Eating out is a part of the French way of life. Don’t have a holiday in France without having a meal in a French restaurant. Although there are many unusual French foods (frogs legs, snails, tête de veau etc.) you will find many foods that are a true delight! And Normandy has some fantastic restaurants.
Which restaurant? Try to find a restaurant that is targeted at French diners (French menus are a good clue!). Don’t expect to find a fantastic restaurant in the major tourist destinations – here we would recommend something safe and straightforward such as pizza, crêpes etc..
Which time? It’s often cheaper to eat at lunchtime and during the week. Sunday lunch is always busy and it pays to book ahead. In the evenings, don’t arrive too early – 7.30PM is often the earliest you can get served.
Which menu? Don’t go for à la carte options. Usually they have the same options as the menu prix fixe and they cost a lot more! Avoid Menu Touristique like the plague!
Which wine? Wine can be quite expensive if you go for named bottles. But carafes of house white or red wine have usually been exquisitely selected by the restauranteur and are excellent value. Refer to our wine section for more advice on wines in France.
3 rue des Chanoines, Bayeux
Bayeux has numerous restaurants to chose from either on or around the traffic free rue St Jean or by the Cathedral. L’Assiette Normande, very children friendly is on a corner plot near the Cathedral and comprises a couple of separate rooms with tables. Cooking is traditional Norman fare with a menu enfant all of which offer excellent value for money. Our children opted for chicken and chips which arrived as chicken breast in a creamy sauce with pommes frites. All cleared their plates.
Auberge du Mesnil-Rogues
Le Bourg, 50450 Le Mesnil-Rogues
Just off the D7, about 5km south of Gavray to the East of Granville in southern Normandy. This is a delightful traditional Normandy auberge offering meats cooked over an open fire in the restaurant. The steak, lamb and pork (ham) are all excellent as are the enormous starters! The menu enfant is very limited so you shouldn’t eat here if your children aren’t prepared to be flexible. There is a lovely small children’s play area in the pretty garden area.
Auberge du Pont de Brie
Halte de Grimbosq, 14210 Goupillières
On the D171 25kms south of Caen. Take the D562 from Caen (dir’n of Thury Harcourt). Shortly after St Laurent-de-Condel turn right on to the D171 and follow for 4 kms to the bridge over the River Orne. The restaurant is ahead of you. A comfortable family-orientated restaurant overlooking the River Orne (ask for a table in the conservatory at the front). Madame Cottarel at the front of house is very friendly and helpful while her husband does wonders in the kitchen. Portions are large (or else we just ate too much!!), excellently prepared and presented. Fidgety children have the option of colouring packs to keep them entertained. Menus start at €19.50 with a menu ‘des jeunes gastronomes’ for under 10’s.
Le Bistrot Normand
Château Boulard, 14130 Coquainvilliers, 14 km south of Pont l’Evêque on D48, west and parallel to D579.
Why not enjoy a unique eating experience in Le Bistrot Normand. Here you eat in former 8000 litre oak barrels which used to contain Calvados and are served by staff wearing traditional Norman dress. Copious portions are offered with specialities including fondues made from either Camembert, Pont l’Evêque or Livarot. The last is a particularly unctuous cheese but the strength doesn’t seem nearly as bad when served as a fondue!! These fondues are accompanied by an assortment of local charcuterie, potatoes, salad and of course apples. As an alternative there is also a Menu de Terroir and a Menu Pays d’Auge which include a drink and coffee. For younger family members there is a children’s menu.
Ferme Saint Hubert
This restaurant is in a lovely building situated in its own grounds with some animals and fowl that the children can visit in between courses if they wish! There is a formal dining room and a more informal conservatory for eating and the staff are all very helpful and friendly. This is very much a family restaurant. Menus start at €19 and the Menu Enfant is €10. Being so near the coast fish is a speciality but there is plenty of choice for meat-eaters too. Do try a Norman aperitif before your meal. The waiter will be happy to let you know what is available. As this restaurant is near to Pegasus Bridge you could combine your visits.
Manoir de l’Acherie
37 rue Michel de l’Epinay – 50800 Ste Cécile, Direction Caen from Villedieu on the N175, then take the D554.
We haven’t actually had the chance to eat here, but in the summer of 2005 we stayed in a gite where several people commented on it in the visitors’ book. The basic view seemed to be that it was a beautiful restaurant in lovely surroundings. Menus range from €16.50 – 37, with a menu enfant at €9.
Le Manoir d’Hastings
18 Avenue de la Côte de Nacre, 14970 Bénouville
Le Manoir is an old 17th century priory, remarkably well preserved considering that Bénouville was the scene of the first action of D-Day around Pegasus Bridge. The restaurant hosts are especially friendly and accommodating. This is most definitely a gastronomique restaurant with a price tag to match. However, considering how well we ate, this is superb value compared to somewhere comparable in the UK and we would highly recommend it for a special occasion. The lunch time set menu is €28 but this is not available in the evening, when there is a €35 menu. This was a standard four courses but with a few little surprises thrown in – the most memorable being the famous Norman ‘Trou Normande’ an apple sorbet drowned in Calvados, which really does cleanse the palate before your main course. A la carte is also available, but is never as good value as the set menus. Children have a choice of 2 courses for €10 or 3 for €15. One of our children didn’t like either of the main course choices on offer, so the kitchen obligingly produced guinea-fowl all round which went down a treat.
13 rue Saint Sauveur, Granville
An excellent pizza restaurant that looks rather un-inspiring from outside but which has outstanding pizzas (the Pizza Calzone is great with a melted cheese topping, the Pizza Etna is spicy!) and very warm, friendly service. Opens at 7.15PM. Very popular in high season. Reservation is advised Fri/Sat, especially if you are a bigger party. But be warned, the person we spoke to when making a reservation could not speak English.
Le Moulin de Jean
La Lande, 50670 Cuves
Situated deep in the Norman ‘bocage’ countryside south-east of Villedieu-les-Pôeles this former watermill will delight anyone looking for somewhere unspoilt and a bit different. In winter enjoy your meal by the open fire or alternatively outside on one of the terrasses in the warmer months. The food and ambience are first class, perhaps to be expected with menus a bit pricier than the norm – 2 courses for €24.50 or 3 for €30.50. This is somewhere to spoil yourselves.
La Table de Manon
2 rue des airbornes, 14860 Ranville
Ranville is the nearest town to Pegasus Bridge on the eastern side of the Caen canal/Orne river. In the centre of the town is this restaurant serving traditional French fare, very typical of the area – pork hock with puy lentils and spinach or slow braised knuckle of lamb were typical main courses. The food is country style. However, while the restaurant is beautifully decorated and service was efficient the staff themselves were not the friendliest we have encountered while eating out. The children had jambon/frites with ice cream to finish.
Here’s more information to make the most of your visit to Normandy:
- Chateaux / Gardens
- D-Day Sites
- Food & Drink