Live Like a Queen for a Day: Fancy French Places to Treat Yourself in NYC

Photo via Lafayette

Luckily for all of those French-obsessed folks living in the other Paris — yup, New York City — there are enough amazing options to treat yourself like French royalty for a day. Sure, NYC didn’t birth Louis XVI or Louis Vuitton, but we do have enough world-class chefs, stylish boutiques, and French expats to make our humble city an adequate second choice to the real country. So if you can’t spare the time to jet-set over to France this year, rest assured that you can find classy snippets of France in the Big Apple for one très chic day.

Ladurée Soho 

Yes, New York has plenty of delightful macaron shops, and even an Upper East Side Ladurée outpost. But nothing quite rivals the Ladurée in Soho, an elaborate and opulent restaurant, bakery, tea room, and — the piece de résistance — its outdoor Parisian-style garden. The establishment is modeled like a fabulous 18th- and 19th-century palace (or a very stately mini-palace, at the very least), serving up decadent meals, desserts, and of course, macarons. Start your day here with a luxurious breakfast. — 398 W Broadway

Marché Maman

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You’re probably already be familiar with Maman thanks to its superior coffee and cute cafés sprinkled throughout NYC. But you might not know that its flagship Soho location offers so much more than delectable pastries and beverages, with Marché Maman. This multi-use space has a full bar and kitchen (with an excellent weekend brunch), as well as a shop with classy clothes, jewelry, homegoods, and more, all by French creators. After breakfast when you’re ready to splurge on fancy French decorations and accessories, Marché Maman has you covered. — 237 Centre St.

Lafayette

With soaring ceilings, white tablecloth vibe, and servers always dressed to perfection, Lafayette feels like a classic French brasserie with a cool-kid New York spin. This upscale restaurant, grand café and bakery fulfills all of your French desires: classic dishes, luscious baked goods, and an ambiance perfect for luxurious, three-hour dining affairs, just as our French friends would expect. Treat yourself to their prix-fixe, three-course lunch for $38. And if want to return without having to drop big bucks on a full meal, you can always grab a delectable pastry in their adjoining café, which occupies a corner of the giant space and is still great for people watching. Get the croissant du jour, which (if you’re lucky) is a chocolate, banana and coconut one. — 380 Lafayette St.

Simple Goods

You can perfect your French/New York style at this petite Williamsburg boutique. With an array of handmade jewelry, perfumes, and candles, Simple’s highly curated store is hard to resist. And after you’ve spent way too much money on cool jewelry, eat at the attached French-Algerian restaurant, for another taste of Brooklyn, France, and North Africa coming together in one irresistible package. — 346 Bedford Ave

Ba&sh

If you’re going to be going out to a fancy French dinner, you’ll need an outfit to match the challenge. Ba&sh, the French prêt-à-porter brand, recently opened a Nolita store for every budding fashionista française. The best part? On one Friday each month, you can borrow an outfit from ba&sh for free for a weekend. Correct, we said free. — 257 Elizabeth St

Daniel

No fancy French-in-New York list would be complete without honoring Daniel, chef Daniel Boulud’s fine dining flagship restaurant. Any of Daniel’s revered tasting menus will cost a pretty penny, but this elegant, contemporary French cuisine is worth incurring some major debt. — 60 E 65th St.

By the end of this French-filled day, you should be crevé, but if your night isn’t done, check out one of the many French wine bars in the city, or go for even more food by getting one of the best cheese and charcuterie platters in New York.