America is a melting pot of cultures, traditions, and cuisines. French cuisine is no exception, with there being several fantastic French restaurants located throughout the country. These restaurants provide excellent food — from steak frites to onion soup to escargot — and exceptional service. French restaurants are also great places to take your partner out on a romantic date due to their intimate atmosphere, top-notch decor, inviting music, and/or welcoming staff. That said, if you’re traveling around America and want to visit the best restaurants or are curious to see what the best French restaurant might be near your city, then keep reading to uncover these top spots.
13. Le Bernardin
155 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019
New York has some of the best international cuisine options in the country, so it’s no surprise that this city is the first on my list when it comes to the best French restaurants in America.
Le Bernardin is a highly-rated, upscale, 3-Michelin star restaurant in the Diamond District near the Rockefeller Center.
It has all three things I love in fine dining — prime service, luxury decor, and exceptional food.
The man behind it all, Chef Eric Ripert, is simultaneously traditional yet crafty, which makes for an interesting and delicious dining experience.
The menu options are elegant, such as the striped bass, scallop-caviar, and langoustine.
12. The French Laundry
6640 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599
A restaurant with “Laundry” in the name might be alarming, but trust me when I say that this fine dining restaurant is spectacular, albeit a bit pricey.
Chef Thomas Keller and his team prepare excellent dishes in an airy, modern stone farmhouse.
Many people claim this restaurant — in Yountville near the Napa Valley Museum — is in the top 50 restaurants in the world. And I’m inclined to agree.
I love all of their food, but the white truffle tasting menu was my favorite. Make sure you plan if you want to dine there because this restaurant only opens reservations intermittently.
60 E 65th St, New York, NY 10065
Daniel is another award-winning French restaurant in NYC, located on the Upper East Side between Park Avenue Armory and Galerie Lefebvre.
The renowned Chef Daniel Boulud opened this namesake restaurant in 1993 and has since been wowing guests with his contemporary French cuisine.
I tried the seven-course tasting menu, and it did not disappoint — from the Wild Scottish Pheasant to the Montauk Black Sea Bass, every dish was masterfully prepared and tasted even better than it looked.
The wine pairing is optional and comes at an additional expense, but it is well worth it.
Daniel has an extensive wine list, so you’re sure to try something that matches both your preferences and your meal perfectly.
1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023
Jean-Georges is an immaculate NYC French restaurant on the corner of Central Park near Columbus Circle.
Besides getting excellent views (and people-watching opportunities) of Central Park, this restaurant delivers a sophisticated atmosphere with white furniture and floor-to-ceiling windows.
The food in this NYC Michelin-star restaurant matches the ambiance, and I got the ten-course prim fixe menu, which is to die for.
The flavors of the food are quite intense, which I love. And I also appreciate the knowledgeable wait staff.
My server was well-equipped to answer any questions I had, and they even paired the wine for me to perfectly match the flavor profiles of my dishes.
9. Le Diplomate
1601 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Le Diplomate is a more welcoming and comfortable restaurant compared to the ones above in terms of atmosphere while maintaining a high level of quality, taste, and service.
In other words, you shouldn’t need to wear a suit and heels to this downtown D.C. spot, but you can go in put-together before enjoying familiar French dishes, such as steak frites, croque-madame, escargot, and beef bourguignon.
Le Diplomate also has an extensive wine list and an agreeable array of fine cocktails, such as a warm spiced cider with spiced rum or a mezcal cocktail with lime, ginger, pomegranate, and cardamom.
But perhaps my absolute favorite dish to get there is the lobster risotto, but you have to go on Tuesdays and get there early enough to find a seat if you want it!
8. Le Pigeon
738 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214
If you’re looking for a more creative and innovative French-inspired restaurant, look no further than Le Pigeon in Portland, neighboring the Bossanova Ballroom and the Imago Theater,
I love reserving seats at the Chef’s counter, where you can see all the food being prepared.
Sitting there certainly adds to the overall experience of watching the preparation of your food and being able to ask questions about it.
I also appreciate how varying the flavors of the food are. I got the seven-course menu and was impressed by how different each course’s flavor profile was.
I loved the seared foie gras, the glazed monkfish with lobster fennel salad, and the juicy rack of lamb with glazed carrots and charred cabbage.
This restaurant is also an excellent choice for vegetarians, as they are one of the few places that offer a completely vegetarian tasting menu.
5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego, CA 92130
Addison Restaurant is another of the U.S.’s top fine dining French restaurants due to its trusted set menus, expertly matched wine pairings, and luxurious decor.
I look at the Grand Chef William Bradley as more of an artist than just a cook, as he creates art with the food and brings so much intentionality to his work.
Addison is a Michelin-star, multi-award-winning restaurant located in Grand Del Mar Way next to the Grand Golf Club.
All you have to do is sit down and let the tasting menu take you through the ultimate experience for your taste buds.
My favorite items included the braised short rib, wild mushroom soup, and caramelized beets.
Those may not sound so exceptional on their own, but the additional ingredients, seasoning, and wine pairings take these dishes to the next level.
6. Atelier Crenn
3127 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123
San Francisco is another booming city with international cuisines and exceptional fine dining experiences.
Atelier Crenn is a renowned, modern French restaurant providing a clean, crisp, minimalist, and sophisticated eating area on Fillmore Street.
Atelier Crenn offers artfully creative dishes some may deem “Insta-worthy,” the opportunity to sit at the Chef’s table to see what’s going on in the kitchen, and inspired menu items.
You never know what might be on the menu when you go, but I enjoyed their grilled oyster, black cod, brioche with cultured butter, and leek tart.
Not only do they match the food with excellent wine, but they also match the menu items with lines of poetry so that there is an emotional appeal to your food — and it works!
5. Joël Robuchon
3799 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Joël Robuchon has several restaurant locations, but the flagship is L’Atelier de el Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas, located on the famous Vegas Strip near The Cosmopolitan and the Bellagio Hotel.
Another 3-Michelin star restaurant on this list, Joël Robuchon, still far exceeded my expectations in terms of taste, wine pairings, creativity, and artfulness of presentation.
I also appreciate the subtle yet serene atmosphere that welcomes you without being over the top.
You can choose menu items from the la carte option, but I prefer the tasting menu here, or what they call the “Seasonal Discovery Menu.” My favorite items were lobster tempura, wagyu beef strip, and caramelized quail.
4. Le Bouchon
1958 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Le Bouchon is a more casual and affordable French restaurant on this list, but it’s still an excellent choice if you want good food without all of the fuss.
This bistro, located between Bucktown and Wicker Park, is cute, quaint, and charming with its outer brick walls, wooden table and chair sets, and tasty menu.
I think their French onion soup is one of the best I’ve ever tried, and I also enjoyed the steak frites, mussels, and escargot.
If you’re looking to try something that might be a bit more out of the box, don’t hesitate to order the rabbit pot pie — it’s outstanding!
1104 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Mélisse, otherwise known as Citrin for the last name of Chef Josiah Citrin — is both a French and New American restaurant in Santa Monica near Christine Emerson Reed Park.
What I appreciate the most about this 2-Michelin star French restaurant is its seasonal cuisine. It also has a very intimate atmosphere that is exceptional for date nights.
The prix fixe menu is always a delight, filled with surprises that stimulate all five senses.
Plus, you’ll likely receive an excellent sommelier who is very knowledgeable about the food he or she presents you.
The egg caviar, lobster bolognese, and black Perigord truffles were my favorite items, but just sit back and let them serve because you won’t be disappointed by any of the items.
2. Per Se
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019
Per Se is undoubtedly one of the best French restaurants in America due to its 3-Michelin star rating, its location in the Time Warner Center near Central Park, and its incredible views of NYC.
Chef Thomas Keller is at the top of this haute cuisine establishment, and his attention to detail is evident in every dish.
The menu changes seasonally, but when I last went there, I was more than pleased with the confit filet of Mediterranean lubina, charcoal-grilled short rib, and sea scallops.
I was also surprised that Per Se had a “Cinnamon Toast Crunch” dessert with burnt honey ice cream. Of course, I tried it, and it was delicious!
1. The French Room
1321 Commerce St, Dallas, TX 75202
Last but not least is a straightforwardly named restaurant called The French Room.
It’s located near Pegasus Plaza in downtown Dallas and offers upscale French dining in historic Hotel Adolphus.
As usual, with fine dining French restaurants, I tend to prefer the tasting menu.
However, there are some exceptional a la carte entrees that are hard to pass up here, including the beet risotto, foie gras torchon, and Long Island Duck with butternut squash gel.
They are best known for their High Tea time in the afternoons, which is why they’re only open between 11:00 AM and 2:30 PM, so make sure to plan ahead!