London's Best French Restaurants
These are the spots to go for French food on this side of The English Channel.
London's diverse and dynamic culinary landscape offers a blend of traditional and modern French gastronomy, providing many choices for enthusiasts of French food. In this guide, we highlight some of our favorite picks from London's dining scene, spotlighting the best French restaurants in the city. From the opulent and iconic Ritz Restaurant to the charming and historic French House, and the innovative, contemporary flair of The Ninth, each restaurant brings something different to the listing. All picks have been made based on recommendations from local chefs and food writers like Tom Jenkins, David J Constable, and Matthew Burgess. So if you're looking for the best French food that London has to offer, your search has come to an end.
The Ritz Restaurant is a Michelin-starred establishment known for its elegant classics and old-school French cooking. The restaurant offers a stunning dining room and a menu that combines traditional cooking with modern touches. With live music performances and a focus on providing a memorable experience, the Ritz Restaurant is a perfect destination for those seeking a timeless dining experience.
Going back in timeEating at the Ritz in London takes you back in time and I don’t mean in it in the bad sense of the word. In fact the complete opposite. The architecture goes back to 1903 and is in Louis XVI style which is impressive not only when you enter but also throughout the meal. So much to see! Live music performances. The menu is classic but with lots of modern touches. FOH is dramatic but shines very bright here with Giacomo as the star. Perfectly executed preparations at the table with fun exchanges in between were the cherry on top of the visit to the Ritz.
Claude Bosi at Bibendum offers solid French cooking with a modern twist, served in an iconic building. The restaurant is known for its use of simple ingredients that carry a modern French sparkle, under the guidance of renowned Chef Claude Bosi. Patrons can enjoy a variety of experiences, from lunch or dinner at the ground floor Oyster Bar to an opulent dining experience at the elegant Claude Bosi restaurant.
When London meets Paris. That little French sparkle in the UK.The house of Mr. Bibendum aka Claude Bosi. Iconic is the building, legendary is Claude’s cuisine. “Simple” ingredients though with that French modern sparkle, are the signature of Claude & his team. As a captain on a sailing ship, Claude navigates his cuisine in serene waters. Special positive remark for Diego Masciaga, head of the Front of House. As legendary as the chef himself. Topspot in London. Ps visited during W50B London with The Family.
The French House is a historic pub in Soho that has been a popular spot for artists, writers, and actors for many years. The restaurant, run by head chef Neil Borthwick, offers classic French dishes, including grilled ox tongue and roast skate wing, along with freshly baked madeleines served with zingy lemon curd. Known for its no music, no machines, no television, and no mobile phones rule, it's a haven for those who enjoy good conversation over a glass of one of their thirty superb champagnes and wines.
Superb bistro cooking at a Soho institutionNeil Borthwick (ex Merchants Tavern) must be doing some of the most assured Frenglish cooking in London upstairs at this historic pub that has been a haunt for notorious Soho bohemians for decades. Fluffy beignets, the creamiest, richest chicken liver parfait - even the salad dressings will make you weep with joy. Happy food.
"The Greenhouse" serves modern French cuisine, with a high level of execution. The Landes chicken is a standout dish, appreciated by many visitors for its exceptional taste. A visit to this restaurant offers an opportunity to experience the finest in French culinary tradition.
The Greenhouse was such a nice experience. So flawlessly executed at the highest level. Especially the Landes chicken was soooo delicious. This is modern French cuisine at its finest and certainly worth a visit.
Pique-Nique is a French restaurant and rôtisserie located in Bermondsey, London. Known for its wellington specials, the seabass wellington is a popular choice among patrons. The restaurant also offers a variety of dishes, including the Pithivier St Jacques, which was a hit during their New Year’s Eve special.
One of the best dishes I’ve had, is this Pithivier St Jacques from Pique Nique. Although this was only a New Year’s Eve special, their daily wellington specials, including the seabass wellington looks good!
Gauthier Soho is a 100% vegan restaurant that has reinvented French gastronomy with a plant-based focus. The menu features creative dishes such as Fleur de Courgette Farcie, Heritage Beetroot, Leek Terrine, and Tomato Ravioli, all designed to positively impact our planet. With a commitment to sustainability, Gauthier Soho is recognized for its low carbon footprint and innovative culinary techniques.
One of my favourite French restaurants in London. There are days when I dream of their lobster tortellini and truffle risotto. Kudos as well to Alexis Gauthier for creating ‘faux’ gras and championing vegetables.
"The Ninth" is a London-based restaurant that specializes in French Mediterranean sharing plates. The menu is simple yet fresh, with a significant emphasis on seasonal ingredients and a variety of vegetarian dishes. Their fresh pastas and highly recommended pain perdu are some of the highlights that you can enjoy on a weekly basis.
French Mediterranean sharing plates. Uncomplicated, fresh and big focus on seasonal ingredients. Lots of great veg dishes. Amazing fresh pastas are highlights. Best pain perdu in town. Food you can eat every week.
Casse-Croûte is a charming French bistro located on Bermondsey Street, reminiscent of the quintessential eateries found in France. The bistro offers a warm, relaxed atmosphere with red leather banquets, chequered tablecloths, and black & white tiled flooring. The menu, which changes daily, features a selection of classic French dishes crafted from fresh, seasonal ingredients and is known for its rustic and hearty meals such as snails, rabbit, and frog legs.
Picture the most classically classic tiny French bistro you can muster, pluck it from your mind's eye and plonk it down smack-bang in the middle of Bermondsey Street. That's Casse Croûte.Oozing with plenty of French character, this lovely little local eatery is all red leather banquets, paper-topped chequered tablecloths and black & white tiled flooring. Friendly, engaging and relaxed, the team seemingly knows what makes for an enjoyable dining experience and I for one find it impossible to have anything but a wonderful time.Diners are given the option of starter, main and dessert with a choice of three dishes per course. Chalked up on the blackboard in an old school way but snapped on a smartphone and uploaded to the world wide web in a very new school way, the menu features a changing selection of classics crafted around what is available on any given day. Snails? Excellent. Rabbit? Similarly so. Frog legs? Same story. Rustic, hearty and heartfelt in equal measure, the hits far outweigh the misses so choose what tickles your fancy and go for it. Side note: if the boeuf en croute with seasonal vegetables is on the menu, you should probably get it.A cosy atmosphere coupled with reasonably priced, well-executed, delicious food that feels as though it has been created with the sole purpose of making you smile, this is the kind of neighbourhood restaurant that makes you wish you lived in the neighbourhood. The kind of neighbourhood restaurant you would travel across town for. Indeed, we did. Often.
Frenchie Covent Garden is a restaurant offering globally influenced French cuisine and a wide selection of drinks. The menu is a fusion of the best from France and Britain, featuring inventive dishes that highlight top-notch seasonal ingredients and innovative flavor combinations. It's particularly recommended for a light lunch complemented by a bottle of natural wine.
Cousin of Gregory Marchand’s Parisian original, serving globally influenced French fare and drinks to match. Combining the best of France and Britain, while inventive dishes are a showcase for impeccable seasonal ingredients and creative flavour combinations. Especially good for light lunch with a bottle of natural wine.
FishWorks is a London-based seafood restaurant that offers a traditional wet fish counter where customers can choose their preferred fish or crustacean to be cooked on the spot. The restaurant boasts a wide variety of seafood including prawns, tuna, cod, trout, halibut, flounder, grouper, and a range of French, Rock and Native oysters. FishWorks is conveniently located near major tube stations and is perfect for both midweek meals and weekend dining, offering a lively atmosphere and a fresh, bespoke seafood experience.
Choose your catch and indulge in this West End fish restaurant The restaurant offers a traditional wet fish counter where you can buy fish to take home and cook yourself, or you can select any fish or crustacean with the fishmonger and have it cooked there and then - whopper prawns, tuna, cod, trout, halibut, flounder, grouper. Plenty of French, Rock and Native oysters. Plus, a show-stopping Fruits de Mer. The atmosphere is great both weekends and midweek, just off Regent Street and London’s West End.
Alex Dilling at Hotel Café Royal is a high-end restaurant, led by renowned chef Alex Dilling, with a focus on French cuisine. The restaurant showcases the finest ingredients and offers a playful take on traditional dishes, setting a standard for haute cuisine. With a variety of menus available, including tasting menus and vegetarian options, it caters to a wide range of dietary requirements.
Proving why ‘fine’ dining is just that…After the premature closing of The Greenhouse at the start of the pandemic Alex Dilling has been popping up at various places around Europe but his new, self titled, Cafe Royal restaurant marks his return and it doesn’t disappoint! With his head chef Pierre Minotti leading the team London has a new go to destination for high end French cuisine. Playful takes on tradition only enhance what serious dining is all about. In a world of ‘new and groovy’ dining concepts AD and Co are setting the standard for haute cuisine as it should be. Many Michelin baubles will no doubt follow….
Colbert is a relaxed neighbourhood restaurant situated in the heart of Chelsea, London. Known for its classic French bistro menu, it offers a range of meals from breakfast to late-night dining, seven days a week. With a prime location next to The Royal Court Theatre, and an interior filled with art and local memorabilia, it provides a charming atmosphere that is reminiscent of the great boulevard cafés of Paris.
Sloane square’s classic French bistroColbert situates in the best corner of Sloane square and it is perfect for watching the local crowd from Knightsbridge, Chelsea and Belgravia. Basic good French bistro food. Charming both outside and inside.
Balthazar is a French bistro, known for its pleasant ambiance and traditional French brasserie style. The restaurant, which also has a location in New York City's SoHo, offers all-day dining and features a rich selection of seafood, including oysters, sole, sea bass, and lobster. In addition to its main menu, Balthazar also offers a delectable Prix Fixe menu, a variety of afternoon tea options, and a diverse wine list.
Covent Garden’s favourite French bistro.A wonderful French bistro with a really nice ambience in the Covent Garden theatre district. Balthazar may be familiar to many from New York City’s SoHo and this is pretty much the same. Typical French bistro food and a rich oyster and fish bar. I love the atmosphere in both locations. Reserve well in advance due to its popularity. A theatre followed by Balthazar makes a perfect experience. Try sole, sea bass, lobster, tartar or filé de beauf.
Established in 1890, Gordon's Wine Bar is believed to be the oldest wine bar, offering an extensive selection of wines and a variety of French-style food. The bar provides an alluring ambience with its vaulted candlelit cellar, old oak barrels filled with sherries and port, and walls adorned with historic photographs and newspaper clippings. With an outdoor seating area under heated awnings, a diverse food menu including over 15 different cheeses, charcuterie, and vegetarian and vegan options, Gordon's Wine Bar ensures a memorable experience for wine lovers.
The oldest wine bar in the city in a space full of history.Gordons Wine Bar was established in 1890 and is believed to be the oldest wine bar in the city. Since then, it has been a bastion of great wine and great French-style food in London. And it fits right under the embankment inside the old caves.
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