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.

"In the heart of Lyon is a classic of its genre—a bustling French beer hall with great food. It's near the Gare Perrache, with makes it a particularly good late-night destination if you're arriving after hours by train.

Café Varenne is more like a convivial brasserie rather than a typical Parisian café.

Japanese chef Shinichi Sato’s Asian-inspired contemporary French cuisine has been persistently difficult to taste since being awarded a second Michelin star in April 2011.

Not far from the Jardin du Luxembourg, chef Guy Martin established Sensing, and then left it to young chef Fabrizio La Mantia. Sensing was named one of Gayot’s 2011 Hot 10 Paris Restaurants. Royal-purple banquettes and chairs surround natural wood tables.

For haute comfort food, reserve ahead at this trendy institution.

Pricy even by Paris standards, Alain Ducasse's flagship restaurant at the ritzy Hotel Plaza Athenee marries haute cuisine with designer decor. Pierre Tachon table art adorns a swanky dining space backed by a series of exquisitely embroidered screens.

New owners Jean-Louis and Mireille Pons, from nearby Arles, took over Chez Quénin, changing the name to the trendier-sounding Bistrot du Paradou and improving the cuisine, while maintaining the character—vintage-tiled floors, stone walls, timbered ceilings—of the old place.

Located on the Left Bank near le Bon Marché department store, this busy wine bar was first established in the 1950's. The intimate, glass-enclosed space is furnished with an original zinc bar as well as ceramic tiles and vineyard-themed frescoes created by local artists.