10 Regional Bites of France Slideshow
August 1, 2013
Get these classic Italian dishes from the top-reviewed spots around the country
Coq au Vin in Paris
It’s hard to go to Paris and avoid being constantly surrounded by tourists. After all, the City of Light is one of the most frequently-visited capitals in the world. La Biche au Bois, however, is a pleasant exception to the rule. Filled mostly with locals, this inviting restaurant is known far and wide for its welcoming atmosphere and for making the very best coq au vin. It’s very rare to find good, traditional, homemade French cuisine - especially in Paris — but La Biche au Bois is just that. Whether you order from the prix fixe menu or or make your selections à la carte, don’t miss the coq au vin. The food at La Biche au Bois is guaranteed to be some of the best you’ll have in Paris.
Foie Gras in Toulouse
This charming French restaurant has been enchanting customers for over 70 years. Located in the heart of old Toulouse, Chez Emile is a classic French restaurant in every sense of the phrase. From the antique wooden tables to the extensive wine list, Chez Emile has local cuisine down to a science. The restaurant is also well-known for its top-quality foie gras. Featured heavily on their menu, you’ll find foie gras starring in a variety of dishes.
Escargots in Dijon
The beauty of Dijon is echoed by this magical restaurant in the heart of the old town. Featuring a number of exquisite French specialities, Restaurant De La Porte Guillaume is the perfect place to try some of the highest-rated escargots in France. Escargot isn’t for you? This gem also offers a wide array of traditional French dishes from all regions. If you happen to find yourself in Dijon, make sure to order a glass of the region’s famous Burgundy wine to complement their quintessential French delicacies.
Bouillabaisse in Marseille
What better way to enjoy the seaside than to indulge in Marseille’s specialty seafood stew, bouillabaisse? Feast on this hearty fish soup, which is loaded with tomatoes and fragrant saffron, while you sit in the sun and watch the yachts sail by. Fonfon has been serving bouillabaisse for over 50 years, and its award-winning chefs have been duly recognized for their culinary magic. If you find yourself by the sea in Provence, stop in for some bouillabaisse at Fonfon, for a true maritime treat.
Sauerkraut in Strasbourg
La Maison Kammerzell is one of the most ornate and well-preserved examples of Gothic architecture in the Alsace region of France. As one of the most decadent-looking buildings in this picturesque town, Kammerzell’s menu has a lot of work to do to live up to the décor. Luckily, it does not disappoint! The region is known for it distinctive mix of German and French influences, and the cuisine here echoes that. From coq au Riesling to foie gras to their famous fish sauerkraut, La Maison Kammerzell has it all. Step back in time for a richly satisfying meal in the heart of Strasbourg.
Crêpes in Rennes
Whether as an elaborate dessert or a quick hearty snack, there’s a crepe for every taste and every time of day. And don’t you dare call it a “pancake.” Crêpes at La Crêperie des Quais are in a whole other category, light and thin with just the right amount of fillings. Classic, sweet or savory, take out or eat in; it doesn’t matter. When in Rennes, just do what the French do: eat crêpes!
Tartiflette in Annecy
This modern take on a traditional potato gratin is a speciality of this region near the Swiss border. At Il Était Une Fois, you’ll be treated to the creamiest, cheesiest and most unforgettable potato dish you’ve ever had. If you ever find yourself in Annecy for a quick lunch or appetizer, Il Était’s tartiflette is lovely with a crisp white wine.
Pissaladière in Nice
This French version of pizza is the Provençal specialty of pissaladière. In France, it is traditionally served as an appetizer, often topped with caramelized onions, garlic, olives and fresh anchovies. In the coastal town of Nice, a meal wouldn’t be complete without these locally-sourced ingredients. Chez Pipo is famous for their bread-based creations, including pissaladière and their house speciality socca, which is a traditional blue-collar lunch that has become popular with locals and tourists. For a quick bite before a walk along the beach or a treat shared among friends, pissaladière at Chez Pipo is a simple pleasure that definitely should not be missed.
Quenelles in Lyon
Quenelles are the French take on dumplings and a beloved local specialty of Lyon. At Chez Abel in Lyon, they serve a spectacular traditional quenelle de brochet en gratin, or fish dumpling gratin. It sounds strange, but they are ethereally light and freshly made for each order, served with a rich cream sauce that perfectly illustrates the balance of textures and flavors represented by quality French cuisine.
Pâtisserie in Bordeaux
For a little slice of heaven, Les Mots Bleus is the place to escape to. A calming and inviting cafe, Les Mots Bleus features a serene garden that is the perfect backdrop to enjoy their ethereal pastry creations. From cookies to cakes and from caramels to chocolates, Les Mots Bleus showcases the very best part of French cuisine: dessert.