Restaurants in Lille
Food in Lille plays a big part of the city’s character and visitors can expect hearty fare based around Flemish dishes. Main courses include carbonade flamande (a beef stew cooked with beer), potjevleesch (potted white meat in jelly, served cold with hot chips and salad) and waterzoï (chicken or fish prepared in a creamy white wine sauce with celery, leeks and onions).
Meanwhile, snack options range from flamiche (a leek tart, often made with pungent maroillles cheese) through to chicon au gratin (chicory and ham cooked in a béchamel sauce). Desserts feature any number of variations on the spéculoos (spiced gingerbread biscuit), in addition to Lille’s famous chocolate, while local beer is a mainstay on drinks menus.
Most restaurants in Lille are closed on Sundays and Mondays, so call ahead to check.
The Lille restaurants below have been hand-picked by our guide author and are grouped into three pricing categories:
Cheap (up to €25)
Moderate (€25 to €75)
Expensive (over €75)
These prices are for a three-course meal for one, including taxes and tip but not drinks.
La LaiterieCuisine: Gourmet
Set just outside the city centre, next to the Citadel, this restaurant became the proud holder of a Michelin star under the guidance of chef Benoît Bernard. Although Bernard is no longer at the helm, the Michelin star still stands, and the outstanding gastronomic menu sees diners enjoy classic dishes including foie gras, veal and langoustines among other mouth-watering offerings. It is all served in a calm and inviting atmosphere.Address: , 138 Avenue de l'Hippodrome, Lambersart, 59130
Telephone: (03) 2092 7973.
One of Lille's best-known and often-cited top dining establishments, this seafood restaurant is set in a stunning blue-hued art deco building, where diners behind the stained glass windows enjoy a creative take on Flemish recipes. Waiters in black tie deliver impeccable service, alongside the in-house sommelier on hand to help with the extensive wine list. If the caviar is not to your taste, try the famous oysters (huîtres) that gave the restaurant its name.Address: , 3 Rue des Chats Bossus, Lille, 59800
Telephone: (03) 2055 4341.
Restaurant de l’HermitageCuisine: Gourmet
The Restaurant Gastronomique in the five-star L'Hermitage Gantois hotel is set in an historic 15th century building, under a red and gold vaulted ceiling. Enjoy dishes including a saddle of rabbit with boudin noir (black pudding), and delicate oysters pan-fried with cep mushrooms. For a romantic pre-dinner aperitif, take a seat at the hotel bar under the soaring heights of the inner atrium, where the glass ceiling allows visitors to gaze up at the stars.Address: , 224 Rue de Paris, Lille, 59000
Telephone: (03) 2085 3030.
This newcomer to Lille's restaurant scene is owned by Florent Ladeyn (finalist in Top Chef, France's favourite televised cookery competition) and his friend Kevin Rolland. The name bloempot translates to 'flowerpot' and the dining experience is suitably rustic. Aside from the exposed brickwork in this industrial-looking building, there's a back courtyard that only serves a set menu. With delicious traditional dishes re-imagined for the modern palate, this place gets rammed. Online booking is mandatory.Address: , 22 Rue des Bouchers, Lille, 59800
Estaminet ’T RijselCuisine: French
This rustic Flemish pub looks as if it hasn't changed in centuries: the walls are lined with framed prints and vintage black and white photos, and the wooden tables are set out under dried hops hanging from the beams. It's cosy and charming, but it's the great atmosphere that keeps it so packed. For an authentic experience, try the house speciality: poulet au maroilles (roast chicken smothered in the local cheese).Address: , 25 Rue de Gand, Lille, 59800
Telephone: (03) 2015 0159.
La Cave aux FiolesCuisine: French
La Cave aux Fioles is set in a romantic medieval building with exposed bricks and beams, red upholstery and antique furniture. It also has an inner courtyard and jazz bar. The menu is strong on meat and Flemish specialities, with the €10 plat du jour (dish of the day) at lunch providing excellent value for money. Grab a table by the roaring log fire for a cosy meal to remember.Address: , 39 Rue de Gand, Lille, 59800
Telephone: (03) 2055 1843.
Coffee MakersCuisine: Sandwiches, Cakes, Coffee
Set up by a Dutch-Polish duo, this characterful café has a concise yet lovingly selected menu of sandwiches and homemade cakes, as well as a coffee menu that reads more like a wine list. Beans are carefully sourced and ground on-site and there's a selection of coffee-making gadgetry available to buy if you want to try and re-create the experience at home. The minimalist décor with strong graphics, and warm attentive service, make this address a memorable one.Address: , 151 Rue de Paris, Lille, 59000
Telephone: (09) 7355 9360
Crêperie BeaurepaireCuisine: Crêpes
One of several good crêperies in Lille, the Crêperie Beaurepaire has a fine selection of savoury and sweet galettes and crêpes, and serves up excellent Breton cider served in a traditional bolée (cup). This branch, at Rue Saint-Étienne in Vieux Lille, has vaulted ceilings and a pleasant outdoor courtyard. There is another at the Place de Béthune in the République – Saint Sauveur quarter which is more contemporary in décor than its sister restaurant, but equally as good.Address: , 1 Rue Saint-Étienne, Lille, 59000
Telephone: (03) 2054 6054.
Le Bistrot de St SoCuisine: Bistrot
Located in the Gare Saint-Sauveur cultural venue, this friendly bistrot in 'Halle A' of the former train station serves traditional dishes with fresh seasonal produce. The menu changes according to what's available but recent favourites have included starter dishes of snails with goat's cheese and mackerel rillette (similar to pâté), along with mains of duck cooked with figs and herb-crusted cod. Try the café gourmand selection of mini desserts as a sweet finale.Address: , 17 Boulevard Jean-Baptiste Lebas, Lille, 59000
Telephone: (03) 2032 0542.