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The Top 10 French Restaurants and Brasseries in New York City

Roasted Chicken at Le Coq Rico
Roasted Chicken at Le Coq Rico | © Le Coq Rico
At New York City’s best French eateries, diners can enjoy a classic taste of France as well as French fare with a slant. Ranging from a mid-century institution specializing in traditional fine dining to a contemporary chicken spot, here are the best French restaurants and brasseries in New York City.

La Grenouille

Restaurant, French, $$$
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The 56-year-old La Grenouille is famous for its clientele, which once included icons such as Sophia Loren. Today’s diners can enjoy the same mid-century charm as Loren and company via La Grenouille’s signature flower arrangements and old-fashioned “Pretheater” menu. Dishes including pike dumplings with caviar and floating meringue islands for dessert taste timeless.
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Tue - Sat:
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Tue - Sat:
5:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Fine Dining

Le Coq Rico

Restaurant, French, $$$
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http://lecoqrico.com/new-york/
Restaurant Week at Le Coq Rico | © Le Coq Rico / Courtesy of Ben Hon/@StuffBenEats.
Grub Street once accused this restaurant of taking its poultry “almost too seriously.” While Le Coq Rico’s practices are uncommon (the chef, Antoine Westermann, visits all of the eatery’s farms twice yearly and employs a three-hour baeckeoffe slow-cooking method), its quirks pay off. Everything from eggs to giblets to whole birds is executed here expertly and best accompanied by Corsica-style oven-baked potatoes and bright ratatouille sides.
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Mon - Fri:
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Sun - Sat:
5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Sat - Sun:
11:30 am - 3:00 pm

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Gourmet

La Sirène

Restaurant, French, $$$
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At La Sirène, guests can enjoy upscale French food in a cozy atmosphere. Here, foie gras is made in-house using a family recipe, and a rich, Toulouse-style cassoulet comes with the following warning: “Don’t take it if you can’t bear it.” Tip: The SoHo staple recently opened an Upper West Side location, now offering brunch.
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Mon:
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Tue - Wed:
5:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Thu:
5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Fri:
5:00 pm - 12:00 am
Sat:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Sun:
12:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Le Bernardin

Restaurant, French, Seafood, $$$
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This highly awarded restaurant (three Michelin stars and the most James Beard Awards of any New York City eatery) is beloved by critics. At Le Bernardin, Eric Ripert breaks from French cuisine’s meat-heavy traditions in favor of over 10 fish and shellfish entrées, including sautéed Dover sole with lemon-potato mousseline and seared langoustine with a foie gras crouton. For a fresh French dining experience, there’s even a vegetarian tasting menu.
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Mon - Thu:
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Mon - Thu:
5:15 pm - 10:30 pm
Fri:
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Fri - Sat:
5:15 pm - 11:00 pm

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Stylish, Michelin-Starred

Bâtard

Restaurant, French, European, $$$
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Austrian chef Markus Glocker’s Bâtard bills itself as a “Modern European restaurant.” However, its classic French menu items, such as beef tartare and foie gras and pork terrine, shine brightest. The Michelin-starred spot’s traditional Brune Landaise for two and Paris-Brest dessert are among the city’s best French dishes.
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Mon - Wed:
5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Thu - Sat:
5:30 pm - 10:30 pm

Meal service:

Dinner

Atmosphere:

Michelin-Starred

Lafayette

Restaurant, French, $$$
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http://lafayetteny.com
Steak tartare at Lafayette | © Noah Fecks / Courtesy of Lafayette
For generous portions of homestyle French cooking, there’s bakery and brasserie Lafayette. Here, dry-aged strip steak frites with béarnaise butter, rotisserie chicken Grand-Mère, and French onion soup with beef shank taste just like maman’s. Tip: Find quick comfort in excellent croissants and pain au chocolats from Lafayette’s to-go bakery.
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Mon - Sun:
8:00 am - 10:00 pm

Meal service:

All Day, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Stylish

Buvette

Bistro, Restaurant, French, $$$
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Buvette, NYC
Line of pastries at Buvette | © Buvette / Flickr
At French bistro Buvette, you can practically hear “La Vie en Rose” playing in the distance. Sinfully creamy steamed eggs come dolloped with goat’s cheese, and raw chopped beef is topped with cornichons. Also, wine is plentiful at this Francophile favorite, which attracts enthusiastic eaters, Instagram-users, and nary a dieter in sight.
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Mon - Fri:
7:00 am - 2:00 am
Sat - Sun:
8:00 am - 2:00 am

Meal service:

All Day, Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Cosy, Nightlife, Stylish, Romantic

Raoul’s

Restaurant, French, $$$
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A lively, low-key French bistro, Raoul’s is now more than 40 years old (it’s been around since long before SoHo became cool) and is still as popular and beloved as ever. The steak au poivre remains a must-try dish, and the burger—available only if you’re sitting at the bar—gets top marks as well.

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Sun:
11:30 am - 3:30 pm
Sun:
5:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Mon:
5:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Tue:
5:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Wed:
5:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Thu:
5:00 pm - 11:45 pm
Fri - Sat:
5:00 pm - 12:45 am
Sat:
11:30 am - 3:30 pm
Sat - Sun:
5:00 pm - 12:45 am

Meal service:

Brunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Cosy, Traditional

Le Coucou

Restaurant, French
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Le Coucou, New York
Le Coucou is elegant yet decidedly unstuffy | © Corry Arnold
The buzziest new NYC opening in recent times—and deservedly so—Le Coucou represents a return to classic French dining in a room that’s elegant but not at all stuffy: taper candles and white tablecloths, yes, but with a prevailing sense of whimsy. Go for a killer date or a special occasion, and don’t miss the quenelle de brochet in lobster sauce or the stunning three-dish tout le lapin.
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Sun:
7:00 am - 10:00 am
Sun:
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sun:
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Mon:
7:00 am - 10:30 am
Mon:
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Mon:
5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Tue:
7:00 am - 10:30 am
Tue:
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Tue:
5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Wed:
7:00 am - 10:30 am
Wed:
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Wed:
5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Thu:
7:00 am - 10:30 am
Thu:
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Thu:
5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Fri:
7:00 am - 10:30 am
Fri:
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Fri:
5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Sat:
7:00 am - 10:00 am
Sat:
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sat:
5:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Meal service:

Brunch, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Romantic, Fine Dining, Stylish

Balthazar

Restaurant, French, $$$
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BALTHAZAR_preview
Breakfast at Balthazar | © Michael Grimm
Balthazar is a staple SoHo haunt that has a classic European restaurant attached to a French bakery. To start the weekdays off right, go for the eggs, waffles, or French toast from the menu, or opt for a full English breakfast if you’re feeling hungry. For something a little lighter, the bakery offers a selection of delicious pastries, as well as a bread basket option if you want to try a bit of everything.
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Mon - Thu:
7:30 am - 12:00 am
Fri - Sat:
8:00 am - 1:00 am
Sun:
8:00 am - 12:00 am

Meal service:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night