Daniel Boulud's Favorite Restaurant In France Is Worth Planning A Trip Around

When Chef Daniel Boulud wants to sample fine cooking outside of the walls of his own kitchens, he heads to France — specifically, to Lyon. And the restaurant he absolutely gushes over is L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges, which he calls "the tent-pole of all restaurants in France." Also known as Paul Bocuse — after the restaurant's original chef — the Michelin-starred establishment has long been a defining mark of local French cuisine. 

"Paul Bocuse made Lyon and Lyon made Paul Bocuse," notes The World's 50 Best Restaurants. As told to Departures, Boulud appreciates both the gastronomic traditions and history of this specific French region, but the chef also recognizes the newer culinary trends and approaches originating from the place. Near the peak of all of this food appreciation rests Bocuse's restaurant, a destination to which travelers and foodies venture in order to experience deliciously prepared dishes in a colorful and vibrant setting.

Tasting French culinary history at L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges

Inside the unmissable restaurant, diners can sample dishes originally prepared for French presidents, like rich foie gras, black truffle, and brothy soup that is served topped with a buttery, flaky puff pastry. Chicken cooked in pigs' bladder is prepared tableside, cheese carts with trays of over 30 cheese variations are rolled out to guests to sample to their heart's content, and a wine cellar of over 14,000 bottles keeps palates fresh between courses. 

But eating at Paul Bocuse isn't simply about the menu. Diners here are in for an experience, an actual taste of history in a setting in which chefs have been carefully creating meals with fresh ingredients since the 1600s. According to Michelin,  which awards this restaurant two stars, this food is worth a detour, regardless of where and when you find yourself traveling through France — just be sure to arrive hungry.