Restaurant La Grille: Right on Place de l'Horloge
Avignon is one of our favorite southern cities and we visit as often as possible. We were there on a cold November day once and I'll suggest a warm sunny day if possible. We love to sit outside on the Place de l'Horloge under the plane trees for lunch but decided inside was better in November. We always start our lunch by searching for a restaurant. Some people plan ahead and I admire them, but we enjoy the hunt so . . . .
We walked down past Notre Dame des Doms and the Pope’s Palace to the Pl. de l’Horloge and started casing restaurants. Finally settled on La Grille and noted no one was eating outside on the blustery fall day. We've been there in summer and the square is full of people including entertainers but today all the wind-blown folks were scurrying into restaurants around the square. Good idea!
Favorite Dish: We ordered the least expensive menu du jour and loved it. We started with a nice hot bowl of pistou (vegetable soup) on a very cold windy day. I got a Basque chicken and Ed got dorade (a white fish) and we very happily finished with a delicious fondant au chocolat in creme anglais, easily my favorite dessert. Yum!
It was perfect and warmed us enough to head out for more sightseeing.
- Road Trip
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
Le Cid: Food, Drink & Music! Very Trendy
Le Cid is an establishment with many personalities. It serves a lovely casual lunch, but when we tried to eat there in the evening we were told that it was a bar only. We did manage to get a little food out of them, but it wasn't until recently that I realized that in the evening is was a bar and music venue popular with gays, although the clientele seems to be comfortably mixed. It is trendy, or what the French call "branché"
Favorite Dish: I just had an open faced "tartine", which was cheese, tomatoes and goat cheese accompanied by a small salad. It was very fresh and perfect for lunch.
Tapas Locas: Budget Tapas, Rustic & Funky
The Tapas Locas in Avignon is apparently the "mother ship" for a series of franchised restaurants. It's inexpensive - each tapas is 3 euro, rustic, casual, noisy. The food is decent and it's a good place to take a group of students, as we did. The restaurant does predate the recent tapas craze.
- Budget Travel
New Ground: Creative Fusion, Still French
We ate here right after it first opened and was struggling. Since then it has developed a jazzy personality, while still serving delicious and creative cuisine. The chef and his wife are delightful. She spoke a little English, but was very kind to our French. The cuisine was inventive and well prepared, although presentation still was a work in progress. The orange cast of the photos reflects the restaurant lighting. I didn't want to use flash so what you see was cleaned up a bit in photoshop.
Favorite Dish: I had a lovely fish and squash cooked in an aluminum foil "papilotte." It was fragrant, moist and delicious.
- Food and Dining
Couscousserie De l'Horlage: Family-style Moroccan
I've eaten here twice and my impression has been the same. Tasty North African food, not elegantly presented, but with waiters who make it a lot of fun. True to its name, the best dishes are those set on a bed of couscous. Portions are generous so keep that in mind when ordering.
The decor is Moroccan, beginning with the tiles that line the walls of the narrow staircase.
- Family Travel
L'EPICE AND LOVE: A little spice and a lot to love
L'Epice and Love is a unique restaurant. The food is French with a North African flair. It's not haute-gourmet, but it's very tasty and served with love:) The real delight is the owner-chef and the eclectic decor. She lived in San Diego for a while so her English is excellent. The food is very much comfort food, presented simply. We enjoy our dinner a lot!
The restaurant is cash only. Reserving is a good idea.
- Budget Travel
L'Épice and Love: Possibly the best food I've ever eaten in France!
It may sound like heresy from someone who loves to eat and cook, but I'm really not very excited by French food. However, having spent a glorious evening at L'Épice and Love, I may have to revise my opinion!
L'Épice and Love is located on the unfortunate sounding Rue de Lices, and is a tiny restaurant that you would easily walk by were it not for the suspended display of vintage kitchen equipment in the front window. The inside is eclectically furnished but very welcoming - a little like walking into the lounge of your eccentric maiden aunt who has a passion for travel - another big tick from me.
But oh, the food!!! The menu is fairly short, but well balanced and is cooked with wonderful ingredients, great simplicity and enormous love. I had a sublime goat's cheese and salad starter that transported me into raptures, followed by a very good octopus stew for main course. The dessert was also perfection: grilled figs with a little mound of soft cheese to dip each morsel into. My parents' food was equally good, although they were a little more conservative in their choices: again, the place is perfectly pitched to appeal to both adventurous and more conventional eaters.
The service was friendly - one delightful waitress miraculously handled the entire restaurant with seemingly effortlessly efficiency and aplomb and also spoke excellent English. Because it is so small - only about 12 tables - booking in advance is essential: we were there on a Thursday evening in late September, and every table was full.
If you're in this area for supper, treat yourself to a stroll northwards down Rue des Lices, past the Aucône Générale towards the gorgeously atmospheric Rue des Teinturiers: perfect for either a pre-supper drink or a post prandial stroll before bedtime.
Bon appetit (and raise a glass in my honour when you're there for the excellent recommendation)!
L'idylle du Palais: An unpretentious little cafe and pancake shop
Rest assured that there is absolutely no shortage of places to eat in Avignon: but many of the options - particularly along Rue de la Republique and in Place de l'Horloge can be crowded, fairly expensive and somewhat 'samey'.
Which is why this unassuming little creperie just off Place du Palais was such a lovely find. As well as a whole range of savoury and sweet pancakes, it also serves a range of salads and the usual range of cafe style food such as croques messieurs/mesdames. The location is shady and the cafe is located just down the road from a nice series of gift/craft stores, which are tempting to peruse before or after your meal.
We didn't eat here, but we did stop for an icy-cold beverage and what appeared from the kitchen looked very good (it also got an excellent review on TripAdvisor) - in my case, I was ecstatic to find cider on the menu, which was as delicious and frosty as I could have hoped for!
Restaurant Flunch Avignon Raspail: Casual self-service restaurant
There is a restaurant chain in France called Flunch where, for a really low price, you can have a good lunch/dinner.
The menu du jour (menu of the day), just 6,00 €! A main course plus drink and all the salad, rice, pasta, chips, etc. you want/can eat.
I'll give you the address and phone number of the one I visited; I really don't know if there are more in Avignon.
Hiely Lucullus: Still haute cuisine
In 1965 Hiely and Lucullus were separate establishments. Lucullus had two Michelin stars; Hiely had none, but was listed in the guide. A specialty at Lucullus was canard a la orange. It was the main course in what was then the finest meal I had ever had.
In the 1966 Guide Michelin the restaurants were already combined, located at 5, rue de la République (Lucullus's address), and without a star.
Today Hiely Lucullus is still at that address, but on the 1st floor (2nd, US-style) rather than the ground floor.
The decor is now far more posh. The food is still rich and delicate: my lamb was done to perfection.
One clear difference is price. A three-course meal for two, with an excellent chateauneuf du pape, cost 80 francs (about US$16) in 1965; in 2010 it cost over 120€ (about $144).
Newground: Tradition and Creativity revisited
In a cozy atmosphere and jazzy music, you can enjoy very creative dishes which marry the Provencal culinary tradition with exotic and surprising flavors ; for example their foie gras au kadaif or their stuffed "ravioles" or else their "sea-bass cheeks tempuras" ; it seems that Brice the Chef, has ben educated through the excellent French cooking schools but traveled quite a bit to learn from other cultures ; I learned that her wife has some Japanese origin which may shed some light on how he gets some of his ideas.
The prices are also very reasonable with "Plateau du Jour" at a mere 11 Euros to the gastronomic menu at 30 Euros ; the wine list is well supplied with very good local wines.
I highly recommend this restaurant
Favorite Dish: Foie gras au Kadaif
The smoothness of fresh foie gras in a crunchy crust of fried kadaif (very fine noodles) ; the crunchy sensation followed but the melting of the foie gras on your tongue...
- Castles and Palaces
- Women's Travel
- Food and Dining
Brasserie Le Forum: Apple Tarts with Cream
Le Forum is right in the Place de l'horloge. We decide to eat here after checking out the posted menu. We had a seat at one of the outdoor tables and looked over the menus. Our waiter was very nice and surprisingly spoke English to us even after Liz spoke French to him (I guess some people just want to practice their English on us). As an appetizer Liz started with a Caesar style salad with strips of anchovy on top. I had a creamy asparagus soup. The soup was pretty good and Liz enjoyed her salad. For dinner we both had the beef in a peppercorn wine sauce. It was perfectly cooked and the sauce was incredible. It was served with a potato cake on the side. Dessert was our favorite: an apple tart smothered in a vanilla cream sauce. It was incredibly good and the perfect end to the meal.
Favorite Dish: The food was incredible here as well as the service. I liked that we dined outside and were able to enjoy the beautiful evening air. We were able to do some people watching as well as make friends with a cat that decided she wanted some of Liz's anchovy from her salad.
Newground: Be amazed by the flavors
The Newground's chef is very skilled in associating flavors and colors; while using the sound bases of culinary art and "cuisne provencale", he creates amazing things like foie gras panne or embedded in angel's hair, a wonderful "consomme de champignons", a melting "bourguignon de taureau" with the right amount of spices; he also uses little known kinds of lettuces with "balsamic reduction" based dressing
A good surprise: prices are very reasonable
Wines are OK with good local wines, matching the food very well
The atmosphere is cozy with a very friendly waiter and amazing decoration with nice paintings from a local painter on the walls.
What makes it so special is that it's so tasteful; you'll remember it...
Favorite Dish: Probably the foie gras fried inside it's angel's hair crust; it's crusty first and then the foie gras melts into your mouth with all its softness...
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Eat Cheap in Avignon: Best Budget Bites in Avignon
As with any tourist town, it can be tough to find a tasty meal in Avignon on a backpacker’s budget. There are plenty of great restaurants in the city, but for a sit down meal with starter, main course and wine, visitors should expect to pay at least €20. With the current state of the US dollar, that can be a hard nut to swallow for many a traveler. Read more about the best budget food in Avignon at my travel blog thinkoutsidethewatermelon.wordpress.com
- Budget Travel
- Study Abroad
Boulangerie/Bakeries: Try eating outside Avignon
We found it very hard to find a reasonable restaurant. Apparantly they cater for the one time tourist.
The good ones are too expensive for the quality (3star michlelin restos are cheaper) except for the few I include in my tips.
The bakeries have good sandwiches and excellent sweets. My favourite is one on cours jean jaures; I forgot its name but it is the first one on the right hand side walking from the central train station (porte de la Republique) towards the palais du pape.
For Food markets check my tip in shopping.
Favorite Dish: pain au chocolat aux amande..........delicioussssss
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