As I mentioned in a previous post, I spent a week in Lille in August, seeing the sightes and EATING. Où manger à Lille (ew mahn-shay ah leel) means “where to meet in Lille. Here are the places that I can heartily recommend to you.
My lovely hotel, had breakfast at an equally “lovely” price tag, so I went out in the morning. Two places that I can recommend are Le Pain Quotidien (22 bis Rue Basse and 14-16 Rue Pierre Mauroy and Be Yourself (2 Square Morisson).
Now, yes, Le Pain Quotidien is a chain, but it has consistently good, (mostly) healthy options. The location on rue Mauroy is near the Flandres train station in the center of the old town, right off la Place de l’Opéra. They are open from morning until night, although they had shorter hours in August.
Be Yourself is a local, cafeteria-style restaurant that is open for breakfast and lunch. It’s got a hipster vibe, which means free wifi! The location is just steps away from the Tourism Office.
Touring builds up hunger and thirst, especially in the long hours between lunch and dinner! A tea room is the only place to go for a pick-me-up. Here are two that I can heartily recommend:
Méert (27 rue Esquermoise) is an elegant salon de thé that has stayed true to its 18th century roots. They are famous for a dessert known as a Merveilleuse (Marvelous) that lives up to its name – a creamy chocolate confection on a meringue base. You can dine perched on a red velvet chair or in the umbrella shaded courtyard. They also serve full meals.
L’Impertinente (9 blvd Papin) is at the foot of the Porte de Paris. When I went there, I was in the mood for lunch, so I was a little disappointed that they only sold cakes and other sweets. I decided to start with dessert and look for lunch later. After I tasted my apricot cake, I forgot about the rest of lunch.
For lunch and dinner, a number of restaurants that I had wanted to check out were closed for the August holidays. Fortunately, I still had lots of good choices to enjoy.
Basilic Café is on rue Esquermoise, one of the main arteries off the main square in the old city. They served me a terrific and inventive tuna salad and an even yummier raspberry and cream dessert. They serve lunch and dinner.
La Crêperie (64 rue de Gand) is on a street of nothing but restaurants. I had a scallop crêpe followed by a tour de force of a dessert crêpe, called a Citroneige. It had a filling of lemon cream and was served with lemon ice cream and whipped cream. It was one of the best dessert crêpes I have ever enjoyed. La Crêperie is open for lunch and dinner.
La Petite cour (17 rue du Curé St-Etienne) is a cozy place. The night I was there, they turned one group after another away from the door, so I felt very lucky to have gotten in without a reservation. I had a massive summer salad with small peppers filled with hummus. So good! The dessert (Pain Perdu) was less exciting, however.
If you’ve been to Lille, I’d love to hear about your dining experiences and recommendations.