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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.
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L'Auberge Chez Francois

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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

Le Chat Noir

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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.

Primrose

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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.

Mintwood Place

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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.

Bistrot Du Coin

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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.

The Pembroke

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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.

Duck Duck Goose

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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

Convivial

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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.

Boulangerie Christophe

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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.

Brasserie Liberté

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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.

La Chaumiere

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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

Chez Billy Sud

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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.

Central Michel Richard

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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.

Bistro du Jour

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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

2941 Restaurant

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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.

Bastille Brasserie & Bar

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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.

Café du Soleil

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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”).

Patty O’s Cafe

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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

L'Auberge Chez Francois

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.

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

Le Chat Noir

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.

Primrose

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.

Mintwood Place

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.

Bistrot Du Coin

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.

The Pembroke

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.

Duck Duck Goose

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.

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

Convivial

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.

Boulangerie Christophe

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.

Brasserie Liberté

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.

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

La Chaumiere

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.

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

Chez Billy Sud

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.

Central Michel Richard

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.

Bistro du Jour

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.

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

2941 Restaurant

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.

Related Maps

Bastille Brasserie & Bar

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.

Café du Soleil

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”).

Patty O’s Cafe

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.

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

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