The French Quarter, Newcastle
This laid-back neighbourhood restaurant and wine bar serves up a relaxed, tapas-style menu, packed with mouthwatering, made-for-sharing plates across charcuterie and cheese, meat, fish and seafood and surprisingly-good veggie options. A place to mix ’n’ match and discover new flavour combos.
6 Westgate Road, Newcastle, NE1 1SA; frenchquarternewcastle.co.uk
Bistrot Citron Vert, Durham
Somewhere worth visiting for weekend supper, where you can indulge in the freshest, big-as-your-fist mussels, steamed in white wine, brothy bowls of French onion soup, punchy duck a l’orange and proper crème caramel. All mains can be served with rich, homemade gratin dauphinoise – go for this instead of fries.
87 Elemore Street, Durham, DH6 1BD; citronvert.co.uk
Bistrot Pierre, Middlesbrough
Expect a mix of traditional-style, bistro favourites, from hearty boeuf bourguignon to confit duck cassoulet, and modern, anglo-French dishes at this buzzy chain restaurant. Its chefs make regular trips across the channel to discover new ingredients, before bringing them back to Blighty to experiment with for new recipes.
93-101 Albert Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 2PA; bistrotpierre.co.uk
French Oven Bakery, Grainger Market
The sweetest French bakery, specialising in petite, artisan treats, from macarons and handmade pain au chocolat, to gateaux, fresh-from-the-oven croissants and big-time baguettes. The homemade pies are to-die-for, as are the takeaway Afternoon Tea boxes.
Grainger Street, Newcastle, NE1 5QQ; frenchoven.co.uk