Story Hoodline — Looking for the best French meal near you?
Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top French restaurants around Washington, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of the best spots to venture out next time you’re on the hunt.
1. Le Diplomate
Topping the list is Le Diplomate.
Located at 1601 14th St. N.W. (between N. Q and N. Corcoran streets) in Logan Circle, the brasserie and cafe is the most popular French restaurant in Washington, boasting four stars out of 2,373 reviews on Yelp.
Paying homage to French cafe culture, Le Diplomate aims to offer an authentic Parisian feel, inside and out. But you’ll find far more than flaky croissants and cafe au lait. The extensive menu has made it a go-to spot for a hearty breakfast, lunch or dinner. Among the long list of crowd favorites: steak frites, mushroom tart and roasted sea scallops.
Pro tip: The open-seating policy at the bar means impromptu parties of one rarely endure long waits.
2. Bistrot Du Coin
Next up is Dupont Circle’s Bistrot Du Coin, situated at 1738 Connecticut Ave. NW (between N. R and N. S streets). With four stars out of 1,526 reviews on Yelp, this French spot has proven to be a local favorite.
With its checkered table cloths, attentive service and annual events, Bistro Du Coin focuses on providing authentic fare in a fun and friendly atmosphere.
Loyal patrons adore the foie gras (sautéed with barley risotto and truffle sauce), dauphinoise (mini raviolis doused in cream sauce and Swiss gruyere cheese) and lapin a la moutarde (rabbit stew). While you’re there, don’t forget to try a glass or bottle from the extensive wine list.
3. Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier
Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier, located at 2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (between N. 24th and N. 25th streets) in Foggy Bottom, is another top choice — with Yelpers giving the French and Belgian spot 4.5 stars out of 431 reviews.
Considering owner and head chef Robert Wiedmaier, who boasts an eclectic background as a hunter, master of whole-animal butchery and inducted member of a century-old brewer’s guild in Belgium, is at the helm, it’s hard to expect anything less than perfection from his critically acclaimed first restaurant.
Despite a disastrous run-in with a broken water pipe in January, Marcel’s is already back to offering luxurious prix fixe meals, ranging from four to seven courses, with optional wine pairings.
If you’re looking to try as many dishes as possible without going broke, consider visiting Marcel’s between 5 and 6 p.m. for pre-theater dinner, which allows you to chose any three courses from the a la carte menu for $85.
4. Central Michel Richard
While downtown, check out Central Michel Richard. Located at 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. in Penn Quarter (between N. 11th and N. 10th streets), the bistro has earned four stars out of 1,144 reviews on Yelp.
With a James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant under its belt, Michel Richards bills his namesake as an “American bistro with a French accent.”
Patrons rave about the menu’s classic American dishes, like the fried chicken with mashed potatoes and banana split, as well as the French foie gras, gougeres (cheese puffs) and tartare of filet mignon.
Diners on a budget can save a few bucks during pre- or post-theater seatings, 5-6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close Monday through Saturday. For $38, the special prix fixe meal comes with one appetizer, one entree and a dessert, chosen from a select menu.
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