There are more Fontainebleau restaurants than I can keep track of. Thanks to the student population of INSEAD, the international schools, the amazing forest, and the historic chateau, Fontainebleau is a town that gets many, many visitors.
That means that the local Fontainebleau restaurants tend to be a bit touristic, with menus in multiple languages (always a bad sign in my book), premade food that’s simply reheated, or are just really overpriced.
My selection of Fontainbleau restaurants for food-lovers
That’s why I’ve spent the better part of the last two years testing out as many restaurants in Fontainebleau and the surrounding villages as I could, with the aim of bringing you my top selection of restaurants that serve amazing food. Some of them are expensive, some of them aren’t, some are high-end restaurants and some are good-quality fast food. But whatever category they fall into, rest assured that they will not disappoint. I’ve also included some of my favorite restaurants in the nearby villages, just in case you’re out exploring and want to eat something nice while you’re there.
My favorite Fontainebleau restaurants:
-Best Japanese restaurant: Fuumi
This is the Japanese sister bistro to Michelin-starred chef Kunihisha Goto’s L’Axel, which is just next door. While the plat du jour (dish of the day) can sometimes be hit and miss (the seasoning could often be amped up, in my opinion), the lunch bento menu for 17 euros is well worth it. Their Okonomiyaki, fried chicken, and Katsu pork are all also excellent. And don’t miss the garlic rice with beef fat, too.
-Best middle-range restaurant: Le Patton
Nestled in a typical old Fontainebleau townhouse, with a beautiful garden and sunroom, Le Patton is the best place to go for a fancy, yet unpretentious lunch. While they don’t have a set menu, 3 courses will set you back around 32 euros, which is a steal given the excellent quality and professional execution. Personally, I love whatever fish they have that day as it’s always cooked to perfection, and their cream-filled profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce are pure heaven. You can read my full review here.
-Best Thai takeout restaurant: Japathai
I love a good Thai takeout, and Japathai does not disappoint. Their green curry chicken and beef with basil or green pepper do exactly what you want them to do: they’re flavorful, satisfying, and filling. The only thing I don’t like about Japathai is the prices: each dish is around 13 euros, which I find to be a bit excessive for takeout. But still, that doesn’t stop me from regularly ordering some spicy Thai food from them. I just make the rice myself at home so that I don’t have to pay 4 euros for it!
-Best French bistro: La Petite Ardoise
This is my absolute favorite bistro in Fontainebleau. It reminds me of the real Parisian bistros like Bistro Paul Bert, where the food is beautifully executed, the flavors are impactful, but it’s still got that typical, no-frills ambiance. La Petite Ardoise is a dying breed of French bistros, so make sure to stop by and try out their lunch menu that comes in at about 20 euros for an appetizer, side dish, dessert, and coffee. And yes, this poached pear with French toast brioche and caramel sauce is actually included in that menu, and yes, it’s as delicious as it looks. Bonus points if you order the snails in Brie sauce, which are also fantastic.
-Best pastry shop: L’A
This is the newly-opened pastry shop by the Japanese pastry chef of L’Axel, in partnership with chef Kunihisa Goto. The pastries are incredible, with surprising flavor combinations like black sesame, mango, and banana. I’d definitely say that you can taste the Japanese influence, as they’re not too sweet and the flavors are very refined. They also make their own Nutella and little shortbread cookies. And, if you’re lucky, they’ll have some freshly-baked focaccia, in which case, you absolutely must buy it!
-Best fast food: Frite’Nbleau
I’m not a food snob, and I really think that there’s something to be said for good fast food. That’s why I love Frite N Bleau, a tiny Belgian snack bar that’s on the main place du marche. They make Belgian-style fries but they also make pretty good burgers. Just make sure to get the burger upgrade, which uses freshly ground beef from a nearby butcher and freshly baked buns from one of the best bakeries in town, Dardonville. It’s worth paying the few extra euros for a really good burger.
-Best pizza: Antica Trattoria
There is a pizza war in Fontainebleau, and you have to choose your side: either Antica Trattoria or Primo Baccio. Personally, I never even bothered trying Primo Baccio because Antica Trattoria is just that good. I go there once a week, with kids or without, and have probably tried every single pizza on their menu. They never disappoint, they have a great, affordable wine list featuring lots of organic Italian wines, and even their simple 10 euro Margarita is well worth it.
-Best cafe: Elemiah and Paul & Paulette
I’ve got two cafes that I love, for different reasons. Elemiah is super cozy, owned by a wonderful woman who often works together with her mom. Her salted butter chocolate cake is absolutely addictive, and she makes a mean avocado toast with smoked salmon and poached eggs. I’ve also heard their brunch is pretty darn good but haven’t been able to try it out just yet. Oh! And you can even order one pancake. ONE. FRESHLY. MADE. PANCAKE!!! Seriously, that woman read my mind when she created her menu!
That said, I have to include Paul & Paulette on this list. Their oat latte is my personal go-to, and the only place in Fontainebleau where you can find a really good cup of coffee. They also make vegan desserts and fresh juices and very Ottolenghi-forward dishes of the day. So yeah, depending on what you’re in the mood for, both of these cafes are great options.
Best restaurants in the neighbouring villages:
-Barbizon: La Folie Barbizon
La Folie Barbizon is a mix between a restaurant, cafe, cocktail bar, hotel, and art gallery. They have visiting chefs who rotate regularly so the menu features lots of small plates that change often. When I went, we enjoyed dishes like herby polenta fries, roasted figs with labneh, leeks with fresh Bearnaise sauce, and roasted cauliflower with maple syrup. The setting is really beautiful, very bohemian and artsy-fartsy but without being (too) pretentious. That said, the only thing that I found to be absolutely insane was the kid’s menu. We paid 10 euros for a plate of pasta with grated cheddar on top. And that’s it. Not a drink, not a dessert, nothing. So if you’re going with kids, it’s better to order them two small plates and a dessert than two plates of pasta…
-Bourron Marlotte: Le Bistro du Broc
This bistro has the same feel as La Petite Ardoise in Fontainebleau. It’s traditional French food that’s wonderfully prepared, with a great, old-school vibe.
-Milly La Foret: Les Coqs
The chef here is extremely talented and the food is inspiring, local, and beautifully presented. I haven’t yet dined in the restaurant but their takeaway menu during confinement was absolutely amazing, even when reheated hours later!
So there you are, my favorite Fontainebleau restaurants all in one place! I’ll keep adding to this list as more places open up or close down, so don’t hesitate to check back often! And I’d love to hear what your favorite restaurants are, so drop me a line in the comments or on Instagram!