9 Places That Feel Like France in NYC

New York

For New Yorkers who can’t get enough of France but are out of vacation days (and money), we have a solution: get a taste of l’hexagone right here in NYC. We’ve compiled a list of the best restaurants, cafés, and places that will transport you back to France, sans plane ticket.

1. Le District

Photo courtesy of Le District
Photo courtesy of Le District

All decent francophiles should know about Le District, NYC’s French version of the popular Eataly. You can shop for groceries and fresh French goods at the many food stations (“districts”), or even sit down at one to eat. Far better than its Italian counterpart, Le District is less crowded and located right next to the Hudson river in FiDi, meaning that you can grab your charcuterie, cheese, wine, and pastries, and picnic by the water in true French fashion. – Brookfield Place,

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2. L’Appartement New York – Sézane 

Photo courtesy of Sézane
Photo courtesy of Sézane

French brand Sézane opened just a few weeks ago in Nolita’s Elizabeth street, bringing not only French clothing, but also the feel of a true Parisian shopping experience. L’Appartement New York was designed to feel like a French home, and the result is an comfortable, airy boutique, where shoppers can roam at their leisure. Part-gallery (check out the temporary art), part-café (enjoy a coffee at the corner table) and part-boutique, Sézane’s new NYC store feels très français. – 254 Elizabeth St, Nolita

3. Bar Tabac

Photo courtesy of Bar Tabac
Photo courtesy of Bar Tabac

Head down to Cobble Hill for a drink at Bar Tabac, one of Brooklyn’s many French-run and French-inspired establishments. This bistro mixes the charm of France and Brooklyn, and you’ll feel right at home with a glass of wine, a croque-monsieur, and a gaggle of charming French waiters to keep the drinks flowing. –

4. The Met

the met

On a bad day, a trip to The Met is a journey through a hectic bullpen of educational groups, tourists and glaring security guards. But if you hit the timing just right, you may find yourself almost alone, among French sculptures and tableaux that transport you back to France. Head to the European Sculpture and Decorative Arts section, which feature objects, art pieces and furniture, predominately from France. Certain rooms feel like you’re in a French château… and no, you can’t sit on that couch. –

5. La Ripaille

la rapaille

This West Village restaurant La Ripaille (“feast” in English) offers a quintessential French atmosphere. Every detail — from the checkered, wooden chairs on their outdoor terrace (undoubtedly plucked straight from a Parisian café), to the antique posters and bilingual menu — points to France. The dim lighting, white tablecloths and brick interior also contribute to an undoubtedly French atmosphere. It’s très romantique, so head over for a European-style date night. – 605 Hudson St, Greenwich Village

6. Central Park’s Conservatory Gardens

The French part of the gardens. Image courtesy of Central Park Conservatory Gardens.
The French part of the gardens. Image courtesy of Central Park Conservatory Gardens.

Within the vast 843 acres that make up New York’s wondrous central park lies The Conservatory Garden, a six-acre stretch of formal European-style gardens. The main iron entrance, Vanderbilt Gate, can be found on Fifth Avenue between 104th and 105th streets, and was actually made in Paris in 1894. The gardens are broken up into three sections—French to the North, Italian in the middle, and the English to the South. Enjoy the sculpted hedges and manicured flowers that would fit right in at a French château…but they’re in NYC. – 402 5th Ave, UES

7. Albertine

Photo courtesy of Albertine
Photo courtesy of Albertine

New York’s only French book store (it’s a mystery how there’s still only one) is a great place to pretend you’re overseas. The bilingual staff is helpful, and all of the books are either in French, or are English translations of Francophone writers (plus a few books about France by Francophiles!). Housed in a landmark mansion, Albertine’s interiors were designed by Jacques Garcia, a French architect and designer. What better way to embrace the Parisian way than bringing a French book to your next café visit? – 972 5th Ave, UES

8. Buvette

Image by Katherine Wolkoff for the New York Times
Image by Katherine Wolkoff for the New York Times

Now that you’ve picked up your French literary masterpiece, head to Buvette for a coffee, croissant, and some reading time. Buvette is the most adorable, charming French bistro of the West Village (and maybe all of New York?), but it gets quite crowded at normal dining hours, so head over at an odd hour. – 42 Grove St, Greenwich Village

9. Washington Square Park

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Is that…l’arc de Triomphe? Oh, no, it’s just the Washington Square Park Arch. Well, it could’ve fooled me (NYC’s arch was unsurprisingly based off Paris’), so enjoy an afternoon of lounging by the fountain, smoking une clope, and pretending you’re in Europe. – map