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NYC's 7 Best French Restaurants

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 in honor of Bastille Day, we've gathered insider tips to finding the best French restaurants and bistros in the city.

Le Bernardin

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 warm octopus "carpaccio"; leek compote, peruvian anticucho sauce - makes it worth the crazy expense. Stick around for the Dark Chocolate Parfait with Candied Marcona Almonds, Dulce de Leche, and Milk sorbet, and you may just reach nirvana.

Les Halles

Les Halles
(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

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

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

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 $12, and most sandwiches are actually in the $8 range (with one hitting $9.50 and one bottoming at $7). 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 (

168 Avenue C
New York, NY 10009
(212) 677-4787

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.



179 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
(212) 343-3883

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).

Millesime Restaurant

Millesime Restaurant
(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. The Les Plateau, bursting with oysters, clams, jumbo shrimp, mussels, 1/2 lobster, and king crab leg is definitely a seafood-lover's dream come true.

For the latest on where to eat in the Tri-State, follow us on Twitter!

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