Discover 5 great places to indulge in fish and chips near Calais. Enjoy an authentic seaside supper on the Opal Coast – the perfect pit stop on your way home or to your holiday via Calais.
This part of France is often overlooked by those rushing to the south but savvy travellers will make time to visit or stop off here and discover picturesque villages, uncrowded sandy beaches, beautiful countryside and delicious seafood cuisine – from fat, tender mussels, succulent local crab, freshly cooked shrimp to perfect fish and chips!
Audreselles – authentic and traditional
Audresselles is a little gem on the Opal Coast, a village where fishing boats are just as likely to be parked outside houses as cars!
The beach is pristine and rocky. You’ll find little pools teeming with fish where kids can enjoy an old-fashioned net on a stick wade and wallow. There are plenty of very good restaurants round the market square – the perfect location for moules et frites and a glass of wine.
The Marie Galante is one of the prettiest restaurants on this stretch of the coast and reflects the long history of sea-faring folk from this charming fishing village. Run by sisters Godeleine and Béatrice Cuvellier, the fresh fish served here includes lobster and crab landed by fishermen in the village. On a sunny day the terrace is delightful and when the famous breeze blows in from the sea, inside is cosy and welcoming.
173 Rue Edouard Quénu 62164 Audresselles
Etaples – o-fish-allly delicious
SoFish in Etaples is one of the best-kept secrets of the Opal Coast and popular with Parisians who flock to this part of France for a tranquil break at their second home villas in posh Le Touquet just across a pink granite bridge…
This tiny restaurant has been featured in Elle and Paris Match for its authentic and tasty fish and chips. Chef Sophie Perrault uses only the freshest fish and as you look out the window you’ll see the fishermen’s cabins across the street. Perfectly cooked, the crispiest batter and piquant tartare sauce make this a stand-out ‘fish n chip’ stop off.
SoFish 16 Boulevard de l’Imperatrice, 62630 Etaples
Boulogne-sur-Mer – where the fishermen go
Rub shoulders with fishermen, port workers and sailors at the legendary and authentic Le Chatillon restaurant in Boulogne-sur-Mer, the largest fresh fish port in France.
This quirky restaurant, decked out to look like a ship with wood panelled walls, ships lamps and sails on the ceiling is well-known to the French for its fishy melange called “Parillada”, mixed grilled fish and seafood marinated in garlic and olive oil. The bar opens at 04.00 and it’s a firm favourite with local fishermen and port workers for the fresh and very tasty food and great prices.
Check the website for details (the restaurant is closed Saturdays) and book in advance if you can as this place is very popular with locals. Find it in the fishing district called Capécure, where owner Monsieur Baude, a fishmonger for 35 years, serves a 98% fish menu.
6 Rue Charles Tellier, 62200 Boulogne-sur-Mer www.Le-Chatillon.com
Wimereux – Belle epoque meets the seaside
The little town of Wimereux is one of those genteel, off the beaten-track seaside resorts that people can’t help falling in love with. Its colourful and elegant Belle Epoque style villas and quirky shops are alluring and charming. For fabulous food, head to the Atlantic Hotel right on the edge of the beach, a sunset viewed from here will be a memory you’ll cherish as you steam into the delectable food. There are two restaurants: downstairs is the contemporary style bistro where you can enjoy a truly special three course meal for less than 25 Euros including mouth-watering salmon smoked on site by the chef. Upstairs is the posher and more expensive (though not excessively so) Liègoise restaurant with fabulous views through a glass wall overlooking the bay of Wimereux. The menu delivered by father and son team Alain and Benjamin Delpierre restaurant is Michelin quality food and seriously delicious (fabulous hotel too!).
6 Rue Notre Dame,62930 Wimereux www.atlantic-delpierre.com
Chez Perard – the best fish soup in France
Perard is an institution in Le Touquet, and a lot further afield, Lord Alan Sugar is often seen here, flying from the UK specially for the delish fish dishes. Here you can enjoy a glass of wine and fresh oysters, sushi or soup at the swanky oyster bar or head into the brasserie for a fabulous lunch or dinner. There’s a la carte or choose from set menus, and a very reasonable lunchtime “Perard menu” at 20 Euros. You can also get real bouillabaisse, the only place outside Marseille that I know where they get it spot on! Don’t forget to take home some of the fresh fish soup that you can only buy at the restaurant shop. Though you’ll find Perard Soup in gourmet food shops throughout France, it’s not same as the one in the shop.
67, Rue de Metz, Le Touquet www.perard-letouquet.fr
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