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The French onion soup on the lunch menu at Cafe du Parc.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Where to Find French Onion Soup in D.C.

11 restaurants that do the melty dish justice

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The French onion soup on the lunch menu at Cafe du Parc.
| Photo by Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Maybe it’s the beef broth, croutons, or gloriously gooey cheese, but there’s something extremely satisfying and comforting about a giant bowl of French onion soup.

Come winter, D.C.’s French-influenced restaurants and brasseries especially turn their attention to serving stock that’s filled with onions and finished with a crust of soft melted cheese.

While plenty of D.C. restaurants offer the ubiquitous order, a few stand out of the pack. Here are 11 places to dig into a perfect bowl of French onion soup.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. L'Auberge Chez Francois

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332 Springvale Rd
Great Falls, VA 22066
(703) 759-3800
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While it’s a trek across the Potomac River and through the woods, L’Auberge offers a dining experience unlike any other. The French farmhouse-styled mainstay has been in service for more than 60 years under the guidance of chef Jacques Haeringer and his father. The menu offers à la carte and multi-course options, but always order the French onion soup as a starter or pairing dish.

chef-haeringer
L’Auberge Chez Francois chef Jacques Haeringer
Tim Ebner/Eater DC

2. Primrose

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3000 12th St NE
Washington, DC 20017
(202) 248-4558
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For a vegetarian French onion soup, head to this Brookland wine bar and bistro. Each bowl arrives piping hot, and rather than beef stock, Primrose’s recipe calls for a mushroom-umami broth topped with melted gruyère cheese ($10).

A look inside Primrose Primrose/official photo

3. Mintwood Place

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1813 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 234-6732
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Mintwood Place consistently serves the best French onion soup in Adams Morgan. Each bowl is packed with plenty of melty cheese and garlic croutons ($13).

Mintwood Place/official photo

4. Bistrot Du Coin

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1738 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 234-6969
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Over the past two decades, Bistro Du Coin has risen as the go-to brasserie for Dupont Circle neighbors and French expats alike. Its Gratinée des Halles, or French onion soup, goes for $12.95 and pairs nicely with escargot or pâté.

5. Le Diplomate

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1601 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 332-3333
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Whether it’s a weekend brunch, mid-day lunch, or late dinner, restaurateur Stephen Starr’s popular all-day brasserie always puts a French onion soup special on the menu. The $13 order is great for dipping with the complimentary bread.

Le Diplomate/official photo

6. Lutèce by Bonaparte

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1522 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-8830
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Chef Martin Senoville recently retooled the Georgetown classic that was once Cafe Bonaparte. Now Lutèce by Bonaparte, the revamp features French comfort foods like a vegetarian French onion soup for $10.

Channing Foster/Lutèce by Bonaparte

7. Brasserie Liberté

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3251 Prospect St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 878-8404
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This new Georgetown brasserie has a French onion soup made from a beef-mushroom broth and topped with emmental (Swiss) cheese for $12.95. Chef Jaryd Hearn says his recipe took three months to perfect.

Brasserie Liberté/official photo

8. La Chaumiere

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2813 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 338-1784
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Want to escape the D.C. rush? Enter M Street NW mainstay La Chaumiere, which feels like a lodge in Alsace, France. Try to book a table near the fireplace and order baked onion soup, the cozy restaurant’s signature dish ($9).

La Chaumiere/official photo

9. Café du Parc

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1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 942-7000
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French onion soup is one of the best sellers on the lunch and dinner menus at the Willard’s Cafe du Parc. The order comes with caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, and toasted croutons ($14).

10. Central Michel Richard

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1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 626-0015
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Chef Nick Johnson has carefully updated the menu at Michel Richard’s Central on Pennsylvania Avenue with French-inspired dishes, but he hasn’t made any changes to the French onion soup. The reliable order calls for a miso stock with melted gruyère and provolone cheese.

11. Parc de Ville

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8296 Glass Alley
Fairfax, VA 22031
(703) 663-8931
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The Hilton brothers debuted a lively French brasserie in Merrifield’s Mosaic District last November. Classic French fare calls for onion soup, along with omelets, steak frites, and croque madame.

Parc de Ville’s menu items Mykl Wu/Parc de Ville

1. L'Auberge Chez Francois

332 Springvale Rd, Great Falls, VA 22066
chef-haeringer
L’Auberge Chez Francois chef Jacques Haeringer
Tim Ebner/Eater DC

While it’s a trek across the Potomac River and through the woods, L’Auberge offers a dining experience unlike any other. The French farmhouse-styled mainstay has been in service for more than 60 years under the guidance of chef Jacques Haeringer and his father. The menu offers à la carte and multi-course options, but always order the French onion soup as a starter or pairing dish.

332 Springvale Rd
Great Falls, VA 22066

2. Primrose

3000 12th St NE, Washington, DC 20017
A look inside Primrose Primrose/official photo

For a vegetarian French onion soup, head to this Brookland wine bar and bistro. Each bowl arrives piping hot, and rather than beef stock, Primrose’s recipe calls for a mushroom-umami broth topped with melted gruyère cheese ($10).

3000 12th St NE
Washington, DC 20017

3. Mintwood Place

1813 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009
Mintwood Place/official photo

Mintwood Place consistently serves the best French onion soup in Adams Morgan. Each bowl is packed with plenty of melty cheese and garlic croutons ($13).

1813 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009

4. Bistrot Du Coin

1738 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

Over the past two decades, Bistro Du Coin has risen as the go-to brasserie for Dupont Circle neighbors and French expats alike. Its Gratinée des Halles, or French onion soup, goes for $12.95 and pairs nicely with escargot or pâté.

1738 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009

5. Le Diplomate

1601 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Le Diplomate/official photo

Whether it’s a weekend brunch, mid-day lunch, or late dinner, restaurateur Stephen Starr’s popular all-day brasserie always puts a French onion soup special on the menu. The $13 order is great for dipping with the complimentary bread.

1601 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

6. Lutèce by Bonaparte

1522 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
Channing Foster/Lutèce by Bonaparte

Chef Martin Senoville recently retooled the Georgetown classic that was once Cafe Bonaparte. Now Lutèce by Bonaparte, the revamp features French comfort foods like a vegetarian French onion soup for $10.

1522 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

7. Brasserie Liberté

3251 Prospect St NW, Washington, DC 20007
Brasserie Liberté/official photo

This new Georgetown brasserie has a French onion soup made from a beef-mushroom broth and topped with emmental (Swiss) cheese for $12.95. Chef Jaryd Hearn says his recipe took three months to perfect.

3251 Prospect St NW
Washington, DC 20007

8. La Chaumiere

2813 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007
La Chaumiere/official photo

Want to escape the D.C. rush? Enter M Street NW mainstay La Chaumiere, which feels like a lodge in Alsace, France. Try to book a table near the fireplace and order baked onion soup, the cozy restaurant’s signature dish ($9).

2813 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007

9. Café du Parc

1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

French onion soup is one of the best sellers on the lunch and dinner menus at the Willard’s Cafe du Parc. The order comes with caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, and toasted croutons ($14).

1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004

10. Central Michel Richard

1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Chef Nick Johnson has carefully updated the menu at Michel Richard’s Central on Pennsylvania Avenue with French-inspired dishes, but he hasn’t made any changes to the French onion soup. The reliable order calls for a miso stock with melted gruyère and provolone cheese.

1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004

11. Parc de Ville

8296 Glass Alley, Fairfax, VA 22031
Parc de Ville’s menu items Mykl Wu/Parc de Ville

The Hilton brothers debuted a lively French brasserie in Merrifield’s Mosaic District last November. Classic French fare calls for onion soup, along with omelets, steak frites, and croque madame.

8296 Glass Alley
Fairfax, VA 22031

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