French food – especially in its most buttery and decadent forms — is a treat, and there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a little continental magic from time to time. Who doesn’t love a plate of stinky cheese, cassoulet, or beef bourguignon?Also worth remembering: Not all French food is heavy. Provence is famous for the vegetable casserole ratatouille, you can’t think Côte d’Azur without thinking tapenade, and the favorite dish of the Marseillaise is a fish stew called bouillabaisse. You can eat a pound of butter while eating French, but you don’t have to.
Tip: While this map focuses on full-service restaurants in Boston proper, the Boston area also features a number of outstanding French bakery and cafe options worth exploring. Start with Cafe Madeleine in Boston’s South End and then move beyond the city to Ma France in Lexington (a French grocery shop with baked goods, charcuterie, cheese, and lots more), Clear Flour Bread in Brookline (serving French and Italian breads), and Mamadou’s Artisan Bakery in Winchester and Arlington.
Here’s where to eat like the French without getting on an airplane [ . . . ]