ARTICLE

A Frenchie's Guide to Brooklyn: Where to Eat, Drink, and Play

06.30.2020
La-Cigogne-Dish-And-Cocktail

While you may not be able to hop the next flight to Paris, experiencing the best of French culture could be as short as a train ride away. Over the last few years, Brooklyn has become a Francophile haven, thanks to the copious amounts of French-inspired restaurants, wine bars, and snack spots that are spread across its bustling neighborhoods. Best of all, the French influence goes far beyond gastronomy. French language lessons, pétanque meet-ups, and even French-inspired live music are all regularly accessible across Kings County. For New Yorkers looking to find a sense of joie de vivre close to home, check out our official Frenchie’s Guide to Brooklyn on where to eat, drink, and play à la française. 

Where to Eat 

Café Paulette 

Tucked alongside the southern edge of Fort Greene park sits Café Paulette, the ideal spot for recreating your best Parisian bistro moments close to home. This little-known hidden gem offers classic French favorites (think tartare de boeuf, paté de campagne, and duck a l’orange) served alongside a curated selection of organic wines. Weekend brunch selections include oeufs benedicte, toast d’avocat, and of course, signature melty croque monsieurs. Grab your spot on one of the resto’s gorgeous red leather banquettes before this secret spot gets out!

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  • Cafe Paulette

    Pates et Traditions 

    Located on a rather quiet corner of Havemeyer Street, Pates et Traditions is hands-down the best place in the city for authentic French galettes and crepes, served up in both sweet and savory formats. Top picks include La Bergere (goat cheese, figs, honey, & rosemary), La Savoyarde (potatoes, bacon, Camembert, white wine, Swiss cheese & onions), and of course, La Parisienne (classic recipe of ham, mushrooms, Swiss cheese, & egg). Be sure to save room for a sticky sweet dessert crepe (our favorites include la banane nutella or le bisou sucré). Grab a seat outside on warm weather days for ideal people watching and an instant terrasse feel.  

     

    La Cigogne  

    Looking for a less bistro-inspired ambiance? Then La Cigogne is just for you. This Carroll Gardens based Alsatian eatery is known for its signature regional staples, as well as an extensive selection of Alsatian beer and French wine. A specially curated kids menu is also available, making it the perfect place for family night out. Spaetzle or tarte flambée, anyone? 

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  • La Cicogne

    Where to Drink 

    Bar Tabac 

    This Parisian-style neighborhood bistro is located in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighborhood and has been beloved by its residents for years. Known for late-night menus, epic weekend brunches, and summertime pétanque outdoors, there’s truly no better resto to live out your French-inspired dreams in the heart of New York City. Come for the snails, stay for the lively ambiance, and stumble out much later than expected. (Note: Bar Tabac is cash only.)  

     

    Bacchus 

    Located just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Brooklyn Academy of Music, this back-garden French bistro serves up hundreds of regional wine selections, both by-the-glass and in bottle format. Founded by Bordeaux native Bruno Laclide, the bar’s unpretentious staff and well-curated menu (duck confit or moules frites, anyone?) create the perfect laid-back ambiance for sipping and snacking. Best of all, Bacchus is also home to a substantial large-format bottle collection (magnums, jeroboams, and more), perfect for sharing amongst large groups of friends.  

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  • Bacchus

    Juliette 

    Complete with an indoor ‘garden-room,’ roof deck, and extensive custom cocktail list, Juliette provides the perfect backdrop for soaking in all of New York City’s skyline magic. Post up beneath the stars and enjoy a night out from above on the bar’s magical rooftop terrasse, or simply snag a seat inside and enjoy a proper French-inspired meal. Happy Hour goes all night (5PM-close) from Monday through Thursday, perfect for long evenings spent catching up with friends over a bottle of delicious French wine.  

     

    French Wine ‘A Emporter’ (To Go)  

    Looking to stock up on a versatile stash of French wine to keep at home? Stop by these top Brooklyn wine shops loaded with ample French selections and unbelievable customer service: Slope Cellars (Park Slope), Thirst Wine Merchants (Fort Greene), Uva Wines (Williamsburg), Irving Bottle (Bushwick), Dandelion Wine Shop (Greenpoint), Leon & Son (Clinton Hill), Vanderbilt Wine Merchants (Prospect Heights). 

     

    What to Do 

    Live Music at Chez Oskar   

    Forget the food (OK, not entirely)-- at this Fort Greene based French bistro, it’s all about the live music. Head to Chez Oskar every Monday night from 8PM-11PM for a weekly dose of singing, drinking, and dancing. Prefer your food without a side of music? Chez Oskar hosts ‘All You Can Eat Mussels’ every Tuesday, as well as ‘Wine Lover’s Wednesday’ festivities the following day. At this self-proclaimed ‘le funky French bistro de Brooklyn,’ the party never stops.  

     

    Hit Prospect Park for Pique-Niques & Pétanque (Parade Grounds) 

    Prospect Park provides the perfect ambiance for creating a French-inspired day outdoors. Start the day by laying out a blanket and unpacking a homemade lunch for a picnic beneath the sun. Be sure to bring all of your French picnic staples: charcuterie, fromage, briny olives, and of course, a pillowy soft baguette to soak it all up. Post-lunch, head to the Parade Grounds and strike up a game of Pétanque at one of the park’s courts (B.Y.O.Boules). For serious players looking to get more involved in Brooklyn’s Pétanque community, check out the New York Pétanque Club, here

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  • Expand Your French Language Skills 

    Whether starting from scratch, brushing up on your college knowledge, or simply looking to practice conversationally, there’s no better place than Brooklyn to re-ignite your French language skills. With numerous education centers around the borough, learning to parler francais has never been easier. Check out French Class NYCLearn French Brooklyn, or Coucou French Classes for furher details.  

     

    Where to Stay 

    The Wythe Hotel 

    Waterfront Williamsburg and walking-distance from a slew of amazing bars? Count us in. It’s no surprise that Frenches lose their minds over The Wythe Hotel. Throw in an epic rooftop bar (Lemon’s), a breathtaking skyline view, and downright unforgettable hospitality, and you’ve got yourself a key to Brooklyn’s best place to stay. The icing on the cake? The neighborhood’s newly opened restaurant Le Crocodile (founded by Aidan O’Neal and Jake Lieber of Chez Ma Tante) resides within the hotel’s walls, making sipping, snacking, and strolling back to your room more convenient than ever. On est bien ici!  

    Country Bread
    Country Bread
    PDO Poitou-Charente Butter
    PDO Poitou-Charente Butter
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