relationships with local farms from which it sources the freshest ingredients. Those ingredients go into creative dishes that range from chilled leg of lamb with ratatouille to salt cod with olive oil and garlic. The location is open from early in the morning through dinner, and the bistro atmosphere is inviting and charming with wood chairs and rustic brick walls.
Nearby attractions: The Washington Irving House and Lucille Lortel Theatre are just around the corner.
• 42 Grove St, New York, NY 10014
An array of options await at Vancluse, where traditional French dishes with a modern twist are served amidst spacious dining areas featuring crisp white tablecloths and chic settings. Choices to try include roasted organic chicken with Parisian gnocchi, black trumpets, savoy cabbage and sage and herb-crusted halibut with spring peas, mint and buttermilk broth. Breads baked in house daily and an extensive wine selection perfectly pair with the delicious menu choices.
Nearby attractions: Take a stroll along Park Avenue right outside the posh restaurant, and peruse the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art just around the corner.
• 100 E 63rd St, New York, NY 10065
“Bistro Francais Moderne” translated to “modern French bistro” is a tagline for La Sirene, located in SoHo and serving unbelievably good food in a cozy setting featuring bistro-style chairs and wood walls adorned with lovely art. Dinner entrees include duck confit, slab bacon and pork sausage braised with duck fat, white stock and foie gras jus, fresh market fish, and roasted Cornish hen stuffed with garlic, herbs, extra virgin olive oil, bacon bits, onion, bread with mushroom au jus. The desserts are just as creative and mouth-watering.
Nearby attractions: The New York City Fire Museum and Children’s Museum of the Arts are a short walk away.
• 558 Broome St, New York, NY 10013
Le Coq Rico
Renowned French chef Antoine Westermann specializes in innovative poultry dishes such as seared duck foie and whole Brune Landaise chicken baked in traditional Alsatian earthenware with artichokes, dried tomatoes, lemon confit and Riesling jus. Salad and egg appetizers round out the varied and extensive dinner menu. Brunch and lunch are also served. Everything is served in a sleek setting that is slightly minimalist in style yet still very French-feeling.
Nearby attractions: Several parks are just a hop and skip away: Madison Square Park, Gramercy Park, and Union Square Park. Gramercy Theatre is also nearby.
• 30 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003
Feel like you’ve been transported far from New York when you enter Claudette, which is like a warm and inviting cottage complete with wood floors and wicker-backed chairs. Located in Greenwich Village, the charming spot serves various authentic entrees such as house-made pappardelle with braised porgy, spicy tomato, and lemon breadcrumbs. Crispy-skin Aurora salmon with harissa soubise, charred cauliflower and pomegranate is excellent for seafood lovers. Satisfying desserts range from fresh fruit-based choices to richer options.
Nearby attractions: Washington Square Park, Union Square Park and Irving Plaza are an easy walk away.
• 24 5th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Considered one of the best seafood restaurants in the world, Le Bernardin has earned acclaim and awards from many sources. Serving much more than seafood, the spot features lightly seared tuna, Daikon-basmati “salad” with warm wasabi-citrus vinaigrette and steamed black bass with baby bok choy and bitter orange-lemongrass-infused bouillon. All of this and much more is offered in an upscale, refined setting with sleek decor.
Nearby attractions: The restaurant’s location could not be better; it is situated near Rockefeller Center, Carnegie Hall and Trump Tower.
• 155 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019
Don’t take our word for it. Try out one or all of these French restaurants as you explore all the city has to offer. Be transported all the way to France and its distinctive style. Keep in mind that some of these spots require reservations, so call ahead to find out. Bon appetit!