The best French restaurants in London | Food | To taste

ood truism number 476: unless you are absolutely compelled to do so by geographic distance, French cuisine does not really do “fusion” and is generally a bit shy when it comes to “modern”. What France still really excels at is reminding us of why it reached its culinary peak around 1910 – and has no desire to give up that era anytime soon.

Here are the best traditional French restaurants in London. Expect organic, herbal, keto and paleo wine havens that are more Gallic than Serge Gainsbourg seducing Simone de Beauvoir in a bouillabaisse pool while wearing a kepi hat and whistling the whistle. Marseillaise.

Zedel Brewery, Soho

Five-star dining at youth hostel prices, that’s what Brasserie Zedel excels at. You simply won’t find a better way to spend £ 12 all over London than for its prix fixe two-course meal which, at the time of writing, will give you a minced steak with pepper sauce and fries followed by a Manjari chocolate. Tart. You could spend more money in Nando’s without blinking your eyes and you wouldn’t even have the joy of dining at Zedel’s expansive underground Art Deco tribute that genuinely succeeds in bringing that elusive turn-of-the-century bohemian vibe of atavistic Paris into the West End.


Casse Croûte, Bermondsey

Just as Camus and Gide’s best French novels are particularly brief, the menu for this rustic slice of provincial France is admirably short. Scribbled on a chalkboard every day, the adjoining red and white checkered tablecloths, curved rattan chairs and vintage liquor signs from Casse Croûte may seem cliché, but here, one way or another, it works. . A rich and glorious coq au vin, glasses of sparkling crémant and a deli slicer that’s not just there to show it all make this a Gallic haven buried deep in Bermondsey Street.


Picnic, Bermondsey

Pique-Nique is Casse Croûte’s glamorous older sister restaurant; they are located a few steps of a crescent from each other. The fair on the menu is full of unbridled Gallic culinary thirst for blood; pie, sweetbread, prime rib and, occasionally, whole lamb shoulder for two with eggplant caviar, green beans and jus. There are ceramic roosters above the large marble top bar for a truly frenzied touch of provocative French and, somehow, although the building is a faux Tudor oddity next to it. a depressing playground, the atmosphere is permanently that of a sun drenched afternoon in Toulouse. Magnificent.


Le Gavroche, Mayfair

You don’t go to a Gordon Ramsay restaurant and you really expect old McSweary himself to sweat in the kitchen, right? Again Michel Roux Jr., arguably Ramsay’s superior in nearly every area, is regularly seen working a shift in Le Gavroche; the absolute last word in traditional French gastronomy with two stars on this side of the Channel. Founded by Michel’s father, Albert Roux, in 1967, the velvet-lined basement cocoon of a dining room gives the impression of being in the captain’s quarters of a former White Star Line ship. . The only destination, however, is the nostalgic, caloric heart of the France of your dreams. Prepare for a more than four hour cavalcade of the best soufflés, tartars and pavers that you will never have tasted unless you step into a time machine to eat at Auguste Escoffier. The only sadness is that the exceptionally value lunch menu is no longer – the restaurant is now, after Covid, open only in the evenings.


Otto’s, Clerkenwell

Does it matter that one of the best classic French food experiences in London is creating a Bavarian? As far as Otto’s is concerned, we are inclined to say, not really.

Because what Otto Tepasse has done is take one of the most decadent and over-the-top culinary inventions ever created – the duck press – and revive it without turning the experience into a dusty piece of sought-after culinary historicism. . The full experience takes a duck and turns it into three course meals for two with virtually nothing wasted (the same can be done with lobster for a seriously decadent meal), while the full menu features classics such as salmon. smoked, tournedos Rossini and Bresse chicken.


Read more: The best champagne bars in London

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