The Atlantic coast, all the flavours of the ocean
The Atlantic seaside and its well-known islands (Noirmoutier, Yeu, Oléron and Ré) boast a gastronomy that marries products of the sea and the soil.
Seafood and fish
Grab a table on the terrace of an oyster shack and savour a tray of oysters from the Bay of Arcachon, Marennes-Oléron or Atlantic Vendée, accompanied by a bottle of local Muscadet or an Entre-deux-Mers white. Feast on shrimp and clams fished at low tide, or try a Charentais mouclade, a specialty prepared with fresh mussels grown on posts.
Nothing beats the catch of the day in a coastal restaurant: opt for anchovies or sardines at Turballe or Croix de Vie, and for sea bass on Noirmoutier Island, or sole with beurre blanc or beurre nantais, a half-salted butter sauce with white wine and shallots.
In the Marais Poitevin, a marshy area classified as a Grand Site de France, discover market favourites like the freshwater pikeperch and mojettes, a native dish made of small white beans prepared with bacon or tomatoes. The Nantes region is an important farming area with exceptional produce, known for its mâche, or lamb's lettuce, and potatoes. In Poitou-Charentes, try Noirmoutier or Ré Island new potatoes with Echiré butter and salt from Guérande. So simple yet such a delight!
Sweet and tasty
Let yourself be tempted by a Vendée brioche, sablé biscuits from Retz or fleur de sel caramel.
Go for the local specialties
• Ice cream in resort towns: the seven Fraiseraie boutiques (in Guérande, Pornic and Nantes, among others) sell sorbets, ice creams and jams. On the Bay of Arcachon, Ô Sorbet d’Amour has everything to indulge ice cream lovers.
• Le Curé Nantais: in Pornic, this artisanal cheese-maker produces one of the only cheeses on the Atlantic coast, though the boutique carries a vast selection of French cheese and other regional products.