Lille is a bustling metropolis of locals, students and tourists. Known for their traditional Northern French food, the best restaurants in Lille showcase the best seafood as well as stews and cheeses of the north. Here are the 10 best spots.
If you love a healthy helping of French cheese, then this should be at the top of your restaurant list during a trip to Lille. With a wide range of specialized cheeses on their menu, Le Broc’ showcases the best of French fromage. It also incorporates popular international favorites (you’ll find ‘Welsh Cheddar’ on the list of mains, for example). With great set menus for a quick and tasty lunch or a long, luxurious dinner, this place really does have something for every cheese-lover under the sun.
Broc Vieux Lille, 32 Place Louise de Bettignies +33 03 20 39 62 80
Proudly serving up hearty Northern French food, this Estaminet (loosely translated as pub or tavern) is the place to go to get a flavor of local life in Lille. This area of France (and indeed, its close neighbors in Belgium) is renowned for its filling and delicious beer, of which T’Risjel offers many varieties, including the local Ch’ti – a slang name for someone from Northern France. The cozy and sometimes raucous atmosphere at T’Risjel will leave you wanting to experience more of this original culture.
Estaminet T’Risjel, 25 Rue de Gand, Lille +33 03 20 15 01 59
A funky little establishment, curiously billed as both a brunch and burger restaurant, La Dinette offers an eclectic range of dishes. These dishes will even appeal to those for whom French food can be a little too strong. With a regularly updated menu, this place never ceases to surprise, and never fails to delight.
106 bis rue de Saint André, Lille, France +33 3 20 78 48 33
This restaurant delivers gourmet seafood at its finest. Specialising in oysters, this place serves up only the best to its diners. A L’Huîtrière also has an edge with its fabulous location; situated right in the heart of the Old Town and only a stone’s throw away from the museums, high-end boutiques and main square, it is very easy to access and to work into a day or two of sight-seeing. Definitely not the cheapest restaurant around, but if you are willing to splash out, you won’t be disappointed.
3 rue des chats bossus, 59000, Lille +33 03 20 55 43 41
This restaurant is a traditional and cheerful brasserie featuring Moules Frites (mussels and chips) as their specialty. Dating back to 1930, this place is frequented by locals and tourists alike, all united by their love of hearty French food and the jolly atmosphere. The owners have also taken it upon themselves to educate non-locals about the local dialect, so you’ll leave being able to sound like a true Northern Frenchman. For those with slightly lighter purses, who are still keen to try out the local seafood delicacies, then Aux Moules is a superb choice.
34, rue de Béthune – 59000 Lille +33 03 20 57 12 46
If you’ve had enough of cheese, snails and generous amounts of garlic, have your next meal at La Bottega, a small Italian restaurant with three different sites across the city. Specializing in tasty, authentic pizzas, La Bottega is the place to experience excellent Italian cuisine. Established by a brother-sister team, La Bottega has been delivering high-quality food to residents of Lille for more than 15 years. All their ingredients are sourced from Italy, and their on-site delicatessen means you can take your favorite products home to try, too.
7 bis rue au Péterinck, 59000 Lille +33 03 20 74 33 12
Opened in 1761, deeply nestled within the Old Town, this tearoom, restaurant and patisserie seeks to delight its guests with the best combination of flavors. Though traditionally based around nourishing a sweet tooth, the Maison Meert restaurant delivers classic and tasty French food, with just as much a great reputation as its pastries. The building itself, dating back to the 18th century, is also well worth a look around, so you may as well make a meal of it.
27 rue Esquermoise 59000 Lille +33 3 20 57 93 9327
What would a trip to France be without having at least one crepe or galette (savory crepe)? Fear not, this creperie serves up this traditional fare daily, and is has an excellent reputation for doing so. Situated on a small street next to the Vieille Bourse (the old bursary) and between both the Grand Place and the Place du Theatre, this restaurant has a wonderful view onto the main square. It is extremely central so it is greatly suited if you are having a day of sightseeing.
6 Rue des 7 Agaches 59000 Lille France +33 3 20 51 13 94
The philosophy behind this establishment is simple gastronomy, mixing flavors and respecting nature’s seasons. The menu thus changes often to reflect these values, but you can be sure to receive a high-quality and freshly prepared dish, beautifully laid out on the plate. Au Goût du Jour works with formules (set meals), meaning great value for your money as well as a chance to try both their sweet and savory creations.
22, Rue de la Barre 59000 Lille +33 03 20 51 23 45
Seeking to remind diners of their childhood with delicious and hearty homemade dishes, La Petite Cour is a youthful reincarnation of traditional French food. With an eclectic decor of brick walls, vintage wooden pieces and jazzy table decorations, the ambiance here is authentic and inviting. The food itself is fresh and locally sourced, and the owners are particularly rigorous when it comes to ensuring their patrons get the best quality available. On the menu, there is a range of salads, fish, meat dishes and vegetarian options available.
17 rue du Curé St-Etienne, 59800 +33 03 20 51 52 81