The Best French Restaurants in NYC: Top Picks

Best French Restaurants in NYC featured image

New York City is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines. Amidst the bustling streets and towering skyscrapers lies a treasure trove of French cuisine that transports diners straight to the heart of Paris, Lyon, or Bordeaux without ever having to leave the Big Apple.

From the intimate bistros with their cozy ambiance to the grand brasseries that echo the splendor of French dining, NYC is home to an array of restaurants that promise an authentic French gastronomic adventure. In this article, we explore the crème de la crème of French eateries in New York City.

Whether you're a connoisseur of the sophisticated flavors of French cuisine or simply a lover of good food looking to experience the artistry and passion infused in every dish, join us as we navigate through the best French restaurants NYC has to offer, each with its own unique charm and culinary delights that speak volumes of France's rich gastronomic heritage.

What are the best French Restaurants in NYC

La Grande Boucherie

La Grande Boucherie

Photo credit: La Grande Boucherie

La Grande Boucherie in New York City is a standout French restaurant located in Midtown Manhattan, offering an authentic taste of France in the heart of NYC.

With its Art Nouveau inspired decor, the restaurant brings a slice of Parisian elegance to New York, making it an ideal spot for various occasions, from romantic dinners to family outings or business meetings.

The restaurant spans nearly half a block and can accommodate nearly 600 people at full capacity. It features a stunning interior that embodies Belle Époque Paris, complete with plush banquettes, ornamental designs, and a 150-year-old glass ceiling imported from France.

An outdoor covered passageway with heated floors offers a plaza-like atmosphere for around 170 guests, even under COVID restrictions.

The menu at La Grande Boucherie boasts a variety of French classics, from escargots bathed in a delicious mix of butter, parsley, lemon, shallot, and garlic, to a sumptuous foie gras au torchon.

The côte de boeuf for two, a 48oz tomahawk ribeye served with roasted bone marrow, is particularly noteworthy for meat lovers. The restaurant also caters to vegetarians with dishes like asperges blanches (white asparagus) and a goat cheese salad.

For drinks, patrons can choose from an extensive selection of wines and cocktails, such as an old-fashioned made with Wild Turkey Bourbon and Espolon Anejo tequila.

Despite its luxurious offerings, it's worth noting that La Grande Boucherie is on the pricier side, but for those who can afford it, it promises an exceptional dining experience with lots of French classics on the menu

Le Rock

Le Rock

Photo credit: Le Rock

Le Rock, an upscale French brasserie located in Rockefeller Center, stands out as a prime dining destination in Midtown Manhattan, brought to you by the esteemed chefs Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson, the same team behind the acclaimed Frenchette in Tribeca.

The restaurant has quickly garnered attention for its grandiose brasserie vibe, attracting a mix of locals and visitors alike with its ambitious menu featuring a variety of steaks, including steak au poivre, steak haché, and a steak for two, alongside more adventurous offerings like consommé with foie gras dumplings and comte-stuffed sausages.

The interior design reflects a grand Midtown Art Deco space, offering an energetic and sceney atmosphere that makes every dining experience feel special.

With a menu that boasts flawlessly executed dishes, diners can expect everything from raw bar items to French classics like escargots and unique preparations of tripe.

Meat dishes are a particular highlight, with offerings such as a tender bison au poivre and a richly flavorful steak haché that sets a new standard for what to expect from a fancy burger patty.

Despite its relatively recent opening, Le Rock has already been recognized for its high-quality dishes that rival those of Frenchette and stand out among competitors.

The space is beautifully lit and airy, maintaining a balance between elegance and accessibility. The dining experience is further enhanced by an extensive drinks menu, featuring house and classic cocktails along with a vast selection of natural wines.

For those looking for an exceptional dining experience in Midtown, Le Rock presents an opportunity to enjoy top-tier French cuisine in a setting that blends traditional elegance with a modern edge.

Whether you're in the mood for meticulously prepared meats, inventive appetizers, or indulgent desserts, Le Rock promises an unforgettable culinary journey right in the heart of New York City.

  • Website: Le Rock
  • Address: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111, United States

Le Gratin

Le Gratin

Photo credit: Le Gratin

Le Gratin, situated in the Beekman Hotel in New York City's Financial District, is a French restaurant by the renowned chef Daniel Boulud, drawing inspiration from the bistros of Lyon, his hometown.

The restaurant has received high praise for its execution of French classics and Lyonnaise specialties, offering an authentic taste of Lyon with dishes that feel personal and thoughtfully curated by Boulud himself.

Le Gratin's ambience pairs the Parisian bistro feel with a bit of New York flair, making it an excellent spot for various occasions, from romantic dinners to celebratory events.

Highlighted dishes include the escargots et pied de cochon croustillants, which innovatively pairs fried snails with pig trotter croquettes, and the salade Lyonnaise, noted for its perfect combination of crispy pork belly, chicken livers, and a runny egg.

Another standout is the vichyssoise de cresson, a cold watercress velouté that's especially recommended for warmer seasons.

The gratin dauphinois, named after Boulud’s mother's recipe, is a must-try, showcasing rich, creamy, and cheesy potatoes in a generously sized portion. It embodies the restaurant's name and essence, making it an essential order.

Time Out describes Le Gratin as an exceptional restaurant with a menu that shines a spotlight on Lyon's influence, especially through dishes like the quenelle de brochet au gratin.

The setting is deemed effortlessly romantic, particularly during dinner hours, and the cuisine is celebrated for its excellence, making it a standout among New York's French dining scene.

  • Website: Le Gratin
  • Address: 5 Beekman St, New York, NY 10038, United States



Photo credit: Buvette

Buvette in the West Village is a tiny yet charming French bistro known for its vintage decor and cozy atmosphere. It's perfect for breakfast or an intimate date night, offering a variety of small plates such as merguez sausage, coq au vin, and lobster l’Americaine.

The steamed eggs are a highlight, especially for breakfast. Despite its cramped space, Buvette's food is so delightful it'll make you forget about the lack of elbow room.

  • Website: Buvette
  • Address: At the corner of Bleecker, 42 Grove St, New York, NY 10014, United States

Le Crocodile

Le Crocodile

Photo credit: Le Crocodile

Le Crocodile, located in Williamsburg's Wythe Hotel, offers French cuisine in a space reminiscent of a grand Parisian brasserie. Its menu, nearly 40-items long, features standout dishes like the roasted chicken with herb jus and fries, which alone could constitute a very good and extremely filling meal.

The escargots with fennel in a tangy butter sauce and the skate frite au poivre are also notable mentions. The atmosphere combines the elegance of high ceilings and arched windows with the comfort of a casual dinner party

  • Website: Le Crocodile
  • Address: 80 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249, United States



Photo credit: Eater NY

Frenchette in Tribeca is renowned for its rich and decadent French cuisine, offering unique takes on traditional dishes. The menu is dynamic, changing regularly to showcase fresh, inventive preparations.

Highlights include duck frites and razor clams, with each dish encouraging diners to explore the extensive, all-natural wine list.

The ambiance combines warm, familiar decor with the lively energy typical of NYC dining. It's an ideal spot for special occasions, impressing visitors with its culinary prowess and charming atmosphere

  • Website: Frenchette
  • Address: 241 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013, United States



Photo credit: Jean-Georges

Jean-Georges  in New York has earned two Michelin stars for its exceptional cooking and offers a contemporary French dining experience.

The restaurant is celebrated for its meticulous attention to detail, superior French cuisine, and sophisticated dishes that blend classic techniques with contemporary accents. It's located at 1 Central Park West, offering a sumptuous setting with discreet aura.

  • Website: Jean-Georges 
  • Address: 1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023, United States


Amelie wine bar

Photo credit: Amelie 

Amelie is a cozy French wine bar located near Washington Square Park, offering a more laid-back atmosphere compared to similar establishments. It's an excellent choice for Happy Hour, where you can explore half glasses of various wines for $12.

The venue features a long bar and high-top seating, where friendly French servers provide curated wine flights and small plates like mussels and tartare. It's a great spot for early dates or a casual dining experience

  • Website: Amelie
  • Address: 566 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024, United States


New York City's French dining scene is a rich tapestry of culinary excellence, blending the traditional with the innovative. From the grandeur of La Grande Boucherie to the intimate charm of Buvette, each restaurant offers a unique gateway to France's gastronomic delights.

Whether you're seeking the sophisticated ambiance of Jean-Georges, the modern twists of Frenchette, the laid-back vibe of Amelie, or the historic elegance of Le Bernardin, NYC caters to every palate.

These establishments not only highlight the versatility of French cuisine but also its timeless appeal, making each dining experience unforgettable.

Hermillis H.
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