It’s fair to say, French food is one of the most highly respected cuisines in the world. Certainly in terms of modern cuisine we owe a great deal to French cuisine, and the foundations of French cooking - the mother sauces, techniques and more - are still a huge part of how we cook today. Each region of France brings something to the table, from the sunny Mediterranean dishes of the Southern coast to the rich, rustic flavours of the more rural regions, with each area taking full advantage of its local produce. Whichever sort of iteration of this European food you fancy you’ll find it below, in our round up of the best French restaurants in London - bon appetit!
London is simply full to the brim with great French restaurants, all featured here in our complete list of the best French restaurants in London. Visit classic French bistros and brasseries, with their rustic style menus full of classic French dishes or perhaps sample one of London’s best fine dining French restaurants where high end cuisine is served in beautiful surroundings.
If you really fancy the crème de la crème amongst French restaurants in the capital, London is lucky enough to boast some of the finest in the world, right up to three Michelin-starred temples of gastronomy. These fancy affairs are well worth saving up for, but the other end of the scale, the menus of some of the most affordable restaurants in London are also French-led, with spots such as Brasserie Zédel offering some of the best value for money in Central London.
So, whether you’re looking for a hearty plate of beef bourguignon, a foie gras-filled tasting menu, or simply a top notch croque monsieur, you’ll be sure to find the perfect place in London to satisfy your cravings. With so many amazing French restaurants around, it can be rather overwhelming when deciding which one to visit, so we’ve put together this list of London's best French restaurants.
The Midland Grand Dining Room, King's Cross
What: Rivalling The Ritz as London’s most jaw-dropping dining room, The Midland Grand Dining Room honours the legacy of grand station restaurants, serving modern, elegant French food in an utterly beguiling gothic dining room at St Pancras. An extremely competitive lunch set menu makes this accessible too.
Where: St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, NW1 2AR
Book now: The Midland Grand Dining Room
Le Pont de la Tour, Tower Bridge
What: Another storied London restaurant, Le Pont de la Tour combines elegant Gallic brasserie cooking with great views and a lovely riverside terrace down by Tower Bridge. Chic interiors mean that Le Pont de la Tour holds up as a celebration restaurant too.
Where: Butlers Wharf, 36d Shad Thames, SE1 2YE
Book now: Le Pont de la Tour
Maison Francois, St. James's
What: From brilliant attentive service to timeless French cooking, Maison Francois has it all. The expansive site has plenty of room for all and a lovely atmosphere when it’s buzzing. Like many on this list this is not one for the calorie-conscious (most dishes are bathed in oil or butter) but for delightful, elevated brasserie classics, you can’t go wrong here.
Where: 34 Duke Street, SW1Y 6DF
Book now: Maison Francois
Le Cafe du Marche, Farringdon
What: Housed in an old Farringdon warehouse, Le Cafe du Marche is all about romance, from the crisp white tablecloths to the greenery and sumptuous French menu, which changes often but always has something you want to eat. The menu dives into more provincial French classics, and always comes as a menu du jour with a choice of two or three courses at very reasonable value.
Where: 22 Charterhouse Square, EC1M 6DX
Book now: Le Cafe du Marche
The Ritz Restaurant, Mayfair
What: If ever there was a restaurant worth saving up to visit it would have to be The Ritz, the creme de la creme of fine dining. Executive chef John Williams’s menu is just as impressive as the grand interiors, though it has to be said, this is probably the most beautiful restaurant in the country.
Where: The Ritz Hotel, W1J 9BR
Book now: The Ritz Restaurant
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, Mayfair
What: This beautiful, timeless restaurant in The Connaught Hotel serves up sublime French food at the very highest level. Helene Darroze is one of the world’s most respected French chefs and her three Michelin-starred restaurant at The Connaught is among the very best anywhere in Britain.
Where: The Connaught Hotel, W1K 2AL
Book now: Hélène Darroze at The Connaught
Coq d'Argent, City of London
What: This City worker hotspot pulls crowds in for its faultless standards and unique offering in the guise of an immaculate roof garden and fabulous views. As might be expected in this part of town, the menu goes big on luxury ingredients like black truffle, steak and crab.
Where: 1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ
Book now: Coq d'Argent
Frenchie Covent Garden
What: This Covent Garden restaurant might look like a mere attempt at garnering Instagram likes but happily the on-trend interiors come accompanied by an accomplished French menu from Gregory Marchand, who also runs Michelin-starred Frenchie in Paris. Mains make use of British ingredients, but each plate is given a touch of the continent.
Where: 16 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QH
Book now: Frenchie Covent Garden
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, Mayfair
What: Somehow Alain Ducasse has created a fine-dining space that doesn’t feel stuffy or pretentious, and along the way managed to pick up three Michelin stars. This kind of French food is worth saving for the most special of occasions.
Where: The Dorchester Hotel, W1K 1QA
Book now: Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Les 110 de Taillevent, Marylebone
What: One of the standout features of Les 110 de Taillevent is its wine list, which is vast and largely offered by the glass. The wines can be paired with indulgent dishes such as foie gras, and the restaurant looks the part too, making this a great choice if you want to make an impression.
Where: 16 Cavendish Square, W1G 9DD
Book now: Les 110 de Taillevent
Brasserie Zédel, Soho
What: This cavernous, grand restaurant in the heart of Piccadilly delivers opulent, old-world-style interiors (all white and gold and intricately detailed) with service to match. The highlight is forever the excellent prix fixe menu, which always manages to stay competitive and excellent.
Where: 20 Sherwood Street, W1F 7ED
Book now: Brasserie Zédel
Bouchon Racine, Farringdon
What: Henry Harris’ restaurant Racine was sadly-missed when it departed Knightsbridge some years ago, but when it returned in the evolved form of Bouchon Racine, it returned just as good, perhaps even better. This is the place for no-frills, gutsy French cooking, and old favourites like Harris’ calves brains in black butter, steak au poivre, rabbit and mustard, and the famous creme caramel are still alive and well.
Where: 66 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6BP
Book now: Bouchon Racine
Alex Dilling at Hotel Cafe Royal, Piccadilly
What: Alex Dilling's cooking was held in extremely high regard when he led The Greenhouse to two Michelin stars, so it wasn't a shock when his debut solo restaurant at Hotel Cafe Royal won a similar accolade within its first year of business. The quality and precision of the cooking at Alex Dilling at Hotel Cafe Royal is nothing short of spectacular, with traditional French cooking methods honoured in slick, modern plates. The restaurant has a predictably extensive French wine collection too.
Where: Hotel Café Royal, 68 Regent Street, W1B 4DY
Book now: Alex Dilling at Hotel Cafe Royal
What: Otto himself, the eponymous owner, is as much a draw to this restaurant as the menu is with his larger-than-life personality that exudes into every aspect of this French eatery. The food, which includes lobster and duck presses, is also not to be missed.
Where: 182 Gray's Inn Road, WC1X 8EW
Book now: Otto’s
What: With just three options on the menu each day (which is a hand-written chalkboard), this small old-fashioned bistro gives off a traditional French vibe. Everyday you can be sure to find plates, such as salmon coulibiac with beurre blanc, all packed with flavour.
Where: 109 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3XB
Book now: Casse-Croûte
Le Gavroche, Mayfair
What: Opened in 1967 by the Roux brothers, Le Gavroche has been one of London’s most iconic restaurants for half a century, serving up sumptuous old-school fare including lobster mousse with caviar and Champagne butter sauce. The restaurant will sadly close at the beginning of 2024, but there’s still time to get a table for a last try of the famous souffle Suissesse.
Where: 43 Upper Brook Street, W1K 7QR
Book now: Le Gavroche
What: This cosy space on Battersea Rise offers up something of olde worlde Paris, a dimly-lit bistro serving up perfect plates of food at prices that won’t make you baulk. Wines are offered by the glass, carafe or bottle.
Where: 27 Battersea Rise, SW11 1HG
Book now: Soif
Soutine, St John's Wood
What: This quaint Gallic cafe-restaurant offers a little piece of Parisian life on St John’s Wood high street. Decadent decor and a menu filled with French-cafe favourites ensure Soutine is the perfect destination for those looking for a sophisticated but casual dining experience.
Where: 60 St John’s Wood High Street, NW8 7SH
Book now: Soutine
What: A relaxed brasserie from the Wolseley Hospitality Group, Bellanger is an all-day dining fixture of North London life. Steak frites and croques are staples on the menu, offering a taste of casual French dining that can be enjoyed with a glass of something special.
Where: 9 Islington Green, N1 2XH
Book now: Bellanger
La Dame de Pic at Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square, Tower Hill
What: With two Michelin stars and an arresting double-height modern dining room, Anne-Sophie Pic’s two Michelin-starred London restaurant makes a seriously impressive venue for a special occasion. The menu is composed of classic dishes that make use of some pretty indulgent ingredients.
Where: Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, EC3N 4AJ
Book now: La Dame de Pic at Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square
Claude Bosi at Bibendum, Chelsea
What: If you want to eat the best French food in London then why not head straight for the top? This incredibly indulgent two Michelin star restaurant in Chelsea serves up some of the capital’s finest examples of classic cookery, all wrapped up in the magnificent Michelin Building in West London.
Where: Michelin House, SW3 6RD
Book now: Claude Bosi at Bibendum
Galvin at Windows, Mayfair
What: If La Chapelle’s old-fashioned charms don’t quite do it for you, why not head to the 28th floor of the London Hilton Park Lane and enjoy a more contemporary take on Chris and Jeff Galvin’s French cooking, with one of London’s most jaw-dropping views.
Where: London Hilton Park Lane, 22 Park Lane, W1K 1BE
Book now: Galvin at Windows
Galvin La Chapelle, Spitalfields
What: Chris and Jeff Galvin’s legacy of French cooking in London is unquestioned, and Galvin La Chapelle is testament to that. This is a crowd-pleaser in all senses of the word: incredible food, warm hospitality and an impressive setting. The menu is built around classic French technique, but expect plenty of added flare.
Where: 35 Spital Square, E1 6DY
Book now: Galvin La Chapelle
Cabotte, City of London
What: This low-lit restaurant delivers smart French cooking - the beef cheek Bourguignon is richly satisfying, and the tarte tatin does the job too, for a meal that will have you lingering over each course. Cabotte’s ace in the hole is that it was founded by a pair of master sommeliers, so the wine list is predictably first class.
Where: 48 Gresham Street, EC2V 7AY
Book now: Cabotte
What: Exquisitely presented plates of food come out of the kitchen at Noize, where the dining room is wood-panelled and decked out in crisp white linens. Expect dishes like glazed sweetbreads with morels, and scallops with cauliflower.
Where: 39 Whitfield Street, W1T 2SF
Book now: Noizé
Chez Lindsay, Richmond
What: This homely restaurant feels comforting the minute you step through the doors, thanks to its traditional, fuss-free interiors. The menu here relies on classics done well, rather than innovation, so if you’re looking for a restaurant that serves all the hits, Chez Lindsay is the one.
Where: 11 Hill Rise, TW10 6UQ
Book now: Chez Lindsay
What: While you can visit Soho favourite Blanchette for an evening of wine, cheese and charcuterie, there is much more on offer here than this standard trio. The mid-level priced larger plates never fail to be delicious and are well worth trying as well, and it’s particularly lovely in the summer when you can grab a seat at the open front and watch Soho life go by.
Where: 9 D'Arblay Street, W1F 8DR
Book now: Blanchette
Club Gascon, Barbican
What: Famed for its duck https://cdn.squaremeal.co.uk/article/10536/images/best-french-restaurants-london-club-gascon_12092023112600.jpgoptions Club Gascon serves up all kinds of iterations of this well-loved meat, including the rather controversial foie gras. If you’re not in the mood for offal, fear not, as there are plenty of other tempting options.
Where: 57 West Smithfield, EC1A 9DS
Book now: Club Gascon
If you're looking for something a little more adventurous with some French spirit, check out our list of the best Modern European restaurants in London. Or, if you tend to gravitate towards the fine dining of the Michelin Guide, out handy guide to every Michelin-starred restaurant in London is worth a look too.