We’ve said it before: New York City can give any place in the world a run for its money in its home country’s cooking. Even for French restaurants, NYC goes toe to toe with Paris any day. It’s no surprise though, that these 5 New York kitchens are helmed by French natives. Your go-to NYC French restaurants are…
A French restaurant in Soho, doesn’t get more New York than Raoul’s. There’s a reason it’s been around since 1975, and survived through all the ups and downs of New York. Raoul’s has the formula of success because they stick to what they’re good at – and that’s honest French bistro fare. It doesn’t sound like a simple green salad should be hard, but foodies know that it’s an art to perfect. That’s what Raoul’s does; it perfects every dish. Even today, you’re lucky to get a reservation at 5:30 or 10pm, unless you’re a regular.
Le French Diner epitomizes why we love the Lower East Side, in the grittiness of all its glory. New York is special, because you can walk into a proverbial hole in the wall, and find the best food. That’s Le French Diner – totally unassuming, but completely authentic. It’s where you go when you’re in for a neighborhood spot, traditional French dishes like escargot, a simple hanger steak and a great bottle of wine. In other words, it’s NYC French food at its simple finest. Specials shine here, with market ingredients like soft shell crabs in season and inventive dishes like squid ink spatula.
There’s a reason why this James Beard-awarded restaurant is one of the best in the country. They just crush it in the kitchen, with every dish they create. This is traditional French food, but with a lot of extra something something. The execution is flawless at Frenchette, from the opulent roti, all the way to the more gourmet offerings like the calfs head with dandelion and gribiche. They are not afraid to go deep into traditional French cooking on the menu. Frenchette also makes one of our go-to NYC experiences.
They had us at quenelles, which are cod dumplings, that virtually no one deserves anymore. Even in the depths of the pandemic, those quenelles were perfect through delivery, and oozed with a cognac cream sauce as you spooned into the first bite. This is far from the trendiest scene nowadays but it is where you go to eat at one of the best NYC French restaurants in the city.
We know, they serve sushi on the menu. We’re not here for the food; we’re here for the scene. The company. The people watching. La Goulue is why people go out to eat French, and not stay home to order in. It is, and always will be, the classic NYC French restaurant experience.