Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2016 and has been updated.
If you've bought tickets to France, you will soon be enjoying some of the world’s most renowned cuisine. Anywhere you go, you'll find delicious dishes that will please your taste buds and satisfy your appetite. If you want to make food the centerpiece of your French vacation, read on for the best cities and restaurants to visit.
Flying into Paris is often the most affordable way to get to France, so it's a good idea to start your gourmet trip there. In the French capital you'll find exquisite dishes made by some of the best chefs in the world.
Karla Alindahao, writing for Forbes magazine, recommended the Cafe Des Abattoirs, a restaurant that specializes in pork and beef dishes. The three course meals offered by this restaurant feature succulent entrees and decadent desserts.
Pastries are part of everyday life in France, and no where more than Paris. It’s important to know where to get your baked goods – buy sweet pastries at pâtisseries and breads like baguettes at boulangeries. You can throw a stone and you will hit a wonderful patisseries, but Pierre Herme Bonaparte is one of the best. You may have to stand in line, but the macarons and chocolate pistachio croissant are worth it.
Nab a seat in O'Bidul, a tiny 16-seat restaurant in the back streets of Marseille run by a one-man show - combination owner, chef, waiter, and busperson. The menu is small with maybe 3 starters, 2 main courses, 2 deserts, local craft beers, and some wines, but the food is a perfect mélange of simple and fresh local ingredients.
Plan on spending a few days in Marseille eating your way through the many quaint restaurants and cafes. While you're in town, don't forget to have some authentic French crepes for breakfast while sipping a cup of rich and delicious coffee.
You could spend your entire trip solely in the Bordeaux region if you wanted. The port city of Bordeaux is well known for it's fantastic wines and lush environment, but until recently the food was far below par compared to the wines. These days it’s a different story and Bordeaux has been to said to have a foodie scene in line with Lyon and Paris.
One of the hallmarks of top Bordeaux restaurants are their seasonal menus using locally sourced quality ingredients. If you want the vintage French farmhouse feeling, visit La Tupina. Soup simmers in a cauldron hanging in the fireplace warming the room in winter, and your food is cooked on an open fire pit.
VinePair suggested stopping by Le Petit Commerce where you can relax and enjoy fresh oysters paired with a bottle of dry white Bordeaux. You'll find yourself surrounded by locals which might make you question why you would ever want to leave France.
The best dishes to try in France
If you're new to French cuisine, you might not know what to try first. Here some must-try French dishes according to Food Network Canada and Shared Appetite.
- Baguette - You might have had baguette before, but nothing like you'll find in France. Some bakers spend their whole careers perfecting this delicious bread.
- Pain au Chocolat - For light, delicious dessert, you can't go wrong with this flaky, chocolate bread.
- Cheese - French cheese is known around the world as the absolute best. No matter what kind you prefer, you'll find some that absolutely blows you away.
- Tarte Infiniment Vanille - This vanilla pastry is anything but bland. It is simple, creamy and tasty treat that makes the perfect end to any meal.
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