Marché aux Huitres, Cancale
Oyster lovers should try them freshly caught at Cancale’s beachside market. The town, which is not far from Saint-Malo, is the oyster capital of Brittany and a number of blue- and white-striped stalls run by local fishermen sell different sizes and species for just a few euros. Simply squeeze on a drizzle of lemon juice and swig them back while gazing at Mont Saint-Michel away on the horizon.
• From around €6 a dozen, prices change daily, marcheauxhuitres-cancale.com
Le Comptoir Breizh Café, Saint-Malo
The ubiquitous Breton galettes (buckwheat pancakes) and crêpes are a good bet in most places, but the renowned Comptoir Breizh takes these local specialities to another level. Their delicious golden galettes are filled with everything from simple local ham and decadent butter to more sophisticated andouille sausage and confit onions cooked in cider. The restaurant’s links to Japan go beyond its adjacent sushi restaurant; so loved by the Japanese is the Breizh Café there’s a branch in Tokyo (as well as in Cancale and Paris). Reservations essential.
• Mains from €12.50, breizhcafe.com
Le Brise Lames, Roscoff
The charming port town of Roscoff is blessed with its local produce; not only is there a bounty of fish and seafood being landed daily at its port, the surrounding countryside is famous for its high-quality vegetables, including the famous pink onions, which onion-sellers of the 19th and early 20th century touted door-to-door across Britain. One of the town’s best restaurants is Le Brises Lames, which uses these local ingredients to create an excellent modern European menu. There is a small dining room and a terrace overlooking the harbour.
• Mains from €13, on Facebook
Crêperie Ty Malou, La Trinité-sur-Mer
It may be a coincidence that a crêperie in the sailing hub of Trinité-sur-Mer serves the holy trinity of Breton pancake toppings: confit apples, salted caramel and butter, but whatever the reason, this friendly harbourside cafe is the place to indulge. Its galette menu offers all the classics – such as ham, cheese and egg for Le Complète – and don’t forget to order a bol, the traditional ceramic cup of local cider to go with it. Walk off the meal around the harbour, admiring the moored yachts.
• Mains from around €7, on Facebook
Bistrot du Port, Billiers
Just a 10-minute drive from the autoroute that zips through southern Brittany, this excellent little bistro is a great place to stop en route east. There’s a menu of freshly landed fish and seafood, plus meat dishes such as gourmet burgers, all served under the dappled shade of its large terrace that looks out to sea. The beach over the road makes an excellent spot for an after-lunch siesta.
• Mains from €12, bistrotduport.bzh
Chez Charlemagne, Île aux Moines
Take the 10-minute ferry to the Île aux Moines for a day of cycling between its beaches and coves, but stop for lunch at Chez Charlemagne, just outside the main village. Inside, the small eclectic restaurant is rammed with bric-a-brac, while its terrace is set on a jetty into the sea. Tuck into the generous pots of moules marinières or grilled fish, and finish with classic desserts such as crème brûlée.
• Mains about €17, chez-charlemagne.fr
Café de la Cale, Sainte Marine
Just over the sparkling River Odet from Bénodet, easily reached by small ferry, the buzzing Café de la Cale has a fantastic position on the quayside, with lovely views over the river. The extensive menu includes copious platters of enormous freshly-caught languoustines, or tuck into burgers, charcuterie boards and other bistro classics.
• Mains about €11, on Facebook
Les Deux Sardines, Saint-Briac-sur-Mer
The lively town of Saint-Briac-sur-Mer has a number of restaurants on its small main street, among them Les Deux Sardines, a small but classy little restaurant run by chef Adélaïde Perissel and her husband Gregory. The ever-changing menu features fresh local produce, making the most of the fish and seafood from Brittany’s coast.
• Mains around €20, on Facebook
Bistrot Chez Hubert, Fouesnant
Drag yourself away from the Caribbean-like beaches on this section of the south Brittany coast for lunch at Bistrot Chez Hubert. The restaurant is something of an institution, with chef Hubert Jan, the great-grandson of the original owner (when there was a hotel there, too) Perrine Le Guyade, who opened it in 1903. The menu features a good choice of fish, seafood and meat dishes, but leave room for the decadent desserts.
• Mains around €19, bistrotchezhubert.fr
Le Comptoir des Johnnies, Saint Pol de Léon
Just a short drive inland from Roscoff, the town with its long history of “Onion Johnnies” (Breton farmers who sold their onions door to door in Britain), this restaurant-cum-shop celebrates the area’s delicious pink variety. However, the rustic restaurant has a menu that has Asian influences, as well as a range of giant burgers. It’s also a good place to stock up on local beers and ciders – not to mention the delectable onions.
• Mains around €14, on Facebook
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