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The best French restaurants in Boston

When you can’t get to Paris, a reservation at these restaurants will do the trick

Jillian Dara
Written by
Jillian Dara
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It’s no secret that Boston is home to an extensive list of amazing restaurants, which includes some of the city’s most prominent dining options for getting a taste of la cuisine française. That’s right: The best French restaurants in Boston strive to emulate France’s renowned culinary tradition, which spans from casual cafes and intimate bistros to refined brasseries and upscale Parisian eateries. Here in the Hub, you’ll find all of your French favorites, whether it’s a croque madame, coq au vin, ratatouille or even a distinctive, imported cheese plate—just check out this list of the best French restaurants in Boston right now. In search of more European eats? Visit the best Italian restaurants in Boston

The best French restaurants in Boston

  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Leather District
  • price 4 of 4

This unassuming restaurant in the city’s Leather District gained a cult following from neighborhood fans and business folks alike for its seamless blend of New American and French cuisines. The bistro is elegant and sexy without the pretense of an exclusive Parisian eatery, yet it serves fine dining plates to create a superior quality experience. The frisée salad is a favorite starter, while the rotating entrees usually feature a lamb rack and chicken dish that are to die for.

  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Back Bay
  • price 4 of 4

This Back Bay storefront blends in with its townhouse surrounds, so unless you’re in the know, you’d likely walk right past it. The haute bar, which boasts only a few high-tops, is an intimate spot for a date, while the back room, centered around a fireplace, is cozy and dimly lit—just like what you might find wandering into a Parisian fine dining establishment. The menu changes with the season, however, you can always expect to find duck in various forms—from pâté to confit to breast—as well as a chicken Giannone that will forever set the bar for ordering poultry on a night out.

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Beacon Hill
  • price 4 of 4

Opened in 1998 as Barbara Lynch’s first restaurant venture, No. 9 Park still lives in its original edifice and is synonymous with unmatched quality. Though you can opt for à la carte, the tasting menu is No. 9 Park’s hallmark, including rotating dishes all grounded in French cuisine. One thing you can guarantee to grace the menu? The prune-stuffed gnocchi with foie gras, almond and vin santo, which has been a founding menu item and continues to be as tasty as it is timeless.

  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Back Bay

Set a few streets over from Newbury in the Back Bay, Cafe Sauvage is a neighborhood-first spot. With a welcoming atmosphere, this place serves up French treats throughout the week days (chocolate croissants, croque madames and savory, plus sweet crêpes) as well as a weekend brunch. With a French wine list, it’s just as much of a place to meet for a cafe au lait as it is for a Bordeaux blend.

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Beacon Hill

A definitive name in Beacon Hill, Chef Jacky Robert’s French brasserie serves up any French classic you could possibly crave—from escargots and moules frites to cheese fondue and frog legs. The intimate bar also serves up a selection of regional aperitifs so you can sit down for L’Apéro, including Americano, Lillet Blanc and Martini Rouge, served neat or mixed into the cocktails offered on their limited but unique drink menu.

  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Back Bay
  • price 4 of 4

Chef Michael Serpa refers to his French bistro as “simple” and, while it channels the energy of a casual wine bar on a lesser populated Parisian Street, the flavors here are so robust and varied that they are anything but simple. The straightforward menu carries the classics, including a charcuterie plate and venison, in addition to a pleasantly surprising selection of vegetables, including cauliflower, bok choy and mushrooms that complements the chef’s French foundation.

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Fenway/Kenmore
  • price 2 of 4

If you’re craving steak frites or coq au vin, this South End address is here to satiate. The elegantly styled French bistro serves a number of unique French dishes at both lunch and dinner (like calf’s liver with onions and beef tartare), all of which can be perfectly paired with a selection off of its lengthy French wine list. No matter what time of day that you visit, just don’t skip the baguette, an elevated offering on a bread course you won’t want to miss.

  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Back Bay
  • price 3 of 4

Traditionally French yet creatively Boston, this behemoth space is spread across a casual bar and eatery, elevated upstairs dining room and daytime cafe, where French pastries call your name. The escargot and charred octopus make an ideal first bite before ordering the divinely filling côte de boeuf or classic bolognese.

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • South End

The garnet interiors and minimalist-branded plates exude a true French bistro experience before you even sit down. A slew of French classics appear on this menu, however, a few of our favorites include duck à l’orange and sole meunière. For something a little less traditional but remarkably flavorful, opt for the truffle burger made with dry aged beef and truffle sauce, and served on a toasted potato bun.

  • Restaurants
  • Seaport District

Situated inside the Seaport’s newest hotel, the Omni Boston, the whimsically pastel-lined walls of Coquette transport diners to the Basque Country, where French and Spanish coastal influences appear on menu items like clams gratiné and tuna au poivre. There are also small bites, more similar to the Spanish influence of tapas but still feature the flavors of France, like the mussels picante and joues de bouef.

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Back Bay

Basked in a deep mahogany glow, the ruby interiors of this underground, Newbury Street venue contribute a suave atmosphere to its sophisticated menu. Inspired by the original Cannes restaurant, La Voile au Vent (The Sail in the Wind), founded in 1947, much of the decor, including the vintage chandelier and sailing art, now adorns Boston’s La Voile. This authentic history translates to the menu, where foie gras, French onion soup and cassoulet tantalize you to order more and more.

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