10 of the best French restaurants in London


As the French chef Auguste Escoffier once said: “Good food is the foundation of true happiness”.

First largely inspired by Italian cuisine, French cuisine has since become one of the best known and respected in the world, especially in terms of gastronomy. Although Paris is often considered the restaurant capital of the world, London is home to a large number of remarkable French restaurants, run by chefs from all nations. In connection with Bastille Day (14e July), we’ve compiled a roundup of the best French restaurants in London. Enjoy your lunch!

Bistro Petit Pois

A small 25-seat space in Hoxton, Petit Pois Bistro comes from the team behind the Happiness Forgets (under the restaurant) and Original Sin cocktail bars. In keeping with the rustic exposed brick walls, French pendant lights, and Provencal-style dining chairs, Petit Pois serves unassuming bistro cuisine that is quintessentially French. Classics such as “Steak Frites”, Bouillabaisse, duck confit and Pissaladière (a kind of Provencal onion tart) are reasonably priced and go well with the informal setting – not to mention this chocolate mousse, which has received so many rave reviews since the restaurant opened last year.

The Petit Pois bistro is located at 9 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6NU.

Galvin La Chapelle

Since its opening in 2009, Galvin La Chapelle – the third restaurant of brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin – has become a London institution of fine dining. Just behind Spitalfields Market, the grade II listed location of the Michelin starred restaurant is stunning. Originally used as Bishopgate Parish, the building’s high beamed ceilings are perfectly paired with classic fine dining amenities such as snow-white table linens and polished crockery. At the time of writing, the ever-changing a la carte menu features Galvin La Chapelle’s signature dish – Dorset crab lasagna, Nantes butter and pea shoots, as well as a mix of dishes with various international influences. . The Bresse pigeon tagine, for example, is served in a tagine with couscous, candied lemon and harissa; or Goosnargh duck breast and bundle with orange flavored with ‘Tokyo turnip’ and daikon puree with caramelized orange. Alongside the gourmet a la carte and decadent menu, a Chef’s menu is offered for lunch and dinner (between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.) with three courses for £ 38 (two courses £ 34).

Galvin La Chapelle is located at 35 Spital Square, London, E1 6DY.

Le Gavroche - the best French restaurants in London

The newsboy

Although expensive, the dining experience at Gavroche is absolutely amazing. Celebrating the “golden age” of French gastronomy, the staircase leading to the restaurant’s dining room looks like a time machine. Opened there in 1981, it’s unlikely that much of the decor has changed since. Some dishes have even remained constantly on the menu since the restaurant opened 50 years ago. Swiss soufflé is perhaps the most unsanitary dish available in London, while contemporary dishes may include clear duck broth with turnip flan and smoked duck; or lobster with lemongrass and its lobster juice with coconut. The cuisine of Chef Patron Michel Roux Jr. is simply sublime: refined, accomplished and shamelessly decadent. Unlike so many celebrity chefs, the chef is also highly likely to be on hand, visiting diners at the end of the service to make the overall experience more personal. Additionally, the Business Lunch menu (four course, half a bottle of wine and mineral water) at £ 67 per person offers some of the best value in town considering the food, the experience and references of the emblematic restaurant.

Le Gavroche is located 43 Upper Brook Street, London, W1K 7QR.

Best French restaurants in London

The Lady of Pic

The first British restaurant by three-star chef Anne-Sophie Pic, La Dame de Pic opened at the start of the year. At the chic new Four Seasons hotel near Tower Bridge, this temple of upscale French gastronomy has become famous throughout the city, in part thanks to a plethora of Instagram-worthy dishes (notably the white millefeuille dessert). The chef’s dishes here are largely contemporary, executed with a lot of classic French technique, but with a few experimental ingredients that draw inspiration from East Asian influences. The Berlingots starter, for example, garnishes nori-colored pasta with a lightly smoked pélardon, garnished with wild mushrooms and a mousse of tonka bean and Voatsiperifery pepper. Instead of being extremely pretentious, the dish is a taste sensation – a staple. Dining at La Dame de Pic comes at a price (the tasting menu, alone, costs £ 105), but the level of culinary expertise, service and quality of the ingredients all help provide a strong sense of the occasion.

La Dame de Pic is located at the Four Seasons Hotel, 10 Trinity Square, London, EC3N 4AJ.

Blanchette Soho

With two restaurants now operating in London, Blanchette’s original branch is one of the few small restaurants in Soho to accept reservations. Created by three brothers in late 2013, the interior of the restaurant, like the Petit Pois Bistro, is both rustic and chic – adorned with bare brick walls, mismatched dining chairs, and all manner of kitchen ephemera. French. On the menu, “French Tapas” dishes include fatty duck rillettes; crispy frog legs with boudran wood sauce; warm Nicoise cod with Brandade aioli; and fine tart with cherry tomatoes with morbier, capers and basil. An impressive selection of cheeses is also available, with a reasonable lunch and pre-theater menu (two course £ 15 / three course £ 19.50).

Blanchette Soho is located at 9 D’Arblay Street, London, W1F 8DR.

Club Gascon Tart with porcini mushrooms, wild mushrooms and parsley oil - the best French restaurants in London
Club Gascon porcini pie, wild mushroom oil and parsley

Gascon Club

First opened in 1998, the Michelin-starred Gascon Club occupies the former Grade II listed Lyon’s Corner House, near Smithfield Market. Reopened late last year, after a complete makeover, the space was catapulted into the 21st Century: spacious, modern and colorful. As for the cuisine, the cuisine of Chef Pascal Aussignac is resolutely classic, but never dated; with the restaurant’s à la carte menu that reads like a love letter to the southwest of France. Combining classic ingredients with expert technique and impeccable attention to detail, dishes typically emphasize duck and foie gras, each presented alongside lighter, veg-centric dishes and an extensive selection. of cheeses to finish.

The Gascon Club is located at 57 W Smithfield, London, EC1A 9DS.

Comptoir Gascon Cassoulet Toulousain - best French restaurants in London
The Toulousain Cassoulet from Comptoir Gascon

Gascon counter

While Club Gascon has a strong gastronomic orientation, the neighboring restaurant Comptoir Gascon (across from Smithfield Market) began life as a humble French delicatessen. The stripped down space has since been transformed into a proper restaurant, defending more accessible French country cuisine. The basic Gallic dishes are well prepared, with flagship dishes on the menu, including classics such as Toulouse cassoulet with duck, sausages and Tarbais beans; duck confit; or crème brûlée.

The Comptoir Gascon is located at 63 Charterhouse Street, London, EC1M 6HJ.

Alain Ducasse at Dorchester's Fillet of turbot, sea urchin and celeriac |  Photo: P Monetta - London's best French restaurants
Alain Ducasse at Dorchester’s Fillet of turbot, sea urchin and celeriac | Photo: P Monetta

Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester

If one relies on the Michelin Guide, Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester is technically one of the best restaurants in the world – one of only three London restaurants to hold the highest distinction of three Michelin stars. Opened in one of the most prestigious hotels in the city, the flagship restaurant of the French chef in the United Kingdom has remained a temple of extravagant gastronomy since 2007. In the kitchen, the brigade of more than 20 chefs is currently managed by executive chef Jean-Philippe Blondet, with the seven-course tasting menu with dishes such as duck foie gras confit with cherry and basil; or “gourmet sauté” of lobster with truffled chicken dumplings.

Alain Ducasse of the Dorchester can be found at 53 Park Lane, London, W1K 1QA.

Otto's Duck - the best French restaurants in London

Otto

Named after its owner Otto Tepasse, Otto’s offers one of the most traditional and deliciously experiential dining in London. French classics such as Burgundy snails or black pudding adorn the menu, but the antique duck press is the main draw. A specialty of the Parisian restaurant Tour d’Argent since the 1800s, Otto’s is the only restaurant in London to serve pressed duck, using whole poultry to prepare three dishes of unparalleled decadence. The duck livers are sautéed in red wine and served with brioche, then the briefly roasted duck is deprived of its thighs and duck breasts at the table. The carcass is ceremoniously crushed to extract blood, bone marrow and offal. This is then finished with butter, brandy, port, Madeira wine and lemon to make an incredibly rich sauce to accompany the sliced ​​breasts, followed by candied thighs drizzled with a tangy orange sauce.

Otto’s is located at 182 Grays Inn Road, London, WC1X 8EW.

The Ninth: Photo: Charlie McKay - London's best French restaurants
Photo: Charlie McKay

The nineth

Opened in late 2015, The Ninth quickly received a Michelin star, with Chef Jun Tanaka’s menu championing robust French dishes executed with a fresh Mediterranean twist. Among a cornucopia of Charlotte Street restaurants, the casual 90-seat space serves an accomplished menu that can include tastes of crispy rabbit with sweetbreads and broad beans; lamb in a zucchini crust, bean and mint salad; or pan-fried gnocchi with porcini mushrooms and chanterelles. In time for summer, Jun Tanaka also launched a new bar and terrace menu, with dishes including lightly grilled Sicilian shrimp with Shio koji; Decadent pig’s trotters with gribiche sauce and a superlative Scottish egg with duck and foie gras.

The Ninth is located at 22 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 2NB.

10 of the best French restaurants in London was updated on Wednesday July 11, 2018.

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