The locals in Lille like to say their identity shines at the table. Indeed, in France if you want to know where you are – read a menu. All over the north of France, but especially in French Flanders, estaminets have never been more popular. Estaminets are to northern French what bistros are to Parisians or winstubs to Alsatians. Authenic, earthy, welcoming places to eat much-loved local comfort food.
Aux Vieux de la Vieille: A trip back in time is guaranteed in this small typical Flanders restaurant with tables on the terrace in a pretty pedestrian square. Booking is recommended.
www.estaminetlille. fr/auvieuxdelavieille 2-4 rue des Vieux Murs, Lille
Brasserie Coke: In the prominent building of the headquarters of the Compagnie des Mines de Lens, the brasserie serves local traditional and elegant cuisine.
www.brasseriecokelille.fr 30 rue Thiers, Lille
Just as wine is related to Bordeaux, beer is one of the most important part of the Hauts-de-France gastronomic history. True to its Flemish roots, Lille is the heart of French beer country and is dotted with small-scale, boutique breweries. Authentic tasting tours show how the brewing culture has marked the territory.
L’Echappee Biere conducts specialised in beer tastings and beer pairing. Visitors will discover the surprisingly unknown heritage.
The local brew, Bierre de Garde – roughly translated as beer for keeping, is a strong pale ale and originated in French Flanders as a traditional farmhouse ale. Its name stems from the practice of brewing beer during colder months and then storing it until spring and summer. The style was almost forgotten by the 20th century, but saw its revival in the 1950s.
Address: 130 Boulevard de la Liberté, 59000 Lille, France
Phone: +3378 271 6821