Exploring Nantes' Local Cuisine: Dishes, Restaurants & Recipes

Exploring Nantes' Local Cuisine: Dishes, Restaurants & Recipes

Exploring Nantes' Local Cuisine: Dishes, Restaurants & Recipes

Nantes, located in western France, is known for its rich culinary heritage and diverse food scene. The city offers a wide range of traditional dishes, innovative recipes, and top-notch restaurants that cater to all tastes. Whether you are a food lover or simply curious about the local cuisine, Nantes has something to offer for everyone. In this guide, we will delve into the must-try dishes, recommend some fantastic restaurants, and even provide a recipe to try at home.

Traditional Nantais Dishes

Nantes is famous for its seafood, and one of the most emblematic local dishes is called "La P'tite Marée." This delicious platter consists of various delicacies from the sea, such as oysters, shrimp, langoustines, crab, and whelks. Served with mayonnaise or a tangy vinaigrette, it is a perfect starter to experience the taste of the Atlantic. Another traditional dish that you should not miss is "Beurre Blanc." This creamy butter sauce is typically served with fish, especially with a local favorite, the "Sandre au Beurre Blanc." This dish features pike-perch fillets cooked in the rich buttery sauce, often paired with steamed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. If you are a meat lover, you must try the "Gâteau Nantais." It is a moist almond cake flavored with a local liqueur called "Briottet," made from bitter almonds. This unique and indulgent dessert is a true delight for the senses.

Top Restaurants in Nantes

If you want to experience the best of Nantes' culinary scene, here are some top restaurants to consider:

  1. La Cigale: Located in a stunning Art Nouveau building, La Cigale is a beloved institution in Nantes. The restaurant serves classic French cuisine with a modern twist, showcasing the freshest local ingredients.
  2. Le Versa: For fine dining enthusiasts, Le Versa offers a creative and refined menu. With its elegant ambiance and excellent service, this Michelin-starred restaurant guarantees an unforgettable dining experience.
  3. Auberge du Cens: Nestled in the countryside near Nantes, Auberge du Cens is known for its cozy atmosphere and traditional cuisine. The restaurant specializes in regional dishes, highlighting seasonal produce and local flavors.
  4. Bistrot à Gilles: This charming bistro is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. With its warm and friendly atmosphere, Bistrot à Gilles serves delicious homemade dishes, including the famous Sandre au Beurre Blanc.

Recipe: Sandre au Beurre Blanc

If you want to recreate the taste of Nantes at home, here's a recipe for Sandre au Beurre Blanc: Ingredients:

  • 4 Sandre fillets (or any other white fish)
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 100ml white wine
  • 100ml fish stock
  • 100ml heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Season the Sandre fillets with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet, melt 50g of butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until translucent.
  3. Pour in the white wine and fish stock, then bring to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes until the liquid reduces by half.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and slowly whisk in the remaining butter, one tablespoon at a time, until the sauce thickens and emulsifies.
  5. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. In a separate skillet, cook the Sandre fillets over medium heat until they are opaque and flake easily with a fork.
  7. Serve the fish on a platter and drizzle the Beurre Blanc sauce on top.

Explore Nantes' Culinary Delights

Nantes is a haven for food lovers, where you can discover a variety of flavors and indulge in unforgettable dining experiences. Don't miss the chance to explore the city's traditional dishes, dine at top-notch restaurants, and even try your hand at cooking a local recipe. Bon appétit!