a foodie's guide to france

Last updated Aug 13, 2023

France is the undisputed expert of all things foodie. It led the way in fine dining, knows its way around a bottle of wine and essentially invented café culture. In fact there’s so much on offer it can be a little intimidating… But we’ve got you! At Staycity we have 4 stunning French locations surrounded by bars, restaurants and authentic bistros. Of course with our fully-equipped kitchens you can always whip up a meal from your very own apartment but it would be almost rude to stay in France without a meal out. We’ve broken down each city into a handy foodie guide so you can view at a glance the best foodie offerings going…


1. paris

Hailing king of great food, Paris is falling over itself with every cuisine imaginable sitting alongside the very best in authentic French cooking. It’s hard to go wrong, but it’s also a minefield with so much of offer. These are our top picks when you stay at Staycity Aparthotels Gare de L’est.

Cheap Eats

La Refuge des Fondus

This unassuming little restaurant is a Parisian institution. It does what it says on the tin – bubbling fondue in a cosy, unpretentious atmosphere. Choose white or red wine, meat or cheese foundue and chat away in broken French to the people sitting next to you. Your bill shouldn’t be more than €30 a person.

Treat Yourself


Did someone say Michelin star? Ranked in one of the world’s best restaurants, Septime is the brainchild of graphic-designer-turned-chef Bertrand Grébaut. This is paired back fine-dining with a creative twist. Most dishes have just three ingredients but they work perfectly and inventively together. The lunch set menu will set you back €65 for 5 courses, with the dinner menu at €95 before wine. Book at least 3 weeks in advance for this once in a lifetime foodie experience.

Best Watering Hole

La Bamba

There’s hundreds of streetside bars and wine caves to choose from, but the best way to take in this magical city is to head up, up, up. La Bamba is a rooftop bar at Le Jardin Suspendu – the largest in Paris. With unrivalled views across the city, a BBQ truck and karaoke corner, it’s easy to see why La Bamba is a local’s firm favourite.

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2. marseille

As a coastal city on the Med, Marseille has a unique take on fine dining separating it from the rest of France.  A melting pot of culture and cuisines, think seafood with influences from Italy, Spain and North Africa. Here’s our top foodie picks when you stay at Staycity Aparthotels Centre Vieux Port.

Cheap Eats 


Simple, good food is the name of the game here. This little restaurant is as colourful and laid back as the street it’s located on. Enjoy typical Mediterranean dishes like roast duckling with polenta and soak up the atmosphere. Prepare to spend between €10 - €16 for a delicious main or try 3 courses for €32.

Treat Yourself

Chez Fonfon

Bouillabaisse (a herby, wine filled fish stew)  is a Marseille staple. Many restaurants do their own version of the specialty but Chez Fonfon holds the undisputed title of best bouillabaisse in town. Originally a simple family run restaurant, it now attracts celebrities and critics due to its incredible seafood and waterfront location. It’s not cheap (the bouillabaisse is €55) but there’s more wallet friendly options on the menu.

Best Watering Hole

La Caravelle

This historic jazz bar, just a stone’s throw from the port, is the ideal place to try pastis - Marseille’s favourite aperitif. Catch a show or jazz performance or simply take in the views of Notre Dame de la Garde from the balcony. They serve delicious, inexpensive tapas and full dinners in the attached restaurant.

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3. bordeaux

Bordeaux is quintessential France down to its baguettes, berets and vineyards so you know the food is going to be on point. Everyone comes here for the wine but good wine is only as good as its foodie pairings. There’s a plethora of out-of-budget restaurants here but sometimes the unassuming bistros are where the best food is found. These are our top picks when you stay at Staycity Aparthotels Bordeaux City Centre

Cheap Eats

Magasin Général 

For something a little different head across the river to the Darwin Ecosystem – a huge industrial hangar filled with eco-shops, galleries and social hang-outs. Right beside the skatepark you’ll find Magasin Général serving organic brunch, lunch and dinners with plenty of vegan options. All the food is locally sourced and 100% delicious. Go on a Sunday for a mean bottomless brunch.

Treat Yourself

Le Quatrième Mur

Michelin quality food without the price tag. Le Quatrième Mur is a chic brasserie located in the city’s Grand Théatre, complete with sprawling terrace for summer al fresco dining. Serving regional specialties with a contemporary twist, stop in for a leisurely lunch or book dinner here for a special treat.


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4. lyon

Known as ‘the stomach of France’ there’s no surprise that Lyon has some foodie gems up its sleeve. With more than 4000 eateries and numerous culinary schools, this is where chefs train and food critics go on holidays. When you stay at Staycity Aparthotels, Lyon Rue Garibaldi this is what you’ll want to try…

Cheap Eats

Le Garet

When in Lyon you must eat in a bouchon – a rustic family owed bistro specializing in Lyonnaise cuisine. Le Garet is one of the very best. Expect massive portions of hearty Lyonnaise specialities including foie de veau (grilled veal liver) and goose rillettes. A 3-course lunch menu is €19.50 and you won’t need to eat another bite all day.

Treat Yourself

Le Neuvieme Art

The ultimate date night spot. Impress your other half or spoil yourself at this double-Michelin starred foodie haven. It’s not cheap but your wallet will be the last thing on your mind as you sample artistically plated bites of pure joy. Chef Christophe Roure transforms traditional French dishes into masterpieces. Book well in advance.

Best Watering Hole

Le Sucre

Sitting pretty on the rooftop of a former sugar factory, Le Sucre is the trendiest bar in town. This bar slash culture club hosts some of the city’s most exciting music events and regular club nights. Stop in for an aperitif before dinner or stay and dance the night away with hip locals. Opens every Thurs-Sat.  


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