If French food mystifies you, then the only solution is to sample the amazing cuisine on your own. Luckily for you, there are lots of great places to dine in Denver that take that mystery out of French dining with friendly servers, accessible menus and laid-back atmospheres. From simple French sandwiches to huge steaming pots of mussels to fresh cheeses, even escargot or foie gras, there are lots of great French dishes to try. Check out these amazing French restaurants in Denver.
112 E 8th Ave
Denver, CO 80203
Le Central bills itself as “the affordable French restaurant,” but make no mistake, the lower prices do not mean that you will be missing out on any amazing French dishes. This local favorite has been a go-to of French cuisine fans since 1981 and it is still serving up amazing food daily at its beautiful Denver location. Enjoy all of the French classics like charcuterie, escargot, pan-seared duck, lamb shank and more. Or dine on moules et frites (mussels and fries.) For one low price, you can enjoy a huge pot of steaming fresh mussels served up in a variety of different sauces perfect for dipping that great crusty French bread. Make sure to save room for some dessert, the dessert menu here is nearly as fantastic as the dinner menu.
Z Cuisine Bistrot
2239 W 30th Ave
Denver, CO 80211
Z Cuisine is an authentic Parisian bistro serving up delicious French food with a “farm to form” mentality of truly fresh ingredients. There is a huge menu that changes often, featuring a variety of different dishes to enjoy. Dine on boeuf bourguignon, made from Colorado fresh beef or fresh seafood flown in straight from the pier, or try a fresh salad served up with imported French chevre. If you aren’t sure what wine is the best, the servers here are experts in helping you select that perfect glass to accompany any meal. One caution, Z Cuisine does not take reservations, so make sure to show up early to avoid a wait.
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1420 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80202
Enjoy authentic French cuisine in a casual environment, created with very local and seasonally fresh ingredients. Bistro Vendôme is a simple yet elegant answer to French dining in Denver, with a great selection of French favorites and a bar with more than 65 different selections of French wines. Everything you’d expect in French dining is on the menu, from escargot to steak tartare to steak frites and a daily selection of assorted artisan cheeses. Make sure to save room for dessert and try the pistachio French macaron for an amazingly delicious sweet treat after your meal.
704 S Pearl Street
Denver, CO 80209
French dining doesn’t always mean stuffy, sit-down dinners and extravagant multi-course meals. Vert Kitchen makes a quick lunch option available for anyone who loves French cuisine. The sandwiches are fantastic with a great variety to choose from. Try the curry chicken with apples, cashews, currants and sprouts or the l’entrecote served with arugula, skirt steak and walnut mustard. There is also a great soup of the day option and several salads to enjoy. If you don’t have the time to sit and dine-in, check out Vert’s Grab and Go menu. There are lines but they move fast and the wait is worth it for these incredible French sandwiches.
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Le Grand Bistro and Oyster Bar
1512 Curtis Street
Denver, CO 80202
Le Grand Bistro takes classic French fare and gives it a fresh, international twist. You’ll find influences of Vietnam, Mediterranean and even North African cuisine on this French menu, and everything is truly fresh and seasonal. Of course, all of the classics are available including steak tartare, cassoulet with braised pork, lamb and duck confit and lots of fresh mussels. If you are a fan of seafood, the seafood bar is also fantastic with freshly shucked oysters, octopus with tapenade and even bay scallop ceviche. Le Grand Bistro may be one of the newer restaurants to hit the French dining scene in Denver but this is one spot you definitely want to visit.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.