French Dining in the District That's As Good As Dinner in Paris

Shannon Morgan

By , Travel Expert at Large, Washington
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Do you love French food? Or is it the ambiance that draws you in? The experience of dining at a French restaurant can be just as good as the food -- the multiple courses; the relaxed, go-at-your-own-pace, slowness of enjoying a meal bite for bite; the ambiance that's so uniquely Francais, whether the restaurant mimics a French country inn or a Paris bistro.

There are several restaurants in the district that offer both a delicious menu AND the ambiance of dining in France. The newest French restaurant on the DC dining scene is le Diplomate. Sit under the red awning long enough and you'll imagine you're dining al fresco at a...  Read more »

  • 1

    Central Michel Richard

    Conveniently located in Penn Quarter, Central Michel Richard serves traditional American cuisine with a French flair.

    Local Expert Tip: "If you don't have time to sit down, order from Central-To-Go and enjoy American-French food at home."

  • 2

    Le Diplomate

    You'll feel like you're in Paris in the heart of Washington, DC when you dine at le Diplomate.

    Local Expert Tip: "The baguettes are made in-house -- don't miss out."

  • 3

    Bistro Bis

    Bistro Bis is a modern French Bistro in Capitol Hill.

    Local Expert Tip: "Steak Frites are a favorite menu item."

  • 4

    La Chaumière

    La Chaumiere delivers traditional French dining in a charming, inn-like setting in Georgetown.

    Local Expert Tip: "Dinner guests can enjoy two-hour validated parking for $8 at the Four Seasons hotel when they dine at La Chaumiere."

  • 5

    Bistrot Lepic

    Bistrot Lepic & Wine Bar serves French fare paired with an outstanding selection of wines.

    Local Expert Tip: "Parking is free in the evenings!"

  • 6


    The food and service are excellent at Montemarte, a charming French bistro in Capitol Hill.

    Local Expert Tip: "Order the signature braised rabbit or the mussels."

  • 7

    Ici Urban Bistro

    Ici Urban Bistro adds a contemporary French flair to seasonal dishes.

    Local Expert Tip: "Order the Moelleux au Chocolat to share."

  • 8

    Brasserie Beck

    A REAL Certified restaurant from Chef Robert Wiedmaier, Brasserie Beck serves locally-sourced seasonal fare.

    Local Expert Tip: "You can't go wrong with a pint of Belgian beer."

  • 9


    Marcel's by Robert Wiedmaier is a French restaurant in downtown DC with a Flemish twist.

    Local Expert Tip: "Order the three-course pre-theatre menu. It comes with limo service to and from the Kennedy Center, returning to the restaurant after the show for dessert. Now, that's a date night!"

  • 10

    L'Auberge Chez Francois

    • Cuisine: European, French
    • Average Main Course Price: $65
    • Neighborhood: Great Falls

    The food, atmosphere and service at L'Auberge Chez Francois echo the experience of dining in the French countryside.

    Local Expert Tip: "Take advantage of the Reston Limo discount for L'Auberge Chez Francois diners, if you don't want to drive to the restaurant."



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