London boasts of its worldwide cuisine, from Eritrean sharing platters to traditional Swedish pastries, and the mouthwatering dishes from its French neighbours are no exception. I've gathered some of the most noteworthy French dine-ins both north and south of the river, conveniently located near major University of London campuses. So whether you're a sucker for nouvelle cuisine, or content to find a sweet new patisserie to devour your choux buns, this list has something for everyone. 

1) Palm Court Brasserie

London locals might roll their eyes at this first one, as its location just off the heart of Covent Garden is a notorious tourist trap. However, the atmosphere inside Palm Court Brasserie is anything but hectic. A classic, dimly-lit brasserie, this spot is one of the fancier options featured on this list. Surprisingly, its price range isn't too steep, and the menu even offers alternative Mediterranean dishes for those who aren't so keen on bouillabaisse.

Palm Court Brasserie is a worthwhile visit for an evening meal with family or friends—especially before or after a trip to the theatre. Their French onion soup is one of London's most popular, and is as gooey and cheesy as you'd wish it to be. It now features a selection of vegan dishes, including a mushroom bourguignon and a sweet potato casserole.

2) Boro Bistro

Located along Borough High Street, Boro Bistro offers a fairly huge (and budget-friendly) menu. Its funky black-ceiling interior is contrasted against a cosy outside seating area, adorned with shabby chic blankets and attractive sofas. Think of the outside as an upgraded beer garden—perfect for a sunny-day lunch. It's also a five-minute walk from KCL's Guy's campus and, along with French classics like cassoulet and tartiflette, it also brags the cutest dessert menu with the most delicious (albeit less authentic) banoffee waffles for only £5! The best part of Boro's menu is its extensive categories, catering to fish-lovers, meat-lovers, and veggie-lovers, with a generous selection for all.

3) Champagne + Fromage

You'd have to spend a long time in London to cover all of the city's top French restaurants. For the purposes of this list, I wanted to include options that were both student-friendly and a little unconventional. Champagne + Fromage is a popular, though tucked away, French café specialising in dishes involving champagne and/or cheese.

While it features a selection of regional French dishes (including the most widely known escargot) the restaurant is most known for its boards and small plates offering fancy nibbles with champagne and cheese elements. Among these include a champagne sorbet and a blue cheese chocolate mousse (which is worth the wait).

The café is relatively small and features rustic decor— it's also casual enough as a catch-up destination with friends after lectures. If you're really looking to impress someone, try their twist on a classic afternoon tea, featuring two spotlight ingredients, which you might be able to guess...

4) Casse-Croûte

Casse-Croûte is a small-but-sweet bistro in Southwark that is fairly off-the-radar but highly praised for its excellence and authenticity. Its menu selection is the least extensive on this list, but the quality of each meal makes up for it. The decor is instantly transportive and every dish is presented beautifully on a branded plate. The restaurant's dessert range is worth a try—especially the chocolate 'liégeois' (traditionally a coffee and ice-cream-based treat). Of all the restaurants featured here, Casse-Croûte is the one that will make your Facebook friends gasp and ask, 'Where is that?!'.

5) Brasserie Zédel

In shocking contrast to the sweetness of Casse-Croûte, Brasserie Zédel is the kind of restaurant we would term 'extra'. It's certainly a special-occasion visit and is worth bearing in mind for your end-of-year celebrations. The interior is a showstopper for any fan of Art Deco buildings, and its Instagram-worthiness puts the popular Sketch to shame. Frequently heralded as the most authentic brasserie in London, Zédel's menu will introduce you to some French culinary wonders you've possibly never heard of.

As you'd imagine, each meal is immaculately presented, but the price tag might surprise you, as it's fairly consistent with its neighbouring brasseries and offers the added bonus of an unrivalled interior. Although the cocktails are a little steep, Brasserie Zédel is a must for anyone who wants to try authentic French cuisine in a gorgeous setting, without the added expense of a plane ticket.

All in all, you'd have to spend a good few weeks in the city to explore more than a morsel of the haute cuisine London has to offer. These top five picks are in walking distance from most central universities and vary in price range so you can dine in style regardless of your budget. So next time you're craving a choquette from PAUL, try mixing it up with these 'gram-worthy locals.