Best Cities for Food in France

Best Cities for Food in France

France boasts a proud gastronomic heritage that few countries can equal, and it remains one of the foremost destinations for food lovers; home to some of Europe’s best culinary cities, each offering their unique dishes.

Bordeaux

Restaurant By Night

At the center of the world-renowned grape-growing region in southwestern France, Bordeaux has long been renowned for its outstanding wine scene. However, it is also fast developing a reputation as one of Europe’s foremost gastronomic hubs, and in 2017, was named the country’s best food city, ahead of more well-known culinary centers like Paris and Lyon.

What to eat in Bordeaux

Oysters at Chez Jean-Mi

Bordeaux is located just 30 miles from the southwestern coast of France, an area known for producing some of the country’s finest oysters.Chez Jean-Mi, a laid back oyster bar in the bustling Marché des Capucins food market, is a great place to sample local oysters, accompanied by excellent regional wines.


Canelés at La Toque Cuivré

Canelés: delicate rum and vanilla filled pastries, were invented in the region and are a must try when visiting Bordeaux. La Toque Cuivrée, serves some of the best in the city.


Duck with Bordelaise sauce at Restaurant Melodie

Bordelaise, named after the region where it was invented, is a rich sauce made with shallots, red wine and herbs, and often bone marrow. It is usually served over steak, but the excellent Restaurant Melodie’s duck version is a delightful alternative.

Paris

Paris Cafe Opening

Paris has long been known as a global gastronomic capital, and remains one of the best foodie cities in the world, boasting over 100 Michelin Starred restaurants including some of the world’s best. However, its culinary scene isn’t limited to fine-dining establishments: this global city is home to myriad fantastic restaurants, cafes and brasseries, across all budgets and tastes.


What to Eat in Paris

Stilton Bao at Boutique yam'Tcha

An offshoot of Michelin-starred chinese-french fusion restaurant yam'tcha: this tea room and bun shop serves a selection of affordable ‘bao’ style buns, including their superb signature bun, filled with molten-hot stilton and amarena cherries.

Steak-Frites at Chez-Georges

This traditional bistro has been a Paris institution since it opened in the mid-1920s, and it serves one of the best Steak-frites, (a typically Parisian dish), the city has to offer.

French breakfast at Café st Regis

Located on the smaller of the river Seine’s two islands, this typical Parisian Café is a great place to eat the ubiquitous french breakfast of croissants and coffee.

Lyon

Lyon Old Town

France’s third largest city has a rich culinary tradition, and is often dubbed the country’s food capital. Its location, amongst lush farmland and near to the famous wine regions of Beaujolais and the Rhône valley, as well as some of the country’s best cheese producing areas, makes Lyonnaise cuisine, both diverse and delicious.

What to eat in Lyon

Bresse chicken at Daniel et Denise

Chickens from the nearby Bresse region are considered to be the finest in France, and Daniel et Denise, a typical bouchon (restaurant serving traditional Lyonnaise cuisine) serves some of the best Bresse chicken dishes in the city.

Quenelles at Café du Soleil

Another typical Lyonnaise dish, Quenelles are poached, oval-shaped dumplings usually made from pike and topped with a creamy sauce. The cosy, old town, Café du Soleil, serves both authentic and more contemporary versions.


Saucisson brioché at Charcuterie Bonnard

Another local delicacy, Saucisson brioché consists of a whole pistachio coated sausage baked in a brioche loaf, and is sold by the slice at charcuteries across the city, including at the excellent Charcuterie Bonnard.

Lille

Lille In Christmas Time

This historic city in Northern France is located near the border with Belgium, and their local cuisine borrows considerably from their Flemish neighbors. The pretty cobbled streets are lined with an array of bistros and cafes serving an array of local specialties, whilst its location in the heart of the French beer producing region, make it one of the few cities where wine is not the dominant beverage of choice.


What to eat in Lille

Carbonnade Flamande at La Petite Cour


Carbonnade Flamande, is a rich, Flemish stew usually consisting of beef, beer, herbs and mushrooms, and is found on the menus of restaurants across the city, including La Petite Cour: one of the city’s best.


Potjevleesch at Estaminet Au Vieux de la Vieille


Another typical local dish with considerable Flemish influence, Potjevleesch, is a kind of terrine made with meat, sliced onions and herbs, and often accompanied by chips and a glass of Genièvre, a juniper based drink similar to gin, served across Northern France, Belgium, the Netherlands and parts of Germany. Estaminet Au Vieux de la Vieille, a traditional, tavern-style eatery, serves an excellent Potjevleesch, along with a host of other Northern French and Flemish dishes.


Gaufre fourrée at Maison Meert


These delicious, cream filled waffles are a regional delicacy said to have been invented at Maison Meert, a grand Lille cake shop and tea room dating back to 1761.

Strasbourg

Strasbourg Restaurant

This picturesque city in the Alsace region of Northern France, sits just across the Rhine River from the German border, and its architecture, culture, and cuisine blend French and German styles. Local specialities include, Tarte Flambée: a pizza-style dish consisting of thin-dough covered in creme-fraiche, sliced onions, and lardons (small cubes of fatty pork), and Choucroute Garnie, a dish made with sausages or other salted meats, along with shredded, pickled cabbage flavoured with juniper (similar to sauerkraut).

What to eat in Strasbourg

Choucroute Garnie at Porcus

This restaurant and charcuterie has an array of traditional, local meats, and is one of the city’s best eateries for Choucroute Garnie.


Tarte Flambée at Binchstub Restaurant

This small, quirky restaurant serves some of the best Tarte Flambée in the city, thanks to the high-quality ingredients they source from local farms.


Coq au Riesling at Chez Yvonne.

Another delicious regional dish,Coq au Riesling, is a creamy stew made from white wine, chicken, bacon and mushrooms, and is the house speciality at the excellent Chez Yvonne, a traditional bistro located near the stunning Strasbourg Cathedral.

Author

Josh B

London based writer and editor with a passion for travel. Loves the excitement of exploring fast-paced, urban destinations with great food, drink and nightlife!

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