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 146 year-old property once had guest rooms, a grocery, a café, and a gas station but now is a café-bistro only. Have some of the on-the-house sangria-like aperitif of red wine from the village cooperative, apple juice, and crème de cassis.

Named for the small round iron and enamel pots in which dishes are both cooked and presented, the tiny Les Cocottes specializes in seasonal fare like crab and sucrine lettuce or shoulder of lamb confit with potatoes.

Despite chef-owner Christian Constant’s rise to fame on the local culinary scene, his namesake restaurant remains rooted in the humble neighborhood café tradition.

The French version of a mid-century American diner, Le Floors serves traditional greasy spoon fare as 1960’s soul and pop music plays in the background. Situated near the Cháteau Rouge Métro station, the café is housed in a three-story former print shop with a bowed glass-and-concrete facade.

With its large population of North African immigrants, Marseilles has developed as a center of Maghreb cuisine. Located in the Arab Quarter, the cheery Sur le Pouce serves some of the best couscous in town, as well as tasty tagines and sweet, flaky pastries.

Few anticipated the Michelin Star this 20-seat restaurant near the Louvre would earn in 2009, just one year after opening. The space's rustic wood beams and stone walls suggest  simpilicty, but chef Adeline Grattard's menu is anything but.

The widow of the late chef Bernard Loiseau runs this satellite of the long-standing family restaurant in Saulieu; 70 wines served by the glass are a highlight.

Located right by Cimetiere du Montparnasse in the 14th arrondissement, Le Duc restaurant has been frequented by the likes of Diane von Furstenberg and the late President Mitterrand, who come to sample the fresh seafood.

In a century-old house across from the train station in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, a celebrated riverside town of antiquaires, Le Jardin du Quai is one of the best new restaurants in Provence.

On Rue Elzévir in the Marais district, near Rue des Francs-Bourgeois with its boutiques and Renaissance architecture, Valerie Schlumberger created La Compagnie du Sénégal et de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (Company of Senegal and West Africa) and Le Petit Dakar, which offers Senegalese and other cuisine.

Installed between Les Halles and Jardin du Palais Royal, La Cloche des Halles sits under a red awning on rue Coquillière. Tables line the sidewalk, while cozy banquettes and tiny wooden tables fill the interior space.

The food of France’s Breton region shines at Chez Michel.