A brigade of young chefs have recently arrived in the lively metropolis of northern France, opening slew of new elegant-yet-affordable restaurants. From gourmet bistro, to healthy eatery or trendy restaurant—here is our selection of the best of Lille.
Coke: Chic Brewery
In Lille’s old headquarters of the Lens Mining Company is where you’ll find the Coke Brewery, owned by the Galliaerde family. While they have redesigned the restaurant, they’ve maintained the industrial spirit of the place while mixing in some contemporary touches like the wood flooring, molding, and chandeliers. On the ground floor, the bar area gives a glimpse of the great cuisine. Upstairs, the restaurant seats 60 covers where clients can enjoy the restaurant's local and seasonal cuisine.
Special mention to their "charcoal" menu and its 10 dishes promising "a sensory experience".
Location: 30 rue Thiers, Lille
The Vagabond: Organic and Tasty
"Nomadic" is the word to describe the cuisine that Nicolas Pourcheresse has been serving at the Vagabond since the summer of 2016. Pourcheresse was awarded as the youngest chef in the Jura in 2005, and maintains his reputation for excellence at Vagabond. We love place for its warmth and its privileged feeling. The restaurant is limited to only six tables, where the chef cooks in front of its clients.
Chef Pourcheresse has traveled a lot, but in his dishes he favors the short circuit. From the restaurant’s garden to the plate, there is only few miles. The only way to enjoy a private experience in one of the best restaurant of Lille is to book a table online (75 € in the evening for 4 courses).
Location: 112 rue Saint-André, Lille
SOlange : A tasty bistro
SOlange may not be located in Lille's city center, but it's worth the trek. The highlight: the cuisine of the chef Christophe Pirotais. The chef was one of the participants of the popular French TV show “Top Chef” of 2015, where contestants run for the spot of the Top Chef of the year. The cuisine of the SOlange is local, creative and generous.
Among the other must-haves, the roast pork rack with the famous tenderness ranks #1 on our list. This casual (fine) dining is delicious and definitely worth the try, especially thanks to its very affordable prices.
Location: 59 rue d’Isly, Lille
Jane : A Sharing Bar/Restaurant
Located next to the Grand’place, L’Arbre Voyageur has implemented its 4 star hotel concept in the spectacular glass façade.
In addition to a delicatessen and a flower shop, this new address hosts two restaurants, including the Jane, which use a "sharing kitchen." The Jane takes inspiration for its look from the original decor, mixing retro and African touches. Between amazing cocktails served under a bell, flambéed pasta with vodka or thyme-flavored ice cream, dining at the Jane is a feast for the eyes and the appetite, thanks to Jean-Christophe Gille.
Location: 45 boulevard Carnot, Lille*
L’Empreinte: Neo-Gastronomic Cuisine.
It's almost like a painting from Rembrandt; a large rustic table commands the center of the room, laid with a feast, all bathed in the yellow light of stained glass. The effect is a warm atmosphere where wood, leather and metal install a raw elegance, a natural simplicity that honors the basics: this is the experience of dining with Ismael Guerre-Genton. By opening “l’Empreinte” with his partner Inès in 2016, the thirty-year-old chef bet on himself, and it paid off.
Each evening the menu is created by a blind formula and dictated by whatever's in season.
Location: 170 avenue de l'Hippodrome, Lambersart
A classic and dark facade belies an interior with a loft atmosphere, bright with high windows, light wood, and workshop wall lights. Sébastopol reopened recently with this new trendy branch, playing with contrasts. In the kitchen, the team gathered around Damien Laforce, tackling the regional staples, including by reinventing the traditional fries and mussels. The minimalist menu guarantees freshness, but does not bother with long descriptions. It is for the best: sage and beef or apple, thyme and sorrel are perfect matches, and need no introductions.
Location: 1 Place Sébastopol, Lille
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