Forget the Passport: 'Bon Appetit' at These French Restaurants in D.C.

Many of us dream of visiting France one day. The wine! The history! The architecture! The art! The food! Did we mention the wine? Sadly, some us (myself included) may never get to cross the Atlantic in order to experience the culture for ourselves. But cheer up because Washington, D.C. has a number of restaurants that make you feel like you are in France when dining there.

Take a 20 minute drive to Falls Church's L'Auberge Chez Francois to enjoy classic French fare. Grab a seat on their patio because the garden surroundings are gorgeous. With it's name meaning 'cottage,' you will love La Chaumiere which will transport you to a French country inn.      

Wine is considered a key part of French cuisine and several of these venues have amazing selections like Bistrot Lepic and Wine Bar which offers more than 100 bottles to select to go with your simple yet delicious meal.

If you seek a romantic venue, look no further than Marcel's which offers a three-course pre-theater dining menu before you head to the Kennedy Center for a show.  

Whatever French cuisine you desire – escargot, trout amandine, or calf's liver, the nation's capital has a restaurant to meet your needs so merci beaucoup et bon appetite!


Bistro Cacao
Photo courtesy of Bistro Cacao


Cacao in French translates to cocoa in English and there is plenty of chocolate on the dessert menu to make you happy. Flourless warm chocolate fondant anyone? Before we skip ahead, stop and savor the selections on their lunch, dinner and brunch...  Read More

Ici Urban Bistro


Located inside the luxury Sofitel Hotel, this upscale restaurant promises a contemporary approach to old world French food. Bountiful flavor and exquisite presentation are the core of executive chef Frank Loquet's menu. Breakfast, lunch and...  Read More



An American bistro with a French accent is how famed chef Michel Richard describes his restaurant and you will understand why once you take a look at the delicious menu. Guests will find a mix of both American favorites like crabcakes,...  Read More



Located about 20 minutes outside of the nation's capital, this restaurant is worth the drive. Opened in 1954, founder Francios Haeringer wanted a family inn with "nice ambiance and good honest food at affordable prices." Originally in D.C., the...  Read More



Opened in April 1995, this destination is much beloved and features a simple yet delicious menu served at the restaurant on the bottom floor and a cozy wine bar on the second floor. Serving lunch, brunch and dinner selections, favorites include...  Read More



With soft lighting, elegant white décor, and a maître d to greet you, this French and Belgian cuisine venue is epitome of fine dining. Menu items change daily but the high quality of each meal does not. Chose from four, five, six or seven...  Read More



Named for a district in northern Paris, this charming bistro in the Eastern Market features casual dining in a light, open dining room. The venue offers lunch, dinner and brunch menus. Lunch offerings include a selection of mussels and savory...  Read More

Le Diplomate
Photo courtesy of Le Diplomate


For a taste of France right here in Washington, D.C., head to this bistro which offers an incredible comfort food menu for brunch, apres midi and dinner. Brunch options include breakfast favorites like steak and eggs and spinach omelette and...  Read More



With a focus on modern interpretations of traditional French bistro fare, this restaurant is where Capitol Hill dines out. Patrons will find a warm yet sophisticated atmosphere upon their arrival including a tiered dining area and a bar ready to...  Read More



This restaurant's name means 'cottage' and it's perfectly titled because once you step foot inside, it's like you have been transported to a French country inn. Pronounced 'La show me air,' the eatery features a central stone fireplace, wood...  Read More


Meet Gina Gallucci White

Gina Gallucci White is an award winning freelance writer with articles appearing in such regional publications as Frederick Magazine, The Daily Record, Montgomery Magazine and The Gazette. She...  More About Gina