The French love Brooklyn. Reportedly about 20,000 expats call the borough home. That explains the influx of Parisian-style bakeries, cafes and bistros, which suits Brooklyn’s bon vivant set just fine. So if you fancy croissants, crepes, croque-monsieurs and champagne, here are a few French eateries you don’t want to miss.
Maison Kayser Brooklyn (Downtown Brooklyn)
A welcome addition to the ever-changing downtown Brooklyn landscape, Maison Kayser, helmed by master baker Eric Kayser prides itself on artisanal baked goods and food with a French flair. In addition to the new Brooklyn business, there are eight other locations in New York City. All breads and baked goods — over 30 varieties a day including delectable cookies, eclairs and tarts — are made on site, using only the finest ingredients. Beyond the bakery, there’s a 108-seat café open for lunch, brunch and dinner where downtown workers and dwellers can nosh on soups, salads, stews, and more. One recommendation: don’t miss the olive and Gruyere petits pains.
Photo by Maison Kayser via Facebook.
Bar Tabac via Facebook
Bar Tabac (Cobble Hill)
Bar Tabac is a Smith Street staple run by French restaurateur Georges Forgeois, whose Forgeois Group also runs Manhattan’s Cercle Rouge, Jules Bistro, Café Noir and Le Singe. The bar and bistro keeps its regulars happy with laid-back service, reliably good food (the salmon burger, French toast and moules frites are our faves), and festive brunch with live music and cheap mimosas. In keeping with its cool factor, the restaurant stays open until 1 or 2 a.m. most nights. Early risers will beat the brunch crowd on Saturdays and Sunday. Bring cash or American Express.
French Louie | Asaco C. via Yelp
French Louie (Boerum Hill)
Doug Crowell and Ryan Angulo, the team behind the popular Buttermilk Channel in Carroll Gardens, opened French Louie in a space vacated by Jolie, another French eatery. The menu is French with American influences, and signature dishes include steak frites, cast-iron roasted chicken and pan-seared trout. As a wallet-friendly introduction, reserve a table for Monday’s $38 three-course prix fixe.
Chez Oskar via Facebook
Chez Oskar (Fort Greene)
Dubbed “Le funky French bistro de Brooklyn,” Chez Oskar has been a Fort Greene favorite since it opened in 1998, although there’s chatter the restaurant is planning a move to Bed-Stuy. Owner and artist Charlotta Janssen gives the cozy restaurant a bohemian vibe with colorful murals that echo the Harlem Renaissance and neighborhood haunts in Paris. Brunch highlights include the Niçoise salad with grilled chicken breast or salmon, the sea salt Nutella crepe and the spicy lamb burger.
L’Antagoniste | Alicia P. via Yelp
The farm- and sea-to-table L’Antagoniste is one of the more upscale of several French-themed restaurants and cafés in Bed-Stuy. Chef Frederic Robert serves up old-school dishes like duck liver pate, foie gras and frog legs. Come for the $35 happy hour prix-fixe, daily from 5:30 to 7 p.m., which includes a house drink, seasonal salad, plat du jour or pasta and sorbet. In the warmer months, locals flock to L’Antagoniste for its beautiful back garden.