France 2013 Guidebook
Best and worst restaurants:
Best: Le Petit Cler
Why: FABULOUS pot de creme. It was heaven.
Caitlin Arnold in Mountain View, CA USA 03/08/2013
Best: Best were restaurants not in the book.
Why: Especially: La Fontaine in Villars near St. Saturnin de Apt, Fleur De Tyme in cassis and Le petitePontoise near Hotel des Grande Ecoles
Worst: Not bad, but
Why: a bit surprizing. Our third stay at Des Grandes Ecoles and got a very small room with paper thin walls. Next time, and we will definetly stay again, will pay a bit more for the bigger/deluxe room.
Eric in PT, Wa USA 11/27/2012
Best: L'Epicerie, Amboise
Why: Food was delicious. Also loved L' Alliance where the food was top notch and the service very friendly. In Bayeux-L'Assiette Normande had exceptional duck and great service.
Diane Thibaudeau in Marietta, GA USA 11/02/2012
Best: Brasserie Bouillon Racine
Why: Good beer, beautiful interior, exuberant atmosphere and mostly locals. Please check out Les Racines, 22 rue Monsieur le Prince, also very nearby. I'm sure my husband and I were the only non-locals there. We were treated wonderfully. It's tiny but delicious comfort food..
Jamie Benson in Nashville, Tn USA 10/18/2012
Why: Great cheese platter!
T Anderson in Falls Church, VA USA 10/13/2012
Best: L'Assiette Normande
Why: Good apple everything. Steamed apples for dessert. Free cider upon presentation of the Rick Steves guidebook.
T Anderson in Falls Church, VA USA 10/13/2012
Best: La Ripaille, Arromanches
Why: Wonderful food in cute spot
Worst: Taverne des Ducs, Bayeux
Why: Cranky staff and you couldn't just order a bowl of French onion soup---you had to order a full meal which we didn't want.
Weedy McCauley in Aberdeen, WA USA 10/04/2012
Best: Entire Rue Cler area was great, for picnics & meals!
Why: Liked Tribeca for good value eating - nice patio & salads!!
Linda Hood in Lewis Center, OH USA 09/26/2012
Best: all were great
Why: it's France
charles butler in Eatonville, wa USA 09/25/2012
Best: Le P'tit Troquet, Paris
Why: Just had a wonderful meal there. Very efficient and friendly staff, excellent recommendations, near-orgasmic culinary experience. They rock!
John Cross in Denver, CO USA 09/24/2012
Best: Le Petit Cler
Why: Good value for money
Montoni in San Jose, CA USA 09/05/2012
Best: Le Cave d'Origine in Nice
Why: The food was delicious (fresh tomato salad picked that morning with rack of lamb - yummy) and it was presented so well. Very reasonable, too!
Bonnie Libby in Cupertino, CA USA 07/31/2012
Best: La Fou de Fafa, Avignon
Why: This was BY FAR my best restaurant experience in France. It was so incredibly lovely and wonderful, I dream about the food. I actually went back a couple nights after my first meal there to eat again, only to be told that they were completely booked and that there was no room! I was heartbroken that I couldn't eat my last meal in Avignon at my favorite restaurant. It was so good, the service was amazing (and it was nice to be able to speak English!) and really close to my hotel (Hotel Splendid).
Claudine Schneider in Seattle, WA USA 07/09/2012
Best: La Fourchette - Amoboise (Loire Valley)
Why: AMAZING food!!! The best we had in France, even though we loved & had many excellent food experiences in France.
The first night - melt in your mouth scallops in a very buttery cream sauce & perfect flakey pastry (me) & excellent steak (my husband) with the best potatoes au grautin that we have ever had, anywhere!
We were leaving Amboise the next day, but decided that we would take a later train so that we could eat lunch there before we left. When we arrived, Chef Christine had reserved a table for us and was so kind & gracious - she had even served us potatoes au gratin in addition to our lunch because she knew how much we loved them the night before. Lunch was just as delectable with incredible pork cutlets & a souffle of zuchinni & carrots
Had we gone there our first night in Amboise instead of our last, we definitely would have eaten all of our meals there!
Worst: only places that we went to that were not in the book
Why: we learned very quickly - use the book!!!
Cindy in Lancaster, PA USA 07/08/2012
Best: Caveaux des Arches
Why: The ambiance and food were both fantastic. We liked it best of all of the places we ate in Beaune - even those that were more highly regarded in the book like Caves Madeleine.
Jenn in Toronto, ON Canada 07/08/2012
Best: Bistro a Vins, Arles
Why: Great wine and food in a nice setting that isn't at all contrived. This is a real place that would thrive, regardless of whether or not tourists visited. This is a perfect example of the best of RS guidebook recommendations!
Worst: Le Tournesol, Vaison la Romaine
Why: This is the kind of place that causes me to look at all of the recommendations in RS guidebooks with a very skeptical eye. The place only exists to make easy money by serving atrocious wine and awful food to tourists. We only ate here because it was Monday and the RS guidebook listed it as one of very few restaurants that were open. The house wine was swill, only available by the expensive glass (no piche available as in real restaurants in all of France). The food was not freshly prepared with the quality ingredients that are so abundant in Provence. Instead it was the French equivalent of Sysco ready-to-microwave Provencal fare (i.e. a dreadful waste of euros). The next time I find myself in Vaison on Monday (the day when all the real restaurants are closed), I'll plan to put together a nice picnic dinner.
Marie in Pasadena, CA USA 07/04/2012
Best: Chez Hansi in Colmar, L'Auberge Bourguigonne in Beaune
Why: Chez Hansi was a traditional restaurant that was in the old town and had good food. The service was good as was their English. We had a 3 course meal at L'Auberge in Beaunethat was excellent and reasonably priced. The dining room was formal, but not overly so. The service very attentive. I would also recommend the L'Auberge restaurant across from the Colmar train station in the hotel. This was recommended by Leslie (Chez Leslie b&b in Rick's book) and it was so good that we ate there twice. The food and service were excellent and they have many local wines. Go early to get a seat outside and try to save room for the desserts. Brasserie le Carnot in Beaune was also good for pizza, pasta and wine.
Jim Perschbacher in Atlanta, GA USA 06/17/2012
Best: La Ciboulette, Beaune
Why: Best food we had in 3 weeks in France, great wait staff, great service, great smell next to kitchen, reasonable price
Worst: Le Polidor, Paris
Why: Food was Ok, but the wait staff was totally overwhelmed and never brought our change.
Dave Hook in San Jose, CA USA 06/11/2012
Best: L'Enfant Terrible, Rouen
Why: Reserved for lunch in this wine bar/restaurant. This was not bar food, it was wonderful, full course meals, if you wanted. Outstanding service by the owner and staff and food was absolutely delish!
S in Riley, VA USA 06/05/2012
Best: La Scala in Amboise
Why: Pleasant service, excellent Italian restaurant. Fine also: Le Pappgall in Arromanches, du Guesclin Restaurant at Mont St Michel.
Marian Allender in Kirkland, WA USA 05/26/2012
Best: Les Floret-Gigondas Fr
Why: Dinner was served at 7:30 pm.The meal consisted of several courses,including a cheese cart after the main course.Service, presentation and overall quality of the meal was superb.Thierry is very helpful with comments about the wine,properly stored in a climate controlled room.We plan to return soon.
Mary Ellen & Bill Evans in bedford, Tx USA 05/06/2012
Best: le bistro d'octroi
Why: good menu selection,reasonable prices and excellent staff
deirdre phillips in coboconk, on canada 02/27/2012
Best: L'Auberge du Launay, pg. 392, 2012 France book
Why: Consistently excellent food. Every single course was exquisite. Attentive, yet unobtrusive service. We live in France, and it's rare to find six courses (three for each of us) this delectable. Wine recommendation was also superb. Family-run, and it shows! Best of all, for the quality, the price is very reasonable.
Jerry Walsh Skelly in Paris, France 02/20/2012
Best: Bistto de l'Oulette
Why: Great food and wine in a cozy dining room on an out of the way street. Very friendly, patient staff with American tourists when all the other diners were clearly French. Best meal we had in France.
Jeff Evans in Springfield, IL USA 01/13/2012
Best: Elevation 1904
Why: It's a restaurant/bar located right across the street from the Chamonix-Mt. Blanc station on the corner. It offers sandwiches and pastas, but not at extraordinary prices. It's where the locals hang out, so the atmosphere is good and friendly. Good soup!
Kay Ishii in Renton, WA USA 10/30/2011
Best: Cafe Constant in Paris
Patricia in Chico, CA USA 10/26/2011
Best: Le Bouilland Normand, Honfleur, 2011 book, p. 273
Why: Fresh, delicious food and intimate service. A little hard to find, but worth it! The desserts are also delicious!
Maureen in Tempe, AZ USA 10/22/2011
Best: Les Terrasses du Bassin in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
Why: Excellent food in a very comfortable setting above the river
Marilyn Hawkins in Ashland, OR USA 10/12/2011
Best: So many!
Why: I put L'As de Falafel at the top of my list. GReat great food, and a fun hectic experience. Cafe Delmas on Place de la Contrescarpe very fun for people- watching. Very basic dinner in the historic Polidor. I was told that part of Midnight in Paris was filmed there.
Worst: Le Petit Cler
Why: I walked in at lunch time, and even though there were obviously many empty places inside and out, I was refused a seat. I was told they were all reserved---which I somehow doubt. I was eating alone, and I wondered if they just didn't want to waste a table on a single customer. I then walked down the street to Cafe le Roussillon, and was promptly given a table and good service.
Kate in Sonoma, CA USA 09/16/2011
Best: Hon Fleur - Norman Cafe?
Why: Delicious and not ridiculously expensive
Please check out: The Restaurant, La Ferme, near St. San Michel. Expensive but wonderful.
Donna Fraser in Orlando, Fl USA 09/10/2011
Best: It's a tie! Hotel du Grand st Michel Chambord and Petit St Leon in St Leon Dordogne
Why: Had an excellent lunch at St Michel even though we were inside rather than the terrace; St Leon is a teeny town on the cave route D706 in the Dordogne, excellent lunch outside under the apple trees; runner up was Le Bouilland Normand in Honfleur-excellent mussels and super nice staff
A Forster in Miami, FL USA 08/21/2011
Best: Cave de Bourgogne (Paris)
Why: Wonderful outdoor dining option. Great fresh food, ambiance superb, mostly locals enjoying their Monday night at 10PM (how do they get up for work the next day?!) Recommended by out hotelier...we later found out it was a Rick Steves' recommended restaurant.
Maureen in Grayslake, il USA 07/18/2011
Best: La Tortue, Honfleur
Why: Delicious, and good value
Gail Stewart in Issaquah, WA USA 06/20/2011
Best: Creperie Lou Planet-St Remy
Why: This was a really good break from eating four and five course meals. The crepes were just great and salads fantastic. I had the spinach/fromage crepe which actually is a gallette. Salad had lots of heirloom tomatoes. Inexpensive house wine was fine.
Susan Jenningsa in Atlanta, Ge USA 06/20/2011
Best: La Ciboulette-Beaune
Why: We had excellent dinners at this restaurant-great food and atmosphere. Reservations are a must and it is closed on Sunday.
Susan Jennings in Atlanta, Ge USA 06/15/2011
Best: tie Winstub Schwendi & Chez le Gaulois
Why: In Colmar,Winstub Schwendi.I really love those shredded potato,cooked in cast iron, dishes with differant meats on top.I'm not really a beer drinker,but the beer here was exceptional. I do love jazz though,and Chez le Gaulois in Sarlat,was also a highlite.Again, hearty mountain food.But this time instead of the "oomp pah" feeling in Colmar,it was jazz.On the 2nd night I ate there I brought in a cd by the jazz band"Steps Ahead".Oliver had never heard them.The waitress was joking that I'd be lucky to get it back.After I paid and was ready to leave Oliver brought the cd back to me.I told him he could keep it.He tried to give me some nice sausages he'd made but I had no way to store them.Of course like every trip,the highlites are the people contacts.
Brad in Santa Rosa, Ca USA 06/10/2011
Best: Hotel dAlibert in Caunes Minervois and Le Bistro de l'Octroi in Sarlat
Why: As the book describes, the food at Hotel d'Alibert is excellent. And Frederic made excellent recommendations on local wines and kept the group entertained. My stay and meals there were memorable. The l'Octroi had very well prepared and reasonably priced menus. The place was conforable and the waiter spoke good English. The wine selection was good and well priced. One of the best meals I had (actually 2 dinners) was at a b&b near St. Emilion called Chateau de Crecy. The meals are only for guests of the b&b and they were 4 courses with wine from the Chateau. I would highly recommend the b&b and the food there.
Jim Perschbacher in Atlanta, GA USA 06/04/2011
Worst: L'assiette Normand
Why: We also had a terrible experience here in May 2011. The quality of the food was so bad we felt insulted. This is a true tourist trap--stay away.
Scot in Seattle, wa USA 06/03/2011
Worst: L'Assiette Normand, Bayeux
Why: Absolutely the worst restaurant we've ever been in --- from service to food quality! Not one thing to recommend it other than the nice interior and great location. Food poisoning, to boot. Awful, awful, awful. Our hotel host was horrified to learn we had dined there. Over 30+ years of international travel, honestly, this was the worst seen to date.
Robbie in Grady, NH USA 05/08/2011
Best: Les Bonnes Soeurs, edge of Places des Vosges
Why: Good food, friendly service, decent prices, great location adjacent to the beautiful square.
Mark Adams in Gig Harbor, WA USA 05/06/2011
Best: Cafe Constant near Eiffel Tower
Why: Good lunch and very fun, friendly, English-speaking wait staff. We did not have to wait in line to eat.
G Sellers in Melbourne , FL USA 04/14/2011
Best: La Maison Du Jardin
Why: Simply put the food was incredible. We ate a lot of good food on our trip but this was insanely good! If this is not in your guidebook, it should be.
Emma Alvarez in Redmond, WA USA 02/07/2011
Best: Leo le Lion/ Paris
Why: A delightful and delicious untouristy restaurant in the heart of the Rue Cler neighborhood. Felt like a step back in time.
Worst: Abbaye de Maizieres/ Beaune
Why: On a cold March 2010 evening with a reservation, we were one of 3 tables. After waiting for 25 minutes at our table, ignored by the waiter who was busy visiting with a French speaking couple at the next table, we put our coats on and left. Upon leaving, the waiter told us in flawless English that he'd been very busy. Lovely atmosphere with absolutely the worst service we've ever had in decades of travel.
Cheryl Rollin in Seattle , WA USA 01/14/2011