Avignon is a fabulous foodie destination. The sunny city, the heart of Provence has bars, cafes, bistros and restaurants galore. Just wander and you will find places that are feast for the eyes and the soul as well as the stomach, such as these 10 restaurants and bars that the locals love…
Appeals to all your senses
One of the nicest restaurants in Avignon is Les 5 Sens (5 senses) tucked away in rue Joseph Vernet, I’m sure I heard a nightingale singing in a tree outside the night I went (photo above). The courtyard is pretty and the food is sensational, refined French cuisine of the fabulous memorable sort. Chef Thierry Baucher has a really talented team with several menus including a great vegetarian menu (which is still relatively rare in France).
Luscious at lunchtime
Chez Francoise is open at lunchtime only. Opposite the Music School of Avignon, lots of music teachers pop into this little tea shop/cum restaurant. Run by the Melido family, this is home cooking at its best and in a truly friendly atmosphere. Take a seat round the big central table and feel at home or head to the pretty and cool terrace in summer and enjoy a gourmet pastry. 6 Rue du Général Leclerc
L’ami Voyage is a delightful restaurant set in an old bookshop. In fact, it still is a bookshop upstairs. On the site of a former printing shop built in 1640, you can sit inside with its bookish décor including a fabulous wooden “book bus” or outside on the pretty little terrace. Great homecooked food, a warm welcome and lovely ambiance await. 5 rue prevot
Patisserie Vernet – it only opened in July 2016 but this place has become a firm favourite with locals as THE place to go for tea and cakes. The young baker who works here, Yazid Ichemrahen, is a World Champion desert maker – I dare you to only eat one cake! You can also get sandwiches, salads and snacks here. 79-83 Rue Joseph Vernet
Les Halles – Behind the green façade – a living vertical garden created by Patrick Blanc this daily market (except Tuesday) is the perfect place to buy supplies for a picnic or home prepared meal, there are seats and tables outside where you can take your goodies and eat them straight away. Head to La Violette boulangerie’s stall for amazing bread, there are wonderful cheese and charcuterie stalls and on Saturday mornings (except in August) you’ll be able to watch chefs creating a dish for tasting paired with local wine. Definitely gets my vote for a top foodie visit!
Wine and Dine in Avignon
There are plenty of gourmet places to eat but La Mirande 5-star hotel in the shadow of the Palais des Papes, is famous in the town – it’s THE place for a celebration meal. If you really want to push the boat out you can hire the guest table. In a private kitchen, the chef will cook just for you and your guests on an old oven. The ancient room is filled with lights and there are plates and cooking utensils on a wall to ceiling dresser. It’s cosy and very special. Or just head to the garden and enjoy a hot chocolate, glass of wine or aperitif in spectacularly pretty surroundings.
Just two steps from the Palais des Papes, the 16th century built 5 Star Hotel d’Europe has a gorgeous, romantic courtyard restaurant shaded by a plane tree that’s several hundred years old. Famous guests in the past include Napoleon, Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo and more recently Picasso and Jackie Kennedy.
La Civette is a tradition in this city, made famous by the actors who frequent it at festival time – and the staff are really friendly too! It’s a great place for an aperitif stop! 26 Place de l Horloge
Fabulous fish dishes
Bistrot Balthazar is funky inside and locals love to stop off here for an aperitif and the simple but great menu or a plate of oysters and shell fish to go with the chilled rosé. 74 Place des Corps Saints
L’Agape has a great menu, seasonal, local and delicious and not expensive. The food is “always knock out” says local Valerie Gilet. Fish dishes are a speciality here and if you want to eat well, you’ll not be disappointed. 21 Place des Corps Saints