If you’re looking for a taste of France in NYC, look no further than the many charming bistros, quaint cafés and bakeries — or should we say, pâtisseries — that line the streets throughout the city.
Though there are many exquisite French restaurants in NYC — from Balthazar to Le Cou Cou to the newly reopened La Brasserie — for this piece we decided to highlight the more casual bistros and aesthetically pleasing (but delicious!) cafés, where you can enjoy a croissant or glass of wine and put yourself in a mood très Parisian.
Here are some of the best French cafés & bistros in NYC:
1. Amelie, UWS & West Village
This French bistro/wine bar has a simple charm and delicious menu of comforting dishes like warm goat cheese salad, roasted chicken and ratatouille. Either location is perfect for sitting outside and enjoying a glass of wine — and if it’s during happy hour, you can sip on a flight for only $13 (choice of: fruity whites, rose wines, light reds, big reds).
Where: 566 Amsterdam Ave (UWS) & 22 West 8th St. (Village)
2. L’Express, Gramercy
This beautiful bistro serves up French classics from escargots Bourguignonne to frisee aux lardons salad almost all day long — it isn’t open 24 hours like it used to be, but is pretty close at 9 a.m.-11 p.m. on weekdays & 9 a.m. – 2 a.m. on weekends. Sit at one of their classic rattan café tables on Park Ave & imagine you’re looking out on a (less busy) Parisian street, or hole up in their cozy interior with a café au lait and a pastry.
Where: 249 Park Ave S.
3. Angelina Paris, Bryant Park
You’ll definitely feel like you’re in the City of Love at this popular French patisserie’s only U.S. location, right here in NYC! Part tearoom, part boutique and part restaurant, the shop is most well known for its delicious African Hot Chocolate and their iconic Mont-Blanc pastry. Read more about it here.
Where: 1050 Sixth Ave
4. Maman, Multiple Locations
Maman, which means “mother” in French, is mainly inspired by the two founding partners’ childhood memories from the South of France, with the menu largely focused on recipes they picked up from their moms. And they may even have the best chocolate chip cookies in the city.
Plus, their Nolita/SoHo location (9239 Centre St.) in right in NYC’s own Little Paris neighborhood, with a lovely outdoor garden.
Where: See on their website here.
5. Lafayette, NoHo
This bakery and restaurant has been going viral on TikTok for their mouthwatering Pain au Chocolat “Suprême.” Helmed by James Beard Award-winning Chef Andrew Carmellini, you can enjoy scrumptious French pastries and reimaginings of classic bistro menu items at their everyday grand café and bakery — and/or vin de campagne, cocktails, apéritifs and craft beers at the gorgeous bar.
Where: 380 Lafayette St.
6. Aux Merveilleux de Fred, Midtown (Flagship)
Aux Merveilleux de Fred (Marvelous by Fred) is an iconic French bakery created by French pastry chef, Frédéric Vaucamps. The bakery is a celebrated name throughout France and opened an incredible U.S. flagship in NYC just last year (to join their smaller West Village location). Frédéric Vaucamps made a name for himself all thanks to his reimagining of the classic Merveilleux (a over-a-century-old confection originating in Belgium & France that is made from sandwiching sweet meringue with whipped cream and dusted in chocolate shavings). The flagship’s design showcases a stunning crystal chandelier to match its elegant interior that will whisk you away to the likes of boutique pastry shops in Northern France.
Where: 1001 6th Ave (Flagship Midtown) & 37 8th Ave (West Village)
7. Ladurée, SoHo
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Another classic Parisian brand, you can enjoy more than macaroons at Laduree’s SoHo location. Sneak out to their gorgeous back patio and sip on a cocktail, or check out their special teatime menu with pairings starting at 3 p.m.
Where: 398 W Broadway
8. Buvette, Greenwich Village
This Village institution is open all day long from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends, so it’s just as easy to pop in for a Croque Monsieur and café au lait as it is for a tartine (open-faced sandwich) and bibonade (wine with fresh fruit).
It’s walk-in only, and though you’ll probably have to wait for a table, it’ll be worth it!
Where: 42 Grove St.
9. La Mercerie, SoHo
For a fancier option, treat yourself (like a Parisian) at the stunning La Mercerie inside the Roman and Williams Guild. Dining is spread throughout the furniture and lighting shop, so you know the interior is stunning. They also have lovely outdoor seating that looks out over the cobblestoned streets of Howard & Mercer.
With a menu that “celebrates the delights of everyday French cooking,” enjoy fresh crepes, daily-changing quiche and duck confit. Their weekend brunch is superb as well!
Where: 53 Howard St.
10. Café Paulette, Fort Greene
Head over to Brooklyn for seasonal French fare at this Parisian-inspired bistro. Don’t miss the mussels, steak-frites and their enviable natural wine collection.
Where: 1 S Elliott Pl, Brooklyn