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It’s been a long time since I want to write this article. If we don’t travel abroad we usually go to the southwest of France. We are driving there at least twice a year. My home city is not far so I can see my friends and family and it also has some of the best surf spots in Europe. We know pretty well this area by now. And most of all, as being both passionate about food, the coolest food spots in the southwest of France. We are both trying to tend to have a vegetarian diet as much as we can. For this reason, most of the addresses below will always have healthy and tasty vegetarian or vegan options.
After the lockdown that occurred from March until May, we needed to escape a bit. Oliver was still working from home and I wasn’t flying. So we decided to rent a chalet in our favorite camping in Moliets-et-Maa in the southwest of France. Friends and colleagues from Paris joined us for a bit more than a month. Like this, we had plenty of time to show them around.
Our favorite restaurants were on the list of things to do and discover new ones as well. I still didn’t tick all the boxes on my food bucket list. There are just too many amazing food gems there. However, here are my top 7 of the coolest food spots in the southwest of France.
It’s been a few years now that we are driving to this camping on a regular basis. I have to say we start to have our little habits there. Going for breakfast, lunch, or even an afternoon snack at Amazone café is one of them.
Ama, the owner, is a chef that comes from Germany. Her food is just DELICIOUS. What we like the most about her cuisine is that it’s homemade and fresh. Also, everybody can eat according to their diet. Every day, she cooks three different options. A classic dish with meat or fish-based, a vegetarian, and a vegan one. And every day, the menu is different. As a foodie, basically almost every morning I was having a look at her Instagram stories to see the menu of the day. Obviously, it was quite hard to refrain from heading there every day!
On top of that, her place is gorgeous. She created such a cozy atmosphere with furniture and plenty of plants. You can enjoy the terrasse on sunny days or stay inside on the sofa during rainy chilly days. At the back of the café, you will find a small coworking space where you can enjoy everything you need to work in the best conditions (paper, pen, printer, etc.)
PS: don’t forget to say “hi” to Gertrude if you go there. You will know what I mean if you check at the counter 🙂
LA CAVE AUX MOULES
Also located in Moliets, we often have dinner at La Cave aux Moules. The menu is simple: “moules/frites” as we say in French (mussels with fries) or pizzas. For a long time, we were going there only for the mussels that are tasty. Last time, I tried the pizza for the first time and now I can’t say what is my favourite. Both are really really good!
Good food and cheap prices! This is also an important point. We usually go to the southwest of France at any time during the year, except July and August. This place is our relaxing getaway, but in summer months, it’s crowded with tourists and way less enjoyable (in our opinion). I guess we all agree that restaurants in tourist places tend to be overpriced. La Cave aux moules has totally fair prices and it’s probably also why it is so famous.
Last but not least, this place is really welcoming and this is another reason why we like to go there so much. We also appreciate the big wood tables with benches where you can enjoy a summer evening with friends.
LE MANGO TREE
We fell in love with the concept and the place. Hossegor is a city with a strong surf vibe. Having both lived in Australia and South Africa, we always enjoy this kind of place. This “restaurant” has a concept that matches the area. This concept is a little wooden house where you order your food and then just lay in the grass of the park or on the beach 20m away with healthy homemade food. Isn’t it really cool?! Yes again, one of the coolest food gems the southwest of France has to offer!
Wait, not only the location is cool, the food too. The creators of this place are two sisters passionate about traveling, sustainability, and of course, healthy food! Their food is a mix of organic ingredients, tasting notes, and travel touches.
No need to say that vegetarians and vegans are welcome!
Here is our favorite food gems in Hossegor (even though it would be really hard to choose). Tante Jeanne used to be only an ice cream shop. But the most famous of Hossegor, you would queue in line during summer months! Hossegor was my weekend beach getaway when I was younger. Indeed, located only 1h away from my home town, I spent a lot of weekends there. The ice cream was always a must before going home.
Now Tante Jeanne has become the “place to eat” in Hossegor (in my opinion). Within a month there, I have been like 5 times! On top of the other restaurants, we have been too. What is so special about it? Anything on their menu is just delicious. You can eat vegetarian and vegan there as well. However, ceviche and buddha bowls with raw fish are also available. The seasonings are tasty and matching perfectly with the dishes they offer. I didn’t find a negative point about this place yet.
I guess if you’re on a day when you don’t have that much time you can just stop by for ice cream. Be aware you might be very frustrated not to be able to stay for a bigger snack though!
Tante Jeanne also offers breakfast. We haven’t tried yet but I saw pancakes on the menu that I will order for sure next time we are around.
Let’s leave Les Landes and drive a little bit more south in the Bask Country. We arrive in one of the most beautiful cities in France and probably one of the best to live in: Biarritz. Biarritz has it all, perfect city size, by the ocean but only a few minutes away from the mountains, surf, welcoming and friendly people, and… amazing restaurants, coffee places, bars, etc. Yes, I am in love with this city.
This year we went to the usual places where we always go (I will talk about a few of them later) and we discovered new ones. Writing those lines I realize that Oliver was right when he was saying: “maybe we should eat home a bit and calm down on the restaurants, don’t you think?” Of course, I said no. So we really went to a LOT of restaurants. Anyway, here is the first new food gem we discovered and loved.
Nuts is a tiny restaurant with only a few tables, maybe around 5. The decoration of the place generates a cozy atmosphere with an elegant bohemian style. The menu has plenty of delicious healthy options that you won’t know what to choose. A little tip if you don’t go there alone: we usually order 2 or 3 different options and then share it all so we can try different dishes. If you are alone, you’re gonna love it too but good luck to choose!
Again, as most of the places, I’m talking about in my articles related to food, all those places always have vegetarian or vegan options, Nuts is also one of them. Their cuisine is also organic and homemade. You can go there for lunch or for an afternoon snack as they also serve yummy cakes, coffees, smoothies, and you know, everything we love!
This place is the place we wouldn’t miss if we would have to choose only one place to drink or eat in Biarritz. Therefore, I couldn’t write this article without mentioning it.
Etxola Bibi is the best place in Biarritz to admire the most beautiful sunset with the perfect view of the ocean. In my opinion, it is where you will feel the Biarritz vibe. Imagine yourself with a group of friends having a nice glass of wine with a cheese board looking at the sunset over the ocean. Doesn’t it sound amazing? That’s Etxola Bibi. Oliver and I can spend hours looking at the ocean and surfers so it is the perfect place for us.
We either enjoy this place for a little “aperitif” and then go for dinner or we just spend the whole evening there enjoying the moment. A very large menu offers a lot of options so everybody can find something they like. Last time I went there were only vegetarian options so if you are vegan keep it in mind and maybe go there only for a drink and enjoy the view.
Talking about the view, what do you think about it? Isn’t it one of the coolest food gems to discover?
SALINE CEVICHE BAR
I don’t know how many times we passed in front of this restaurant in the past years without stopping. Well, I’m glad we did this year because I think the Saline Ceviche Bar is my new favorite restaurant in Biarritz.
I guess you have already understood with the name that this is not a place for vegetarians or vegan. For people that eat fish, you can not miss out on this place if you visit the southwest of France. Honestly, I probably never ate such delicious fish dishes.
We, unfortunately, only took the main courses. However, our friends ordered starters. When they tasted it and made us try. Oliver automatically thought “omg this is so delicious but we probably made the wrong choice and we should have ordered this”. I don’t know if it happens to you as well but Oliver always prefers the dish that other people ordered. Therefore, he thought he made the mistake again. Wrong.
Our main courses were as tasty as the starters of our friends. During the whole dinner, we only talked about the dishes we were eating. We were wondering where the chefs came from, how they were doing those amazing sauces, what were those crazy flavors, and so on. In the end, being the only French speaker in the group, I had to go and ask the waitress about all those questions and tell her to congratulate the chef.
If you want to have an idea, have a look at their Instagram page. It tastes as amazing as it looks!
The cherry on the top, they support Ocean52. Ocean52 is a company that helps to reduce plastic in our oceans by providing no plastic water.
I will probably have to do a second article later on about our favorite restaurants in southwest France as new ones will pop up for sure. However, I hope it gives you some ideas about where to eat or have a drink when you visit the Bask Country or Les Landes.
Of course, if you know some that I haven’t mentioned please comment below and share it with us and the other readers so we can also visit them. You can also visit our Mapstr account where we register all the restaurants, cafés, bars, etc. where we have been or would like to go.
I quite often find new places to eat through social media and blogs so I hope this article will help you too. Don’t hesitate to comment and give us some feedback. And if you like this kind of article, I wrote a few food guides in the “FOOD” category. Bon appétit!