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The best French food in New Zealand

You’ve got to hand it to the French – they know their food like they know how to upset the All Blacks at Rugby World Cups.

French cuisine is famous for its variety, flavour and its willingness to use, shall we say, different ingredients. Snails and frog legs aside, French fare is sure to excite the palate and please even the most discerning food critic.

We’re talking rich and buttery foie gras, world-class wine and cheese, delicate soufflés and delectable macaroons; most of which you’ll be able to find at the best French restaurants in New Zealand.

Bon appétit!


Aucklanders are spoilt for choice when it comes to great French restaurants. Hidden away at the top of Queen Street, Le Garde-Manger is the real deal in terms of French cuisine.

It has all the charm of a genuine French bistro, from the cute checked tablecloths, to the menu which is packed with classics such as Beef Bourginon, Coq au Vin and Onion Soup.

Similarly, La Cigale sources most of its products directly from France to ensure its food is as authentic as possible. The deli sells cheese, olives and French pates; the bistro serves up only the best French food for lunch and dinner.

And The French Café rounds out our Auckland restaurants, serving sublime European cuisine in a sophisticated and intimate environment with excellent service to match.


Using only the best ingredients from around the world, Café Versailles’ menu explores the many delicious flavours of French cuisine, from escargots en coquilles a l’ail (snails with garlic butter) to poitrine de porc au cassis (twice cooked free range crispy pork) and petits choux (profiteroles filled with custard and topped with warm Belgium chocolate). Yum!

New Plymouth

Andre L’Escargot lies in a charming historic 1800’s building on Brougham Street. It offers classic French cuisine including beef fillet tartare, le poulet au citron (corn-fed chicken, slowly cooked in a lemon and white-wine sauce) and confit of duck.


Welcome to Le Canard, a stunning French restaurant in Wellington that specialises in the cuisine of Perigord and South West France – arguably the country’s greatest gastronomic region.

At this classic Wellington French restaurant you’ll be able to sample home-made Charcuterie, duck liver mousse, duck rillettes, duck terrine, confit and special “Café de Paris butter”.

Located in the luxurious Museum Hotel, Hippopotamus is run by award-winning French chef Laurent Loudeac. The food is excellent, of course, and it’s enhanced by a stellar wine list.

Hanmer Springs

For award-winning French-inspired fine dining in Hanmer Springs you can’t go past Chantellinis. It’s romantic, set in a warm and relaxed atmosphere with magnificent mountain and garden views. The food is great and its extensive wine list showcases the best wines from all over New Zealand.

See more French Restaurants.

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  1. 466 Queen Street, Auckland, Auckland

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