Nantes has a deserved reputation as one of the best places to live in France, and indeed in the whole of Europe. In addition to its cultural and technological achievements, the city is also home to a thriving culinary scene, of which brunch is a celebrated part rather than an afterthought tacked onto the end of restaurant menus. Here we list some of the best brunch spots in the area.
The extravagant brasserie La Cigale, decorated in the Art Nouveau style, has been a Nantes institution since 1895. “Le Brunch Complet” is composed of scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, ash goat’s cheese and salad, Cremet Nantes cheese with seasonal fruit, homemade pastries, croissants, and pains au chocolat, toast, applesauce, and crème caramel to finish.
There’s plenty of choice in the brunch options at Tabl’O Gourmand, all of which are made from fresh, organic products. You can opt for just the basics – artisan bread with jams, churned butter, honey, and Belgian spreads – or add to it. Choosing the “New York” will get you some extra bacon and scrambled eggs, while the health-conscious will prefer the muesli and milk included in the “Fitness First”. Whatever your choice, you’ll be dining in a quaint restaurant with charming decor that is located on the famous Cour des 50 Otages.
Start your meal off at L’Atelier des Délices with a hot drink or some freshly squeezed fruit juice, as the brunch here is a plentiful affair. The plate comes with a salad of smoked salmon, roast pork, and homemade mayonnaise, an egg and bacon casserole, cottage cheese with almonds and fine herbs, artisan cheese (Ossau-iraty, made from sheep’s milk, and grand cru Emmental), as well as pancakes, pastries, and whole milk yogurt. You can choose to dine in the restaurant’s stylish interior or out on its terrace, situated on a pedestrianized street.
O Deck offers an unparalleled location when compared to other brunch spots in the city. The restaurant is located upon the Loire River within the “floating building” Nantilus, a tribute to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea author Jules Verne, who was born in Nantes. Climb aboard and you’ll be treated to a lavish selection of dishes including brioche perduewith red fruit mousse, a rolled omelette seasoned with herbs, and sushi made from smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese. French restaurant guide Gault et Millau has praised O Deck for having one of the best brunches in the country.
Upstairs dining room | Courtesy of Les Fils á Maman
Papy Mougeot has antique bicycles hanging from its ceiling and flat caps topping its light fixtures. Brunch starts off with tartinesand ficelles(French breads), salted butter and jam, and a croissant or pain au chocolat. The main is a burger, salad, eggs Benedict, or charcuterie, while the dessert is applesauce and pears, rice pudding and crème brulée, or brioche perduewith vanilla ice-cream. The dishes aren’t overly elaborate but are of the highest quality.
Childhood friends Jeremy and Alexandre were inspired by their mothers’ cooking when establishing Les Fils à Maman. Among the choices for brunch are an egg muffin with fries and either bacon or smoked salmon, a lettuce, chicken, tomato and parmesan salad with anchovy sauce, and a board of charcuterie and cheese. The desserts will surely bring out your inner child: shortbread with Nutella, banana, and whipped cream, or Kinder tiramisu.
The Shelter is one of the quirkier environments in which to dine in Nantes. Where else hangs a Foosball table on the wall? The Shelter’s eclectic decoration borders on the ostentatious but its food is anything but. For brunch they serve scrambled eggs, bacon, a smoked salmon club sandwich, country terrine, and a croque monsieur (a baked or fried sandwich made with Gruyére cheese, lean ham, and béchamel sauce). This is in addition to the host of baked goods and spreads on offer. A choice of dessert is also provided: cottage cheese with red fruit coulis, chocolate mousse, or fruit tartare. Address & telephone number: 10 Rue Armand Brossard, Nantes, France, +33 2 40 20 43 99
Le Bistronome Nantais serves a delicious brunch using ingredients from producers in Brittany, the Loire, and Vendée. Their “Brunch Classique BN” consists of a hot beverage, orange juice, a French stick, pastries, a charcuterie assortment, smoked cod and salmon, scrambled eggs, a fresh fruit salad, and a selection of local cheeses.
Le 4 de L’île sits opposite the birthplace of Jules Verne on Île Feydeau, a former island in what was once a tributary of the Loire, covered in luxurious 18th-century mansions. The restaurant’s menu changes daily according to the availability of ingredients, but their brunch typically consists of classic foods like bruschetta, coleslaw, cheeses, scrambled eggs, pastries, and toast with jam and salted butter. Le 4 de L’île’s specialties are foie gras au torchon (foie grasthat is wrapped in a towel and slow-cooked) and salmon gravlax(raw salmon cured in salt, sugar, pepper, and dill).
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Vue du Monde’s brunch menu contains a number of options, like the “BSF”, which is a bagel with smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onion, curried tartar sauce, and fried potatoes. With the “Big Ben” customers get a choice of eggs, bacon, sausages, or smoked salmon to accompany their Provencal tomato, fried potatoes, baked beans, cheese, fruit skewers, waffle, and toast. The truly ravenous can upgrade their “Big Ben” to a “Big DaDa”, which adds a helping of eggs Benedict and half a toasted sandwich. Address & telephone number: 18 Rue Armand Brossard, Nantes, France, +33 2 40 20 35 77