Best French Restaurants in New Orleans

July 21, 2016
·
by Zagat Staff

Here are the top-rated spots for French cuisine in New Orleans.

August
French · CBD · $$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.7 · Service 4.7

John Besh's "rarified" CBD flagship is a "masterpiece" whose "beautiful" , "Gone With the Wind" –style interior and "invisible but omnipresent" staff set the scene for a "genuine dining experience" focused around a "wonderfully creative" French menu with a "NOLA twist" (it also boasts "sublime" wine pairings); the "cost is high" for the "memorable experience" , but fans say it's "worth the splurge" ; P.S. Friday lunch is a "great deal."
Galatoires
French · French Quarter · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.7

This century-old "bucket-list" French Quarter "institution" offers "a true New Orleans dining experience" thanks to "decadent" , "utterly superb" (albeit "not cheap" ) French-Creole standards and truth-serum cocktails served by "waiters in dinner jackets" who "have been there for years" ( "take their recommendations seriously" insiders advise); "a place to see old New Orleans society" , the main dining room is "complete with black-and-white tiled floors" , "white tablecloths" and "loud, raucous" "laughter in the air" ; P.S. jackets required after 5 PM and all day Sunday; reservations only accepted upstairs.
Patois
French · Audubon · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.3

"Intriguing" French–New American dishes are "superbly executed" by chef/co-owner Aaron Burgau at this "small" but "comfortable" Audubon spot with a "Paris bistro" feel; a "friendly" staff offers "personalized" service, the "trendy bar in the front room" pours "strong" cocktails and it's a "great Sunday brunch" option, so it's no surprise that reservations are "recommended."
La Provence
French · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

"Get ready to dine in the French countryside" when you make the "drive across the lake" to visit John Besh's "high-end" French-Creole destination in Lacombe, where the "rustic" setting ( "check out the chickens and pigs roaming around" ) "adds to the enjoyment" of eating "superb" food that's designed "to be savored" ; a "top-notch" staff that can recommend a good "vintage bottle of wine" bolsters fans' claim that it's "the ultimate romantic restaurant" ; P.S. Sunday brunch is popular.
Herbsaint
French · CBD · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.4

Diners "still daydream about" past meals at this "upscale" , "modern bistro" in the CBD from chef/co-owner Donald Link (Cochon), who "amazes" with his "inspired" New American–New French cuisine that "pairs magnificently" with the "outstanding" wine list; a few feel that the "tables are too close together" , but most say the "casually elegant" atmosphere is perfect for a "romantic" dinner or an important "business lunch."
Lilette
French · Uptown · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.3

Chef-owner John Harris "can flat-out cook" as evidenced by the refined French fare that "sweeps you off your feet" at his "elegant" Uptown bistro staffed by a crew that "aims to please" ; the "small" , "high-ceilinged dining room" "can become loud" , so some recommend grabbing one of the "cool cocktails" and dining on the patio.