The Story Behind The Restaurant In Ratatouille

By Martha Davies

5 months ago

It's Remy the rat’s real-life digs


Ever wondered if Gusteau’s restaurant in Pixar’s Ratatouille is actually real? Well, the Parisian establishment that inspired it has a fascinating history, and it just reopened after a huge renovation. 

Is The Ratatouille Restaurant Real? (& Can You Visit?)

Traditional French bistro with red and white awnings.

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There’s nothing quite like Pixar’s Ratatouille. It isn’t just a film – it’s an enduring (and beloved) tale of ambition, imagination and kindred spirits. It’s not just an animation, either; it brilliantly captures a chef’s (ahem, rat’s) genius, not to mention the distinct magic of restaurants. All of this means it’s a film that will make you hungry – and it’ll likely also make you want to snap up a booking at your nearest French restaurant.

Can You Visit The Restaurant In Ratatouille?

The short answer is yes. While Gusteau’s itself isn’t a real eatery, there’s one restaurant in particular that inspired it: La Tour d’Argent in Paris. Like Gusteau’s, La Tour d’Argent stands on the banks of the River Seine, and it serves up outstanding French fare. Ratatouille’s director, Brad Bird, apparently spent hours perfecting drawings of the restaurant’s dining room to use as inspiration onscreen; both the lamps and the cheese trolley in Gusteau’s were, in fact, replicated from those in La Tour d’Argent. 

 

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A post shared by La Tour d’Argent Paris (@latourdargentparis) 

Aside from its cinematographic significance, however, La Tour d’Argent has an impressive legacy all of its own. It relaunched in August 2023 after a 15-month refurbishment, but the date of its actual opening is contested; the building itself is believed to date back as far as 1582. The restaurant has welcomed a string of famous guests including Queen Elizabeth II, Theodore Roosevelt and John F Kennedy, though it’s perhaps best known for housing a staggering 300,000 different wines in its cellar – with some bottles valued at €25,000.

Does It Serve Ratatouille?

Unfortunately, you won’t actually find ratatouille on the menu at La Tour D’Argent, but there’s one dish that’s sure to catch your eye: canard au sang, which translates to ‘bloody duck’. As the restaurant’s signature creation, it consists of seared duck, which is filleted at your table and served with a rich sauce consisting of cognac, port and juices from the crushed duck carcass. (Perhaps not a dish you’ll want to sample during Veganuary.) 

How To Visit

If you fancy dining at La Tour d’Argent, table reservations are required and can be made at tourdargent.com.

Find the restaurant at 19 Quai de la Tournelle, 75005 Paris, France.