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.

Just down from the Louvre on a Saint Honoré side-street, Le Garde Robe is an intimate wine bar and shop.

Designer Philippe Starck restored the 18th century elegance of Maison Baccarat in the Cristal Room Baccarat restaurant, located between Etoile and Trocadéro.

Just off the Champs-Élysées, Le Chiberta is one of the more affordable restaurants created by world-renowned chef Guy Savoy. Set inside a stylized Haussmann building with undulating balconies, Le Chiberta is a contemporary, multi-room space designed by acclaimed architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte.

The newest venue in the old port is stark white and mirrored, which helps put its thin, gorgeous, and tanned clientele on display. The menu features light Mediterranean cuisine, such as moules marinieres (mussels cooked in white wine) and seared calamari.

Tables were placed on gravel underneath the shade of the trees at this casual country place. Order beautiful green salads with red currants, a bit of foie gras, warm cheese with a red pepper–and-garlic rémoulade, rabbit with a dried-fruit reduction, and risotto aux fruits de mer.

Gilles Choukroun, the mediagenic chef of the new restaurant is the founder and former president of Générations.C—yet another French food movement for change—the boyishly handsome Choukroun is doing his part at the cool gray-and-fuchsia-accented MBC.

After making a name for himself at Alain Passard's L'Arpège, chef Pascal Barbot opened L'Astrance in 2000.

Head to the base of Montmartre for a taste of Parisian nightlife. Michou, the legendary man behind this retro-styled drag show, has hosted audiences for more than 50 years. As expected, décor is campy (think dim red lighting, mirror covered walls, and glitter).

This small Paris restaurant celebrates the flavors of jamón ibérico, a high-quality Spanish ham. This particular charcuterie is cured for up to 42 months, and Bellota-Bellota serves it alongside tapas and in sandwiches.

When Jacques Mélac’s father opened Le Palais du Bon Vin here in 1938, it was a clamorous quarter of typesetters, printers, and smithies. Before and after work and during breaks they fueled up on vin de pays and handed their empties over the zinc to be filled for home consumption.

Dine on dandelion-and-marigold salad dressed in sunflower oil, a citrusy fresh goat cheese, and a cherry-and-almond tart. Specialties from Auvergne like pounti (a pork, Swiss-chard, and prune tartine) and tarte aux cèpes are often on the menu, which changes daily.