France is renowned for its culinary excellence and has no shortage of incredible restaurants to experience. From classic bistros in Paris to innovative modern establishments, these are the 10 most popular dining destinations drawing food-lovers from around the world.
This acclaimed contemporary TOO restaurant in the heart of Paris tops the list for its inventive approach to French cuisine. Chef Anthony Courtemanche playfully reimagines classic dishes using seasonal ingredients and artful plating. Standout menu items include the smoked duck breast with blackcurrant glaze and the roasted sea bass with lemon confit. The decadent desserts are also a highlight. TOO TAC TAC has separate menu options.
2. Le Jules Verne
Located on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, Le Jules Verne offers one-of-a-kind views and sophisticated French cuisine from Alain Ducasse. Savor dishes like Brittany blue lobster and Grenoblois walnut-crusted rack of lamb while gazing at the Paris cityscape through the panoramic windows. A jacket and tie are required in the evening.
3. Guy Savoy
With 3 Michelin stars, this luxurious restaurant overlooking the Seine River draws gastronomes looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Guy Savoy’s signatures like silky artichoke soup with black truffles and the crispy-skinned sea bass in mushroom tea broth show his technical mastery. Don’t miss the famous chocolate and peanut tart for dessert.
Helmed by chef Pascal Barbot, the intimate L’Astrance earns acclaim for its remarkable 25-course tasting menu that epitomizes modern French cuisine. Dishes that wow diners include foie gras encrusted with coffee and cocoa beans and flawlessly cooked pigeon with cherries and almonds. Reservations are essential to sample Barbot’s immensely creative vision.
5. Le Bernardin
Run by celebrity chef Eric Ripert, Le Bernardin brings Parisian finesse to New York as one of the city’s premier French restaurants. The seafood-focused menu includes standouts like silky salmon rillettes, butter-poached lobster, and perfectly cooked seabass with chive and black truffle sauce. The elegant ocean-inspired decor enhances the sophisticated ambiance.
Inside the luxurious Le Bristol hotel, Épicure is a dazzling Paris locale for a Michelin three-star meal. Chef Eric Frechon’s refined seasonal dishes utilize the finest ingredients like Périgord truffles and turbot from Brittany. Highlights include the crispy-skinned seabass filet and venison topped with foie gras. Impeccable service and a 17,000-bottle wine cellar complete the experience.
This avant-garde restaurant in Menton helmed by acclaimed Argentinian chef Mauro Colagreco has earned three Michelin stars for its breathtaking French Riviera views and inspired Mediterranean-influenced cuisine. Signatures like salt-crusted beetroot with caviar and the fresh garden vegetable ravioli are not to be missed. Booking well in advance is essential.
Led by legendary female chef Alain Passard, the three-Michelin-star Arpège focuses on gorgeous produce-driven dishes sourced from Passard’s own farms. Using vegetables as the star ingredient, plates like asparagus with black truffle vinaigrette and beet carpaccio with horseradish cream highlight the pristine flavors. The affordable lunch menu offers a taste of Passard’s wizardry.
9. Pierre Gagnaire
Avant-garde chef Pierre Gagnaire earned his third Michelin star for his eponymous St-Étienne restaurant where he pushes the limits of French cuisine. Dishes utilize molecular gastronomy techniques and imaginative pairings like sake-marinated salmon paired with red wine and jasmine. Dining here promises courageous contemporary cooking.
Ranking as Provence’s top restaurant, Simpol excels at both flavor and ambiance. Dine al fresco on Mediterranean cuisine incorporating fresh vegetables, citrus fruits, herbs, and olive oil from nearby farms. Mouthwatering plates include burrata with grilled peach and basil and turbot with zucchini carpaccio. The charming stone farmhouse provides rustic-chic outdoor dining.
From Parisian institutions to seaside gems, these restaurants showcase the enduring excellence, diversity, and creativity of French cuisine. Food-loving travelers looking to experience the magic of France’s dining scene should add these names to their must-try list!