Villeneuve-lès-Avignon is a small town just across the Rhône river just a stone’s throw from the iconic Pope’s city, Avignon, away.
Villeneuve-lès-Avignon (On the map)
In fact the city, can be seen as the little sister of Avignon, even if it’s located in a whole other Department and Region of France. Formerly linked by the world famous Pont d’Avignon, the small and quiet town quickly became a hype among the popes and a perfect location for their summer hideaways.
Today, Villeneuve-lès-Avignon is still a beautiful, picturesque little town with a castle and a history rich town center. It’s also my new hood as an expat and luckily for me a foodie heaven!
Now honestly, if you love fresh, local products from the South of France, I bet you’ll go bananas over here!
My Food Guide to Villeneuve-lès-Avignon
Here’s a list of some of the restaurants based in Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and my very biased appreciation of their dishes. This post will evolve gradually, as I will taste my way through more of those enticing restaurants of the town. Yayyy!
Restaurants in the centre of Villeneuve
This tiny restaurant is located at Place Jean Jaurès and known for it’s fresh, seasonal products and the owners’ warm welcome. Speaking of which, they are a young couple, ready to spoil you rotten. You don’t know which starter to choose? Well, they might arrange you a massive starter plate as a main course. Just ask!
Aubergine is another restaurant located at the Place Jean Jaurès. They are very much into traditional French cuisine! Their menu also features some exceptionally delectable burgers à la Française, each one complemented with a French sauce, like sauce tartare, crème ciboulette… So if you are a burger aficionado, definitely try one of those!
Bistrot du Moulin
Now, Bistrot du Moulin is one of my absolutely favourite eateries in town! Firstly it only was an olive oil mill, but they transformed part of the main building into a restaurant and a bar.
The Chef focuses on local, fresh and high quality products and presents a wine menu of the region. There’s a limited choice à la carte (like 4 starters and 4 main dishes) that changes every now and then. The desert menu is a whole other story! You get to choose from a massive table set in the center of the restaurant, presenting a vast choice of pies and cakes… well, you know the French and their love of pastries and confectionery.
The little extra: The oil mill is still operating today and next to the bar you can enter their little shop that displays their very own range of food and beauty products made from their olive oil production.
Brasserie Saint Marc
This is a brasserie style eatery with exceptionally friendly and fun staff. Park yourselves onto their sunny terrace, enjoy a mojito or an iced rosé, order their burger, the daily special or just a “plancha” with charcuterie and cheese to nibble on. In short, enjoy a laid back lunch break or afternoon, while exchanging jokes with one of the waiters!
Carré Cardinal is a hotel in the first place. If it’s sunny and hot, you absolutely have to visit their seasonal restaurant set up in an inner courtyard garden. The beauty and coziness of the place, their tapas and the occasional glass of sangria will make you grin with pleasure. The dishes are spiced up with some of the herbs, lemons and vegetables coming directly from their garden. The strings of fairy lights at night definitely add to the magical atmosphere of being on holiday.
Kobushi is not really a place where you stay to eat. It’s more a sushi take away! Niggeri, Maki, or Sashimi, it’s going to be plain and simple sushi! And that’s the deal, the sushi are the freshest and tastiest I had in a very, very long time. It’s definitely a place worth trying out!
Le Prieuré is a luxury hotel and a gastronomic starred restaurant. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet had the chance to taste any of their delicious dishes, but I did taste some of their rosé, while being comfortably installed on their terrace, overlooking the lush garden. So, even if it’s just for a drink, visit Le Prieuré’s garden terrace; quite a very refreshing and zen experience.
Rita – Picola Pizzeria Romana
Rita is a tiny place with amazing pizze! They are rated the best pizze in town and man, they definitely are the cream of the crop! But if you want to treat yourself to a pizza fest, don’t plan on eating at Rita’s too late: the roman style pizze are a very sought after delight and they run quickly out of these delicious Italian delicacies!
Another great thing about this tiny family held restaurant is, that they sell a collection of fabulous Italian wines. Go inside and ask the owners, they will be more than happy to give you some advice!
Restaurants outside of the town centre
L’Enclos des Saveurs Salines
L’Enclos des Saveurs Salines is a place for seafood fanatics. Extremely fresh seashells, mussels, oysters, clams, langoustines, periwinkles … Put your plate of seafood together according to your tastes and enjoy your meal with a good bottle of wine. Be aware though, that most of the seafood comes marinated (not cooked). The alternative plate to seafood is a salmon fillet slow cooked in olive oil. It’s super yummy as well.
Entre Vignes & Garrigues
Entre Vignes & Garrigues is a starred restaurant, by Chef Serge Chenet and his son Maxime. The place lays between Villeuneuve-lès-Avignon and Pujaut. You either need a car or hail a taxi to get there. It is a spectacular venue, surrounded by vineyards, olive trees and lavender. The food… well, there are no words for such a delight (although some already have defined its cuisine as divine). In general, there’s a business menu for lunch, and in the evening you’ll have a choice between 3 different menus, each one more delicious than the other. Anyway, you have to try for yourself!
In the end, almost everyone of those restaurants in Villeneuve-lès-Avignon have limited choice on their menus, which means they use fresh, seasonal and local products. The fresh taste of the Provençal herbs and the savoury vegetables ripened by the sun will definitely bring a smile to your lips.
But let’s not over egg the pudding here, go on a culinary exploration and discover the restaurants by yourself during your stay in Villeneuve-les-Avignon.
Interested in reading more? Here are other post’s about the South of France: