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French restaurants – let’s escargot!

These restaurants serve some of the most delicious meals to ever have graced a fork and from the Michelin-starred to secret bistros, France is full of exquisite eateries as popular with the locals as they are with visitors from overseas.

This guide will provide the perfect introduction for river cruise holiday guests travelling through France who wish to gain a true taste of the country’s cultural and gastronomic flavour.


The country’s capital is, perhaps unsurprisingly, home to some of the best restaurants in Europe, with many having won rave reviews and awards. The following three restaurants based in the capital are not only regarded for their incredible plates, but also made the list of Europe’s top 100 restaurants.

Astrance on 4 rue Beethoven, Paris, is one of the most impressive Michelin star restaurants in the capital and holds three stars. While it may be difficult to get hold of a table, due to its sensational popularity, once in you are sure to be impressed. Noted for its creativity with the chef serving the most innovative of French food, this is a great choice for the adventurous on holiday.

Another three star restaurant, L'Arpege impresses with a completely organic menu stemming from the produce of the chef’s three vegetable gardens.

Ledoyen boasts a spectacular location in addition to its fantastic menu of the very best French food. Sat within the gardens of the Champs-Élysées, this pretty pavilion restaurant in the neo-classical style has a service and menu to match.

Pierre Gagnaire is for the more contemporary of tastes with its chic interior. The inventiveness of the chef is what is most praised by visitors to this restaurant as the chef’s menu is regarded as a never-ending celebration of French food.


As Lyon is thought of as the other capital of French food, it is a must for those looking to sample some truly incredible cuisine during their escorted French river cruise. The city boasts over 1,800 restaurants with 15 of those having been awarded Michelin stars – here are a couple of the best to include in your itinerary.

Situated in an atmospheric vaulted wine cellar, La Cave d'à Côté is a bit different. Known better as a stylish wine bar with its intriguing setting of a 18th century cellar, the food is limited to meats and cheese, but acts as a great example of local delicacies while sipping on some of the most delicious of wines.

Le Jean-Moulin is another example of fantastic French food in the heart of Lyon and at a very reasonable price. The ever-changing menu and up-and-coming chefs are what attracts in this great little eatery.

Northern France

To the north comes Sa.Qua.Na in Honfleur, which also made the top 100 list of restaurants in Europe and the elite Michelin-starred French group. Offering an interesting mix of Japanese and French food on their extensive menu, this is one for those looking for an experience as well as dinner.

Southern France

In the south of France, Regis et Jacques Marcon in St Bonnet-le-Froid featured in the top 100 European restaurants list and also secured the Travellers’ Choice 2013 Winner award from TripAdvisor. From the attentive and friendly staff to the exquisite menu that is reputed as hard to beat, this is one visitors must visit if they venture near the area.

Another restaurant highly praised in the south is the Troisgros restaurant in Roanne. The restaurant’s reviews on TripAdvisor speak for themselves, with some even describing the experience as ‘the PERFECT MEAL. In fact, we think it was the best meal we’ve ever had.’ From the ingredients used to the creativity of the dishes, Troisgros would be the perfect end to any trip to France.

Image Credit: Amanda Er (

This content was written by Ashley Collins. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.