D.C.’s restaurant scene is a food haven including many upscale joints. French restaurants are plentiful, spanning from casual and relaxed bistros to white-table clothed brasseries. Take a look at our picks for the best French restaurants in Washington, D.C.
Recreating the experience of the classic Parisian cafe, Le Diplomate is a Stephen Starr establishment that has helped Fourteenth Street’s revitalization. Everything in the bistro, from the food to decorations, is imported from France, and the tastes of Le Diplomate have proven too good to ignore. Try the classic staples of onion soup gratinee, steak frites or go contemporary with shaved tongue of veal. If there is no room to sit outside, there is a stunning conservatory-like café for summer months with air conditioning.
Le Diplomate, 1601 14th St NW Washington, D.C. 20009 202-332-3333
Evocative of the left bank of Paris, this French bistro upholds the traditions of French cooking. A beloved spot of Capitol Hill residents, the sophisticated is always popular during weekend brunches and for afternoon coffees. Patrons feel as if they are in Paris with its quiet and soulful food choices. Great for people watching on a weekend, Monmartre is a cozy environment to enjoy a slow weekend.
Monmarte, 327 7th St SE Washington DC 20003 202-544-1244
With a rustic-chic decor, Mintwood Place is a popular and trendy brunch spot. High on aesthetic and presentation, Mintwood is sure to please those whose eyes are as big as their stomachs. There is a mix of traditional and creative dishes on the menu, the creative ones being their true strength. For appetizers try the shishito peppers, gorgeous purple-hewed deviled eggs or escargot hush-puppies. Waiter suggested entrees include the burger with bacon and fish dishes. For dessert, the chef just might come set it on fire, for an exciting finale.
Mintwood Place, 1813 Columbia Rd NW Washington, DC 20009 202-234-6732
At this zinc bar located in the George Hotel, classic brown-leather booths and cherry interior elegantly contrast with the glass-cased display kitchen, a chic compliment to the contemporary French cuisine. The seasonal fare blends traditional French classics like the Steak Tartare and Beef Bourguignon. Steak frites are also a frequent request from diners. Bistro Bis’ guests often include senators, congressmen and celebrities. making for one of Washington’s most popular restaurants.
Bistro Bis, 15 E Street NW Washington DC 20001 202-661-2700
Located in Georgetown, Bistrot Lepic is a beloved neighborhood bistro. The design of the place is French-Asian with coconut shell inlay and Tiffany lamps and gold mirrors. The dinner menu is made up of classic French salads, foie gras plates, and the spectacular beef medallions. Be sure to check out their jazz nights every Monday and Wednesday evening at the wine bar. The wine bar is open til midnight and boasts an impressive stock.
Bistrot Lepic, 1736 Wisconsin Ave NW Washington DC 20007 202-333-0111
Bistrot du Coin
The noisy French bistro in DuPont Circle serves authentic food of both Belgian and French varieties. The charming yet simple decor makes for a laid-back, no frills atmosphere. Popular with customers are the moules bretonnes. Run by native French chefs, everything on this menu is authentic, even the color of the walls is called Bistre!
Bistrot du Coin, 1738 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC 20009 202-234-6969
Bubble chandeliers and white tablecloths make for an environment of pure class at the upscale, fine dining experience of Marcel’s. A top-ranked restaurant, Chef Robert Wiedmaier holds a profound respect for hunting and cooking animals and practices classic, whole animal butchery, using all parts of the animals, including fish. Menu items change daily here, but dishes may be along the lines of Bay Scallop Gateau or Boudin Blanc. Wiedmaier creatively mixes both Belgium and French styles into his dishes to balance the flavors, making for an unforgettable dining experience.
Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington DC 20037 202-296-1166