1. Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Using produce from both sides of the English Channel, Executive Chef Jean-Philippe Blondet fine-tunes Alain Ducasse’s contemporary French cuisine with seasonal delights such as heritage tomatoes, Aveyron lamb and Anjou pigeon. The elegant and modern setting of the three-Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester perfectly matches the kitchen offering, providing a refreshing alternative to more traditional French fine dining venues.
Where: Mayfair (53 Park Lane, W1K 1QA)
2. Gauthier Soho
Enjoy exquisite French vegan cuisine at Gauthier Soho, one of the best French restaurants and vegan addresses in town. Tuck into top-notch dishes such as saffron roasted butternut squash or miso caramelised turnip and quince, courtesy of vegan chef Alexis Gauthier.
Where: Soho (21 Romilly Street, W1D 5AF)
3. Coq d'Argent
Soak in breathtaking views of London landmarks as you indulge in gastronomic French cuisine at Coq d’Argent. Take your pick from the seared fillet of sea bass or Comté cheese tart and let yourself fall for one of the exquisite desserts created by Executive Chef Damien Rigollet. Vegetarian and vegan dishes are also available.
Where: The City (No.1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ)
Bringing French flair to Soho, Blanchette is a charming, quintessentially French bistro serving modern takes on classic Parisian dishes. Diners here are encouraged to share the small plates on the menu conjured up by Head Chef Tom Storrar, formerly of Bibendum. A wide selection of wines and Normandy ciders are available to complement the rustic fare.
Where: Soho (9 D'Arblay Street, W1F 8DR)
5. Le Gavroche
The legendary Albert and Michel Roux once helped lay the foundations of London’s world-class dining scene with the opening of Le Gavroche in 1967. But while the late Albert and Michel Snr might have started the family’s love affair with the capital, Albert’s son Michel Jnr has since taken over the reins of the Mayfair eatery with aplomb. If you’re looking for top-end classical French fare, it’s hard to look elsewhere.
Where: Mayfair (43 Upper Brook Street, W1K 7QR)
Indulge in French bistro food and good wine in chic surrounds at classy all-day brasserie Balthazar in Covent Garden. The menu includes a selection of classic French brasserie and bistro dishes, including moules frites (mussels and chips), duck confit, beef stroganoff and beef bourguignon.
Where: Covent Garden (4-6 Russell Street, WC2B 5HZ)
7. La Poule au Pot
With its unpretentious charm and intimate setting, La Poule au Pot has been a French institution in London since the 1960s. Sample simple, traditional fare including beef bourguignon, coq au vin, ratatouille and poule au pot (chicken in a pot), and make sure you leave room for dessert – the chocolate mousse and the tarte tatin are divine!
Where: Belgravia (231 Ebury Street, SW1W 8UT)
8. Galvin at Windows
If you’re looking to woo, French food alone might not be quite enough. But top-notch Gallic fare AND a view? Now you’re talking. Perched on the 28th floor of Hilton London on Park Lane with views of The Shard, Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace, the Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows serves modern French fare. The prices are not necessarily as high as the location, with a three-course set lunch available for as little as £45.
Where: Mayfair (22 Park Lane, W1K 1BE)
9. Mon Plaisir
Discover a menu brimming with classic French dishes, such as escargots, onion soup and tartiflette, at one of the oldest French restaurants in London. You can also choose from one of four rooms, each offering their own unique dining experience. The Front, with its authentic 1940s décor, is the original Mon Plaisir dining room and a firm favourite.
Where: Covent Garden (19-21 Monmouth Street, WC2H 9DD)
10. Hélène Darroze at the Connaught
Enjoy creative cuisine at Michelin-starred restaurant Hélène Darroze at The Connaught in Mayfair. Discover a tasting menu that pairs elegance and tradition with contemporary flair, seasonal British ingredients with the finest international flavours, and impeccable service with unique wine pairings.
Where: Mayfair (Carlos Place, W1K 2AL)
11. Brasserie Zédel
French food in the capital doesn't need to come with a credit card bill as hefty as a cheese-laden tartiflette. Brasserie Zédel, just footsteps from Piccadilly Circus, is a great place for a reasonably priced meal, where you can try classic dishes such as steak haché or confit duck. The two-course prix fixe menu is just £16.95. Dine amid the art deco splendour of the brasserie’s spacious dining room, where the animated atmosphere encapsulates 1920s Paris.
Where: Soho (20 Sherwood Street, W1F 7ED)
12. Clos Maggiore
Are you seeking somewhere truly intimate? Clos Maggiore, tucked away discreetly in a Covent Garden side street, is a must for romantics. This Provençal-style eatery has an open courtyard in summer or a cosy dining room with a roaring fire in winter – all thanks to its retractable roof. On the menu, you’ll find seasonal dishes with a touch of Mediterranean flair form Head Chef Marcellin Marc.
Where: Covent Garden (33 King Street, WC2E 8JD)