France

Restaurants in France

Gastronome or not, France is the place to go for great food. The country has a long history of not only rich, haute cuisine, but a tradition of excellent regional fare that has transformed France into the culinary giant it is today. It’s far too difficult to name just a few of the many great restaurants in France (though the famed Guide Michelin is always happy to help), so those visiting France restaurants should work overtime to try cuisine that is unique and native to the country like pot-au-feu, a hearty beef stew; matelote, fish cooked in cider; coq au vin or boeuf bourguignon, chicken or beef braised in red wine; and ratatouille, a rich vegetable stew. And don’t forget to drop by an authentic patisserie to stock up on madeleines, croissants, macarons, baguettes and all the delicious breads, desserts and cheeses that have set France restaurants apart as leaders in culinary excellence.

With décor inspired by the Villa Farnesina in Rome, Farnesina restaurant serves gourmet Italian cuisine to the likes of Isabelle Adjani and Inès de la Fressange.

The restaurant has an exhaustive wine list with an entire page of red magnums. The eatery occupies an ancient stone house beside the old public laundry basin.

Thierry Marx helms the kitchen at Château Cordeillan-Bages, a two-starred restaurant in Pauillac owned by Lynch-Bages winery. His reputation as both tireless innovator and spiritual leader of the region’s food renaissance lures many to the hotel’s sedate dining room.

Near the Place du Trocadéro in the district of the Bastille, Cavestève specializes in small-scale producers and vintage champagnes.

Chef Jean-Pierre Xiradakis’s take on French country cuisine ranges from traditional rillettes to tripe crisp, to tomato ice cream.

L’Olympic Café serves African-influenced fare in the energetic Goutte d’Or district, a multiethnic immigrant neighborhood also known as “Little Africa.” Housed in a 1930’s Art Deco building, the café has an upstairs dining area and a downstairs concert hall, both of which are designed with subdue

The interior is invested with that sort of non-décor décor that people who began their eating careers in France 50 years ago know can be a good sign.

From its roost on the second platform of the Eiffel Tower, Le Jules Verne is helmed by Alain Ducasse (since 2007)—which means the food is truly worthy of its location.

Fresh from Belgium, this natural-food chain specializes in healthy fast food. For gourmands and vegetarians alike, the choices include soups, salads, and sandwiches on organic breads made with ingredients like soft chèvre or smoked salmon ($7).

Formerly a simple working-class restaurant, Astier is newly elevated thanks to new ownership and a chef who earned his stripes at Le Meurice.