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Addison
Jakob N. Layman

Where to Eat French Food in San Diego

The bistro meets the beach at these 16 locations

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Addison
| Jakob N. Layman

San Diego’s French restaurant roster sometimes gets ignored in favor of other types of cuisines—understandably so, considering the relative distance from France and a lack of significant European influence in this border city. But, quietly churning under the surface, there are a number of quality French restaurants both new and old that are providing solid, consistent classic and reimagined continental fare. From the finest of fine dining restaurants to cozy neighborhood bistros, here are 16 places to find French food in San Diego.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Jeune et Jolie

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2659 State St
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 637-5266
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Brand new to Carlsbad village is Campfire’s sister restaurant, Jeune et Jolie. Billing itself as a modern French restaurant, expect inspired riffs on French classics, lower-intervention wines and a truly exciting cocktail list.

Haley Hill Photography

2. Mille Fleurs

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6009 Paseo Delicias
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
(858) 756-3085
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A mainstay of San Diego’s dining scene, Mille Fleurs is still churning out killer French-style dishes in Rancho Santa Fe. And, for the first time in three decades, the restaurant has named a new executive chef, Sean McCart, formerly of Pueblo, Mister A’s and Juniper & Ivy. Beginning March 2019, McCart and his team introduced a dinner experience focusing on seasonal locally-sourced ingredients. This new dinner series, called Monthly Milles, will showcase preparations of products from local farmers and purveyors. McCart’s upcoming April 21 multi-course dinner is, all about the bounty of spring. 

Courtesy photo

3. Pamplemousse Grille

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514 Via De La Valle
Solana Beach, CA 92075
(858) 792-9090
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A fixture on North County’s dining scene, Pamplemousse is lauded for not only its standout French-style cuisine but for its stacked and far-reaching wine collections—long considered one of the best in all of the county.

Pamplemousse Courtesy photo

4. Addison

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5200 Grand Del Mar Way
San Diego, CA 92130
(858) 314-1900
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The crown jewel of San Diego’s restaurants is, undoubtedly, Addison at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. French technique and classic training abound at this contemporary French fine dining destination that draws crowds and accolades from all over the globe.

Coutesy photo

5. The WineSellar & Brasserie

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9550 Waples St #115
San Diego, CA 92121
(858) 450-9557
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Sorrento Valley’s The WineSellar & Brasserie serves lunch and dinner with French-style cooking and an accompanying deep wine list that covers France but also spans the globe. Keep an eye out for their special dinners, the Chef’s Mercy tasting menu and their frequent tastings and tours.

6. Bistro du Marché by Tapenade

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7437 Girard Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 551-7500
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Bistro du Marché by Tapenade is La Jolla village’s preferred French restaurant, where classic dishes like moules frites can be found on the menu.

7. The French Gourmet

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960 Turquoise St
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 488-1725
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Expect Parisian bistro fare, like steak frites, at this cozy Bird Rock restaurant but don’t sleep on the bakery portion—almond croissants are a not-miss.

8. Bleu Bohème

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4090 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 255-4167
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Kensington is home to Bleu Bohème, which has a dinner menu that is updated weekly but sticks closely to French bistro mainstays. New dishes debut every Thursday and will include: escargot à a la moelle, snails with roasted bone marrow ,pickled shallots, radishes, Fresno chili, sauce vert and crostini,gnocchi a la Parisienne, sautéed parmesan dumplings with asparagus, roasted mushrooms and white wine cream sauce, priced at $16.95; salade de quinoa, with avocado, snap peas, radishes, radicchio and lemon vinaigrette, for $15.95; entrecôte de porc, Provençal marinated Duroc pork bone-in rib eye steak with pommes puree, maitake mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns and mustard jus, priced at confit de canard, Moulard duck leg confit served with fava beans, asparagus, baby carrots, cauliflower, fingerling potatoes and duck broth and more.

Courtesy photo

9. Et Voilà! French Bistro

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3015 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 209-7759
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This well-loved neighborhood bistro just rolled out a new bunch menu—expect items like French beignets, waffles, casseroles and tartines.

Et Voilà! Courtesy photo

10. BO-beau kitchen + bar

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4996 W Point Loma Blvd
San Diego, CA 92107
(619) 224-2884
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With three locations around the city in Ocean Beach, Hillcrest and La Mesa, the OB location of the “Bo-Beaus” is the most cozy and redolent of a countryside French escape. Known for their brussels sprouts, escargots are a must-order as is the local catch-of-the-day.

Bo-beau Kitchen + Bar Courtesy photo

11. Au Revoir French Bistro

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420 Robinson Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 268-2400
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A staple of Hillcrest’s waxing and waning, ever-changing dining scene has been Au Revoir French Bistro. The Tuesday special is the move, featuring a prix fixe menu at $30, which is a steal for what’s served.

12. La Bonne Table

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3696 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 260-8039

Another Hillcrest gem is La Bonne Table, which serves traditional French dishes that translate as some of the most straightforward and properly executed in town.

13. The Smoking Goat Restaurant

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3408 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 955-5295
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With one of the highest quality wine lists in the city and a consistently-updated menu, The Smoking Goat remains one of the best restaurants in North Park, French or otherwise. The steak is an impossibly decadent must-order, as is the roasted chicken, if available.

The Smoking Goat

14. PARC Bistro-Brasserie

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2760 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 795-1501
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Good for big parties and special events, this Bankers Hill bistro is a neighborhood favorite. One of its highlights are the regular wine dinners hosted on-site.

15. Café Madeleine South Park

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2248 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 544-1735
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Named for the coffee-accompanying pastry ubiquitous in French cafes, this adorable South Park cafe sits just between Balboa Park and the main drag of the neighborhood. Breezy weekday breakfast and lunch are the best time to visit this popular spot if at all possible.

cafe madeleine Courtesy photo

16. Le Parfait Paris

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555 G St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 245-4457
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The destination for French pastries, coffee and other desserts is this East Village bakery, Le Parfait Paris. There is also another location in Liberty Station.

Le Paris Parfait Courtesy photo

1. Jeune et Jolie

2659 State St, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Haley Hill Photography

Brand new to Carlsbad village is Campfire’s sister restaurant, Jeune et Jolie. Billing itself as a modern French restaurant, expect inspired riffs on French classics, lower-intervention wines and a truly exciting cocktail list.

2659 State St
Carlsbad, CA 92008

2. Mille Fleurs

6009 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
Courtesy photo

A mainstay of San Diego’s dining scene, Mille Fleurs is still churning out killer French-style dishes in Rancho Santa Fe. And, for the first time in three decades, the restaurant has named a new executive chef, Sean McCart, formerly of Pueblo, Mister A’s and Juniper & Ivy. Beginning March 2019, McCart and his team introduced a dinner experience focusing on seasonal locally-sourced ingredients. This new dinner series, called Monthly Milles, will showcase preparations of products from local farmers and purveyors. McCart’s upcoming April 21 multi-course dinner is, all about the bounty of spring. 

6009 Paseo Delicias
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

3. Pamplemousse Grille

514 Via De La Valle, Solana Beach, CA 92075
Pamplemousse Courtesy photo

A fixture on North County’s dining scene, Pamplemousse is lauded for not only its standout French-style cuisine but for its stacked and far-reaching wine collections—long considered one of the best in all of the county.

514 Via De La Valle
Solana Beach, CA 92075

4. Addison

5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego, CA 92130
Coutesy photo

The crown jewel of San Diego’s restaurants is, undoubtedly, Addison at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. French technique and classic training abound at this contemporary French fine dining destination that draws crowds and accolades from all over the globe.

5200 Grand Del Mar Way
San Diego, CA 92130

5. The WineSellar & Brasserie

9550 Waples St #115, San Diego, CA 92121

Sorrento Valley’s The WineSellar & Brasserie serves lunch and dinner with French-style cooking and an accompanying deep wine list that covers France but also spans the globe. Keep an eye out for their special dinners, the Chef’s Mercy tasting menu and their frequent tastings and tours.

9550 Waples St #115
San Diego, CA 92121

6. Bistro du Marché by Tapenade

7437 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037

Bistro du Marché by Tapenade is La Jolla village’s preferred French restaurant, where classic dishes like moules frites can be found on the menu.

7437 Girard Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037

7. The French Gourmet

960 Turquoise St, San Diego, CA 92109

Expect Parisian bistro fare, like steak frites, at this cozy Bird Rock restaurant but don’t sleep on the bakery portion—almond croissants are a not-miss.

960 Turquoise St
San Diego, CA 92109

8. Bleu Bohème

4090 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
Courtesy photo

Kensington is home to Bleu Bohème, which has a dinner menu that is updated weekly but sticks closely to French bistro mainstays. New dishes debut every Thursday and will include: escargot à a la moelle, snails with roasted bone marrow ,pickled shallots, radishes, Fresno chili, sauce vert and crostini,gnocchi a la Parisienne, sautéed parmesan dumplings with asparagus, roasted mushrooms and white wine cream sauce, priced at $16.95; salade de quinoa, with avocado, snap peas, radishes, radicchio and lemon vinaigrette, for $15.95; entrecôte de porc, Provençal marinated Duroc pork bone-in rib eye steak with pommes puree, maitake mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns and mustard jus, priced at confit de canard, Moulard duck leg confit served with fava beans, asparagus, baby carrots, cauliflower, fingerling potatoes and duck broth and more.

4090 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

9. Et Voilà! French Bistro

3015 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
Et Voilà! Courtesy photo

This well-loved neighborhood bistro just rolled out a new bunch menu—expect items like French beignets, waffles, casseroles and tartines.

3015 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

10. BO-beau kitchen + bar

4996 W Point Loma Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107
Bo-beau Kitchen + Bar Courtesy photo

With three locations around the city in Ocean Beach, Hillcrest and La Mesa, the OB location of the “Bo-Beaus” is the most cozy and redolent of a countryside French escape. Known for their brussels sprouts, escargots are a must-order as is the local catch-of-the-day.

4996 W Point Loma Blvd
San Diego, CA 92107

11. Au Revoir French Bistro

420 Robinson Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

A staple of Hillcrest’s waxing and waning, ever-changing dining scene has been Au Revoir French Bistro. The Tuesday special is the move, featuring a prix fixe menu at $30, which is a steal for what’s served.

420 Robinson Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

12. La Bonne Table

3696 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

Another Hillcrest gem is La Bonne Table, which serves traditional French dishes that translate as some of the most straightforward and properly executed in town.

3696 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

13. The Smoking Goat Restaurant

3408 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
The Smoking Goat

With one of the highest quality wine lists in the city and a consistently-updated menu, The Smoking Goat remains one of the best restaurants in North Park, French or otherwise. The steak is an impossibly decadent must-order, as is the roasted chicken, if available.

3408 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104

14. PARC Bistro-Brasserie

2760 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

Good for big parties and special events, this Bankers Hill bistro is a neighborhood favorite. One of its highlights are the regular wine dinners hosted on-site.

2760 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

15. Café Madeleine South Park

2248 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
cafe madeleine Courtesy photo

Named for the coffee-accompanying pastry ubiquitous in French cafes, this adorable South Park cafe sits just between Balboa Park and the main drag of the neighborhood. Breezy weekday breakfast and lunch are the best time to visit this popular spot if at all possible.

2248 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104

Related Maps

16. Le Parfait Paris

555 G St, San Diego, CA 92101
Le Paris Parfait Courtesy photo

The destination for French pastries, coffee and other desserts is this East Village bakery, Le Parfait Paris. There is also another location in Liberty Station.

555 G St
San Diego, CA 92101

Related Maps