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.

The concise wine list here is a paean to France’s vin naturel gurus, such as the Jura region’s anti-sulfur crusader Pierre Overnoy and Beaujolais renegade Philippe Jambon.

If you knew in advance that Le Marronnier had 500 seats you’d never go. But forget everything you’ve suffered in French restaurants that accept groups and, when staying in Strasbourg (at Le Chut, l’hôtel du moment), book a cab and cover the 6 1/2 miles to Stutzheim.

Formerly the restaurant of the Hôtel d'Orsay, this Belle Èpoque dining room is much the same as it was when it first opened in 1900. Located on the first floor of the museum, the restaurant is adorned with crystal chandeliers, a frescoed ceiling, and tall arched windows overlooking the Seine.

Owned and operated by Cambodian chef Dao Heng, this tiny, no-frills bistro serves classic French cuisine as well as a small selection of Asian-French fusion dishes.

Yen

Located just a few steps from St.-Germain-des-Prés’ iconic Café de Flore, Yen is an authentic Japanese cuisine restaurant and noodle house. The simple lines, wood doors, and lone white flag outside complement Yen’s minimalist Asian décor inside.

A favorite of President Nicolas Sarkozy, this small crêperie is situated on a quiet square in the 15th Arrondissement.

Though it’s a local cliché, one must eat at this seafood brasserie facing the Trouville port. The place is the sort of French restaurant you dream—and have nightmares—about: the zinc accents, the paper-covered tables, and, of course, the comically abrupt waiters.

The modern ecru-and-teak cliffside beach club and restaurant is run by the Pourcel brothers of Paris’s Maison Blanche. The menu features Provençal and Italian specialties, such as tuna carpaccio and saffron risotto with asparagus, shrimp, and parmesan.

Built to withstand wartime assaults, the 13th-century Château de St.-Geniès has thick stone walls and antiques-filled rooms.

Just blocks from the Louvre, Efisio Mannai's Fellini restaurant presents another grand human achievement: fine Italian cuisine.

Much like the iconic landmarks nearby, Le Voltaire is a classic Paris bistro that stands the test of time in the chic 7eme arrondisement. Perhaps the restaurant’s riverfront location, emerald green awning, and shiny wood paneling outside gives rise to the high prices.