Specialities from the Atlantic Coast

Inspiration

Atlantic Loire ValleyAtlantic CoastFood and Wine

D.Drouet
© D.Drouet

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 12 April 2024, updated on 1 June 2024

From Guérande to the Basque coast, the Atlantic coastline, dotted with endless sandy beaches, historic monuments and famous islands (Noirmoutier, Yeu, Oléron, Ré), offers a gastronomy combining seafood and local produce.

Oysters and other seafood

Whether from the Arcachon Basin, Marennes-Oléron or the Vendée Atlantique, oysters are the stars of the ocean coast. Take a seat on the terrace of an oyster shack and enjoy a few oysters accompanied by bread, butter, pâté, lemon and local white wine, muscadet or entre-deux-mers.

Have you worked up an appetite? Treat yourself to a Charentaise mouclade made with succulent bouchot mussels and a white pineau sauce, or prawns and clams caught at low tide on the coastal beaches.

Return from fishing

Take advantage of your stay on the Atlantic coast to watch the return of the fishermen and sample the day's catch in one of the nearby restaurants: in Ciboure in the Basque country, choose toro at Chez Mattin, a leading specialist in this traditional fish dish based on hake, conger eel, monkfish and shellfish.

At La Turballe, enjoy anchovies and sardines, while on the Ile de Noirmoutier, savour sea bass or sole with beurre blanc (or beurre nantais), a sauce made from semi-salted butter, white wine and shallots. As for wine, try the white sand wine from the Capbreton vineyards, ideal for enhancing fish.

Marais Poitevin
© Pixabay - Etienne Gontier - Marais Poitevin

In the Marais Poitevin

In the listed Marais area, set sail for a gourmet escapade on board the restaurant boat Le Collibert II. While the captain tells you the story of this mysterious place, discover the typical dishes of the Marais, such as fillet of pike-perch or mojettes du Marais, small white beans cooked in the saintongeaise style (with rind and walnut oil), with tomatoes or in a potée (palette, sausage, potatoes, cabbage).

Oceanic vegetable garden

The home of market gardening, the Nantes region is famous for its lamb's lettuce, carrots, dwarf leeks, onions and turnips. As for the Landes, it's famous for its asparagus and sand carrots. When it comes to potatoes, choose your island: Noirmoutier in the Vendée, with its white flesh and sweet flavour, or Ile de Ré in Poitou-Charentes, particularly tasty and the first French vegetable to be awarded an AOC. Simply enjoy with Echiré butter and Guérande salt.

Sweet flavours

The mild oceanic climate combined with the Landes region give the Adour kiwi all its quality, and it goes well in a fruit salad with Pornic strawberries. Still a little hungry? Go for a Vendée brioche, a Basque cake, Retz shortbread or Guérande salted butter caramels.

Find and sample the specialities of the Atlantic coast

  • Ice creams in seaside resorts: from Guérande to Pornic via Nantes, La Fraiseraie has seven shops selling sorbets, ice creams, jams and other delicacies. Further south, Ô Sorbet d'Amour is the place to be for ice cream lovers on the Bassin d'Arcachon.
  • Le Curé Nantais: in Pornic, this traditional cheese dairy produces one of the only cheeses on the Atlantic coast of Brittany. The shop offers a wide selection of cheeses from all over France, as well as a range of regional products.
  • La Marine: In Noirmoutier, at the port of L'Herbaudière, Alexandre Couillon offers his guests creative combinations of seafood and vegetables based on the freshest local produce. This demanding, uncompromising cuisine has earned him his 3rd star in the 2023 Michelin Guide. Here are just a few of his creations: Saithe with carrots and pine butter, lobster and caviar, flan with green crab broth...

Recommendations and advice The Atlantic coast offers sublime landscapes, but also fragile ecosystems that need to be protected. So when you're ready to enjoy it, think about what you can do to help preserve it. To get to your destination, choose the train and other environmentally friendly transport solutions. Once there, don't hesitate to opt for slow tourism by choosing activities in harmony with nature (hiking, cycling, etc.). Follow the signs so as not to contribute to coastal erosion. Last but not least, choose eco-friendly accommodation. Enjoy your taste buds on the Atlantic coast!

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