The Best Restaurants In Caen, Normandy

Caen | © DennisPeeters/WikiCommons
Caen | © DennisPeeters/WikiCommons
Photo of Marcelina Morfin
9 February 2017

Located in the Lower Normandy region of northern France, Caen is home to the 1060 castle Château de Caen, built by William the Conquerer. Steeped in history, the majority of the city was destroyed during the Battle of Normandy in 1944, but was rebuilt in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Today, visitors will find a blend of old and new, which extends into the culinary scene with traditional eats and those with a contemporary touch. The next time you’re in Caen, be sure to dine at any one of these ten restaurants for a truly memorable meal.


If you have a craving for pizza with many wonderful combination of flavors that will suit a wide range of tastes, then you must give Abracadabra a try when in Caen. Established in 1995, the pizzeria delights customers time and time again with its range of pies. A family-friendly venue, the establishment is a fun one with the daytime seeing the eclectic space decked out in bold colors while the night sees a slightly more cozy ambiance with colorful string lights adorning the window. The menu is brimming with bold-flavored pizzas like the Tandoori topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, tandoori chicken, potatoes, onion, lemon, oil, parsley, chile pepper and oregano; the Daffy with tomatoes, mozzarella, duck, figs, onions, chile pepper and olives; and the Cébon with tomatoes, mozzarella, tuna, onions, pepper, chile pepper, lemon, capers, olives, chives, oregano, oil and parsley.

Abracadabra, 4 rue du Vaugueux, Caen, France, +33 2 31 43 71 38

A Contre Sens

Restaurant, French, European, Vegetarian, $$$
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A short distance away from the château lies a beautiful, elegant restaurant called A Contre Sens. Owned by Chef Anthony Caillot and his wife Cindy, this Michelin-starred restaurant features delicious cuisine with a modern spin while still honoring traditional methods. Within the lovely interior, complete with stone walls, purple chairs, lovely banquets, and art adorned walls, discerning diners can savor seasonal recipes such as succulent fish cooked in salted butter and served with vegetables, spices and foamed broth and the pork on the bone rubbed with spices and served with parsnips and onions. Be sure to save room for the tantalizing desserts such as the hazelnut cake with chestnut cream.

Le Bistrot 102

Restaurant, French, European, Vegetarian, $$$
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Le Bistrot 102 is a charming, cozy bistro, with a warm and welcoming atmosphere, that you’ll want to visit more than once. This bistro takes full advantage of the area’s bounty and seeks out the freshest, seasonal produce for its recipes, and if you’re not sure of something, don’t be afraid to ask as the owners speak English and are more than happy to help. The menu is small, but that is because they want to focus on creating incredible dishes, which they do really well. While the menu regularly changes, diners will always find the Burger 102, which is always a big hit.

Bistrot Basque

Restaurant, Spanish, $$$
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Specializing in Basque and Spanish fare, Bistrot Basque is a friendly establishment that you will want to return to again and again. With pops of red, warm woods, murals decorating the wall and pigment d’Espelette hanging from the ceiling, the interior space is a warm and inviting one where you feel like you’ve been transported to the Basque Country. This bistro offers a variety of tapas, entrées, plates for two, plus an array of sweet treats. Try a plate of fresh anchovies; squid beignets with aioli; shrimp sautéed in oil; or the parrillada de poisson, an assortment of grilled fish. Wash it all down with a specialty wine or cocktail.

Le Bistrot Saint Michel

Offering diners nothing but the best, Le Bistrot Saint Michel’s chef procures only the finest, freshest and seasonal produce. Specializing in traditional cuisine with a modern spin, diners can try contemporary versions of all their favorite French classics within an equally modern space decorated in a grey and raspberry color scheme. Within a lively yet relaxing atmosphere enhanced by classical or jazz music, guests can feast upon delightful options such as green lentils with a poached egg and chorizo; lamb chops with smashed parsnips; turbot with a white wine sauce; and the fish of the day. Be sure to leave room for some dessert, with something fruity, chocolatey, or cheesy.

Le Bistrot Saint Michel, 6 rue Saint-Michel, Caen, France, +33 2 31 83 20 72

Le Bouchon du Vaugueux

Restaurant, French, European, $$$
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Le Bouchon du Vaugueux is a charming bistro offering the some of the freshest and tastiest cuisine around. The culinary team, headed by chef-owner Emmanuel, procures only the freshest ingredients that are in-season, ensuring a delectable meal each and every time. Within the cozy yet light-filled space, guests will find a chalkboard menu featuring the menu of the day but don’t worry if you can’t read French, as one of the staff will help you translate. Some of the offerings you might find when visiting include the salad with braised pork, endive, avocado and grapefruit; the filet of turbot risotto with tamarind juice and spicy mango: and beef bourguignon made with ox tongue.

Crêperie L’Avalou

Restaurant, French, Gluten-free, Vegetarian
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There is no way you can visit France without having a delicious crêpe, and they are a definite must try in Caen at Crêperie L’avalon. Using buckwheat flour for many of their crêpes, especially the savory options, ensures that many people will be able to sample them as the flour is gluten-free. With an intimate space that exudes French-country charm, visitors will be able to try not only the savory options but also sweet varieties. Procuring the freshest ingredients, including organic eggs, for their meals, the crêperie offers succulent choices such as the Casamance with chicken, yams and peanuts; the Vénitienne with gorgonzola, Italian ham and grains; the Pasta, which is a crêpe, or galette, cut into strips to resemble pasta and topped with smoke salmon, Provencal cream and sesame.


Restaurant, French, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
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If you have had your fill of French food and are looking for something a bit different, why not give Dolly’s a try. This restaurant is a vibrant, laid-back venue adorned with everything British, from Union Jack and Beatles pillows to pictures and other trinkets and memorabilia strewn about the space, making it a fun, eclectic spot to unwind after a day of sightseeing. Centrally located, Dolly’s offers many tasty recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which it serves every day. The brunch is always a big hit, with its hearty portions sure to sate anyone’s hunger, as are scones and tea. One dish that people often rave about is the fish and chips.

Greedy Guts

Greedy Guts specializes in vegetarian and vegan fare. Anyone will enjoy these dishes, as they are brimming with a whole lot of flavor and carnivores won’t miss the meat at all. The dishes change daily, allowing the kitchen team to use the freshest ingredients available and to flex their creativity. Past highlights include chili with lentils, red pepper, red beans, tomatoes and Tex-Mex spices; mushroom lasagna; and sweet potato soup. You will also find an array of baked goods, such as banana brownies and carrot cake, that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Greedy Guts, 15 rue de Bras, Caen, France, +33 2 31 93 38 52

Sans Gêne

Restaurant, Italian, French, $$$
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Located in the historic quarter Vauguaux, Sans Gêne offers diners a dining experience much different than anything else you’ll find in Caen. At Sans Gêne, you get to do the cooking, for the most part. The restaurant has a menu for a fixed price, which includes many raw vegetables and a selection of meat, which you cook on the giant grill. A selection of cheese, desserts, and beverages like white and red wine, Italian rosé, and soda are also included within the set price and there are other drinks available for an additional cost. Sans Gêne is the perfect spot for a night out with friends, it’s like cooking at home but without all the cleaning afterward.

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