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France’s best restaurants

Whose opinion really matters? 

The importance and impact of top chefs is far reaching. Their innovations and trends influence others further down the food chain (if you’ll pardon the pun), creating a cascade effect that changes the way we all eat.

As to how this progress is evaluated well, ultimately people vote with their feet of course. But there are ‘official’ means of achieving endorsement.

The Michelin star ratings are just one system of recognition, with restaurants meeting strict quality criteria along guidelines laid out over 100 years ago.

And there are other published authorities of French culinary fare. Aside from Michelin, they range from Gault et Millau, Le Bottin Gourmand, through Les Routiers (a different kind of guide, aimed originally at lorry drivers for whom plentiful parking was a key requirement as well as a genuine regard for quality and value) to Le Routard and Petit Futé at the more budget end of the scale.

While all Michelin starred restaurants are noteworthy (and world class in the case of the 3 star rating), it is significant that not all noteworthy restaurants are Michelin rated. In short, the Michelin criteria are not to everyone’s taste and some fine restaurants play by their own rules.

There have always been the detractors. Those who claim that the Michelin guide is a case of the wrong people valuing the wrong things. The waspish Sunday Times critic AA Gill once wrote dismissively that “The legacy of 100 years of Michelin is not just an emaciated, inhospitable French table but the legion of score-settling adjective junkies populating unreadable internet blogs”. Ouch.

Either way, the Michelin guide is here to stay it seems. Here’s a quick selection of a couple of restaurants in each of the star categories. See what you think!


1 star ★

High quality cooking, worth a stop.

Roscanvec, Vannes

Behind a half-timbered façade on the Brittany coast, an inventive menu with refined, contemporary décor.

€30-85

“Using top quality ingredients, dishes with distinct flavours are carefully prepared”.

Restaurant le Roscanvec
Restaurant le Roscanvec

Food ●●●●◖

Service ●●●●◖

Value ●●●●

Atmosphere ●●●●

Cuisine: French, European

Feautures: Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol

TripAdvisor Restaurant Website



Le Grand Bleu, Sarlat

Sarlat has countless wonderful restaurants and here the young chef is clearly making a name for himself.

€36-125

“Up to the minute cuisine that changes with the seasons”.

Le Grand Bleu
Le Grand Bleu

Food ●●●●◖

Service ●●●●◖

Value ●●●●◖

Atmosphere ●●●●

Cuisine: French, European, Vegetarian Friendly

Feautures: Highchairs Available, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Reservations, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol

TripAdvisor Restaurant Website


2 star ★★

Excellent cooking, worth a detour

Domaine des Hauts de Loire, Onzain

An elegant 19th century hunting lodge in a grand setting near Blois in the Loire Valley.

€85-170

“Excellent ingredients, well executed with one ultimate goal – flavour”.

Domaine des Hauts de Loire, Onzain
Domaine des Hauts de Loire, Onzain

Food ●●●●●

Service ●●●●●

Value ●●●●

Atmosphere ●●●●◖

Cuisine: French, European, Vegetarian Friendly

Feautures: Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Full Bar, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi

TripAdvisor Restaurant Website


Le Parc Les Crayères, Reims

A magnificent restaurant in Champagne country with an emphasis on high quality ingredients like lobster, turbot, foie gras.

€69-230

“Expertly crafted dishes… refined, inspired and sometimes original”.

Le Parc Les Crayères, Reims
Le Parc Les Crayères, Reims

Food ●●●●◖

Service ●●●●◖

Value ●●●●

Atmosphere ●●●●◖

Cuisine: French, European, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options

Feautures: Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar

TripAdvisor Restaurant Website


3 Star ★★★

Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey

La Vague d’Or, St Tropez

Set on the improbably named Plage de la Bouillabaisse and offering sublime artistry as well as views and service.

€220-350

“Exhilarating pairings, rare ingredients”.

La Vague d’Or, St Tropez
La Vague d’Or, St Tropez

Food ●●●●●

Service ●●●●●

Value ●●●●◖

Atmosphere ●●●●●

Cuisine: French, Mediterranean, European

Feautures: Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi

TripAdvisor Restaurant Website


Paul Bocuse, Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or

Burgundy’s favourite culinary son for 50 years, this almost mythical chef is one of the all time greats.

€145-260

“A high temple of tradition and old-style service”.

Paul Bocuse, Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or
Paul Bocuse, Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or

Food ●●●●◖

Service ●●●●◖

Value ●●●●

Atmosphere ●●●●◖

Cuisine: French, European

Feautures: Free Wifi, Reservations, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa

TripAdvisor Restaurant Website



Image Credits

Restaurant le Roscanvec http://roscanvec.com/la-carte/

Le Grand Bleu, Sarlat http://www.legrandbleu.eu/

Domaine des Hauts de Loire, Onzain http://www.i-love-emotion.com/...

Le Parc Les Crayères, Reims https://restaurant.michelin.fr...

La Vague d’Or, St Tropez https://www.viamichelin.com/we...

Paul Bocuse, Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or https://www.viamichelin.co.uk/...

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