London might be across the channel from France, but that in no way means that the city doesn’t tip its hat to French culture every now and again. With the UK capital dishing out a wide-spanning menu of cultural cuisines, French food has always been popular. From the high street chains to the independent and Michelin Starred, French food has always represented a refined evening out. What with softly lit and glitzy interiors, well-presented plates and a sensibility towards food which you won’t find anywhere else, the French Bistros of London are well worth a visit, whether for a romantic night out or for a lunchtime work meeting.
Below are just a few of the best French restaurants and bistros available in London, giving everyone from the Hyde Park International Hotel family guests to East London day-trippers a chance to enjoy not only the best restaurants in London but quite possibly in the world too.
Based out of Kensington, Margaux is a one of a kind French restaurant overseen by pro-French cuisine chef Zsolt Ferencz. With a mix of Southern dishes promoting rustic aperitifs and delicacies, this restaurant has also branched into international foodstuffs. With seafood being top of the menu this is definitely not one to miss.
Le Cafe du Marche
Le Cafe du Marche is located in Clerkenwell’s Smithfield Market area and boasts a family-run French diner that’s been going since the mid-80s’. Whether you’re on the lookout for salad nicoise or chewy grilled squid, this is one for the French foodie who loves their meals that little bit more refined.
Balthazar was originally a New York hot spot but has now opened up a branch in Covent Garden. Based in the heart of the city, Balthazar promises a plush red leather interior inspired by Parisian dining rooms. Top of the menu is their exquisite moules frite and an onion soup gratinee at this French bistro repurposed from Covent Garden’s former Theatre Museum.
With a name like L’Escargot, it’s not surprising that this is one of the best places in London to find snail based dishes. This French speciality isn’t the only food served here, with classics like lobster bisque being another. This restaurant has also been located in Soho since 1927 and has garnered a number of celebrity regulars, including Mick Jagger and Coco Chanel.
Frenchie is another Covent Garden must-try. With branches based back in Paris, the Soho outpost is a Micheline Starred must and has an interior well suited to such prestige. With the five-course tasting menu and a mouthwatering wine selection, Frenchie spiced vegetables and fish favourites into a beautiful blend of boutique French dining.
Not far from some of our London Shaftesbury Hotels, Blanchette is a well-priced French tapas restaurant, serving up quick taster menus in a tile-floored Shoreditch diner. With beautiful terrace styled decor and a cheese menu that’s unrivalled in London. For simple bites and complex blends, Blanchette fits the bill easily.
Based in the Barbican area of East London, Cabotte boasts a refined interior and a menu full of delicate flavours. With potato gnocchi and lobster and a variety of well presented, colourful dishes, Cabotte boasts one of the best menus for explosions of taste in London.
Club Gascon has dedicated its French menu to minimalist endeavours of true beauty. With root vegetables and bone marrow Craster and a range of roasted delights, Club Gascon in West Smithfields is a bustling eatery that delights in its French-inspired creations.
Galvin at Windows
Galvin at Windows is a simply put together art deco delight inside, and the menu truly is a testament to the Galvin Brothers who started the joint. Based in Park Lane and offering stunning views over London, this is a sleek lunch and dinner diner that promises tastes as good as the sunsets.
La Dame de Pic
La Dame de Pic is a French restaurant that puts the presentation on a par with taste. With such delights as curry dusted marshmallows, you’ll be in for a truly one-of-a-kind treat at this glamorous restaurant.
Bistro at the Bleeding Heart
The Bleeding Heart pub was named after the legend of a spurned lovers murder, but the food at its on-site bistro is to die for too! With an interior inspired by classic French farmhouses, the Bistro at the Bleeding Heart promises rustic stoneware flagons, garlic drizzled Steak Frites and strong mustards. A must for hearty French food lovers looking for a laid back meal in a famous Farringdon pub.
Based just off of Piccadilly Circus and easy to reach from our Park Grand London Kensington Hotel, Brasserie Zedel is a mouthwatering mix of brasserie styled set menus at surprisingly for Central London, great value prices. With beef bourguignon, steak tartare and many other favourite French dishes, this is a must for the central London tourist looking for a taste of France in the bustling city centre.
Cafe Sou is a one of a kind Bank based diner that is a haven for the hungry commuter. With its Gallic inspired dishes, you’ll also find breakfast menus and punchy charcuterie boards that give you a taste of high-speed French life.
Gauthier Soho is a hidden gem that tucks itself away in Soho Townhouse. Get out fo the fray of the inner-city West End and enjoy some peace and quiet at this Gallic inspired eatery, offering everything from vegan tasting menus to salt Atlantic cod and sea purslane crust. A must for the health-conscious, this restaurant counts calories as well as taste.
Provender is base din East London’s Wanstead area, meaning it’s a little out fo the way but well worth the trek. With croques, steak and chips and many other staples of a great French restaurant, the stand out really is the dessert menu, which includes double chocolate moelleux and meringue chantilly. Provender really is a gourmet treat and will leave you well-fed for the trek back to your hotel.