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NYC’s 8 Best French Restaurants

July 13, 2012 3:00 PM

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(credit: La Plage)

(credit: La Plage)

Sure, we could name all of the obvious choices:  Daniel, with the personality and flair of celebrity chef Daniel Boulud, or Le Cirque, so extravagant that it spawned an HBO documentary, A Table in Heaven. But here are the  insider tips – straight from the New York foodies – to finding French restaurants and bistros.

Le Bernardin

le bernardin prodigy net NYCs 8 Best French Restaurants

(credit: Le Bernardin)

155 West 51st Street
New York NY 10019
(212) 554-1100

This is the ultimate French restaurant – where the quality matches the hype. Not only did it win Zagat’s Best Food award for eight years, but non-food critics alike also sing the restaurant’s praises. Yes, the tasting menu might cost approximately three weeks of your grocery budget, but Eric Ripert’s seafood genius – particularly the charred octopus with fermented black bean and pear sauce – makes it worth the crazy expense. Stick around for the Chocolate-Peanut caramel tart with Meyer lemon puree and praline-citrus sorbet, and you may just reach nirvana.

Les Halles

les halles NYCs 8 Best French Restaurants

(credit: Les Halles/Facebook)

411 Park Ave S
New York, NY 10016
(212) 679-4111

15 John St
New York, NY 10038
(212) 285-8585

The lunch menus vary slightly from location to location, but the focus is the same: affordable French bistro fare. It’s true that a certain celebrity chef used to hang his hat here, but the menu has hardly changed since his epic rise to fame. The reason people come here: the famous Les Halles steak frites et salade, cooked to your specification with some of the salty-crispest frites you’ll ever eat. Vive la révolution!

La Bonne Soupe

la bonne souple nycgo com NYCs 8 Best French Restaurants

( credit: La Bonne Soupe)

48 West 55th Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 586-7650
Reviews & More Info

No, the name doesn’t mean “good soup” – even though there is plenty of that. La Bonne Soupe means the good life with wealth, health and happiness. We will take that – especially if you add in their delicious steak frites and yummy Croque Monsieur. Also, don’t miss the Lamb and Goat Cheese Burger—it’s spectacular.

Francois Payard Bakery

francois payard bakery NYCs 8 Best French Restaurants

(credit: Francois Payard Bakery/

116 W Houston St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 995-0888

Francois Payard has made a name for himself as one of the best pastry chefs in the world, but did you know his bakery also serves a fabulous lunch? Nothing is over $10, and most sandwiches are actually in the $8 range (with one hitting $8.50 and one bottoming at $6.50). Of course, as any visitor to Francois Payard Bakery knows, that is just what you eat first to seem like a normal lunch, before you dive headfirst into all of the wonderful pastries on display. Cookies, cakes, eclair… c’est une pâtisserie très merveilleux, oui?

26 Seats

26 seats 26seatsonb com NYCs 8 Best French Restaurants

(credit: 26 Seats)

168 Avenue C
New York, NY 10009
(212) 677-4787
Reviews &  More Info

Yes, 26 is the number of seats at this restaurant. Described as intimate and warm, this spot is known for its friendly service and very reasonable prices. Decorated with delectable hues of cranberry and chocolate, 26 Seats prepares an especially delicious Bouillabaisse and a very nice Filet de Sole.


landmarc thevenuepages com NYCs 8 Best French Restaurants

(Photo: Landmarc)

179 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
(212) 343-3883
Reviews & More Info

Have kids? You can’t go wrong with a French restaurant that has both Eggs en Meurette and Lucky Charms on the menu. A trendy parental gathering place with great selections for kids, The Landmarc also has an extensive wine list (there’s even a selection of half bottles).

Chez Oskar

chez oskar NYCs 8 Best French Restaurants

(credit: Chez Oskar)

211 DeKalb Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
(718) 852-6250

Chez Oskar is Le Funky French Bistro, with a children’s menu that includes Mashed Potato Vulcano. (What kid doesn’t want a volcano of mashed potatoes?) The waiters give out crayons to keep the kids occupied while you are waiting for your savory Veal Blanquette or tender hanger steak. This is an especially great stop before you attend something at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Millesime Restaurant

millesime restaurant NYCs 8 Best French Restaurants

(credit: Millesime Restaurant/Facebook)

92 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
(212) 889-7100

Laurent Manrique’s French casual seafood restaurant is located on the second floor of the Carlton Hotel. Although it still has a couple of kinks to work out (i.e. the music bleed from the bar downstairs), the food is outstanding. The three-tiered Plateau Royale, bursting with tartars and unusual choices like langoustine, is definitely a seafood-lover’s dream come true.

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