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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
- Memorable service
- Value for the price paid
Hotel des Voyageurs Restaurant, St. Saturnin les Apt,
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!
Tel: 04 90 77 75 72
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!
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
See kaydee's full review here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
La Ferme de la Huppe
Tel: 04 90 72 12 25
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Bastide de Marie
Tel: 04 90 72 30 20
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
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.
Auberge du Presbytere
Tel: 04 90 74 11 50
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!
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.
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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