Best French Restaurants in New York


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Perhaps it is the irreverence of the French je ne sais quoi, the ease, simplicity and technical precision of French cuisine or the abundance of decadent butter – without the guilt of counting calories – in everything. is French, but we Americans don’t seem to understand enough. We’ll admit we’re Francophiles, and Bastille Day is enough excuse to celebrate the culture we perhaps love more than our own with some of the best food on the market. New York City is home to some of the world’s best French restaurants outside of Paris, and we’ll take classic and innovative French flavors to the United States to celebrate. Here, our favorite French restaurants in New York, in honor of France’s Independence Day.

The ultimate: Bernadin

Chef Eric Ripert serves delicate but punchy seafood dishes here in a sophisticated setting that is as upscale as Manhattan, with the exception of other namesake French institutions in the city like Daniel by Chef Daniel Bouloud. , Jean Georges and David Bouley’s Bouley. Delicious for lunch and dinner, prix fixe menus range from caviar, snapper and tuna to langoustine, albacore tuna, Kobe beef and skate. Head here if you are looking for primitive, correct and perfectly executed dishes with as much pomp and circumstance as Ripert’s training and thoughtful innovation deserves. This hotspot isn’t rustic or understated by any means, but it might be the best plate of food to put on a table in all of New York City.

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The Sweet & Chic: Claudette

It’s the kind of chic but easy dining room where it is good to put your elbows on the table from time to time, and where you can relax and share a bottle of very good wine with friends, without taking a head. Carefully curated decor joins an equally exciting menu at this Provencal restaurant, where the Tunisian upbringing of chef Ari Bokovza also takes center stage. Expect dishes that combine southern French cuisine with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors, like a lamb tagine and squid dish topped with homemade harissa and served with sweet potato falafels, as well as classic options like a bouillabaisse, a selection of cheeses and fresh salads that call from Provencal farmhouse to table cuisine.

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L’Affaire Rustique: Buvette

New Yorkers know the best places to eat are the places where chefs choose to dine when they’re not cooking, and this sweet, rustic place is home to some of the city’s best cooks and critics. Chef Jody Williams knows how to create a downtown hotspot effortlessly more than any other chef in the business, without the frills and hassle of fine dining. Williams is not a question of exclusivity, quite the contrary. Its restaurants are welcoming, warm and serve delicious rustic little plates that are best shared with good friends and accompanied by a great wine (which its cellar pours by the glass, in a carafe or in a bottle). Its Italian restaurants, I Sodi and Via Carota are to die for, but its French hub, Buvette, is one we can’t get enough of. Visit for any meal – it’s almost hard to choose the service that serves the best options here – and prepare to queue; Buvette does not take reservations but is worth the wait. Williams describes this place as “part restaurant, part bar, part cafe” on the restaurant’s website, and his self-awareness is perfect. Grab an espresso or a glass of wine from the small bar, then stick around for a meal, whatever time of day.

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The hot spot: Le Coucou

Ask any New Yorker in the know which restaurant they would kill for a reservation right now; chances are, 9 times out of 10 you will hear the same answer – The Cuckoo. Daniel Rose, who honed his skills for innovative French cuisine with a whimsical twist at Spring restaurant next to the Louvre in Paris, is the star of the kitchen here – sending light dishes with savory punches that, despite their innovation, don’t do not feel in the least fashionable. After a stimulating dinner in their perfectly designed dining room paired with an even more beautifully decorated bar, make your way to 11 Howard, Le Coucou hotel is home, for a nightcap at the hotel bar, The Blond .

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The best chicken in the world: Le Coq Rico

Stop everything. Really, it doesn’t matter what you do compared to the super chewy, extra-delicious chicken you have to enjoy at Coq Rico. Chicken, we’ll admit, isn’t the first thing we order on any menu. The trite, basic phrase “tastes chicken” is downright enough to keep us from ordering it over more exciting seafood, meat, or vegetarian options. But this is no ordinary chicken. This chicken is magic. Parisian import, Le Coq Rico is now based in Manhattan for those looking for the best bird; we’re not exaggerating when we say barbecue doesn’t hold a candle at this fancy dining venue. If you’re dining with friends, order the dishes meant to be shared and be sure to research their seasonal offerings – they’re as fresh as they get.

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The new but nostalgic: Vaucluse

The Upper East Side is a hub for classics – and it needed Vaucluse after years of the same French haute cuisine dominating the classic upscale dining scene. This restaurant adjacent to Chef Michael White’s Metropolitan Museum draws its skills and know-how from the management of Italian institution Marea, and translates them into a classic French gastronomic concept with offerings that match this bill. Expect traditional platters like snails, terrines, duck à l’orange, pâté, tartare, and a large serving of their Italian staples like homemade pasta infused with rich French flavors.

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