“What is the best French restaurant at Epcot?”
You’ve already decided you want French food. Now you just need to make a decision. There are two sit-down restaurants inside Epcot; Chefs de France and Monsieur Paul.
The quick answer: Chefs de France is best for a moderately priced French meal inside a large, busy restaurant. Monsieur Paul is best for an expensive fine dining experience within a small, intimate setting.
However, this barely scratches the surface of the differences between the two restaurants. We’ll tell you everything you need to know so that you can pick the best French restaurant at Epcot for your taste and for your budget.
Les Chefs de France: “New” French Cuisine in a Casual Parisian Restaurant
If you’ve ever been to Epcot, you’ve probably noticed a large, beautiful building on the edge of the World Showcase walkway in the France Pavilion. Park guests line the window tables, enjoying a wide variety of traditional French cuisine. This is Chefs de France, one of the most popular restaurants at Epcot for both lunch and dinner.
Chefs de France is just about as good as it gets for anyone searching for a well-rounded meal in a moderately priced, casual setting. The restaurant is an Epcot fixture, having opened its doors on the park’s first day, October 1, 1982.
It was birthed by French culinary giants Roger Vergé, Gaston Lenôtre, and Paul Bocuse. Since 1996, Chefs de France has been operated by Bocuse’s son, Jérôme Bocuse.
With such an impressive pedigree, it’s no surprise that the restaurant is beloved by Disney faithfuls.
Chefs de France’s menu is extensive, with appetizers, entrees, and desserts that make use of simple ingredients in outstanding ways.
Starting off, we always recommend the classic Escargot appetizer to anyone wanting to embrace everything that is French dining. The Lobster Bisque and traditional French Onion Soup are good accompaniments to almost any meal imaginable. If you aren’t enticed by any of those starters, try one of the several Flatbreads for another French staple.
The entree list is where Chefs de France really starts to shine. The options here are vast, ranging from traditional meat dishes to seafood to lasagna. Our first recommendation is always the Canard au Cheris, if available. This duck breast is usually served confit with cherries and is the exact kind of meal that most people would never expect to have inside of a theme park.
If your preference leans more toward beef, the steaks here are always top-notch, regardless of cut. The Beef Tenderloin is our favorite, but we can’t say that we’ve ever had a bad beef dish here, as they are all very good. Seafood dishes vary from time to time, but you can almost always find an excellent salmon dish or even ahi tuna.
Also, don’t overlook the Baked Macaroni and Cheese– it’s great comfort food for a hectic day at Disney!
Is it really a proper French meal if you exclude dessert? Of course not! You’re more than covered in the dessert department when dining at Chefs de France. Get your chocolate fix with the Gateau au Chocolat, a chocolate layer cake with chocolate mousse, chocolate sauce, and mint chocolate ice cream.
If chocolate isn’t your thing, try the Creme Brulee or maybe the Merengue Basket, served with fresh berries.
Monsieur Paul: An Unexpected Gourmet Experience Hidden in a Theme Park
Monsieur Paul isn’t hard to find, as long as you know where to look. It’s tucked away atop Chefs de France, accessed by its own stairway toward the back of the building.
This fine-dining establishment is owned by Jérôme Bocuse, the aforementioned son of one of Chefs de France’s original operators. Monsieur Paul allows for a culinary setting that can fully showcase the expert craftsmanship of a respected French chef.
The Bocuse family has achieved three Michelin stars with their Auberge du Pont de Collonges restaurant in Lyon, France. You can be assured that you’ll be treated to a decadent meal at Monsieur Paul.
The white tablecloths and perfectly private environment will probably surprise you, as it can be hard to believe that such a restaurant exists inside of a theme park.
We actually ranked Monsieur Paul as the number one option for adult dining at Epcot. You can find that article here: The Top 13 Best Epcot Restaurants for Adults.
It’s also worth noting that Monsieur Paul does have a dress code, which can be found on Monsieur Paul’s page on the Disney World app or website.
You’ll need to first decide whether you’d like to order a prix-fixe, multiple course meal or build your own order from the available appetizers, entrees, and desserts.
Be prepared for a substantial bill, no matter what food choices you make. The restaurant’s price range is listed between to be between $35 to $59.99 per adult, but you can easily spend over $100 per adult if want the full experience complete with drinks and dessert.
Our recommendation is to choose Monsieur Paul only if you are comfortable with a bill that could potentially eclipse $200 for a two-person experience.
Escargot in a puff pastry is always a good way to start your Monsieur Paul dining. Crab legs, if available, also come highly recommended here.
By the time you make it to your entree, you should already be well aware that you are enjoying a true gourmet meal. A Braised Pork Belly with a side of Mashed Potatoes would be our first choice of entree. If you’d fancy a beef entree instead, a Beef Tenderloin served with Fingerling Potatoes is guaranteed to please.
You can also order seafood with confidence, as any fish entree served at Monsieur Paul will be prepared to perfection.
Dessert choices are plentiful, but we have one recommendation above all others: the “La Sphere”. The La Sphere is a chocolate sphere containing almond cake, praline, hazelnut biscuit, candied oranges, and Armagnac sauce. It is delicious and comes with an unrivaled presentation.
We have to say that it’s pretty much impossible to choose a best French restaurant at Epcot, as they are both very different. If we absolutely had to choose, we’d say that Chefs de France would take the top spot for versatility alone.
Chefs de France is more suitable for families than Monsieur Paul and is certainly more affordable. However, Monsieur Paul wins by a landslide for adult visitors that have it in their budget to spend around $100 per person.
So, there you have it- Chefs de France for a more affordable meal or for guests with larger families. Monsieur Paul for couples who desire an intimate atmosphere, or for families who don’t mind paying for an expensive, white-tablecloth meal.
If you aren’t looking for a sit-down experience, the France Pavilion has a few options.
Les Halles Boulangerie and Patisserie is located in the back of the pavilion. It is the most popular dessert location at Epcot, serving up a traditional variety of French sweets. Les Halles also serves a few small entrees, such as sandwiches, salads and fruits – perfect for a quick lunch at one of the inside or outside tables.
If ice cream is on your radar, stop by L’Artisans des Glaces, located right next to the entrance to Les Halles. The sorbets offered here are especially good and we recommend you try them, especially on a hot Florida day.