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The 12 best French restaurants in Miami

Our guide to the best French restaurants in Miami has you covered, from soup to nuts—or escargot to entrecôte

Photograph: Courtesy db Bistro Moderne Miami/Claudia Uribe Touri

This city is a Francophile’s paradise—provided you know where to look for the best French restaurant in Miami. And while there are many options to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down to superb picks that run the gamut from celebrity-owned hot spots to casual Parisian bistros. Keep up the life of a bon vivant with an after-dinner digestif at one of the best wine bars in Miami, a café au lait at a Miami coffee shop or an éclair from a bakery in Miami. Bon appétit!        

Best French restaurants in Miami

1

Frenchie's Diner

Critics' pick

French food can be intimidating for non-adventurous eaters, but even first-timers will feel right at home eating the Gallic cuisine at Frenchie’s Diner, owned and operated by Shannon and Gabriel Castrec. Something about the pair’s dynamic makes the experience approachable. On any given day you’ll find chef Shannon toiling away in the kitchen while husband Gabriel tends to the bar and greets guests. If you’ve made reservations and your table is not ready, he makes sure you wait with champagne or rosé in hand. Were it not for the setup, you might think you’ve walked in on the Castrec’s living room during dinnertime—dining at Frenchie’s feels that intimate and convivial. There’s a short, chalkboard menu that changes frequently but like any home, Frenchie’s has a number of staples always on the menu: moules frites, steak tartare and Lyonnaise salad.  

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Coral Gables
2

Palme d'Or

More than a delicious meal, Palme d’Or offers guests a truly authentic, French culinary experience—like the kind of magical dinner you picture monarchs sitting down to every evening. You can’t help but feel like royalty when Michelin-starred chef Gregory Pugin prepares a perfect multi-course meal—balanced, portioned and composed exclusively of fresh, sustainable ingredients. Whether you opt for the chef’s tasting or choose to create your own menu (offered as four, six or eight courses), you’ll encounter modernized versions of classic French fare, of which the seared foie gras and delicate quail are decidedly remarkable. No surprise Palme d’Or is one of only three Five Diamond restaurants in Florida.  

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Coral Gables
3

Marion

This café, market, bakery and oyster bar is casual enough for a leisurely lunch (a large, varied buffet is served weekday afternoons) yet boasts a varied menu and plenty of options, making it a worthy destination for a night out. Executive chef Jean Paul Lourdes is responsible for the comprehensive menu that goes beyond charcuterie and raw bar offerings, though these are great, too. Think a tender rack of lamb and shareable portions of rib-eye steak and roast chicken, which is cut and served tableside. You’ll want to save room for decadently sweet creations, such as pillowy strawberry marshmallows that taste like the real fruit and a trio of profiteroles served with a drizzling of rich melted chocolate.

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Brickell
4

La Fresa Francesa Petit Café

This place serves up French fusion, Miami-style. Blending French and Cuban is as much a nod to the predominantly Cuban suburb it’s in as it is a passion of co-owners Benoît Rablat and Sandy Sanchez, who is a Hialeah native. On the menu you’ll find a cheesy version of a Cubano dubbed the Cubano in Paris that’s served on a buttery bun and topped with melted Gruyere, but food is distinctly French for the most part. Expect long wait times on weekends, when Rablat’s savory buckwheat crepes, truffled eggs and guava Bellinis lure diners from all parts Miami.

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Hialeah
5

db Bistro Moderne

Critics' pick

db Bistro Moderne offers an exciting mix of traditional French bistro cooking and contemporary American flavors. Chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant shares the energy and style of its renowned Manhattan counterpart, tailored here to the excitement of Miami life. The vibrant dining room’s striking contemporary design and soaring 16-foot ceilings are just as seductive as the welcoming bar and lounge, a street-level dining terrace and two private rooms accommodating up to 60 guests.

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Downtown
6

Bagatelle

Critics' pick

The brunch party at Bagatelle gets all the attention, deservedly if you consider the wild fun that happens before the sun even sets. More than brunch, it’s a dance party with bottle service and a side of eggs. And we like it that way. For something more substantial, we suggest stopping in for dinner when chef Matthieu Godard serves his full menu, peppered with Mediterranean dishes and French classics. Sit down to a meal of fresh lobster salad, hanger steak with polenta fries and profiteroles with Tahitian vanilla ice cream and you’ll quickly forget that just hours ago there was someone dancing atop the very banquet you’re sitting on. Like in life, timing is everything at Bagatelle so be sure to choose your experience accordingly. 

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Bayshore
7

Le Zoo

Stephen’s Starr’s haute French brasserie befits its location inside the posh Bal Harbour Shops. Where else would one go to kick up her Manolos after an afternoon of shopping but a classic French restaurant? Whether outdoors taking in the sunshine and beautifully dressed crowds or seated inside in the quaint salon, dining at Le Zoo feels like you’ve been transported to the shores of St. Tropez (prices are comparable to what you’d find in the French Riviera). Whether for lunch or dinner, here it's all about classic bistro standards: trout amadine, steak frites and crusty tarts.  

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Bal Harbour
8

Brasserie Central

Chef Pascal Oudin’s French restaurant offers Coral Gables a taste of what Paris’ bustling brasserie scene is really like. There’s a small walk-up window from which to order pastries and café au laits in the early morning and lots of outdoor seating overlooking the mall’s courtyard for those looking to languish over a meal, savoring every morsel like a true Parisian. If service appears slow, it probably is—by American standards that is. Rushing through crispy duck confit, gnocchi a la Parisienne or salad Lyonnaise with a perfectly poached egg is simply not the European way.

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Coral Gables
9

Colette Little French Bistro

Don’t be put off by its location (Lincoln Road, albeit the less touristy side) or the non-French dishes sprinkled throughout the menu (pizza, mostly), Colette is every bit as authentic as what you’d find wandering the streets of Paris. True to its name, the restaurant's dining room is petite, so unless you’re looking to brush elbows with your neighbors opt for a table on the sidewalk. Cramped and cozy or al fresco amid cars and street noise, both are true of a French bistro experience. Also in keeping are the tartares—salmon, steak or tuna make a light and refreshing choice for hot, summer days. But the real standout is the steak, which you’ll want to order with extra béarnaise.

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South Beach
10

Le Bouchon du Grove

Everything about this bistro screams "France"—except for the warm service. The cozy room, the closely packed tables and the convivial buzz are all très Paree. The home-made foie gras terrine and the onion soup are especially good. Birthdays are especially festive, as the lights dim, music blares and the glare of a spinning disco ball takes over while a group of French servers gather round for a joyful toast. Not your birthday? Champagne still flows and often free when you finding yourself in the narrow entryway waiting to be seated. 

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Coconut Grove
11

Villa Azur

In the heart of nightclub central, Villa Azur is a welcome reminder that the art of fine dining is not always lost on the party-’til-the-sun-rises crowd. This French restaurant channels a bit of the French Riviera with an inspired France-meets-Italy menu (the burrata stuffed with truffle and daily risotto never disappoint). You’ll be transported the moment you walk inside the door into a lobby that Marie Antoinette would have loved—crystal chandeliers, antique wood fixtures and sleek chairs and couches lead the way to the dining room. But the courtyard is where the action happens. All the usual accoutrements—like a $450 helping of Kaluga caviar and more celebrities than you can shake a stick at—are here. But the end result is surprisingly down to earth.

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South Beach
12

A La Folie

Quintessentially French, avec the attitude to prove it, this café is run by a Parisian who brought a piece of his precious city to Miami. A Euro crowd gathers to sip on endless cups of café au lait (ask for small, otherwise it arrives in something the size of a soup bowl). It also serves a mean croque-monsieur and crêpes. Grab a seat outdoors to people watch along Española Way, which, while no Champs-Élysées, has its share of characters. 

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South Beach

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By: Time Out Miami editors

See the best French restaurants in America

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