La Cantine Du Faubourg
Cool, vibrant and with exceptionally good food, this is a top spot whether for a date or with mates. Dishes are excellent (just try the octopus) and the vibe is fun and upbeat. There’s a cool bar area, too, making this an ideal spot for a vibrant night out with stunning food.
Open daily 11am-2am. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 352 7105).
This restaurant from US Michelin-starred chef David Myers is decked out like a French farmhouse, with whitewashed woods and ornate rugs. Food is fantastic, there’s an open wood-fired grill producing some excellent meat cuts, and the lobster risotto is one of the best dishes we’ve eaten this year.
Open daily noon-3pm, 6pm-midnight. Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Business Bay (04 512 5533).
La Petite Maison
A multi-winner of this category, this French restaurant is always packed. The grilled lamb cutlets are exceptional – perfectly tender and flavoursome – while the octopus carpaccio is an interesting, tasty take on the cephalopod.
Open daily noon-3.15pm, 7pm-11.15pm. DIFC (04 439 0505).
French/Mediterranean in atmosphere and cuisine, Bagatelle is designed to reflect classic Paris. The menu invokes flavours of the south of France, with classics such as Burgundy snails with beef pancetta and whole truffle roasted chicken.
Open daily 8pm-11pm. Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.bagatelledubai.com (04 354 5035).
BQ – French Kitchen & Bar
Reminiscent of a French neighbourhood bistro with its green velvet seats and monochromatic tiled floors, the menu itself transports you to France, from escargots to onion soup with Gruyère toast and tomato tart tartin with brie.
Open daily 6.30am-10.30am, noon-3am, 6.30pm-midnight. Al Habtoor Palace, Business Bay, www.bqdubai.com (04 435 5577).
Couqley French Bistro
If you’re a fan of steak frites in classic French bistro surroundings, this is the place for you. Dotted with dark woods and red check cushions, this eatery from Beirut is famed for its signature sauces, tuna tartare and truffle-mushroom pasta.
Open Sun-Wed noon-1am; Fri-Sat noon-2am. Cluster A, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, www.couqley.ae (04 5149339).
Famed for the past 40 years as a top dining destination in New York thanks to its famed French cuisine with a twist of Italian flair, this sleek and sophisticated space has fresh, light and contemporary dishes at its core.
Open Sat-Thu noon-3pm, 7pm-11pm; Fri 7pm-11pm. The Ritz-Carlton DIFC, www.lecirque.com (04 372 2444).
La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie
Boasting some of the freshest bread and pastries in Dubai and a shaded terrace for people-watching, La Serre features a crisp white dining room and French-Mediterranean menu full of all the classics.
Open daily noon-3.15pm, 7pm-11pm. Vida Downtown, Downtown Dubai, www.laserre.com (04 428 6969).
Pierre’s Bistro & Bar
Michelin-starred French chef Pierre Gagnaire presents an eccentric setting of neon flamingos and green foliage with views of Dubai Festival City’s fountain show from an expansive outdoor terrace. Choose from the à la carte menu or graze on delicious snacks in the lounge.
Open daily 6.30pm-2am. InterContinental Dubai Festival City, www.pierresdubai.com (04 701 1127).
STAY by Yannick Alléno
Reinterpreting traditional dishes with contemporary flourishes, French chef Yannick Alléno has sprinkled Michelin stardust over dishes such as lobster cassolette with squid ink pasta vies and braised veal cheeks, celery matignon and carrot mousseline. The restaurant sports vaulted ceilings and black crystal chandeliers.
Open daily 7pm-11pm. One&Only The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.oneandonlyresorts.com (04 440 1010)