A casual atmosphere that invites you to linger and chitchat over a decadent pain au chocolat and a cup of rich café au lait. It’s the recipe for the French cafe — and luckily, you can experience that touch of France right here in Atlanta. Rendezvous at one of these French cafes in greater Atlanta.
Douceur de France
Douceur de France serves authentic French fare for breakfast and lunch at spots in Marietta and Roswell. The Marietta location is especially packed on weekends, with patrons lined up to order desserts and pastries to go at the counter, and diners eagerly waiting to be seated while they’re tantalized by the display case of cakes, pies and other sweet masterpieces. Don’t let the crowds deter you — it’s worth the wait. Try one of the tartines (open-faced sandwiches), the quiche du jour, pain perdu (French toast) or a buttery egg croissant sandwich. And you can grab a side order of hash brown à la Française (shredded potatoes with scallions and Parmesan cheese).Or you might go for the panini végétal du jour, which on a recent visit featured a nice blend of sweet tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto, all warmly pressed. Finish with a Nutella-filled crepe or walk out with a pastry from the bakery counter.
277 S. Marietta Parkway SW, Marietta. 770-425-5050.
1173 Alpharetta St., Roswell. 770-650-1173, douceurdefrance.com.
Bread & Butterfly
There’s so much to love about this charming, intimate cafe in Inman Park. While the weekend wait isn’t for the weary, it’s worth braving the brunch crowds to enjoy the delectable menu and whimsical environs, where green walls and a tin ceiling add character to the space. Grab a simple breakfast (perhaps a latte with a warm croissant or beignet) on the patio or cozy up to the bar for a glass of wine before a leisurely dinner of classic steak frites. Bread & Butterfly serves lunch as well (try the jambon beurre on a toasted baguette), but brunch here — while simple — is the real star. Order the avocado toast served with a sunny side up egg, the omelet du jour or the fluffy, crave-worthy pancake. There is no wrong choice.
290 Elizabeth St., Atlanta. 678-515-4536, bread-and-butterfly.com.
Collet French Pastry & Cafe
This casual Alpharetta eatery offers the requisite French baked goods, as well as a variety of sandwiches and salads. Sip on European coffee or tea while enjoying breakfast, lunch or a midafternoon snack. Among our picks: the almond croissant, a croque monsieur and the chicken pot pie. Don’t forget to nab some colorful macarons while you’re at it.
2225 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta. 678-770-6066, Facebook: Collet French Pastry.
With a recently opened second location, Café Vendôme offers an authentic French bakery and cafe experience at two spots in Sandy Springs. The aroma here is intoxicating as they bake fresh pastries and baguettes on-site all day long. The menu spans breakfast, brunch and lunch, with options ranging from quiche, salads and soups to tartines, croque monsieurs and madames. If you have a sweet tooth, try one of the many French pastries, like an apricot tarte or financier. Alternatively, a plain and simple croissant with a cappuccino also makes for the perfect midday treat while you sit back and admire the oversized mural on the wall that makes the tables seem to go on forever.
4969 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. 404-551-5163.
6400 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. 404-551-5163, cafevendome.com.
Tucked away in Decatur, Café Alsace has been a neighborhood favorite for the past 20 years, serving Alsatian food in a cozy space. A waitstaff fluent in French will transport you to a sidewalk cafe, where you can order fare like Mauricettes — traditional Alsace sandwiches baked in soft pretzel bread — as well as cassoulet, Boeuf Bourguignon, Coq au Vin and more for lunch and dinner. On Sundays, swing by for brunch from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
121 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. 404-373-5622, cafealsace.net.
Amélie’s French Bakery and Café
Situated in West Midtown near the Georgia Tech campus, Amélie’s French Bakery and Café serves French-inspired cafe fare and welcomes patrons with a custom-painted outdoor mural and quirky, fun interior decor. The cafe recently debuted a fall menu that features ingredients like apple, clove, pumpkin, pistachio and spiced cherry. New items range from a Sweet Potato Pecan Danish, to a spiced pumpkin tea cake to the Pistachio Brittle Café Crème — made with pistachio cardamom simple syrup, espresso and milk, and topped with pistachio brittle pieces. Some customer favorites, like a Roasted Root Vegetable + Gouda Tartine, salted caramel apple cider and macaron flavors of Pumpkin Pecan Praline, S’mores and Brown Butter Pecan, are back again, too.
840 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta. 404-921-0276, ameliesfrenchbakery.com.
Blending the flavors of French, Italian and Spanish provincial cooking in Atlanta’s Poncey-Highland neighborhood, Babette’s Café is a homey eatery located inside a quaint converted cottage. Carb lovers will rejoice in the loaves of warm, crusty French bread and house made butter that instantly set the scene. Offering dinner Tuesdays through Sundays, Babette’s menu showcases a variety of unique dishes. Try the Steamed Mussels with Strawberries and Serrano Pepper Sauce for a slightly sweet and spicy spin on this traditional French starter. Then follow it up with sauteed sole with brown butter and lemon, herb-crusted lamb loin chops or the filet mignon with Gorgonzola sauce. The global wine list can please the palate of any oenophile.
573 N. Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-523-9121, babettescafe.com.
Sure it’s in Buckhead, but you’ll feel like you’re in a relaxed bistro in the south of France when you enter Anis Bistro, a restaurant located in a converted house with eclectic artwork, a romantic fireplace and a dreamy, gardenlike patio. The menu gives guests a taste of Provence for lunch and dinner, as well as Sunday brunch. For dinner, start your evening with the Moules Marinières (mussels in white wine with garlic and parsley), a cheese plate or the Tartare de Tomate (roasted tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella and baby arugula). Entrees run the gamut, from a delicate seared yellowfin tuna to roasted chicken, Boeuf au Poivre (a filet of beef with Lyonnaise potatoes and roasted portobello mushrooms), duck leg confit or a vegetarian option like ricotta tortelloni. To wrap things up, try the bittersweet chocolate mousse, the profiteroles or the scrape-every-last-bite brioche bread pudding. Your trip to France is now complete — no passport necessary.
2974 Grandview Ave., Atlanta. 404-233-9889, anisbistro.com.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.