Opened in October 2018 by the Mexican-born chef Oscar Becerril, this bistro, whose bright red façade can be clearly seen from rue Léon Blum, has managed to maintain the casual simplicity that has been at the heart of its charm for many years (Thonet chairs, stone walls, slate menus, dynamic and friendly service). All beautifully executed, a few Latin touches (guacamole, tacos, ceviche, polenta…) obviously come to mingle with the more Franco-classic proposals.
Just a stone’s throw from the Talensac Market, Gwaien (the Breton name for Audierne, the town in southern Finistère where the chef hails from) opened in the summer of 2019 with the announcement of a cuisine of ingredients from the land and sea as well as some daring and unusual associations. The friendly prices, the kind service and the warmth of the place guarantee a good time. With such promising beginnings, it’s a safe bet that the trio that runs this place will continue to flourish as the days go on.
Since opening in June 2019, the success of this gourmet landmark, with its excellent value for money, has been largely based on word-of-mouth praise. Behind the large picture window with its Klein blue contours and leafy green plants, a simple, elegant and friendly atmosphere emerges, with relaxed service to match. On the plate, ingredients are rendered sublime by masterful cooking, a remarkable balance of flavours and a play of contrasts that strike a soulful chord. The wine list is a showcase for organic and biodynamic wines.
Nicolas Trinquet (formerly of Pickles) and pastry chef Tristan Hausser have taken over the once Bistrot à Gilles and are now the happy owners of this restaurant with roughly sixty seats, 3 dining areas and a small patio out back. They propose a “bistronomical”, trendy, colourful and creative cuisine spotlighting local, seasonal products and zero-waste practices. This promising duo is clearly off to a good start!
In this modern and creative bakery cafe, a team of socially conscious and cosmopolitan artisans make organic sourdough breads, premium baked goods, excellent natural pastries and, for lunch, soups, pizzas, toasties and quiches. Everything is delicious, made from organic products and carefully sourced. With the warm and friendly welcome of the hosts, you will feel right at home!
After trying his hand at entrepreneurship in Paris, Emmanuel Chevalier moved to Nantes and took over this small neighbourhood pizzeria in early 2020. Overlooking the Jardin Extraordinaire, it enjoys a location on the charming Hill Sainte-Anne. In the kitchen, Giovanni, a master pizzaiolo, works with fresh products to create excellent pizzas that follow strict Neapolitan tradition (dough matured for 48 hours, thick and crispy crusts, tender centre…).
As its name suggests, Marie and Marc Duquesnay’s restaurant naturally plays the eco-responsible card: 100% organic cuisine, local products, healthy recipes, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free options. We embrace both the ethics of this “fast-good” on the Île de Nantes as well as the authenticity of its dishes, which can be enjoyed on site at the self-service counter or for take away.
Former chef of the Michelin-starred brasserie in Bristol (114 Faubourg) and of the restaurant l’Alchimiste in Nantes, Jean-Charles Cauquil opened this restaurant facing the Loire on the Bellevue promenade at the end of 2019. Everyday for lunch, the menu presents 3 new proposals for starters, main courses and desserts. Simple and classic, everything is elegantly prepared and executed with the utmost accuracy in terms of flavours and cooking. At dinner, the tasting menu is an excellent value for money.
Originally from Ivory Coast and trained at the Apprentis d’Auteuil, Fernandez Aboua opened this restaurant in the centre of Bouguenais in late 2017 with the desire to modernise African gastronomy. Samosas, cornbread burgers with sweet potato chips, Yopougon mussels, choukouyas… Each of these colourful and fragrant proposals are an invitation to travel.
Once upon a time, Clémence Lefeuvre, owner of a restaurant on the banks of the Loire in Saint-Julien-de-Concelles, gained notoriety for dressing the river’s fish with a sauce of vinegar, shallots, butter and pepper: beurre blanc, as any apprentice cook would know. It’s a tradition that has been honoured since 2019 by the young chefs, Mathieu Roux and Marie Fresneau, who now lead this legendary address with their conscientious and engaged cuisine (ultra-local ingredients, respect for the reproduction cycles of fish, an adjoining vegetable patch, homemade bread, etc.).
Facing the entrance of the château, Marc (in the kitchen) and Fanny (on service) opened this charming canteen-style eatery in the summer of 2019. Since then, it has continued to be cited among the top picks of Clisson gourmets (so much so that it is now strongly recommended to make reservations). On the menu, a variety of small, simple mezze-style dishes, mostly vegetarian (but not only), all made from organic, local and seasonal products, and accompanied by homemade drinks and natural wines.
In the 16th century, Catherine de’ Medici amazed her subjects with an iconic pastry: the choux. Near the Place Royale, in this bright tea room, Sébastien Grimaud takes his turn at seducing the people of Nantes with this timeless delicacy. Showing off his masterful technique, he offers both sweet and savoury versions. The lunch menu, with its choice of gougères, is a delight for small appetites as well as small budgets.
A joyous wine cellar for creative, casual dining, this is the ultimate hangout for friends that is already making a splash. Amidst a warm, Scandinavian-inspired decor, the young, talented chef Sarah Mainguy concocts delicious dishes (for lunch) and platters to share (in the evening) at very low prices, inspired by both international street food and traditional bistro fare. For her partner Damien, he’s (successfully) rolled the dice on a fine selection of natural wines and artisanal beers.
After a long stay in Marseille, in the Michelin-starred kitchens of Gérald Passédat and Alexandre Mazzia, Lucie Berthier Gembara opened this lovely little restaurant in the heart of the Feydeau District in June 2019. A lover of seafood (Sépia refers to cuttlefish) and the beautiful vegetables provided by Olivier Durand and Alice Ménard, she concocts a cuisine full of vivacity, freshness, balance and sunshine. Also worth noting: Charles’s smiling welcome and the sumptuous all-you-can-eat brunch every Sunday.
For those who take the time to explore the surroundings of the Dobrée Museum, the dazzling chef Céline Mingam rewards you with her tantalising, comforting, exquisite and mostly wallet-friendly “bistronomic” cuisine. Opened in 2019, this former bistro has been given a facelift with white walls, contemporary furniture and creative lighting, all while keeping its intimate and convivial charm. In addition to the superb natural wine list, the Nantes Baribale, a traditional Nantes-style beer, pairs wickedly with the address.
This Russian restaurant could not have found a better name than the novel by Jules Vernes, Michel Strogoff, which traces the adventures of the czar’s courier. It’s an exotic journey in which we take part in by discovering tasty Russian specialties such as pirozhk (stuffed boat-shaped buns), shashlik (meat skewers), borscht and pelmeni (dumplings) in a cosy and elegant decor (parquet floor, exposed stones and bricks and modern furniture) dotted with an array of references to Russia (maps, matryoshkas). Friendly service and wide selection of vodkas.
The little brother of Instinct Gourmand took its place, in the summer of 2019, in the heart of Feydeau Square, amid the architectural wonders that pack Rue Kervégan (mascarons on the façade, dry-stone walls, exposed beams and more). In this second “no-label bistro”, the recipe that made the first restaurant such a success for the last 8 years has been kept: a seasonal, accessible, masterful and tasty cuisine with a commendable quality/price ratio.
“En-champs-thé” is how MJ describes her cuisine. A play on words, she welcomes you into her enchanting cocoon where you will soon be enticed by the table garnished with homemade desserts. Take a seat on the first floor and enjoy the chef’s delicious, healthy vegetarian cuisine for lunch or head upstairs to discover a cosy space perfect for a sugary pause accompanied by a remarkable collection of teas.
With its ultra-cosy interior worthy of the most beautiful coffeeshops in Montreal or Sydney, Café Bécot is an absolute must for an afternoon treat that includes delicious carrot cake and a comforting chaï latte. But it would be a shame to label this address too quickly without mentioning its wonderful savoury offerings, available à la carte all day long: vegetable millefeuille, toast, vegetarian quiches, risottos, pulled pork and other fresh and tasty dishes.
In the heart of the tranquil Saint-Donatien district, soon to become more lively with the redevelopment of the former Mellinet Barracks, Benoit Dalle and Jeanne Caillaudeau opened this super spot in the fall of 2019 as a place for young and old alike to gather and meet (restaurant, bar, concerts, workshops, debates, film screenings, corporate events…). In the kitchen, Julien Dupelicz excites the taste buds of diners with his healthy and tasty cuisine, which, just like the drink menu, puts the spotlight on local products. In the evening, a more informal offer of tasty tapas.
The ever inventive and hyper-active Alexandre Challerie likes concepts that are clear-cut. Always fond of good ideas, here he is again near the south railway station with a burgers and buns restaurant where you can eat-in or take away. New regulars are already praising the quality and originality of the sandwiches, the appetising hand-cut potato spears and the fast service.
In this neighbourhood in full transition (Gare Sud), Jérôme and Antoine opened their “bistronomic” self-service luncheonette and tea room in early 2020. Amidst a simple, contemporary decor, take your choice between the 3 starters, 2 main courses (one being vegetarian) and 4 desserts available at lunch everyday. All are perfectly prepared with fresh produce. To enjoy on the spot or for take away.
It required a good dose of confidence and daring to follow in the footsteps of La Raffinerie in the already well-packed Rue Fouré. These are two qualities clearly demonstrated by Romain Bonnet, a young chef with an engaging career (Pierre Gagnaire’s Le Balzac***, La Scène Thélème*, Le Manoir de la Boulaie*), who conquers diners with plates of impressive gustatory prowess and creativity. He serves a modern cuisine (even when it’s a traditional hare à la royale) that achieves a subtle balance from the play of flavours and textures.
Lovers of “Verace Pizza Napoletana” (i.e. a pizza baked in a wood-fired oven and which differs from its Roman cousin by its thick, soft round crust with pronounced blistered and mottled edges) will find true happiness at this brand new pizzeria on Quai Baco. Amid a simple, elegant and luminous decor, the short menu mixes classic and more original proposals, which evolve with the seasons and are made with fresh, local or Italian ingredients.
Here is an address where lovers of good food are sure to treat themselves to a merry slice of kif, provided they like quality meats (free-range chicken from Ancenis, Challans ducklings, Iberian pork) and the delicious spit-roasted dishes proposed by chef Thierry Lebé, a native of Auch (a lion and lamb adorn the town’s coat of arms). All that’s left to do is to take a seat at the counter in front of the open kitchen, at the large table d’hôte or at one of the smaller, more classic tables.
The career change of chef Richard Cornet (ex-trader at the City) is as clear-cut, atypical and successful as his restaurant’s decor (electric blue walls, quotes from Sylvain Tesson, rococo fabrics, etc.). But that’s not all. This former second-in-command at the restaurant Pickles also shakes up the taste buds of his diners with audacious, lively and masterful compositions that mix cooking styles and flavours. A restaurant that arouses admiration as much for its lunch as for its 5-course menu at dinner.
This former gourmet shop has been transformed into an elegant and refined restaurant whose reputation for excellence is undisputed. Recently honoured as “Grand de Demain” young talents by Gault & Millau, Ferrandi School alumni Ingrid Deffein and Guillaume Decombat offer a showcase for the region’s products through their simple, sublime cuisine and concern for the environment (local and sustainably sourced fish, organic ingredients, vegetarian proposals, etc). The wine list is equally as enticing and ecologically engaged.
This coffee shop–eatery may have a more designer, refined and luminous look to it than its big sister Dînette, but its prices are just as affordable. Peruse the counter any time of the day to discover an array of delights: refreshing salads, quiches, gratins or gourmet dishes of the day as well as wildly tempting cakes to accompany a specialty coffee or homemade lemonade.
Whether you’re in the area for an event at the Nantes Parc des Expositions or to visit the magnificent Beaujoire rose garden, come and take a seat in the glazed dining room or on the terrace facing the Erdre to enjoy some lovely tapas and tasty grilled meats (a fine selection of beef cuts accompanied by an array of sauces) with one of the 400 wines on the menu. That is unless you prefer the bistro menu which is available for lunch weekdays or dinner weekends.
This lively place with 150 seats finds itself in the heart of the Biocoop Les Hameaux, on the road to Paris. Sourcing directly from the shop’s fresh produce aisles, chef Raphaël Cacheux offers diners 2 lunch options (one meat and one vegetarian) that change daily. Perfectly seasoned, mostly local and always organic, each dish is made entirely from scratch.
Regulars at Caradec Boscher’s restaurant in Saint-Sébastien-sur-Loire made no mistake in making this their favourite hangout. Opposite the René Massé stadium and a few steps from the Loire, the young Breton chef prepares beautiful, appetising dishes from fresh produce (fish from the Sables d’Olonne, homemade foie gras, Normandy scallops, Iberian black pork, vegetables from the market in Basse-Goulaine). When the weather is nice, the terrace lined with banana trees will have you soon feeling vacation vibes.
This call from the New World, is it that of the adventures of Jules Verne who was born in this building or rather the thirst for exploration of chef Benjamin Petit, who proposes a sophisticated cuisine mixing “bistronomy” and gastronomy, land and sea, and local ingredients and exotic products? The mostly organic wine list also explores distant lands as well as the Loire Valley.
At the corner of Marceau and Berruyer, this restaurant attracts white collar workers who are well accustomed to its chic and trendy brasserie look (grey and blue tones, velvet seats, marble and brass furniture, contemporary canvases, chandelier, large bright letters). At lunchtime, guests can enjoy fresh and gourmet brasserie cuisine, including the famous lobster burger served on Thursday, Friday and Saturday or tapas afterwork. Friendly atmosphere and smiling service.
After numerous stopovers in France, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, Xavier Rambaud set his sights on this simple, luminous and elegant restaurant in 2018, decorating it with all the modernity and creativity for which he is known. Endowed with sharp technical skills and a real commitment to Locavore and zero waste philosophies, he blends harmonious flavours based on the seasons and a bit of audacity, distinguishing himself with his lively and enticing plates and spot-on visual compositions.
In the bustling district of the Champ de Mars, set back slightly from rue Fouré, this restaurant “estaminet” and cocktail bar settled into its modern and cosy setting (large picture window, comfortable velvet seating, wooden and brass tables, blue walls, lounge area…) in 2017. On the menu: brasserie-style dishes (steak tartare, shirred eggs, butcher cuts, salmon gravlax…) as well as a suggestion of the day based on a variety of dishes often inspired by cuisines from around the world.
Expanded and refurbished in the fall of 2019 with a new sleek and elegant look worthy of a contemporary decor magazine, Glaz — a Breton word for a colour between blue, green and grey — will satisfy, from 8 in the morning to end of the day, food lovers with its array of breakfast options, healthy lunches, tempting snacks and pleasant brunch on Sundays.
A short distance from the Crapa Park and the Hôtel de Région, this lunchtime spot is decorated in bright hues ranging from pink to carmine. Half snack bar, half self-serve counter, the dishes are updated every day with a choice of cold starters, quiches, desserts and a dish of the day. Classic and honest proposals for a lunch on site or for take away.
This excellent restaurant is more than enough reason to continue your journey through the vineyards beyond Clisson to the charming village of Gétigné. Since late 2017, Jean-René Pelletier, formerly of La Bonne Auberge in Clisson, has been putting his talent to work to create a deliciously fulfilling cuisine that reflects the spirit of the times, balancing tradition and modernity, “bistronomy” and gastronomy. In addition, the cellar — to our great delight — boasts the region’s best wines.
Visitors to the Nantes Museum of Art can enjoy a gourmet pause in this relaxed yet modern café–restaurant designed by the media personality Éric Guérin, a Michelin-starred chef from the Brière Region’s Mare aux Oiseaux. Currently open only during the day, its simple dishes are elevated through their visual presentations and seasonings that always hit the right note. The menu of sweet and savoury snacks available in the afternoon are also worth a look.
Along the River Sèvre, shortly before arriving in Clisson, this hotel–bar–restaurant–snack bar epitomises life’s simple pleasures. In the luminous dining room — tastefully decorated with sweeping curtains, graphic wallpaper, and mismatched furniture and lamps — or on the lush little terrace with its rustic charm, discover a cheerful and friendly atmosphere that’s as festive as the fresh and elegant cuisine, which playfully mixes textures with a subtle marriage of delicate spices and peppers. There is also, of course, a lovely selection of local organic wines.
This is a pretty neo-bistro that exudes a graceful elegance. The instigator behind this refined and contemporary gem, chef Anne-Lise Genouël (who trained at the Ferrandi School and notably worked in the kitchen of L’U.Ni) blossoms day after day with her delicate and inviting dishes where the ingredients are paramount and work in perfect symbiosis with the selection of mostly organic and natural wines. The fair prices and the gentle service will surely have you coming back.
Along the River Divatte, with a breathtaking view of the Loire River, the young couple of Victor Guillamet and Élodie Fontaine pays tribute to the history and richness of this region through an expert cuisine that celebrates its ingredients (poultry from Ancenis, river fish, lamb’s lettuce and vegetables from the Loire Valley) and its artisans (Des épices à ma guise, Alain François’ duck). The menu, which mixes tradition (beurre blanc, frog’s legs in parsley) and exoticism (some Asian influences), offers an outstanding quality/price ratio.
This discreet gem alone justifies a trip to Oudon (a pretty little town near Ancenis). Steps from the medieval castle, Marie Le Calvez (a self-taught chef) and her husband Sébastien (in the dining room) have been running this cosy spot (old terracotta floors, stone walls, fireplace, velvet armchairs) for over 10 years. The delicate and inspired cuisine revolves around simple dishes enhanced with a few spices and exotic flavours that marvellously accompany the judiciously chosen vintages from the Loire Valley.
Perfectly located at the gates of Nantes and its wine region, facing the Goulaine Canal, the Restaurant du Pont was taken over in September 2017 by the young chef Mathieu Corbineau. He advocates for the pleasures of a gastronomy rooted in a terroir and celebrates local products in his aesthetically pleasing, meticulously executed dishes and enticing, creative combinations. In the cosy and elegant dining room or on the terrace, you will appreciate the attentive but non-excessive service and well-established wine list.
A lively, cooperative and multi-faceted space (bar, restaurant, local grocery store, cultural venue) houses this joyful and atypical eatery that seduces diners with its commitment to sustainable food and the solidarity and social economy. With true pleasure, enjoy bowls and dishes of the day that are mostly vegetarian, healthy and tasty, entirely homemade and that honour the work of local farmers and producers. Also worth noting are the take-away options (personal containers welcome) and the brunch menu on Saturdays.
Originally from the Périgord, and having worked in a string of Michelin-starred restaurants, Damien Garcia and his wife, Laure-Anne, took over this restaurant in Rezé in 2016. The tempting menu honours mostly local and seasonal products, which are transformed with technical prowess to give birth to satisfying semi-gastronomic dishes. The flavours are delightful and the service is pleasant.
Between the Tour Bretagne and Place Viarme is a pleasantly understated crêperie. Since their childhood on the Côte d’Émeraude, the two brothers who run the place, Simon and Robin (the former in the dining room, the latter in the kitchen), have developed two well known Breton passions: the bilig and sea navigation! Under the Optomist sails that adorn the ceiling, the crêpes and buckwheat galettes are classic but also creative, without ever being too extravagant, and served at very fair price.
The discerning gourmets of the Dobrée District will not be long in making this eatery their favourite address. After having conquered the inhabitants of Batignolles in Paris, Jean-François Pantaléon raised the bar and set the tone with this classic and modern setting designed by Brune de la Guerrande (exposed bricks, huge mirrors, velvet banquettes, granite and brass tables), where he serves inventive, cheerful, hard-hitting and perfectly executed cuisine magnified by friendly, efficient service and excellent wines. The restaurant received its first Michelin star in 2021.
In this shopping thoroughfare in the Graslin District, Chez Franklin seduces regulars and passing tourists alike with its chic and clean setting (black and brass tables, cosy upholstered grey armchairs, black-and-white checkerboard floors, Dixon lamps) and well-stocked menu of classic, filling dishes (œufs mayonnaises, flank steak, sirloin steak, carpaccio, gnocchi, burgers, profiteroles). Also worth noting is the children’s menu and the terrace open all year round.
Yannick Curty. already at the initiative of Félix, Le 1 and La Cigale, inaugurated this half-chic, half-modern brewery in 2017. Opposite the former courthouse, in the heart of Nantes’ Golden Triangle District, it offers non-stop service 7 days a week. Amid a simple and refined decor, come for the traditional dishes (revisited to reflect the lasted culinary preferences and seasonal changes), quick lunch options, Sunday brunch buffet and friendly, dynamic service. All of the elements are here for a truly wonderful experience.
Here is a classic restaurant that is innovative, extraordinary and joyful all at the same time. Flore Lelièvre, just thirty years old, boldly dared to give people with Down’s Syndrome the opportunity to work. A hand extended to not only equal opportunity, but also to each of us in order to familiarise ourselves with the handicap. While you may come to this elegant inclusive restaurant to take part in this noble social project, you will surely come back to it for the appetising, contemporary, seasonal cuisine made entirely from scratch.
Not far from the Talensac Market, and a stone’s throw from the Erdre, the Nantes-based duo of chef Anaïs Coulon and her sidekick Benjamin Ceuignet has been bringing this delightful restaurant to life since 2017. The small but tremendously satisfying menu reveals an intuitive and balanced “bistronomic” cuisine. Their technique is precise, the combinations of flavours innovative and the dishes are a delight for eyes. Also of note are the excellent quality/price ratio and harmonious selection of wines, which include several vintages from Nantes’ winemaking region and the Loire Valley.
Travellers and workers from the neighbourhood come to gather and mingle at this “locavore brewery” located opposite the Nantes train station. In its simple and luminous setting (imitation brick wall, basic furniture, large mirror), chef Matthieu Carré has traded in Our’s chic kebab offer for a few years now to concentrate on fresh, no-fuss market cuisine. The short menu (also available for take away) systematically offers a vegetarian option and features seasonal and local products.
“Malumbi” means “thank you” in southern Gabon, where chef Stéphanie Baudez-Bouanga is from. She runs this popular little eatery with its relaxed family atmosphere in the heart of the Île de Nantes. Full of flavours from around the world, her cuisine is a reflection of her zest for travel and her many adventures across Europe, Africa and even Asia.
After Izakaya Joyi, Anthony Nguyen has done it again with this pocket-sized restaurant. Long and narrow, it is taken by storm all hours of the day by the Japanophiles who come to “slurp- up” an authentic and steaming bowl of ramen — homemade, organic wheat noodles bathed in a tasty broth of (Breton) pork or (Ancenis) chicken and garnished with array of toppings.
This majestic early 20th-century house has an enchanting view over the River Sèvre and Clisson’s church and castle, both of which are illuminated at night. To fully admire this prime panorama, take a seat under the nicely decorated verandah and discover a well-executed local cuisine that combines traditional recipes (pan-fried sweetbreads, sea bass fillet with beurre blanc, leg of lamb pastillas) and various spices from afar. The wine list boasts nearly twenty different vintages of Muscadet and a wide selection of Loire wines.
Twenty kilometres south of Nantes, Olivier Guenoun has been seducing a loyal clientele at his restaurant for more than 10 years with his skilled gourmet cuisine that titillates the taste buds as much as the eye. Beef from the Brière, snails from Maison Royer, blue lobster from Brittany… local ingredients hold a special place on the plate as well as on the wine list, where the Loire Valley is well-represented. Also worth mentioning is the chic, sleek decor and pleasant welcome.
Until recently, this little address of about twenty seats was a well-kept secret, hidden in an alley near the Halles de Clisson. But with the success of its word-of-mouth reputation, it has become one of the most famous restaurants in this pretty village. Among the reasons cited: the simple and discreet charm of the place, the tempting options on the menu, the ravishing aestheticism of the plates, the agile and seductive cuisine, the long and diverse selection of wines and the painless prices.
As its name suggests, this restaurant located on the Place de l’Europe, in the heart of Saint-Julien-de-Concelles, specialises in grilling, offering a wide selection of meats and fish (beef ribs, lamb chops, pork belly, fish skewers, duck breast, and even eels in season). Everything is grilled in the indoor fireplace on vine shoots (i.e. the wooden bits cut during pruning). A simple, no-fuss address where you can let your hair down with friends.
To enjoy the verdant, bucolic setting of this lovely auberge located at the foot of the medieval city of Clisson, take a seat on the verandah or on the small terrace overlooking the Sèvre Nantaise. Here, you will discover a mostly local (foie gras from the Vendée, AOP Maine Anjou beef…) cuisine that blends the traditional with the modern. Naturally, your meal will finds its perfect pairing with one of the valley’s beautiful vintages. Reservations are strongly recommended.
After a shopping session or before a good movie in the industrial and commercial district of Saint-Herblain, head to this contemporary brasserie with colleagues or family to enjoy a selection of well-made classics (prawn skewers, stuffed tomatoes, sirloin steak with chips, seared tuna steak) and attentive service. In summer, immerse yourself in the tropical-villa atmosphere by taking a seat under the palm trees as you look out at the pool’s turquoise waters.
In the peaceful village of La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, chef David Guérin (a local lad, who worked for 7 years in London) and his Peruvian wife Noelia (in the dining room), propose beautifully crafted, colourful bistro style dishes influenced by the gustatory discoveries uncovered during their travels (causa limeña, ceviche, maki, falafels…). In addition to the two nicely decorated and modern rooms (contemporary furniture, walnut parquet floors, turquoise wallpaper, large mirrors), the Zen-inspired back terrace is perfect for sunny days.
During a trip to the wonderful Parc de Procé and its 12 hectares of greenery, head to this 18th-century manor house and its outdoor terrace for a soothing break any time of the day. When this pleasant café–restaurant–tea room is not reserved for private use, you can enjoy healthy, well-balanced dishes, rich with vegetables, that are updated every week based on the market’s findings. A lovely selection of local vintages completes the picture.
Something between a canteen and a neo-bistro, this is the type of spot we hope to find in every neighbourhood. Karine Bourgeois has imagined a hangout for friends and neighbours, where her smiling welcome gives the place a feeling of joy and warmth. With a good time surely to be had, sit down to discover the chef’s healthy and tasty proposals, all made from fresh products, before toasting with one of the honourable Loire wines on the menu.
A few steps away from Place Viarme is this relatively discreet restaurant that deserves the detour. In addition to its two classically decorated rooms on the first floor, the backyard reveals a superb terrace for sunny days. On the plate, chef Nicolas Bellanger skilfully expresses himself through a traditional cuisine with a gastronomic tilt. Nicely presented, he accents his masterful cooking with a few exotic touches (passion fruit, smoked pepper…) from time to time.
Behind this coveted restaurant lies the extraordinary career of Guillaume Maccotta, a Michelin-starred maître d’hôtel for 15 years, who has now built a new reputation for himself behind the stove of his own restaurant. Relocated in the fall of 2019, a stone’s throw from the cathedral, this restaurant’s V2 has adopted an elegant visual decor. On the plate (and in the glass), the recipe for its original success continues to thrive: a perfectly interpreted creative locavore cuisine featuring regional producers.
Barely having sat down in this subdued, rustic setting (stone walls, old parquet floor, fireplace, exposed roof structure) and we realise the dilemma that awaits us: that of choosing among the options — all of them appealing — of the albeit short list. Trained at the Monte Cristo in Vertou, in Nottingham as well as at a renowned Italian restaurant in Melbourne, the young chef, Elisa Pichaud, not yet in her thirties, combines French, Asian and Italian influences in solid, engaging bistro dishes brimming with delicious delights.
In a discreet pedestrian street, a few metres from the Place Graslin, hides this lovely “bistronomic” eatery (Coup de Pouce 2017), much appreciated by connoisseurs. In a friendly setting dressed in a minimalist decor (grey tones, stone walls, modern wooden furniture), chef Frédéric Chiron dispatches with remarkable ease inspired, creative and rather generous plates that marry local products with a few exotic touches and clever associations. Nice selection from the cellar.
In the white, grey and green-shaded bungalow of Valérie (in the dining room) and her husband Joël (in the kitchen), the vegetarian offer (vegetable quenelle, bean or grain patties, vegetarian pâté) is just as enticing as the meat and fish dishes featured on the menu and served with seasonal vegetables, the majority of which are organic. The wide range of choices, the high-quality cuisine and the pleasant welcome should be enough reason to seek out this well-hidden restaurant.
This cheerful, ultra-luminous modern bar–restaurant comes alive with its after-work sessions, DJ sets and festivals. Something between a French brewery, a Danish loft and an American diner, this local hangout for the workers and residents of the Euronantes District mixes left, right and centre. Start with one of the beers brewed directly on-site and then pair it with some meat grilled in the Josper charcoal oven (octopus, burger, andouillette…). There are also tartares, salads and vegetarian dishes, all perfectly prepared.
This “fast-good” is so successful that it already has 3 locations in Nantes. Here, the arancini (a Sicilian speciality made of balls of risotto stuffed with various ingredients and then breaded and fried) and their smaller Roman cousins, the supplì, delight city dwellers looking for a quick, hearty and cheap lunch. Available for take away.
Fanny Joseph and her husband Champika Wijesekera, originally from Sri Lanka, have been running this little eatery near the centre of Carquefou for a few years now and offer a wide selection of burgers, salads and some bistro-style dishes. An urban, simple, gourmet and fulfilling cuisine for a quick lunch or dinner.
It’s no wonder that the students and workers of Nante’s northern districts have taken to this place for a simple lunch. Served with a smile and eaten on the go under the large painting of the canteen’s eponymous physicist, the quality of the food hits the mark every time. Choose between the dish of the day or a large plate composed of a salad, quiche and soup, then top it off with a dessert of your choice.
Fresh and tasty seasonal dishes, as well as many other options filling the refrigerated shelves (appetizers and variety of desserts) await the faithful customers of this tiny colourful, eccentric restaurant. Small patio. Moderate prices and friendly service.
Located a stone’s throw from the Royal Square and inspired by English coffeeshops, this cosy little spot is much appreciated for its healthy lunches (pies, salads, soups…), which can be enjoyed on the spot or for take away, as well as for quick breaks with a speciality tea or coffee and a lovely slice of cake. Brunch on the 1st Sunday of each month.
More than just a quick stopover or a stealthy escape from a day of shopping, this tea room, an extension of Maison Baron-Lefèvre, merits an extended stay to truly take in all the charm and splendour that its setting, the mythical arcade Passage Pommeraye, has to offer. For a relatively modest sum, you can enjoy delicious small bites for lunch as well as some seriously tempting pastries.
Massive stone walls, exposed beams, subdued lighting and mismatched furniture are all part of the charm of this intimate and warm tea room where you can come hang out for the day, enjoy a gourmet break at lunch or pop-in for a snack. With dishes made from scratch, fresh products and a copious brunch on Sundays, this is an address that exudes serenity and reminds us of our adventures in Ireland and Australia.
Near the “Champ de Mars” district, Alexandre Challerie enchants diners with dishes from en papillote to slow-cooked for a fulfilling and relatively inexpensive lunch! Eat-in or opt for take away.
Whether you choose to stay in the former spinning mill turned magnificent hotel or simply to take in the breathtaking view of the bucolic banks of the Sèvre and the medieval castle of Clisson, this is a great address for a delectable pause. Behind the stove, Christophe Vasseur proposes a fresh and simple cuisine that reflects the peaceful feel of the place and whose careful preparation and fair prices have made this restaurant one of the most popular in the city.
Its eloquent name befits this beautiful and mythical manor (previously run by chef Gérard Ryngel for 30 years) located on the banks of the Loire River in a park planted with trees and timeless charm. It also reflects the dreams of Jérôme Ponchelle, a chef with an impressive résumé, and his wife Magalie in the dining room. With dishes brimming with local ingredients, he re-enchants the classics of French gastronomy with great refinement and masterful technique. The wine list is also very exciting.
Originally from Vendée, chef Yvan Aubineau journeyed around the world (West Indies, Brazil, Morocco, Réunion Island), absorbing local flavours and culinary traditions here and there, before laying down his knife bag in the wine region of Nantes. Facing the vineyards, Itacaré occupies a charming stone building with a clay tile roof, whose inspirations are both rustic and exotic. It’s the perfect setting for the fragrant, globetrotting dishes that subtly match the Muscadets from the neighbouring hillsides.
Thirsty for wine discoveries and quality products, Olivier Hodebert created this place near Loiry Park in Vertou just for that reason. In addition to the wine cellar, discover a rum and whisky bar, gourmet shop, tasting workshops and cooking classes. Epicureans will appreciate the restaurant area and its lovely bistro dishes, all of which can be paired, unsurprisingly, with one of the many gems from the impressive wine collection (€6 corkage fee).
In the heart of the charming village of Le Cellier, between Nantes and Ancenis, chef Nathalie Ciesielski and her husband Arnaud welcome you into their lovely 19th-century family home or under the stone pine tree that gently shades their peaceful terrace for a delightful pause. Just as Louis de Funès enjoyed having his coffee here, regulars now come for the thoughtful gourmet cuisine featuring an array of jus and sauces that titillate the taste buds, the professional service, the respectable wine portfolio and the reasonable value for money.
A mythical place and chic hideaway on the banks of the Loire River where Clémence Lefeuvre invented le beurre blanc. A gastronomical journey is possible with prix-fixe menus like the six-course “Dégustation”, or “Tradition des bords de Loire”, where you sample excellent dishes made with ingredients from small neighbouring farmers and fishermen, (saltimbocca of monkfish, risotto with white truffle oil, prosciutto or prawns and roast mangoes marinated in ginger and cumbawa) will leave you breathless. The same goes for the lunchtime prix-fixe menus at €15, €18 and €24 during the week.
On the two levels of terraces that make up this restaurant with its lounge decor, you can marvel at the splendid landscape drawn by the River Sèvre’s winding curves and the stone dyke that crosses it. In addition to a selection of cochonnailles tapas, the 30-year-old chef Alann Cosqueric’s à la carte menu and his 4 set menus (starting at €19) feature beautiful seasonal products showcased in classic proposals, often with modern and somewhat original touches.
In the heart of the vineyard, this former wine storehouse made of stone walls houses the traditions and values dear to the auberge. From the family atmosphere and decor (exposed beams, copper pots, antique furniture and Jeanne-style chairs) to the authentic, yet inspired cuisine (braised dishes, large mixed salads, bountiful pastries) and wine cellar, everything is an expression of the terroir, served at very affordable prices. Note: the auberge functions as a tearoom on weekday afternoons.
When touring Vallet, a small village in Nantes’ winemaking region, this lovely restaurant with some twenty seats and a rustic charm is the ideal stop for lunch or dinner. Following in the footsteps of their predecessors, Laure and Thomas Lardière offer a traditional cuisine featuring as much as possible local producers and ingredients. The menu changes every 3 months according to the seasons and is paired with local vintages (more than 15 varieties of Muscadet and a wide choice of Loire wines).
Along the main street that crosses the town of Sautron, this charming town house hides a classic, consistent, fair and elegant restaurant that has been attracting a loyal clientele of regulars since 2001. À la carte or with his carte blanche menu, chef Émeric Banon effortlessly concocts a fresh cuisine that mixes gastronomy with simplicity, and in which noble ingredients take pride of place (Breton lobster, foie gras, suckling lamb). The warm service, lovely terrace and honourable wine list are also of note.
Facing the Île de Nantes, Christophe Fouré, a native of Normandy, has been running this warm and attractive restaurant since 1999. As a lover of traditional French bourgeois cuisine, he treats his clientele to generous plates full of flavours from here and beyond, always perfectly executed. A visit to the South-Loire is also warranted for the enlightened selection of wines, largely stocked with local vintages, and the shaded terrace in the middle of a magnificent and peaceful green garden.
True imagination is at work here in creating new recipes and an ample menu composed of variations on different themes. For instance, lobster: Dugléré-style cassolette (small cast-iron pot) of lobster, shortcrust of lobster, and crispy spring roll of lobster and arugula. There are also regional dishes that are more familiar (suprême de pigeonneau de Mr Terrien de Saint-Laurent-des-Autels, cooked rare in a potato crust and its leg stuffed with black sausage). Cellar is open to delightful regional discoveries.
In the car dealership zone along Route de Vannes, no one would expect to come across this pretty little mansion originally offered by a rich ship owner to his mistress at the beginning of the last century. But it is here, where, for more than 15 years, chef Denis Janneau and his wife Marie-J. have been building a loyal clientele of gourmets happy to discover this highly recommended and affordable address whose generous plates celebrate the terroir and its producers.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this chic and relaxed restaurant features a host of assets, starting with the lush, shaded terrace at the edge of the woods that extends out to a group of small Zen-inspired ponds. As for Patrick Giraux’s cuisine, it delicately celebrates noble ingredients (lobster, truffle) and cleverly plays with the classics of bourgeois cuisine by adding a few very personal touches. The wine list, presented by region, devotes an important share of its attention to the organic wines of the Loire.
Backed by his sister Anne-Charlotte in the dining room, Mathieu Pérou took over from his father as head of this family restaurant and skilfully enchants delights diners with the products of his terroir (fish from the river Erdre, seaweed from the Le Croisic, wild plants), through a gastronomic cuisine of great finesse. The array of high-flying gourmet creations — all extremely refined and elegantly presented — as well as the subtle and attentive service led this fine establishment to be rewarded this year by the famous red guide.
While passing through the industrial zone of Saint-Luce-sur-Loire, this is an address you will appreciate for a satisfying business lunch at an extremely reasonable price. In the dining room or on the terrace, take your pick between the two menus on offer (3 options each for the starter, main course and dessert) and discover the delicious bistro-style cuisine of chef Franck Desvaux. A small private lounge can be reserved for groups of up to 20 people to gather in peace.
Ludivine and Olivier Giraudet have brought this former stagecoach inn in Vertou back to life by turning it into a hotel–restaurant, which over the years has acquired a solid reputation for its attentive welcome and subtle, jubilant cuisine. With the ease of a mastered savoir-faire, this is chef who never seems to lack inspiration when bringing relevance, delicacy and modernity to traditional French recipes. Three adjectives that also befit the fine selection of wines.
Duke François II of Brittany, Anne’s father, lived out his last days in Couëron. Paying homage to him, Solenn and Jérôme Evain, both in the kitchen and originating from Morbihan, have themselves earned a legitimate reputation for their traditional, refined and respectful cuisine featuring local producers (pigeon from Marie-Samuelle Cassard in Pornic, poultry from Challans, mackerel from La Turballe). The cosy and warm decor and the owners’ wine list complete the list of attractive features at this charming address.
It has been over ten years since chef Nicolas Neck, with his partner Hélène, took over this former workers’ canteen and delighted a clientele of regulars with his gourmet, neatly packaged cuisine. The reason is obvious: the welcome is warm, the menu changes regularly, the prices are moderate and the shaded terrace offers a lovely breeze in summer. In the peaceful suburban town of Thouaré, L’Envol is the ideal address to know.
Housed in the middle of the countryside, although only a few kilometres from the airport and the Nantes ring road, this former farmhouse was bought by the Bouguenais town hall in order to develop awareness and support for peri-urban agriculture (producer-direct boutiques, educational farm, etc.). This restaurant, like a traditional rural auberge, proudly holds a spot here, highlighting local and/or organic farm products in well-made, vibrant and authentic dishes that invite conviviality.
With his wife Delphine, Olivier Cingal (who catered to many a minister and diplomat when he was chef at the Quai d’Orsay) took over this restaurant, formerly known as “Du Bonheur Dans La Cuisine”, in 2019. Located behind the Zénith in Nantes, its posh, elegant and luminous setting (large window, cosy furniture) is where the chef composes beautiful bistro plates full of freshness and indulgent delights. As for the wine list, it offers a nice selection of local wines.
“Units of measurement expressing how long a wine’s aromas linger on the palate after tasting”, these are caudalies. With such a promise of pleasure, any good hedonist would hasten to come and check out this colourful little establishment run by chef Benoit Arbouin and his wife Anne-Françoise, a passionate sommelier who has concocted a lovely wine list of more than 300 selections. On the first floor, an intricate cuisine with a gastronomic inclination is served; while on the second floor, the atmosphere is more relaxed with toasts or platters and brunch on Saturdays.
On the banks of the River Erdre, Walter and Françoise Lescot have upheld a stellar reputation for 30 years now with this old farmhouse (fireplace, exposed beams, stone walls). Using the noblest ingredients (lobster, scallops, foie gras, sea bass…), the chef conjures up a classically inspired cuisine that is both generous and refined, and magnified by a truly charming service. The glazed dining room and the vast terrace (much appreciated in summer) also offer magnificent views of the Château de la Gascherie on the opposite bank.
Since winning the “Coup de Pouce” in 2016, here is an address that never disappoints. Freshness, mastery and refinement are the hallmarks of chef Fabrice Bernard’s highly personalised cuisine. With a newly updated decor, he shares his love for travel in dishes where peppers, spices and seasonings (yuzu, coconut, wakame…) resonate perfectly with the aromatic notes of Asia. When nice out, take a seat under the wisteria of the hidden terrace or check out the takeaway selection.
Buckwheat galettes, Kig-Ha-Farz, matelote, frigousse, and far are just some of the many specialties Made in Breizh to (re)discover at this joyful, friendly and lively den. Easily a favourite for many of the residents and workers of this neighbourhood in the north of the Île de Nantes, diners flock here for the lack of pretence and fuss, good prices and invigorating, authentic cuisine. Always fresh and using only seasonal and local products, the dishes are accompanied by delicious artisanal ciders and natural wines, and pleasant service.
Trained at the famous Ferrandi School in Paris, then in Cancale, Arbois, Bora-Bora and Auckland, Quentin Lab has recently transformed this restaurant facing the Saint-Jacques Hospital into a gourmet bistro. The chalkboard reveals proposals befitting the eatery’s concept: a simple, fulfilling, mostly meaty cuisine with hints from here and abroad. Come for more elaborate versions at night. When nice out, the pretty terrace surrounded by stone walls and graced with a beautiful eucalyptus tree is a popular spot.
On sunny days, the lush terrace on the garden side of this restaurant on the Île de Nantes is a godsend. Inside, you will be welcomed into a simple setting (long wooden and zinc counter, exposed stone wall) to enjoy a classic bistro-style cuisine. Generous and always in season, the beautiful butcher cuts (cooked at low temperature in a traditional oven imported from Japan) occupy a special place (steak tartare, rib steak…). Cheerful welcome and nice selection of local wines.
Authenticity, simplicity, generosity and good humour. Like the workers’ canteen it once was, this neighbourhood bistro plays fair, as much with its welcome as with its food. In the small room with a pretty stone wall and small slate menus, diners gather to talk freely and share confidences. The daily menu, which proposes 3 to 4 different starters, main courses and desserts, epitomises typically French cuisine in all its conviviality. On nice days, the second room, clad all in wood, opens up and serves as a popular terrace.
During an (obligatory) trip to Trentemoult, La Civelle is undeniably the best restaurant for treating yourself. Part brewery, part bistro, its cuisine is firmly rooted in tradition and has no lack of indulgent delicacies, just like the attractive wine list. Ideally located across from the River Loire, well-informed tourists will enjoy the breathtaking views of the opposite bank from the terrace or one of the tastefully decorated dining rooms.
With its own vegetable patch, this magnificent town house standing above the Sainte-Anne Hill boasts majestic views of the Loire River and Southern Nantes District. It is here where Jean-Yves Guého delights the taste buds of the most demanding gourmets with not only his delicate and respectful fish-focused cuisine but also his amazing selection of renowned vintages, in which Loire wines hold a place of importance. Honoured with a Michelin star since 1999, his efforts have also earned him a second Gault et Millau d’Or award for 2020.
Behind the Boulevard des Anglais, the Pascal Laporte stadium (the SNUC) houses 5 hectares of tennis courts and rugby fields, but also this bar–brasserie–clubhouse. Fervent supporters gather on the terrace to replay the match in a relaxed yet festive atmosphere and to chow down the platters, tartares, burgers, generous cuts of meat or the suggestion of the day. There’s also a bistro menu at lunch, brunch on the weekends and a beautiful selection of Muscadets.
Located between Place Viarme and Cemetery Miséricorde, this cheeky bistro — inspired by Lyon’s famous “bouchons” (traditional restaurants) — has been bustling to the comings and goings of the neighbourhood’s regulars, epicurean enthusiasts and lovers of good food for over 25 years. Whether seated at a table or elbow-to-elbow at the counter, enjoy a no-nonsense cuisine where cuts of meat come with fried potatoes, sautéed ceps or asparagus from the Loire Valley and a solid selection of wines.
Right in the heart of the richly historic neighbourhood that is Île Feydeau, chef Pamela Solar, originally from Chile, traded in her gastronomic bakery to open a tapas restaurant with her partner Sébastien Mallet in 2011. In pure Spanish style, enjoy evenings filled with pintxos, croquetas, patatas bravas and tortillas with a glass of Iberian, Chilean or even South African wine. The lunchtime menus are a bit more classic, but still rich in Latin influences.
After leaving Vietnam and Laos over 40 years ago, Nhung Phung (2011 Coup de Coeur) settled in Nantes but never gave up her love of Southeast Asian cuisine. Amidst a tasteful and contemporary decor, she offers inspired, modern creations that straddle between traditional recipes and fusion cuisine, offering a sensorial exploration of exhilarating flavours. Always perfectly executed and balanced, this is without a doubt one of the best Asian restaurants in the city.
Hidden between the Cour des 50 Otages and the Basilica of Saint Nicholas, Sapio offers a multitude of enticing features with its sleek and contemporary restaurant, an upstairs studio that hosts cooking classes for young and old, team-building events and a boutique area. For lunch or dinner, take a seat on the first floor that overlooks the open kitchen where local and seasonal products reign and set off to discover the many flavours of the relatively diverse menu.
“Passage Pommeraye”, “Grue Titan”, “Les Machines de l’île”, “Marché de Talensac”… It’s through the names of her appetising galettes and crêpes that Roselyne honours the places and monuments which give the City of the Dukes its charm. Each of these classic and original creations also reminds us that, between the fish markets of the Atlantic coast, the neighbouring market gardens or the local cheese farms, Nantes is surrounded by a wide variety of quality products that allow for a plethora of beautiful culinary associations.
In a quiet little street, between Place Royale and Rue du Calvaire, Sandrine Gallo (smiling across the room) and Étiennette Le Dref (bilig expert), two friends coming straight from the island of Groix, pay homage to the islands of Ponant with the names of their crêpes and galettes. Delicate and crispy, they are garnished with artisanal and seasonal products and go marvellously with a bowl of cider or an organic apple juice, both of which also come from the Morbihan Region.
Amidst the simple, elegant decor (peacock blue walls, modern furniture, velvet benches, exposed beams) of this institution that has standing since 1976, the crêpes and galettes, both classic and creative, find their perfect match in the local products sourced with the utmost diligence. Next to the Place Royale, enthusiastic lovers of Breton specialties will be delighted to come and enjoy themselves at any time of the day or even just for an afternoon treat tasting one of the many pastries in the tea room.
At this little eatery, black pudding, jambalaya, samosas and madras spices rub shoulders with Curé Nantais cheese, Ancenis chicken and mackerel marinated in Gros Plant wine. Le Grappillon not only invites you to travel but it takes you to the discover the exotic and spicy fragrances of Mauritius with its fresh and flavourful dishes. While the decor of odds and ends may be a surprise, the infinitely kind service and low prices will surely convince you that this is a gourmet stopover not to be missed!
Near the Place Royale, this a prime address for delightfully escaping to a land of legends, that of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. All the ingredients and savoir-faire of a good crêperie are on the menu: buckwheat and organic wheat flours, fresh and local ingredients, salted butter only, rapid cooking, meticulous presentation, a varied menu with classic and special proposals, pleasant service, 100% Breton beers and ciders, honest prices and a small terrace along a (pedestrian) street.
Listed as a historical monument, this lushly decorated institution from the belle époque embodies the great French brasseries of the 19th century, both in the service provided by its waiters and in its menu (select oysters, royal seafood platters, steak tartare prepared at the table, generous profiteroles), but also through its long wine list and prestigious vintages. A monument where you can sit down all day long and even late into night.
Free-range pig’s trotters, rack of Vendée lamb, La Turballe sea bass, oxtail parmentier and rice pudding are just a few examples of the flamboyant and entirely homemade dishes that make up the menu of the famous and authentic lair of Michael Ravier, an out-of-the-ordinary wine merchant (whose amazing selection includes more than 700 wines) and excellent self-taught chef. His secret: the product! It’s a good thing he’s just across from the Talensac Market, which provides him with a good portion of his marvellous artisanal finds.
Across from the Natural History Museum, Véronique Bretesché, a nurse turned chef, runs this small restaurant inspired by the “bouchons lyonnais” (gingham tablecloths, dark woodwork, red ceiling, bistro furniture, stone-vaulted cellar). In addition to the tête de veau available weekends, all the well-known classics of Vieux Lyon (authentic andouillette AAAAAA, pike quenelles, frog’s legs in parsley…) are served generously and with a smile.
“Old School World Food” is how the slightly eccentric Irishman Mark Kelly sums up his canteen, whose name and decor pay tribute to his home country’s joie de vivre and its illustrious authors (James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and of course Samuel Beckett!). Something between a country pub and boho canteen, this local hangout is where artists, creators and groups of girlfriends come to mingle, all seduced by the lively atmosphere and the tasty, globetrotting cuisine. Reservations recommended.
In the heart of the majestic Radisson Blu Hotel, in what used to be the grand entrance hall of the Nantes courthouse, now revamped into a modern lounge (neo-classical columns, high ceilings, designer furniture), this restaurant has recently streamlined its concept around the idea of shared plates. From the dishes of chef Erwan Noblet to those of the table d’hôte, indecisive and curious diners can enjoy a wide selection of choices, tasting a multitude of the menu’s proposals, whose tempting titles cleverly reflect the spirit of the times.
In the heart of the Feydeau District, in a former 18th-century mansion with exposed stone walls, Sarah Simon, in the dining room, and Lionel Araneo (formerly of Troisgros in Roanne), in the kitchen, have been running this traditional restaurant/wine bar for several years. Come here for the lovely by-the-glass wine list, which counts no less than 50 vintages, as well as the refined bistrotière cuisine for lunch or dinner, the plates of charcutière tapas in the evening, the homemade foie gras and takeaway bottles of wine.
The stylish and modern charm of this great gastro-bistro (refurbished in 2019) is perfectly suited to the British chef Dominic Quirke, who changed career paths to become a chef with a fervent commitment to the environment and an undeniable desire to surprise. Tremendous effort goes into the dishes of this perfectionist and passionate cook, leading us to enjoy a sometimes complex but always tasty and spontaneous cuisine. A special mention also goes to the wine list and the knowledgeable recommendations of sommelier Aurélien Millet.
From this small street in the Decré District, nothing would suggest that for more than 50 years, a restaurant has been operating in the former gothic place of worship from the 16th century. If the originality of this majestic and solemn setting is surprising, the cuisine, for its part, follows the course of tradition with 3 set menus in which chef Jérémy Robinet interprets his classic recipes for the land, sea and river (roasted langoustines, pike-perch steak, rack of lamb, fillet of duck…). Pleasant welcome.
Even if the façade reveals little of what lies behind it, you can enter with your eyes closed and trust in the exciting promise of this little trattoria: a one-way ticket to Italy (Puglia here), to enjoy antipasti, focaccia and above all the wonderful fresh pasta, cooked to perfection (al dente) and great with any kind of sauce. For almost 30 years, the De Nitto family has been delighting lovers of authentic Italian cuisine prepared with the greatest respect for tradition.
Since 2001, David Garrec, a pure Breton with a solid background (Pierre Gagnaire, Les Crayères, l’Atlantide), has been delighting big tables of families, regulars and well-informed tourists amid a bright fifties decor. Close to the Talensac Market, he prepares a well-executed cuisine with classic accents and a focus on exceptional products from the Atlantic’s ports (langoustines, turbot, wild sea bass). Also of note are the great wines and Muscadets that make up the wine list.
While Aurélie Briot’s eatery has kept the charm of the tea room it was a few years ago through its harmonious decor (herringbone parquet flooring, lovely wallpaper, aged mirror, antique chairs), it is now an honest bistro where chef Renaud Leroy offers a very intimate, healthy and aesthetic cuisine, enhanced here and there by a few Asian seasonings and adapted to the market’s offerings. The service and exquisite desserts are also of note.
Awarded a first star by the Michelin Guide in 2019, Ludovic Pouzelgues can be considered as the driving force behind a new generation of chefs who have been energising the city for the past 10 years. Inspired by the modernity and liveliness of the neighbourhood, the young chef has created a delicate, audacious, sharp and punchy cuisine that brings together the best local products. Terribly beautiful plates teeming with rich ideas and exhilarating for the taste buds, you will quickly be telling yourself that you’ll be back soon!
A “no-label bistro” (except for that of a love for good food!), that’s how chef Sylvain Le Bras defines this restaurant that honours the market’s finest products without any bluster but rather perfect technique (masterful cooking, tasty broths). The lunch menu as well as the (more elaborate) set dinner menu both offer an excellent value for money. Encouraged by the positive response from the people of Nantes, a little brother, named L’Instant, has recently opened on Rue Kervégan.
In the heart of the city’s historic district, dreamers will find themselves embarking on ancient sea crossings as they explore the illustrated panels depicting the adventures of the mysterious Corto Maltese that cover the walls of this recently renovated crêperie. For Pierre Arnou, who helms this ship and its bilig (crêpe pan), its off to Brittany we go to get his organic and artisanal buckwheat and wheat flour for the traditional galettes and crêpes that he often fills with emblematic local ingredients.
This crêperie has been one of Nantes’ favourite addresses for years now and the reasons are clear: a modern and coquettish decor, wonderfully selected ingredients and artisanal drinks, plus low prices. But above all, discerning connoisseurs praise their galettes that are creamy in the centre but offer the perfect amount of “crackle” around the edges. Those in the know will also be delighted to learn that the sweet offerings are also available in buckwheat form.
In one of the small hidden streets of the Bouffay District, this 16th-century half-timbered house conceals in its pretty paved courtyard one of the most peaceful and romantic terraces in the city. But that’s not all. The cosy and nicely decorated interior (antique parquet flooring, terracotta tiles, exposed beams, flowered wallpaper, subdued lighting…) will enchant those who come on winter evenings to enjoy a personalised market cuisine punctuated with a few exotic touches.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, this stone building, flanked by a garden and small vegetable patch, has the old-fashioned charm of an early 20th-century private mansion. For a business lunch or a family meal, take a seat in one of the lounges, under the glass roof of the veranda or in the patio to enjoy a proper and frank gastronomic cuisine that showcases only the finest ingredients (scallops, foie gras, red mullet, etc.). All of this is of course accompanied by the sommelier’s expert advice.
More than a restaurant, this is a home. That of chef Nicolas Guiet, who holds his terroir in high esteem and sublimates the products of his region in a cuisine in which vegetables play a leading role — starting with the broth served at the beginning of the meal, a sort of welcome aimed at stimulating your appetite. His well-balanced, creative and humble plates are magnified by the professional service and a lovely wine list that reflects the chef’s love for Nantes’ wineries.
A joyfully colourful children’s area, a leafy terrace, playful workshops to inspire young and old alike, not to mention the enticing, seasonal, organic, simple and tasty treats served for lunch or snack time to parents and budding gourmets… Such is the winning recipe for this lively, family-oriented spot in the Olivettes District. Brunch Saturdays.
With this Zen-inspired light wood setting, Anthony Nguyen, winner of the 2015 Global Sushi Challenge for France, has captured the unique charm of a traditional Japanese izakaya. The menu, composed of a wide array of specialties: gyozas, okonomiyaki (a kind of Japanese pancake with pork or shrimp), tori katsu (panko-crusted chicken), makis, sushi, chirashi and tempuras, is fresh, unique and extremely refined. To sum up, this is a must for any Japanese food lover in Nantes!
With its burgundy façade and lace curtains, this no-nonsense bistro belongs perfectly in this former working-class suburb that was once home to Nantes’ bustling wholesale market. For lunch and dinner, Christophe Francois unveils his “mystery” menu of heartfelt, gourmet and seasonal dishes. Amidst the bottle racks which his wife and sommelier Véronique has filled with her top selections, regulars rub shoulders with gourmets seeking a great address that never fails to impress.
Nestled in the magnificent Jardin des Plantes and sheltered from the hustle and bustle of the city, the charming green terrace of Café de l’Orangerie is, on a clear day, a wonderful haven of tranquillity for a peaceful lunch. On rainy or cold days, you can warm up indoors with one of the simple, balanced and pleasing dishes, among which there is always a vegetarian option.
After the success of Le 1 on the Île de Nantes, the duo of Michelin-starred chef Jean-Yves Guého and entrepreneur Yannick Curty has hit the nail on the head once again with this contemporary brewery located next to the Cité des Congrès. Judge for yourself: comfortable seating, courteous and efficient service at all hours, a lovely view of the Saint-Félix canal from the glazed dining room or the pleasant terrace (designed by Atelier Vecteur), an enticing seafood bar and tasty, perfectly cooked brasserie dishes, not to mention the well-stocked cellar.