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A roasted and pickled beet salad with walnut vinaigrette at Bistro du Jour.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Where to Find Fantastic French Food in D.C.

Casual to fancy destinations for delicate croissants, escargot, gooey croque-madame, and other Parisian favorites

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A roasted and pickled beet salad with walnut vinaigrette at Bistro du Jour.
| Rey Lopez/Eater DC

There’s no shortage of international cuisine in D.C., and residents can find a French restaurant in just about every neighborhood. Some are nationally recognized while others are familiar to locals only, but all serve fare commonly spotted in bakeries and bistros across France.

If a trip overseas isn’t on the calendar yet, consider visiting one of the following 18 destinations to satisfy cravings in the meantime. The steak frites, escargot, or creme brulee won’t come with a picturesque view of the Eiffel Tower or the charming countryside of Provence, but the temptation to browse flights might be the perfect post-meal activity.

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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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Culinary pioneer François Haeringer brought a taste of his native Alsatian countryside to D.C. way back in the 1950s. His sons keep his spirit alive at the cherished Falls Church inn that’s filled with family heirlooms and murals of Haeringer’s birthplace in France. The restaurant remains most famous for its hot souffle, along with lobster bisque and delicacies like snails plucked from Burgundy vineyards. Arrive early for a cocktail from the downstairs bar or take a stroll around the six-acre property’s gorgeous gardens. A tasting menu option starts at $97.

The dining room at L’Auberge Chez Francois
The dining room at L’Auberge Chez Francois.
L’Auberge Chez Francois/Facebook

2. Le Chat Noir

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4907 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 244-2044
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Friendship Height dwellers have been flocking to Le Chat Noir since 2005, and have no plans of stopping anytime soon. The spread offers everything from modest plates of quiche, sandwiches and salads to more gluttonous entrees like grilled pork tenderloin, duck confit, and boeuf bourguignon.

3. Primrose

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3000 12th St NE
Washington, DC 20017
(202) 248-4558
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Wine enthusiasts should trek to Brookland’s Primrose, a contemporary French spot from partners Sebastian Zutant and Lauren Winter. Vinos come from both small and natural producers based in France and the United States. The latest food lineup includes duck liver mousse, salmon on a bed of ratatouille, and kabocha squash tortellini.

4. Mintwood Place

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1813 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 234-6732
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Adams Morgan’s welcoming neighborhood fixture serves wood-roasted dorade fish with a swordfish mousse, cavatelli with mushrooms and parmesan cream sauce, and a fried chicken sandwich with a side of fries. The cocktail menu is splashed with dozens of sparkling and still wine options and fruit-forward cocktails.

5. Bistrot Du Coin

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1738 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 234-6969
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Owners Yannis Felix and Michel Verdon have been keeping hungry Washingtonians full for nearly 20 years. Dupont Circle might have undergone plenty of changes since the early 2000s, but the plentiful menu of beef, chicken, mussels, and more continue to make Bistrot Du Coin a sought-after spot.

6. The Pembroke

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1500 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 448-4302
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Dressed up with glam gold accents and sleek, salmon-toned booths, this mid-century stunner located blocks from the Dupont Metro station brings classy French vibes to one of D.C.’s most popular neighborhoods. Guests can start dinner with grilled octopus and tuna tartare before moving on to salad or homemade pasta. Mains include ribeye, lamb shank tagine, and beef short ribs.

7. Duck Duck Goose

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2100 P St NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 450-1591
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After catering to Maryland residents in Baltimore and Bethesda, Duck Duck Goose opened their first D.C. location in December 2021. Some of the standout dishes on chef Ashish Alfred’s menu includes steak tartare, escargot, and lamb wellington. For those with a large appetite (and matching wallet), there a 36-ounce bone-in ribeye main with bordelaise sauce for $137.

Duck on a white plate
Duck Duck Goose’s menu highlights various preparations of duck. 
Duck Duck Goose/official photo

8. Convivial

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801 O St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 525-2870
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Chef/owner Cedric Maupillier’s Shaw staple has maintained a loyal following since 2015, thanks to plates reminiscent of what restaurants would serve in the French towns where Maupillier was raised. For those experiencing French fare for the first time, steak frites, roasted half chicken (poulet roti), and steamed mussels with a white wine and garlic sauce are all fine choices.

9. Boulangerie Christophe

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1422 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 450-6344
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Boulangerie Christophe brought the chic feeling of open-air dining in Saint-Tropez to Georgetown. Brioche pain perdu (French toast) gets smothered in berries and whipped cream, while savory and sweet waffles and crepes pose quite the ordering dilemma.

10. Brasserie Liberté

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3251 Prospect St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 878-8404
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Wrap up a day of shopping in Georgetown with dinner at Brasserie Liberté. Start off with a hearty bowl of French onion soup before diving into the seared salmon with vegetables or boeuf bourguignon. Finish the meal with either creme brulee or charcuterie.

Tables and chairs inside Brasserie Liberté Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

11. La Chaumiere

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2813 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 338-1784
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Recognized with a Rammys Honorary Milestone Award in 2021, La Chaumiere celebrates the luxury of French cuisine in a modest fashion. Traditional plates include grilled medallions of beef tenderloin with a bordelaise sauce, sauteed sea scallops with garlic and tomatoes, and for a sweet treat, fresh fruit tart, sorbet or profiteroles: pastry puffs stuffed with vanilla ice cream and topped with runny chocolate sauce.

Fish on a white plate with silver utensils
Dover sole at La Chaumiere.
La Chaumiere

12. Chez Billy Sud

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1039 31st St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 965-2606
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Exposed brick, a cobblestone patio, and cushy fireplace elicits the feeling of walking into a neighborhood favorite in the French countryside. Indulge on steak tartare, potato-crusted salmon and croque-madame. Wash it down with beer, mocktails, wine and specialty gin, rum and scotch-based cocktails.

13. Central Michel Richard

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1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 626-0015
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A stone’s throw from the Ford’s Theatre, Central Michel Richard calls itself “an American bistro with a French accent.” That certainly reflects on the menu. Versatile entrees include ahi tuna burger, fried chicken, and mussels with frites, all served in a chic, wood-framed setting.

14. Bistro du Jour

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99 District Square SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 984-7400
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The casual French bistro at the Wharf is less than a year old, but it’s already drawing crowds thanks to both its picturesque waterfront location and meticulously decorated interior that evokes Parisian vibes. Before diving into the quiche Florentine or coq au vin over a Kir Royale cocktail, start with the macaron au foie. A raspberry macaron, chicken liver mousse, and fig jam combine for a salty-and-sweet experience sure to entice taste buds.

Duck leg in a white bowl
Daily dinner at Bistro du Jour brings confit de canard to the table (duck leg, parsley breadcrumbs, green lentils, and red wine-shallots). 
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

15. 2941 Restaurant

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2941 Fairview Park Dr
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 270-1500
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Come to 2941 for chef Bertrand Chemel’s mushroom potato gnocchi and braised lamb, and stay for the peaceful views of waterfalls and a koi pond.

16. Bastille Brasserie & Bar

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606 N Fayette St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 519-3776
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The Alexandria mainstay from chefs Christophe and Michelle Poteaux relies on seasonal and local ingredients. The menu is subject to change, but current can’t-miss selections on the dinner menu include Atlantic sea scallops with a lemon and pea risotto, and duck breast slathered in a Grand Marnier sauce. Save room for dessert, which includes profiteroles, chocolate pot du creme, ice creams, and sorbets.

17. Café du Soleil

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215 S Union St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(571) 312-8010
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Typical offerings like croque-monsieur, quiche and croissant exist at Café du Soleil, but the crepes shouldn’t be neglected. Nutella with bananas or strawberries are a safe option, but why not go the savory route with smoked salmon, spinach, capers, and cream cheese, affectionately titled “je suis gourmand” (English for “I’m greedy”).

18. Patty O’s Cafe

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389 Main St
Washington, VA 22747
(540) 675-3801
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For elegant French fare in Virginia’s countryside, consider making the drive to Patrick O’Connell’s charming, all-day destination for flaky croissants, Pernod-perfumed escargot, calvados-spiked French onion soup, and half roast chicken with Grand Marnier-glazed carrots. The versatile sidewalk cafe, bakery, bar, and cozy dining room sits a short walk from O’Connell’s legendary The Inn at Little Washington, the D.C. area’s only restaurant with three Michelin stars that’s known for its show-stopping tasting menus.

Parisian pastries on a white marble table
Delicate Parisian pastries at rural Virginia’s months-old Patty O’s Cafe.
Greg Powers for Patty O’s

1. L'Auberge Chez Francois

332 Springvale Rd, Great Falls, VA 22066
The dining room at L’Auberge Chez Francois
The dining room at L’Auberge Chez Francois.
L’Auberge Chez Francois/Facebook

Culinary pioneer François Haeringer brought a taste of his native Alsatian countryside to D.C. way back in the 1950s. His sons keep his spirit alive at the cherished Falls Church inn that’s filled with family heirlooms and murals of Haeringer’s birthplace in France. The restaurant remains most famous for its hot souffle, along with lobster bisque and delicacies like snails plucked from Burgundy vineyards. Arrive early for a cocktail from the downstairs bar or take a stroll around the six-acre property’s gorgeous gardens. A tasting menu option starts at $97.

332 Springvale Rd
Great Falls, VA 22066

2. Le Chat Noir

4907 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

Friendship Height dwellers have been flocking to Le Chat Noir since 2005, and have no plans of stopping anytime soon. The spread offers everything from modest plates of quiche, sandwiches and salads to more gluttonous entrees like grilled pork tenderloin, duck confit, and boeuf bourguignon.

4907 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

3. Primrose

3000 12th St NE, Washington, DC 20017

Wine enthusiasts should trek to Brookland’s Primrose, a contemporary French spot from partners Sebastian Zutant and Lauren Winter. Vinos come from both small and natural producers based in France and the United States. The latest food lineup includes duck liver mousse, salmon on a bed of ratatouille, and kabocha squash tortellini.

3000 12th St NE
Washington, DC 20017

4. Mintwood Place

1813 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009

Adams Morgan’s welcoming neighborhood fixture serves wood-roasted dorade fish with a swordfish mousse, cavatelli with mushrooms and parmesan cream sauce, and a fried chicken sandwich with a side of fries. The cocktail menu is splashed with dozens of sparkling and still wine options and fruit-forward cocktails.

1813 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009

5. Bistrot Du Coin

1738 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

Owners Yannis Felix and Michel Verdon have been keeping hungry Washingtonians full for nearly 20 years. Dupont Circle might have undergone plenty of changes since the early 2000s, but the plentiful menu of beef, chicken, mussels, and more continue to make Bistrot Du Coin a sought-after spot.

1738 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009

6. The Pembroke

1500 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Dressed up with glam gold accents and sleek, salmon-toned booths, this mid-century stunner located blocks from the Dupont Metro station brings classy French vibes to one of D.C.’s most popular neighborhoods. Guests can start dinner with grilled octopus and tuna tartare before moving on to salad or homemade pasta. Mains include ribeye, lamb shank tagine, and beef short ribs.

1500 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

7. Duck Duck Goose

2100 P St NW, Washington, DC 20037
Duck on a white plate
Duck Duck Goose’s menu highlights various preparations of duck. 
Duck Duck Goose/official photo

After catering to Maryland residents in Baltimore and Bethesda, Duck Duck Goose opened their first D.C. location in December 2021. Some of the standout dishes on chef Ashish Alfred’s menu includes steak tartare, escargot, and lamb wellington. For those with a large appetite (and matching wallet), there a 36-ounce bone-in ribeye main with bordelaise sauce for $137.

2100 P St NW
Washington, DC 20037

8. Convivial

801 O St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Chef/owner Cedric Maupillier’s Shaw staple has maintained a loyal following since 2015, thanks to plates reminiscent of what restaurants would serve in the French towns where Maupillier was raised. For those experiencing French fare for the first time, steak frites, roasted half chicken (poulet roti), and steamed mussels with a white wine and garlic sauce are all fine choices.

801 O St NW
Washington, DC 20001

9. Boulangerie Christophe

1422 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

Boulangerie Christophe brought the chic feeling of open-air dining in Saint-Tropez to Georgetown. Brioche pain perdu (French toast) gets smothered in berries and whipped cream, while savory and sweet waffles and crepes pose quite the ordering dilemma.

1422 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

10. Brasserie Liberté

3251 Prospect St NW, Washington, DC 20007
Tables and chairs inside Brasserie Liberté Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Wrap up a day of shopping in Georgetown with dinner at Brasserie Liberté. Start off with a hearty bowl of French onion soup before diving into the seared salmon with vegetables or boeuf bourguignon. Finish the meal with either creme brulee or charcuterie.

3251 Prospect St NW
Washington, DC 20007

11. La Chaumiere

2813 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007
Fish on a white plate with silver utensils
Dover sole at La Chaumiere.
La Chaumiere

Recognized with a Rammys Honorary Milestone Award in 2021, La Chaumiere celebrates the luxury of French cuisine in a modest fashion. Traditional plates include grilled medallions of beef tenderloin with a bordelaise sauce, sauteed sea scallops with garlic and tomatoes, and for a sweet treat, fresh fruit tart, sorbet or profiteroles: pastry puffs stuffed with vanilla ice cream and topped with runny chocolate sauce.

2813 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007

12. Chez Billy Sud

1039 31st St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Exposed brick, a cobblestone patio, and cushy fireplace elicits the feeling of walking into a neighborhood favorite in the French countryside. Indulge on steak tartare, potato-crusted salmon and croque-madame. Wash it down with beer, mocktails, wine and specialty gin, rum and scotch-based cocktails.

1039 31st St NW
Washington, DC 20007

13. Central Michel Richard

1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

A stone’s throw from the Ford’s Theatre, Central Michel Richard calls itself “an American bistro with a French accent.” That certainly reflects on the menu. Versatile entrees include ahi tuna burger, fried chicken, and mussels with frites, all served in a chic, wood-framed setting.

1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004

14. Bistro du Jour

99 District Square SW, Washington, DC 20024
Duck leg in a white bowl
Daily dinner at Bistro du Jour brings confit de canard to the table (duck leg, parsley breadcrumbs, green lentils, and red wine-shallots). 
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The casual French bistro at the Wharf is less than a year old, but it’s already drawing crowds thanks to both its picturesque waterfront location and meticulously decorated interior that evokes Parisian vibes. Before diving into the quiche Florentine or coq au vin over a Kir Royale cocktail, start with the macaron au foie. A raspberry macaron, chicken liver mousse, and fig jam combine for a salty-and-sweet experience sure to entice taste buds.

99 District Square SW
Washington, DC 20024

15. 2941 Restaurant

2941 Fairview Park Dr, Falls Church, VA 22042

Come to 2941 for chef Bertrand Chemel’s mushroom potato gnocchi and braised lamb, and stay for the peaceful views of waterfalls and a koi pond.

2941 Fairview Park Dr
Falls Church, VA 22042

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16. Bastille Brasserie & Bar

606 N Fayette St, Alexandria, VA 22314

The Alexandria mainstay from chefs Christophe and Michelle Poteaux relies on seasonal and local ingredients. The menu is subject to change, but current can’t-miss selections on the dinner menu include Atlantic sea scallops with a lemon and pea risotto, and duck breast slathered in a Grand Marnier sauce. Save room for dessert, which includes profiteroles, chocolate pot du creme, ice creams, and sorbets.

606 N Fayette St
Alexandria, VA 22314

17. Café du Soleil

215 S Union St, Alexandria, VA 22314

Typical offerings like croque-monsieur, quiche and croissant exist at Café du Soleil, but the crepes shouldn’t be neglected. Nutella with bananas or strawberries are a safe option, but why not go the savory route with smoked salmon, spinach, capers, and cream cheese, affectionately titled “je suis gourmand” (English for “I’m greedy”).

215 S Union St
Alexandria, VA 22314

18. Patty O’s Cafe

389 Main St, Washington, VA 22747
Parisian pastries on a white marble table
Delicate Parisian pastries at rural Virginia’s months-old Patty O’s Cafe.
Greg Powers for Patty O’s

For elegant French fare in Virginia’s countryside, consider making the drive to Patrick O’Connell’s charming, all-day destination for flaky croissants, Pernod-perfumed escargot, calvados-spiked French onion soup, and half roast chicken with Grand Marnier-glazed carrots. The versatile sidewalk cafe, bakery, bar, and cozy dining room sits a short walk from O’Connell’s legendary The Inn at Little Washington, the D.C. area’s only restaurant with three Michelin stars that’s known for its show-stopping tasting menus.

389 Main St
Washington, VA 22747

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