Fine Dining on The Tour de France

By Jack Southan on July 5th, 2016

The Tour de France is underway and the cyclists are powering their way through some of the hardest routes on the sport’s calendar. From sea to city, the cycling tournament will not only lead the competitors, but the thousands of spectators which follow, on a looping tour of the country. 

So we thought to ourselves (as we so often do) where would we eat along the way to really make the most of the experience and time spent in this foodie's heaven? Well, here is our stage by stage run-down of the most exciting, luxurious and downright decadent restaurants along the way.

Each place has been specially selected to be the finest dining experience within a short distance from the individual stages, so whether you're following the bicycles around the country religiously or simply flying in to watch a single stage, you can make your trip unforgettable and eat some of the finest food that France has to offer


  1. Rouen
  2. Ile de Re 
  3. Eugénie-les-Bains
  4. Toulouse
  5. Cannes
  6. Lyon 
  7. Burgundy
  8. Courchevel 1850 
  9. Paris

1. Rouen - STAGE 1

La Couronne



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One of the oldest inns in France, dating from 1345, this charming bourgeois restaurant in Rouen is lush with geraniums, leaded glass, sculpted wood beams, marble chimneys, leather chairs and damask curtains. Celebrities Sophia Loren, John Wayne, Jean-Paul Sartre, Salvador Dalí, Princess Grace of Monaco, Julia Child and more have dined here. But the real stars are on Vincent Taillefer’s menu: lobster stew with chestnuts, sheep’s feet and duck in blood sauce. Since the release of the film “Julia and Julia,” fans of the film order the same dishes Julia Child and her husband, Paul, ate in 1948: six oysters, sole meuniere, green salad, fromage blanc with berries and coffee, accompanied by a half bottle of Pouilly Fume.

2. Ile de Re - STAGE 3/4

La Baleine bleue



This is simply the most charming restaurant on the island with the legendary proprietor Phillippe at the helm. The truffle Brouillade with fava beans and serrano ham is spectacular and the main courses made from local produce are top notch. Sit outside and admire the boats or on a chilly evening ask for the lovely little tree lined courtyard inside.

3. Eugénie-les-Bains - STAGE 8

Les Prés d'Eugénie



To attain three Michelin stars is a major achievement. To keep them for 40 years is remarkable. The sprightly Michel Guerard, now in his 80s, is still behind the stoves, his village property and spa in the Landes drawing in appreciative gourmets from around the world. The cooking style could hardly be simpler but the depth of flavor the kitchen obtains from its fabulous local ingredients is unparalleled. Guerard was originally a pastry chef, and his puff pastry is surely the best on the planet. The atmosphere is informal, so take a trip to the country, relax and experience that rarest of things, true culinary genius.

4. Toulouse - STAGE 10

Chez Authié



If Marion Cotillard chose to return to this bistro, it must be good. It’s the only Parisian style brasserie in Toulouse, and we think the Parisians are jealous. Serving customers since 1882, this authentic and elegant restaurant allows you to eat refined tapas like the mini foie gras burger, and savor a good beer with your friends, who will eternally thank you after you introduce them to this place. Located in the famous Place Dupuy, you’ll find a little piece of Paris here that is loved by the whole world.

5. Cannes - STAGE 12




Come to the most beautiful garden around Cannes to dine at what may be the Riviera’s finest restaurant serving quite simply the best fish dish in the world. The sea bass en croute is spectacular. The croute is light and flaky and is delicious on its own. The sea bass is faultless. The garnish could easily be eaten alone as could the sauce which is ambrosia. Eating these four items together in one bite is astonishing. Unmissable!

6. Lyon - STAGE 14

Paul Bocuse Restaurant



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After a career at grand restaurants, Paul Bocuse returned to the family restaurant in 1959 and by 1965 gained his third star. Today, his grand venue is the longest running holder of three stars in the world. Come visit the raucous building and try the legendary truffle soup he invented in 1975 for the president of France, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, and his wife, at a luncheon given at the Élysée Palace.

7. Burgundy - STAGE 16




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In the village of Chagny in Burgundy is a restaurant that has been in the Lameloise family since 1921, but whose kitchen is now in the safe hands of Eric Pas. The room is rustic and dimly lit, but the cooking is of the highest standard. Dishes such as fillet of pigeon with Mirabelle plums and almonds in a gloriously rich sauce show the top-notch technique and flavor balance that this kitchen can pull off. The pastry section is just as capable. For example, a complex lemon dessert shows a mastery of balancing richness with acidity. The wine list reflects the glories of Burgundy, with some bargains at the high end.

8. Courchevel 1850 - STAGE 18

La Saulire



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This is ExtremeFoodies’s absolute favorite place to go in the "three valleys." This lovely little bistro sparkles from the moment you enter. Pause for some bubbles at the tiny bar with its addictive olive tapenade and minuscule square toasts before diving into a swoon-worthy mountain menu with river trout, pigeon and truffles galore. The desserts are fantastic.

9. Paris - STAGE 21

Joséphine "Chez Dumonet"



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Dumonet offers meticulously prepared 'cuisine bourgeoise' in a warm bistro setting. The signature dish is an astoundingly buttery roasted pigeon, its breast deboned, legs done confit, and served in a reduction of its own juices. It’s topped with a fan made of tiny, feather-thin golden potato discs. The other house special is a textbook perfect crisp confit de canard; this meltingly tender duck is artfully prepared in house. For dessert, classic single serving souffles are offered, the merengue lightly browned. Price-wise, Chez Dumonet is in the splurge category, but classic fare done this well is hard to find.

Thanks to our experts who have contributed to this feature:

Andy Hayler

Andy Hayler is a technology entrepreneur, author and restaurant critic based in London. His website, Andy Hayler's Restaurant Guide, was chosen in 2006 by The Guardian as one of the top 10 global food web sites. In 2004, Andy accomplished what some food lovers only dream about...Read more



Boudu Toulouse, a webzine created by three Toulouse students, is your reference point for the Pink City. We advise you on what to eat, where to visit and where to drink, as if a friend was giving you a tip-off about the best places in town...Read more


Jeffrey Merrihue

Jeffrey Merrihue is the founder of ExtremeFoodies and Mofilm. Mofilm provides short-form videos to brands, ExtremeFoodies and The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. He has just completed his mission to eat at every destination on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list...Read more


Mathilde Dewilde

Mathilde Dewilde grew up with an immense passion for food. Watching her mother cook with beautiful and fresh ingredients, she started developing a strong interest not only for cooking but for the culinary world...Read more


Meet the author
Jack Southan

Jack Southan is a freelance journalist specialising in food and travel. He has worked his way around the world sampling the tastiest dishes and strongest local brews, but now lives in London and writes for magazines from the comfort of his armchair. ... More