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Slow Travelers' Favorites - Restaurants and Cafes in the Luberon

List compiled by Kathy Wood (Kaydee) on the message board

We asked Slow Travelers who have spent time in the Luberon area of Provence to identify a few restaurants and cafes they have really enjoyed and strongly recommend to others. These recommendations are sorted by the town or village where they are located. More detailed information on some of these restaurants can be found in the "restaurant reviews" section of Slow Travel. Our criteria:

  • Interesting menu; good food; representative of Provence
  • Unique environment and experience (location, view, decor, style, theme etc.)
  • Memorable service
  • Value for the price paid

Woman who runs the restaurant, Hotel des Voyageurs Restaurant, St. Saturnin les Apt, Luberon, October 2004

Hotel des Voyageurs Restaurant, St. Saturnin les Apt, Luberon

Ansouis

La Closerie

Tel: 04 90 09 90 54
Closed: Wednesday and Thursday and open for dinner only
Recommended by Linda from NC: Located on boulevard des Plantanes in Ansouis. A lovely, small place (about 22 seats) just as you start up the hill to Ansouis. It's quite popular and you must book ahead. Our landlady told us that it's a favorite of Peter Mayle. I enjoyed tuna in puff pastry, duck breast and ice cream with fresh figs. Everything was delicious!

L'Art Glacier

Tel: 04 90 77 75 72
Website: www.artglacier.com
Open April through September from 2:00pm till 7:00pm, later in July and August
Recommended by Linda from NC: Outside Ansouis just off the road to La Tour d'Aigues. We sat on their lovely terrace and enjoyed their homemade ice cream and views of Ansouis. An unbelievable variety of flavors!

Apt

Cafe du Louvre

Tel: 04 90 74 19 78
Recommended by kaydee: Located on the west end of Apt on the Place de la Bouquerie. During our six months in the Luberon, we ate lunch here almost every week after the big Saturday morning market in Apt. It's a simple place with a windowed dining room and lots of tables out on the square in warmer weather. We often ordered the plat du jour in a menu combination with an entree and dessert. The menu offers a variety of choices. We really like the husband and wife team who run this place (Gerard and Annie.) If you want to eat lunch here on Saturdays after the market, you should stop in that morning and make a reservation.
See kaydee's full review here.

Bonnieux

Le Fournil

Tel: 04 90 75 83 62
Recommended by Paolo De Paolis: Beautifully set, in the middle of perhaps the 'best' village in the Luberon In good weather you sit outside in a tiny square with fountain, on rustic folding wooden chairs. Indoors it has been re-decorated to be quite hip, but not off-puttingly so. The food is very good for the price range, which is/was 36 euros fixe for dinner. Menu is a sort of modern twist on Provencal.

Recommended by castor3: This easy-going bistro is partly carved into the hillside, on the site of an old bakehouse - "fournil". Very good Provencal cuisine in an attractive setting. The typical Provencal selections were well prepared and presented, most appearing on a plate in a circular form. Service was friendly and efficient. Reservations would appear to be essential. Price: 37 euro per person. The total for the two of us, including aperitif, 50cl of wine, dessert, water and coffee was 97 euro.
See castor3's full review.

Le Terrail

Tel: 04 90 75 93 73
Recommended by kaydee: This cafe/restaurant is located on the main square of Bonnieux (Place Gambetta) and was the place we visited the most during our long stay in Provence. We ate lunch here about once a week and often stopped in for morning coffee or an afternoon beer. In warmer weather there's an outdoor terrace with beautiful views. The off-season lunch menu offers six or eight choices, which change daily. The plat du jour "menu" is almost always the best choice, with a choice of entree, main plat, dessert and coffee for maybe 12 euro. You can always get a simple steak and fries. During the tourist season, the menu expands and prices are higher. This place is very popular with locals. If you want to have lunch here on market day Friday, stop in early and make a reservation. We love the manager Michel.
See kaydee's full review.

Le Tinel

Tel: 04 90 75 61 28
Recommended by YvetteM - lunch: We ate in the second level, enclosed dining room because the wind was blowing far too strong for the open patio on the third level. Will return for that view and the food. Also enjoyed our conversation with Nicolas, the young owner, who had spent time living in San Francisco.

Recommended by aggie for lunch: I'd run back to Le Tinel in Bonnieux in a heartbeat just to have that Charlotte Caramel once again. The overall meal was great, and for the money (28 euro as I recall), excellent value.
See Aggie's full review.

Buoux

Auberge de la Loube

Tel: 04 9074 1958
Recommended by kaydee and Roz: This restaurant is listed in many of the guidebooks and was also featured in Peter Mayle's books. It's tucked away in the isolated village of Buoux, reached on a very scenic drive. They are known for their big platters of hors d'oeurvres... 16 or so different local specialties. We had a wonderful lunch here in June 2003 on the covered outdoor terrace. At lunch you can order the appetizer platter, cheese and bread, and dessert. In 2004 we ate dinner here with friends, and the arrangement is a little different. You get the appetizer platter plus a choice of main courses and then dessert. We liked the lunch better, mainly because we ate outdoors and could really appreciate the unique environment. You need a reservation here too, and they take only cash! As I recall, the appetizer platter lunch was about 16 euro per person and dinner maybe 35 euro.
See kaydee's full review.

Coustellet

Maison Gouin

Tel: 04 90 76 90 18
Closed: Wednesday and Sunday
Recommended by kaydee lunch and dinner: This popular restaurant is located in the back of a wonderful butcher/grocery shop at the main intersection in Coustellet. Lunch and diinner are totally different experiences. Lunch features a plat du jour (great food and value) as well as an a la carte menu of local specialities is also available. The environment becomes more elegant at dinner, which is a five-course set meal. For many people the highlight of Maison Gouin is the wine cellar. You actually go down into the dusty cellar to pick your own wine, which is very reasonably priced. We ate here maybe eight times - three lunches and five dinners. Madame Gouin and her staff are friendly and very efficient. Madame speaks excellent English. You need a reservation for lunch or dinner at any time of year.
See kaydee's full review.

Recommended by YvetteM lunch: On the recommendation of Le Petit Bois, we celebrated our anniversary at that charming place. Loved going down into the cellar to select our wine. Each course was absolutely delicious and I really like not having to select from a menu ... just bring it. Our entree was "all things cucumber" and they included a spoonful of a frozen cucumber ice - unusual but delicious. Great find - will return.

Gordes

La Ferme de la Huppe

Tel: 04 90 72 12 25
Website: www.lafermedelahuppe.com
Recommended by Underhill: Excellent food, very knowledgeable sommelier (sommeliere when we were there, actually), good service--and at moderate prices. One of the dining rooms is for non-smokers.

Recommended by YvetteM: THAT was a wonderful meal! Ate on the terrace by the pool and enjoyed everything put in front of us. We even developed an appreciation for pigeonne, which none of us had tried before. One of our party does not eat meat and they engineered a plat just for her. I can still taste the cold cherry soup with the dollop of frozen chocolate mousse. The cheese course is extra but do try it. We received an excellent education in the subtleties of the goat chesses of the region. It guided our selections for the remainder of the trip.

Le Mas Tourteron

Tel: 04 90 72 00 16
Website: guidegantie.com
Closed Sun. night (Oct., Nov., and Mar.), Monday and Tuesday
Recommended by castor3: Le Mas Tourteron provides a memorable dining experience in the home of chef Elisabeth Bourgeois and her husband, Philippe. The setting, presentation and quality of the meal were all memorable. The restaurant is in a stone building, a renovated silkworm farm, down a country lane off the road between Gordes & Les Imberts. We dined inside in a warm and convivial atmosphere, complete with a large shaggy dog. Many, if not all, the vegetables used in the meal were from the adjacent garden. The single page menu was passed around the room on a small easel.
See castor3's full review.

Domaine de L'Enclos

Website: www.avignon-et-provence.com/hotel-in-luberon/domaine-enclos/

Jerome and Marie ran the L'Amuse Bouche restaurant in St. Saturnin-les-Apt, but closed it and moved to Domaine Enclos in Gordes. Note from Kevin Widrow: The food is as good as ever and the views from the back terrace of the restaurant are fantastic. Prices have gone up (well, it is Gordes afterall), and they no longer do both a fish and meat course. But still well worth the visit and the owners are very special people.

Goult

La Terrasse

Rue de la Republique
Tel: 04 90 72 20 20
Recommended by Pauline: We had a lovely dinner here in October 2004. The theme of the restaurant is the American southwest (Santa Fe colors and a little cactus on the table), but the food is French and wonderful. There are several vegetarian selections. The vegetarian main dish was pasta with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, which can be boring, but it was not! Good service and a lovely upstairs dining room.

Lourmarin

L'Oustalet

Tel: 04 90 68 07 33
Recommended by Chris: A tiny little jewel of a restaurant, L'Oustalet serves traditional Provencal dishes and specializes in seafood.

L'Oustalet, Lourmarin, Provence, October 2004

L'Oustalet, Lourmarin, Provence

L'Antiquaire

Tel: 04 90 68 17 29
Recommended by Chris: L'Antiquaire is owned and operated by a young couple who worked for several years at La Feniere. The food is fabulous, the dining room attractive and comfortable, and the prices very reasonable.

Recommended by Linda from NC: Lovely restaurant in the center of Lourmarin. I had the 28 euro menu: eggplant caviar, braised lamb shanks with roasted potatoes and snow peas, a cheese course and a dessert plate consisting of small portions of creme brulee, chocolate mousse, mini almond cake and baked apricot. A wonderful dinner!

Auberge la Feniere

Tel: 04 90 68 11 79
Website: www.reinesammut.com
Recommended by Linda from NC and ron zolezzi: The Bistrot at Auberge la Feniere (on the road between Cadenet and Lourmarin) is the more casual restaurant at La Feniere. We went for Sunday lunch and had the 38 euro menu: soupe de pistou, brochette of lotte and shrimp over fennel puree, a cheese course and a selection of desserts from the dessert table. The service was very friendly and attentive. Reine Sammut has twice been voted the best female chef in France.

Menerbes

Bastide de Marie

Tel: 04 90 72 30 20
Website: www.labastidedemarie.com
Recommended by Paolo De Paolis: a fantastic setting in the vineyards near the Luberon mountain. It's a boutique hotel, so well scrubbed and immaculately presented. The menu is a choice of two options per course, and the food is very good. The last time I went it was 50 euro per person including wine. They only have two tables a night for non-guests so you have to book well ahead.

Recommended by morgan - dinner: We also really enjoyed a dinner at Bastide de Marie just outside of Menerbes.

Recommended by cigalechanta - breakfast: The Marie had the most incredible breakfast that we have had anywhere!!!

Note from aggie: The Bastide de Marie dinner cost me 78 euro a month ago, and IMHO (sorry to say again), not worth the price.

Saignon

Auberge du Presbytere

Tel: 04 90 74 11 50
Website: www.auberge-presbytere.com
Closed Wednesday
Recommended by YvetteM - lunch - and morgan: What a treat! We followed the sounds of clinking glasses and laughter to find this one. Excellent meal, Wonderful service...an overall memorable experience. Be sure to order tap water for your table. They fill the jug from the fountain on the terrace!

Sivergues

Le Castelas

Tel: 04 90 74 60 89
Closed during the winter
Recommended by Linda from NC: This is a working goat farm outside Sivergues on the top of the world with incredible views. We didn't have a reservation and there were no guests at the inn but Ingrid agreed to prepare a light lunch for us. We sat at the picnic tables outside and enjoyed the farm's goat cheese at several stages of ripeness, fresh tomatoes, bread and cured meats. Kevin Widrow recommends Le Castelas to his guests. It was quite an experience, especially with a couple of goats joining us on our table for lunch!

St. Martin de la Brasque

Restaurant de la Fontaine

Tel: 04 90 07 72 16
Recommended by Linda from NC: This is another very small place with additional seating outside by the fountain. We had a reservation on a rainy day and people were turned away. This was one of the best meals I had in Provence: zucchini flowers stuffed with scallop mousse with saffron cream, noisettes of lamb with eggplant charlotte stuffed with lamb, and grilled tomatoes, a cheese course and creme caramel.

St. Saturnin-les-Apt

L'Amuse Bouche

The L'Amuse Bouche restaurant closed in 2006. Jerome and Marie have taken over the restaurant in the Domaine Enclos in Gordes. Note from Kevin Widrow: Jerome and Marie have taken over the restaurant in the Domaine Enclos in Gordes.

Hotel des Voyageurs

2 Place Gambetta (main square as you come into town)
Tel: 04 90 75 42 08
Closed all day Wednesday and Thursday lunch.
Recommended by Pauline: We had a lovely lunch here in October 2004. We had the set menu, but the owner made a special vegetarian plate for me and fish plate for Steve. The set lunch was 22 euro each and consisted of a starter, main course, cheese course, and dessert. Our bill was 65 euro for two, with water, wine and coffee. The food was excellent, so was the service and the setting was beautiful - a big spacious room looking out to the lovely square. Kevin Widrow recommended the restaurant to us.
See photos from our meal.

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