Photo of Boucherie West Village
Renowned for being one of the world’s biggest cultural melting pots, the culinary diversity of New York is unparalleled. Walk down any street and it’s likely that cuisine from at least a dozen different countries will be represented – and served with a generous helping of native pride. In a place where hardly anyone is a local from birth, this impulse to share beloved dishes from far away is one of the things that helps bind New Yorkers to one another and make it the special place that it is.
A popular home to the French expatriate community, New York is luckily one of the few places outside of France where truly authentic French cuisine is readily accessible, infusing a bit of Calvados into the Big Apple… Read on for a roundup of our seven favorite restaurants in NYC cooking à la française in an environment meant to transport you and your tastebuds across the pond.
La Grande Boucherie
Stepping into La Grande Boucherie is like stumbling into a portal to 1920s Paris. In the beating heart of Midtown Manhattan, you’ll find the most authentic expression of a Belle Époque brasserie hidden away on 6 ½ Avenue – a discreet pedestrian gallery akin to the secretive covered passages of Paris. Delighted guests are welcomed with 150-year-old glass ceilings, a grand piano, mosaic floors, and stunning ironwork in a Haussmannian style. The newest edition to the Boucherie family – which has three other equally magnificent locations in the city – La Grande Boucherie is the most impressive of them all, breathing a true sense of French joie de vivre (joy of living) into every moment – and every bite.
La Grande Boucherie: 145 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
Boucherie West Village: 99 7th Avenue South, New York, NY 10014
Boucherie Union Square: 225 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
Petite Boucherie: 14th Christopher Street, New York, NY 10014
A place to see and be seen, Pastis is an iconic French bistro located on the chic cobblestone streets of the Meatpacking District. Featured in sitcom favorites like Sex and The City, Pastis reopened in 2019 with a reinvigorated layout and the same classic menu – as well as some new, authentic French dishes such as duck confit and chicken paillard. A perfect place to pretend like you’re in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, stopping in after a day of high-end shopping or a visit to the nearby Whitney Museum of American Art (in lieu of the Louvre).
Pastis: 52 Gansevoort Street, New York, NY 10014
A Soho staple since the 1970s, Raoul’s was founded by two brothers from Alsace who brought their French culinary expertise and jubilant hospitality skills over to this artistic corner of New York. From humble beginnings, the neighborhood restaurant soon became a booming hotspot that angered locals at first with its rowdy soirées, but over time garnered adoration with its friendly environment and simple yet wildly delicious cuisine.
Raoul’s: 180 Prince St New York, NY
Dirty French NYC
The suggestive neon pink sign framing the entrance of Dirty French is indicative only of the sound you might make while tasting the mouthwatering food. Using classic French dishes as the base, the menu features inventive spins on plates such as oysters bourguignon and mushroom millefeuille. This dark and elegant establishment also encourages a proper dress code, ensuring that the experience is perfectly Parisienne.
Dirty French: 180 Ludlow St., New York, NY 10002
PMF (Pardon My French)
Small and unassuming, this charming French eatery feels like a cozy little bistro you would find in the French countryside. Complete with a private garden, you’ll be seduced by the warm and friendly atmosphere and staff who speak both French and English. Menu items feature a myriad of French staples with additional variations including a raclette special in winter and bottomless (all-you-can-drink) brunch on the weekend.
PMF: 103 Avenue B, New York City, NY 10009
Inspired by the hotel lobbies and grand restaurants of Paris, New York, and New Orleans, the rustic horseshoe-shaped bar of Maison Premiere is the perfect setting to indulge in their particular specialty combination: oysters and absinthe. With more than 30 oyster varieties and the largest selection of absinthe in the U.S. – as well as Champagne, crudo, and caviar – there is no shortage of options to enjoy at this fabulous Brooklyn raw bar.
Maison Première: 298 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Le French Diner
Quite literally a hole in the wall on the Lower East Side, the tiny 270-square-foot Le French Diner is unlike any other French restaurant in the city. A favorite of those who work in the industry, lovingly explained in this fabulous review by Grub Street, the open-kitchen eatery with chalkboard menus is the furthest thing from pretentious – even though the quality of the food and wine – and the long waiting list at the door – would make you think otherwise.