Special Report

The Best French Restaurant in Every State

Courtesy of Nikkie N. via Yelp

French food has had it rough in recent years. Once upon a time, it was considered the world’s finest, with maybe only Chinese as its nearest competitor. Having a French chef was a sign that a restaurant (or a wealthy individual) knew what fine food was and how to get it.

How times have changed…. Many of the best chefs cooking in U.S. restaurants today have had French training, either in formal cooking schools like the Cordon Bleu or through stints at restaurants in France, but the food they’re cooking might well incorporate flavors from Japan, India, Vietnam, Peru, or Spain, or be just plain old- or new-style American. And the restaurants everybody seems to want to go to, especially in the big coastal capitals, are more likely to be Italian, Mexican, or Korean, than French.

There’s still something about la cuisine française, however. Whether it’s bistro fare like pâté or onion soup or intricate contemporary masterpieces of the kind that might be served at such Michelin three-star places as the French Laundry in Napa Valley or Le Bernardin in Manhattan – or anything in-between – French cooking at its best offers a complexity and subtlety that still pleases our palates, however much we might also enjoy spaghetti alla carbonara, tacos de birria, or bibimbap. (These are the best Michelin three-star restaurants in the world.)

To compile a list of the best French restaurant in every state, 24/7 Tempo consulted reviews and ratings on sites including Gayot, Michelin, Tasting Table, Time Out, Culture Trip, Business Insider, and Yelp, as well as numerous local and regional sources.

In making our final choices, we considered not only various markers of quality (star ratings, effusive critical praise, etc.) but also, insofar as it could be determined, the fidelity each establishment pays to authentic French culinary traditions, whether classical or contemporary.

Sometimes the competition was stiff – as in California, Illinois, New York, Texas, or Nevada, all of which have a wealth of French restaurants to choose from. In other cases (Wyoming, West Virginia, the Dakotas), it was more difficult to find a well-regarded restaurant that served French food exclusively or even primarily, but we eventually came up with credible representatives of the genre for those states too. (If French food just isn’t your thing, however, consider this list of the best Italian restaurant in every state.)

Click here to see the best French restaurant in every state

Alabama: Chez Fonfon
> Location: Birmingham
> Sample dishes: Provençal stuffed zucchini, trout with capers and brown butter, Basque cake with Chantilly cream

Source: Courtesy of Cara H. via Yelp

Alaska: Crow’s Nest
> Location: Anchorage
> Sample dishes: Pork belly rillettes, black cod with sauce Choron, certified Black Angus beef ribeye bordelaise

Source: Courtesy of Laura A. via Yelp

Arizona: Le Sans Souci
> Location: Cave Creek
> Sample dishes: Coquilles St. Jacques, mixed grill à l’anglaise, peach Melba

Source: Courtesy of Bienvenue Restaurant via Facebook

Arkansas: Bienvenue
> Location:Springdale
> Sample dishes:Escargots en croûte, rabbit pithiviers, roasted Cornish hen with Parisian potatoes

Source: Courtesy of Ruth G. via Yelp

California: The French Laundry
> Location:Yountville
> Sample dishes:Rouelle of Dover sole, “prime rib” of Elysian Fields Farm lamb, gougère of cave-aged Comté and black winter truffle “fondue”

Source: Courtesy of French Alpine Bistro via Yelp

Colorado: French Alpine Bistro
> Location:Aspen
> Sample dishes:Steak tartare, cheese fondue, coq au vin

Source: Courtesy of Kay W. via Yelp

Connecticut: Luc’s Café
> Location:Ridgefield
> Sample dishes:Oeufs mayonnaise, pâté de campagne, Hudson Valley duck confit

Source: Courtesy of Le Cavalier At The Green Room via Yelp

Delaware: Le Cavalier
> Location:Wilmington
> Sample dishes:Salmon à la greque, steak frites, profiteroles

Source: Courtesy of L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon Miami via Facebook

Florida: L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
> Location:Miami
> Sample dishes:Crispy langoustine with basil coulis, scallops in cilantro broth, filet mignon

Source: Courtesy of Cafe Alsace via Facebook

Georgia: Café Alsace
> Location:Decatur
> Sample dishes:Tarte flambée, ratatouille en croûte with merguez sausage, crème brûlée

Source: Courtesy of https://www.michelshawaii.com/

Hawaii: Michel’s at the Colony Surf
> Location:Honolulu (O’ahu)
> Sample dishes:Lobster bisque à la Michel’s, chateaubriand for two, Michel’s chocolate soufflé

Source: Courtesy of Bacquet's Restaurant via Facebook

Idaho: Bacquet’s
> Location:Eagle
> Sample dishes:Baked Camembert, salmon champenoise, médaillon de veau chasseur

Illinois: Les Nomades
> Location:Chicago
> Sample dishes:Wild mushroom soup with truffle foam, duo of braised lamb and grilled veal tenderloin with cassoulet beans, warm cherry clafoutis with lemon verbena ice cream

Source: Courtesy of Petite Chou Bistro and Champagne Bar via Facebook

Indiana: Petite Chou Bistro & Champagne Bar
> Location:Indianapolis
> Sample dishes:Duck rillettes, chicken paillard, lobster frites

Iowa: Chez Grace
> Location:Coralville
> Sample dishes:Mesclun salad with goat cheese, pan-seared Hudson Valley foie gras with caramelized pear, steak au poivre

Source: Courtesy of Georges French Bistro via Facebook

Kansas: Georges French Bistro
> Location:Wichita
> Sample dishes:Smoked salmon crêpe, duck à l’orange, chocolate mousse cake

Source: Courtesy of La Folie Lexington via Facebook

Kentucky: La Folie
> Location:Lexington
> Sample dishes:Salade lyonnaise, rosemary chicken, bombe au chocolate

Source: Courtesy of Shannon S. via Yelp

Louisiana: Ciro’s Côte Sud
> Location:New Orleans
> Sample dishes:Moules frites, côtes d’agneau grillées aux herbes de Provence, tarte tatin à la mode

Source: Courtesy of Petite Jacqueline via Facebook

Maine: Petite Jacqueline
> Location:Portland
> Sample dishes:Vichyssoise, trout amandine, pot de crème

Source: Courtesy of La Ferme Restaurant via Facebook

Maryland: La Ferme
> Location:Chevy Chase
> Sample dishes:Crème brûlée au foie gras, grilled Dover sole, sweetbreads in lemon-caper butter sauce

Source: Courtesy of M. F. via Yelp

Massachusetts: Ma Maison
> Location:Boston
> Sample dishes:Uncle Lucien’s country pâté, frogs’ legs provençale, magret of duck with red cherries

Source: Courtesy of The French Lady via Facebook

Michigan: The French Lady
> Location:Detroit
> Sample dishes:Quiche forestière, chicken basquaise, madeleines

Source: Courtesy of Fern K. via Yelp

Minnesota: Meritage
> Location:St. Paul
> Sample dishes:Billi-bi saffron-mussel soup, pommes frites with béarnaise sauce, cherry-glazed magret of duck

Source: Courtesy of Anjou Restaurant via Facebook

Mississippi: Anjou Restaurant
> Location:Ridgeland
> Sample dishes:Savory zucchini beignets, crawfish crêpe, Angus center cut filet with maître d’hôtel butter

Source: Courtesy of Chiara P. via Yelp

Missouri: Café Provençal
> Location:Kirkwood
> Sample dishes:Grated celery root salad, daube de boeuf, tarte au chocolat

Source: Courtesy of 2nd Street Bistro via Facebook

Montana: 2nd Street Bistro
> Location:Livingston
> Sample dishes:Artichoke barigoule, rabbit fricasée, lamb ragoût

Nebraska: Le Voltaire
> Location:Omaha
> Sample dishes:Assiette de charcuterie, côte du porc en croûte de pistache, lemon and lavender gâteau

Source: Courtesy of Restaurant Guy Savoy via Yelp

Nevada: Guy Savoy
> Location:Las Vegas
> Sample dishes:Artichoke and black truffle soup, quail stuffed with foie gras, chocolate fondant

Source: Courtesy of Bridge Street Bistrot & Wine Bar

New Hampshire: Bridge Street Bistrot & Wine Bar
> Location:Manchester
> Sample dishes:Wild mushroom crêpe, swordfish provençal, apple clafoutis

Source: Courtesy of Brasserie Memere via Yelp

New Jersey: Brasserie Mémère
> Location:
> Sample dishes:Soupe aux carottes, loup de mer à la vapeur, kouign-amann

Source: Courtesy of Tony V. via Yelp

New Mexico: Le Troquet
> Location:Albuquerque
> Sample dishes:Escargots à la bourguignonne, filet de saumon dijonnaise, poulet Cordon Bleu

Source: Courtesy of Nikkie N. via Yelp

New York: Le Bernardin
> Location:New York City
> Sample dishes:Warm scallop “tartare” with caviar, poached lobster with truffled gnocchi, pistachio praliné

Source: Courtesy of Paul N. via Yelp

North Carolina: Bouchon
> Location:Asheville
> Sample dishes:Assiette de deux pâtés maison, poulet rôti au thym, pain perdu à la mode

Source: Courtesy of Birdie H. via Yelp

North Dakota: Maxwell’s Restaurant & Bar
> Location:Fargo
> Sample dishes:Red wine/tomato/basil bisque, bison meatballs with vermouth cream sauce, grilled New Zealand lamb rack

Source: Courtesy of Elise C. via Yelp

Ohio: L’Albatros Brasserie
> Location:Cleveland
> Sample dishes:Chicken liver and foie gras mousseline, bouillabaisse for two, pig’s feet with sauce béarnaise

Source: Courtesy of Fait Maison via Facebook

Oklahoma: Fait Maison French Restaurant
> Location:Edmond
> Sample dishes:Provençal fish stew, organic chicken breast with sauce Albuféra, signature millefeuille with pistachio cream and raspberries

Source: Courtesy of Caleb G. via Yelp

Oregon: St. Jack
> Location:Portland
> Sample dishes:Pâté en croûte, moules marinière, peach blancmange

Source: Courtesy of Rina D. via Yelp

Pennsylvania: Forsythia
> Location:Philadelphia
> Sample dishes:Duck confit omelette, salt meadow lamb crépinette, brown butter financier

Source: Courtesy of Justin C. via Yelp

Rhode Island: Pot au Feu
> Location:Providence
> Sample dishes:Truffle-scented wild mushroom pâté, marinated chicken livers lyonnaise, pot au feu

Source: Courtesy of Misha C. via Yelp

South Carolina: Ville Sainte Bistro
> Location:Mount Pleasant
> Sample dishes:Frogs’ legs in white wine garlic sauce, ravioli dauphinoise, pan-seared flounder with brown butter lemon sauce

Source: Courtesy of Enigma Restaurant via Facebook

South Dakota: Enigma Restaurant
> Location:Rapid City
> Sample dishes:Mushrooms Avignon, steak frites with sauce Madagascar, chocolate lava cake

Source: Courtesy of Nikhil R. via Yelp

Tennessee: Once Upon a Time in France
> Location:Nashville
> Sample dishes:Velouté of lobster with truffles, steak tartare, jumbo shrimp à  la Marseillaise

Source: Courtesy of Chez Nous via Facebook

Texas: Chez Nous
> Location:Humble
> Sample dishes:Soupe à  l’oignon, roasted rack of young New Zealand lamb with Dijon-rosemary crust, passion fruit-raspberry soufflé

Source: Courtesy of Courchevel Bistro via Yelp

Utah: Courchevel Bistro
> Location:Park City
> Sample dishes:Smoked trout rillettes, Mary’s chicken ballotine, chocolate tart with Chartreuse ice cream

Source: Courtesy of Chad V. via Yelp

Vermont: Bistro de Margot
> Location:Burlington
> Sample dishes:Foie gras and lobster crème brûlée, medallions of monkfish with chanterelles, Paris-Brest

Source: Courtesy of Katie A. via Yelp

Virginia: L’Auberge Chez François
> Location:Great Falls
> Sample dishes:Warm oysters with béarnaise, vegetable Napoléon, grilled duck breast with Grand Marnier sauce

Washington: Le Pichet
> Location:Seattle
> Sample dishes:Assiette of Bayonne ham, brandade de morue nîmoise, roast chicken with favas and fennel for two

Source: Courtesy of The French Goat via Facebook

West Virginia: The French Goat
> Location:Lewisburg
> Sample dishes:Endive salad, pan-roasted chicken with Mediterranean spices, buttermilk blancmange

Source: Courtesy of Lis H. via Yelp

Wisconsin: Cadre
> Location:Madison
> Sample dishes:Escargots, daube de boeuf, gâteau Basque

Source: Courtesy of The Bistro

Wyoming: The Bistro
> Location:Jackson Hole
> Sample dishes:Frisée aux lardons, coq au vin, venison filet with wild mushrooms and blackberry jus

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