Instructions for a Gourmet Getaway in Lille

We're hungry, we're hungry! Food lovers have already taken note: from October 20th to 22nd, the 10th edition of the Mange, Lille! festival will take place, promising festive events, encounters, and feasts in the beautiful city of the North. And for good reason: long overlooked and caricatured, Ch'ti cuisine can no longer be summed up by its mussels and fries and other maroille cheese carbonnades.

This year, Hauts-de-France even holds the European Region of Gastronomy label. It must be said that young local chefs and producers have no shortage of panache! Let's give you an overview of the new buzzworthy dining options just an hour from Paris.


Le Clarance: Five-star confidential and divine starred table

There are enclaves where time stands still, where beauty reigns supreme. This former residence of Count and Countess Hespel and the first Lille boutique hotel are among the fortunate ones. Behind the doors of this Relais & Château, located in the Old Lille but away from the hustle and bustle of the Grand-Place, everything is refined. The 18th-century architecture of the private hotel engages in a dialogue with the contemporary design of the Orangery or with street art works signed by JonOne or Nasty that unfold in different places, including the sublime lounges with period woodwork that serve as a setting for the Chef's Table. In the interior design of the 39 rooms, no detail has been left to chance; each has its own identity, and artworks by artists add the extra soul that makes all the difference.

At Le Clarance, "those who sleep, dine": with a bird's-eye view of the brigade's ballet, taste the audacious dishes of Alexandre Miquel (trained under Marc Meurin) who, after serving as the sous-chef to Chef Thibault Gamba, now replaces him. This native of Béthune, proud of his homeland but also adventurous, knows how to surround himself with the best regional producers, picks from the hotel's vegetable and fruit garden, without confining himself to 100% northern cuisine. The ravioli with burnt eggplant and its caponata emulsion make us want to know more about the abilities of this intrepid thirty-year-old chef. His pigeon cooked in hay on the corn chest and cocoa, enhanced by a pairing with a Santenay 1er cru chosen by sommelier Arnaud Devulder, confirms his high potential. Le Clarance also offers breakfasts with delicious homemade pastries and a cocktail bar where a bartender with creative ideas and talent works. His signature cocktail? The Petit Clarance, based on cognac and Lillet Blanc with a light biscuit flavor.

Le Clarance, 32 rue de la Barre, 59000 Lille. Phone: 03 59 36 35 59, rooms starting from €230, 7-course menu €95.


Rozo: Sublime Revelation

After an enchanting first evening, the feasting continues with Chef Diego Delbecq and pastry chef Camille Pailleau. The couple, both in life and in the kitchen, left Old Lille for a former print shop in Marcq-en-Baroeul (10 minutes by taxi): a vast space of 400m² redesigned as a clean yet comfortable loft with a huge glassed-in kitchen. A highly central room that attracts the attention of diners from the very beginning with appetizers that immediately embark on a unique culinary journey: it's a symphony of flavors that tantalizes the palate. Puffed mimolette cheese bread with lovage, spicy lobster croquette, and then iodized veal, wasabi in an oyster shell set the pace for this experience with a chef who has character and expresses it in his dishes, where seasoning becomes an artistic discipline.

Calamari with sea fennel and algae, a caraway-flavored turbot, an often-overlooked aromatic plant, and poached Flanders pigeon with tomatoes and oregano follow. Camille's desserts are just as precise and sharp. The service is relaxed but experienced, and the food-wine pairings are well-executed, catching the attention of Michelin inspectors, as the first Michelin star arrived last March!

Rozó, 34 rue Raymond Derain, 59700 Marcq-en-Barœul. Menu from €69 to €120.



Ginko: The New Talk of the Town

Nothing destined the Italian Valentina Giacobbe and the Perpignan-born Julien Ingaud-Jaubert to choose the North as their anchor point! The two met at Gaya, a chic and marine bistro by Pierre Gagnaire. In contrast to the Rozo couple, she cooks while he bakes. Enchanted by the capital of Flanders, the lovebirds have just opened Ginko, a gastronomic table without pretense, which emphasizes naturalness.

In a setting that is both clean and reassuring, with a 1970s-inspired decor dominated by wood, you discover precise and neat presentations in the service of a raw cuisine that appreciates acidity, in savory dishes as well as desserts. Highlights include the crunchy spelt, leek, and slightly iodized confit egg and the zucchini gnocchetti with flowers, in the 100% vegan menu that combines sweetness and pep. Given the crowd that evening, only 15 days after its opening, the future seems to be smiling on Ginko. A symbol of perseverance and endurance, this Chinese tree could also become the good luck charm for this cooking couple.

Ginko, 70 rue de l'Hôpital-Militaire, Lille. Menus: €40 (lunch); €65 to €85 (dinner).

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Alcide, the First Lille Bouillon

The oldest restaurant in Lille, open since 1880, reinvents itself thanks to the bosses of Petit Bouillon Pharamond in Paris. With its mythical decor, stained glass on the ceiling, antique woodwork, and red velvet bench, Alcide looks impressive.

On the menu, you'll find iconic bouillon dishes: deviled eggs, snails, steak with shallots, or beef bourguignon, but also some nods to Flemish specialties such as roasted maroille cheese or potjevleesch. An ultra-light bill for dishes made from locally sourced products in a short supply chain: this is the ideal institution to end your weekend in Lille, especially on Sunday noon!

Petit Bouillon Alcide, 5 rue des Débris Saint-Etienne. Starters from €1.90, mains from €7.50, desserts from €2.80.


Grand Scène, the Food Market Everyone's Talking About

Street food is also in full swing thanks to Marianne Barbier and Geoffroy Marticou, who created the first Lille food court. Their motto? Drink, eat, have fun. And they deliver on their promises with ten restaurants, two bars, and a coffee shop sharing 1,600 square meters of this ultra-sexy gourmet hall.

On the bill, you'll find reliable options like Bierbuik, Florent Ladeyn's 100% local estaminet, or the famous burgers from Comptoir Volant, as well as rising stars like Reem and Bassem Ataya, Syrian refugees who opened their first shop and delight foodies with their falafels and chawarmas with a Ch'ti Nord twist, or Guerita by Manon Lietar, who makes amazing tacos. Everything is good, and even the atmosphere deserves a big thumbs up. Plus, you can even reserve a table!

Grand’Scène, 31 rue de Béthune.


Also, discover a green weekend in Perche and our favorites and a bohemian getaway to Ibiza guide.

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