Whenever France is mentioned, one easily thinks of chic Parisian fashion, high-end beauty brands, numerous museums, and, of course, a one-of-a-kind gastronomic experience. in fact, the French cuisine is so highly valued all over the world that French restaurants are consistently among the most expensive places to eat regardless of country. But if you are planning on spending money on French cuisine anyway, then what better to find out what French food is all about than to actually try out various restaurants in France? With that in mind, in this article, I will walk you through some of the most popular restaurants in France which you should definitely check out when you visit the country. And if you are afraid of breaking the bank, no need to worry because Michelin stars do not automatically spell pricey. Trust me, eating in France may sound expensive, but it really does not have to be.
What are some of the must-try restaurants in France?
Paris alone boasts numerous restaurants which, if we are being honest (and with all the money to spend on good food), are all worth trying. If you are staying in the heart of France for a while, then you might as well check out the following restaurants:
- Bistrot Paul Bert: This restaurant offers the classic bistro experience with its authentic bistro menu offerings, especially its apple tart and steak frites. The atmosphere is lively and will certainly give diners a feel of old-timey Paris. One of the more innovative restaurants which set the pace for culinary reinvention in Parisian food fare. The restaurant boasts a breathtaking dining area with a full view of the kitchen. Service is impeccable albeit the reservation list is long.
- Chez Casimir: This is the more budget-friendly counterpart of Chez Michel, another notable restaurant in Paris. The restaurant serves classic bistro fare (but made better). The restaurant’s cheese plate is a must-try.
- Relais d’Entrecôte: For those of you who have difficulty picking what to eat from extensive menus, this restaurant has the perfect answer: only steak frites in the menu. The restaurant is strictly no-reservation, but the steak frites is certainly to die for.
- Le Chateaubriand: For the gastronomically adventurous, and for the hipster foodies, this restaurant will certainly not disappoint. The ingredients are fresh and the menu items change daily. The restaurant’s offerings are as surprising as they are delicious. Very few people go to Paris for the chicken, but if you find yourself craving fried chicken, then this is the place to be. The restaurant has other top-notch dishes, all of which are seasonal, but if you want to try the best fried chicken in Paris, this is the restaurant to be. If you are into the whole open kitchen concept, then you will immensely enjoy this restaurant. The restaurant boasts a wide selection of dishes, which are available in either full or half plates. The restaurant also offers a selection of wine sourced from a nearby wine shop.
- L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon: If you want to try a Michelin-star restaurant in Paris, this is the one you will most likely get a reservation in. You can expect to splurge here, but compared to other Michelin-star restaurants, its menu is quite affordable. Their suckled pig and caviar with smoked eel potatoes are must-try dishes!
Of course, Paris does not have a monopoly of great restaurants. All over the country, you will find restaurants which are certainly worth spending your money at. Here are some of the most popular and most affordable Michelin-star restaurants all over France:
- This South African fusion restaurant is located in Nice which, interestingly, seats only 24 people at a time. This is a great place to try out melktert and biltong, or indulge in a three-course lunch for around €55.
- Restaurant Patrick Jeffroy. This is a two-star restaurant in Hotel Carantec. Be prepared to spend €52 for a three-course lunch paired with a glass of wine. Have a little extra to spend? Try out the famous à La Royale with your meat of preference, allowing with cheese and dessert.
- Une Table au Sud. If you are in Marseille, then it is worth paying a visit to this funky and innovative restaurant overlooking the sea. The vibe and view aside, this restaurant offers dishes made from locally-sourced fish and vegetables. The lunch menu will set you back by €34.
- Les Pyrénées. This one-star Michelin restaurant is located at a four-star hotel in the French Pyrenees. If you want to try the local delicacies, then you should definitely try out the Menu Terroir, a four-course meal priced at €42.
- Keisuke Matsushima. If you find yourself craving authentic Japanese food while in France, then this restaurant in Nice is certainly worth visiting. It serves French-Japanese fusion cuisine, which also happens to be quite affordable. A main course coupled with starter and dessert, along with a glass of wine, will only cost you €40.
These are just some of the most popular and definitely must-try restaurants in France which you should definitely check out for the full gastronomic experience. France has no shortage of great restaurants and cafes, so rest assured that you will not go hungry in the country. And if you want to skip long lines, then smaller, less-popular restaurants are certainly worth checking.
As you may have noticed already, the restaurants above can be quite pricey, so if you do not have much budget to spend but nevertheless want to try good food, then it will be better for you to try smaller bistros in less-upscale neighborhood. You will not get the full Michelin-star service experience, of course, but it is a great way to try out authentic French cuisine without breaking the bank. If you do have the extra pocket money for great food though, then you should definitely try out some of these top French restaurants which have captured the tastes of visitors from all over the world.