Best French Restaurants in the U.S.
We've all dreamed of dining at a small brasserie in a hidden street in Paris. But that dream is not always within reach.
The next best thing is a good restaurant that specializes in French food. Thankfully, given the cuisine's fame, it's not hard to find a place that fits the bill.
Start at these 10 best French food restaurants in the U.S.
10. Le Pigeon
Location: Portland, Oregon
Portland is more of a craft beer and great burgers type of place. But if you're in the mood for French fine dining, come to Le Pigeon.
Here, you'll find French-inspired food infused with an American and international flare. The vibe is upscale without being pretentious, and the menus (a chef's menu and a vegetarian menu) round out textures and flavors for a delicately balanced meal.
9. L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon Miami
Location: Miami, Florida
Recognized French chef Joël Robuchon continues his legacy in his series of excellent restaurants. You'll find L'Atelier in 12 cities around the world, including Tokyo, Las Vegas, Paris and, recently, Miami.
The two-star Michelin restaurant has some classic dishes as well as fusion plates. If you want to stick with the traditional (yet innovative), go for la cannette, a duck breast crisped to perfection.
8. Le Coucou
Location: New York City, New York
An open kitchen gives you a glimpse of what it takes to concoct the magic served on your beautifully arranged plates. Le Coucou faithfully holds on to classic French dishes like beef cheek, escargot and (our suggestion) rabbit.
But this isn't what you'd find at your local brasserie. Rather, the restaurant pulls back the curtain and lets you experience what it would be like to dine among the creme de la creme in Paris.
7. Lumière Brasserie
Location: Los Angeles, California
Located inside the Fairmont Century Plaza, Lumiere delivers five-star dining in a semi-casual atmosphere that hints of a neighborhood brasserie — they didn't put it in their name for nothing.
You'll find dishes like steak au poivre, duck confit and creme brulee. But you'll be able to accompany them with Iberico hams and other international gems.
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
What better place for French food in the U.S. than in the state that was part of France for 89 years? Restaurant August follows the strong culinary traditions of Louisiana by fusing French and Cajun dishes and giving them a modern twist.
It is housed in a 19th-century building in the French Quarter and has a gigantic wine room. Needless to say, you won't be disappointed.
5. Le Diplomate
Location: Washington, D.C.
We suspect many unofficial diplomat meetings have taken place at Le Diplomat. The restaurant is known around the capital for attracting politicians and for providing an experience that is very close to what you'd find in France.
The food is classic and perfectly executed, with pan au chocolates that transport you to a Sunday morning run to the boulangerie and a beef bourguignon that warms you up even in the harsh winter.
The spell will be broken as soon as you get the bill and see the prices. But in the meantime, just revel in the fantasy.
4. The Inn at Little Washington
Location: Washington, Virginia
About an hour and a half from D.C., this five-star hotel provides a matching three Michelin-star dining experience.
Intricately decorated and indulging in the aesthetic traditions of European high society, the Inn at Little Washington is an idyllic escape from the capital.
Expect proudly French menus that aren't afraid to borrow inspiration from other cuisines and fresh ingredients that come mostly from surrounding local farms.
Location: San Diego, California
Unlike other restaurants on here, Addison does not have any pretense of being casual or neighbor-like. People come here for its exclusivity and to indulge in a nine-course menu that makes them feel like they're part of a modern version of the French court.
You'll be dining better than Louis XIV himself. After all, the Sun King never had access to Kumamoto oysters or Wagyu tartare.
2. Le Bouchon
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Not all French dining in the U.S. has to be stuffy. Case in point: Le Bouchon. While the food is certainly elevated, the restaurant itself has a friendly and casual feel.
A line always embellishes the exterior, certainly adding street cred to the establishment. But you'll be surprised to know that most patrons are return customers, who realize the long wait is worth it for the tartare (yes, raw meat), onion soup and fresh oysters.
Location: New York City, New York
Unless you live in France, chances are you'll never get to experience a Parisian dinner party. But no worries, New York City has you covered.
Aptly named L'Appart (meaning the apartment), this fine-dine restaurant was deliberately made to look like a classic apartment in Paris and is suitably located in the French-centric Le District neighborhood.
You'll get a homemade dish that is far superior to anything a friend would serve. That's a win-win to us.
For more French food, check out this drool-worthy culinary map of France.