While I travel to Paris often as the founder of Paris, Perfected, New York City is home. And I feel lucky that there are a variety of talented French chefs in the city that are bringing the French café vibes.
I love the café culture that the French have made more popular stateside and truly you can’t beat people watching in New York City, either. If you’re looking to be transported to Paris via French cuisine, there are plenty of cute spots that fit the bill and I’m here to share the ones that are worthwhile.
So much of French cooking and French restaurants in New York City (and America in general) can be over priced or overly pretentious. I’m here to share the spots that won’t disappoint – at a range of budgets and atmosphere.
11 Best French Cafes In NYC
Before we jump into the best French cafes, I wanted to share details about the two looks I’m wearing in today’s post! The new Talbots Fall collection was inspired by Paris and has so many darling French influences in the pieces!
First up is this darling, French inspired striped top with a puff sleeve. I paired it with these slim ankle jeans which I think run a bit more straight leg. At their under $100 price point, they are a wonderful way to try out the slim, straight leg jean trend that is everywhere right now. I’d recommend sizing down if between sizes as this pair has quite a bit of stretch.
I like to pair straight leg and ankle length jeans with mules, kitten heels or sleek sneakers. I layered this tipped cardigan that has the cutest faux pearl buttons on it with this look for an outfit that is perfectly preppy Parisian.
Look two is all about this tweed jacket! Talbots does great jackets (see another favorite I wore in Paris in the spring here) and I love the details on this one. I layered it over this cashmere sweater and paired the look with these classic kitten heel pumps. You guys have heard me share in the past how comfortable Talbots shoes are – highly recommend you check out their selection!
For both looks I wore what I will affectionately be calling my croissant hoops – how pretty are these dainty, twisted earrings that are reminiscent of layered croissant dough?
And while you’re shopping the collection – don’t miss scooping up my favorite Audrey Hepburn inspired ponte pants. I always wear these in Paris! They fit TTS.
Now…onto my favorite cafés!
The couple behind these delicious croissants and viral croissant cereal started their business in 2020 and began delivering French baked goods around NYC and offering pickup outside their Cobble Hill apartment. Their business originally grew via ordering on Instagram and in 2022 they opened their first bakery in Brooklyn Heights. After you order, take your goods to the second floor where you can enjoy them in a darling café space. Everything here is good – but especially do not miss the Everything Croissant (croissant a tout!) (The bread and cookies are also very worth it!)
Of course no trip to Paris is complete without picking up macarons from this institution so whenever I truly want to transport myself back to the city of light, I pop down to Soho and treat myself to a pastry and the incredible hot chocolate! It’s so cute inside as you can see from these photos and such a fun place to go with your girlfriends.
Lafayette Grand Cafe & Bakery
This place has a beautiful ambiance and a good breakfast menu. It is a spot that’s big enough for big parties and I love its proximity to Soho. If you’re not looking to sit down pop in for their newer croissants that have been taking social media by storm.
Oh how I love this place! I’ve been coming here since I moved to New York and have so many fond memories of late nights at the bar with visitors, breakfasts with coworkers and girlfriends, solo lunches…I could go on but this charming spot will transport you to France with its perfectly made lattes, croissants with butter and jam, french toast (pain perdu!) and steamed eggs. And don’t miss their croque monsieur!
Note: I much prefer breakfast and brunch to dinner here.
This Brooklyn spot will transport you straight to Paris with their traditional French dishes and decor. Before or after your breakfast, swing by neighboring Bien Cuit for some pastries.
Well loved by New Yorkers this spot is cute and cozy and perfectly situated on a cobblestone street in the West Village. I love pretty much everything on the menu and this is a go-to breakfast spot when I have friends fly in from the West Coast on red-eyes. After a filling meal and espresso, they are always ready to explore after this meal!
This Soho café not only boasts stunning interiors but the French chef and her team here excel at beautiful dishes. I love the chicken + crepe au sucre on the dinner menu but it also happens to one of my favorite spots for a breakfast meeting to enjoy a coffee and croissant. Don’t miss browsing the store Roman and Williams Guild in the back of the restaurant.
This spot is a sister restaurant to the fine dining establishment Le CouCou (which I personally don’t care for).
This café has become so popular in recent years that they have popped up all over the city – from the Upper East Side to Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. They have pretty good pastries, darling branding and a nice lunch menu. It’s the perfect place to catch up with a girlfriend. I also highly recommend their breakfast sandwich and avocado toast which both are more American in fare but hey – they are good.
Café Kitsune is one of my favorite coffee shops across Paris so I was so thrilled when they opened two outposts in New York – one in Manhattan’s West Village and one in Brooklyn’s Boreum Hill. The aesthetics here are just gorgeous and it is the perfect place to catch up with a friend over a good coffee.
This famed institution by restauranteur Keith McNally is one of the few spots in Soho to get a reliably nice (albeit overpriced) meal. I love it for breakfast meetings but also have enjoyed dinner there a few times and was reminded how it does French bistro classics like onion soup, dover sole, steak frites, steak tartare, steak au poivre and profiteroles well.
In researching this post, I also popped into their takeaway shop next door which offers loads of bread and pastry options to take home. I devoured the most delicious shortbread cookies and made a mental note to pick up baguettes here from now on when in the area. I like that this spot is equal parts bakery and brasserie. If you’re looking for classic French bistro vibes, this is it.
This spot knows good croissants and word is out as the line on weekends is often down the block to get their famed almond croissants. All out of almond? You can’t go wrong with pain au chocolate, almond chocolate or a traditional croissant. You can also pick up fresh pressed orange juice that rivals that of what you’d find as part of petit dejeuner in Paris as well as great little lunch options such as baguette sandwiches and quiches.
If you can’t snag one of the few seats inside the bakery café, take your goods to the nearby picnic tables or benches in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
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Do you have a favorite French café in New York City? I’d love to hear it!
Shop the Looks
Talbots Tweed Jacket (4) // Slim Ankle Jeans (6 – recommend sizing down) // Cashmere Sweater (M) // Kitten Heels // Striped Puff Sleeve Sweater (M) // Tipped Cardigan (M) // Earrings
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- The Best Coffee Shops in Paris.
This post is in collaboration with Talbots. Thank you so much for supporting the brands I love to work with!
I think you would love Cafe Triskell in Astoria. It’s a teeny tiny cafe with incredible food and is quite charming. The chef makes buckwheat crepes that are one of the best things I’ve ever tasted (I order mine with lemon and a bit of sprinkled sugar). But one of the very best French bakeries in NYC is Cannelle Patisserie in a very unassuming shopping center in Jackson Heights. You’d never know by driving by– but it is DIVINE. Queens has some amazing food:).
Thank you so much for these recs! I’m saving them now!
Boucherie in the West Village!
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