You would be forgiven for thinking that Paris is the best place to experience French food. However, surprisingly many would argue against such a claim. While it is at the forefront, and to some extent the gateway to French cuisine for the average traveler, there are many other wonderful food hubs across the country that rival Paris’s thriving restaurant scene.
Though, that doesn’t mean the city isn’t without its fair share of amazing restaurants. Chez Dumonet for one, helmed by Chef Jean-Christian Dumonet, was at one point dubbed by Fodor’s Travel as the best restaurant in Paris. Chez Dumonet is so well known now that this restaurant is on most foodies bucket lists when the visit the capital.
Getting to visit such a place gives travelers a real sense of the roots of French cuisine. In The Scene’s ‘Presents’ series, a video blog was published about ‘Honest French Food’, and Chez Dumonet’s classic French dishes were described as “masterfully assembled” which in turn has attracted lots of patrons from all corners of the world in recent years.
There are, happily, many other wonderful food hubs across the country that rival Paris’s thriving restaurant scene…like Uzes, way down in the south of France.
Uzes is a hidden gem. The NY Times Travel Magazine described the town as one of the “best preserved and most meticulously renovated towns in the South of France.”
In Uzes the people have retained their identity in every aspect of daily living, from the architecture to cultural practices to the way they prepare food and their cooking traditions.
You might have seen previous posts on my favorite restaurants and cafés in Uzes, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the good food here. It’s everywhere.
The food markets in Uzes are bustling with vendors that sell only the best and freshest, locally grown produce, meats, cheeses and breads. These markets were included by The Guardian amongst the best food markets around the world.
If you’d rather pass on checking out every stall and just fancy watching people make their way around in the morning, head to Terroirs within the Place aux Herbes. Simply sit down and sip your cup of coffee or tea while watching one of the finest markets within the whole southern region of France spring to life.
La Table 2 Julien at Montaren-et-Saint-Médiers serves sumptuous food that you can pair with a glass of your preferred wine.
Uzes has ‘natural wines’ which, according to Real Food Warrior are made only from sun-ripened grapes and free from any additives.
For special occasions there’s Le Comptoir du 7, one of my favorites.
The newly-renovated Hotel Entraigues is a rising star on the restaurant scene in Uzes with Chef Axel Grousset-Bachelard returning to his hometown, determined to outshine any competition. His “nothing is fixed’ menu” is short and imaginative, featuring market-day fresh, local products that “excite the tastebuds,”according to Chef Axel.
You can also have a bistro meal on the spot in cafes and restaurants scattered around the area. They are worthy additions to your culinary journey.
In case you’re wondering about food etiquette in Southern France, be sure to see Nancy’s McGee’s posts on the Absolutely Southern French page.
Do you have restaurants in Uzes, or nearby that you would like to add to the list? Let me know by leaving a comment!