Seaside cooking: as rich and varied as the scenery

  • Regional specialities

    Regional specialities

    © ATOUT FRANCE/Martine Prunevieille

  • Crepe with scallop, chopped leek and Calvados

    Crepe with scallop, chopped leek and Calvados

    © ATOUT FRANCE/Michel Angot

  • Specialities from Nornandy: Cider, Livarot, Pont l'Evêque and sablés d'Asnelles

    Specialities from Nornandy: Cider, Livarot, Pont l'Evêque and sablés d'Asnelles

    © ATOUT FRANCE/CDT Calvados/CDT Calvados

Seaside cooking: as rich and varied as the scenery France fr

France is THE country for good food! So during your holidays along our coastline, it is likely you’re going to treat yourself to a delicious meal with our regional specialities, each one tastier than the last. Enjoy your meal!

“Sophisticated” is the adjective often used by foreigners to describe our cooking. You’ll be able to make up your own mind during your visit to our country’s coastal areas. Traditional and ancestral, the specialities that you’ll taste while overlooking the sea will leave you with the most delicious memories!

Picardie and Nord

The Picardie coasts have a speciality: Salicorne (“sea asparagus”). This aquatic plant can be eaten raw or cooked: raw, it sits in the jar like a gherkin; hot, it’s like a green bean and goes well with fish. For the cheese, don’t let yourself be put off by the smell of a good Maroilles cheese. And to help the digestion, try a northern beer: Jenlain, Goudale, or Ch’ti blond being among the hundreds of beers from this region of brewers.

Hardelot Tourist Office
476 avenue François 1er
Tel: 0033 321 83 51 02


The Normandy region has a good reputation! It’s lost count of its specialities: cider, Calvados, apples, Camembert, chitterling sausage, butter, Pont l’Évêque cheese, tripe in the Caen style, Livarot cheese, Crème Fraîche… As far as desserts go, don’t miss the famous Teurgoule, cinnamon-flavoured rice pudding.

Manche Tourisme
98 route de Candol
50008 Saint Lô
Tel: 0033 233 05 98 70


Brittany has a strong regional identity, the origin of its rich cooking: crêpes, mead, Kouign Amann (caramelised butter biscuit), Breton custard tart with prunes, pound cake, salt-butter caramel, Pont-Aven galettes (pancakes), Cancale oysters, cider… If you must taste a traditional speciality, then try the succulent Kig Ha Farz, a type of boiled meat and vegetable casserole.

Bénodet Tourist Office
29 avenue de la Mer
29950 Bénodet
Tel: 0033 298 57 00 14

Aquitaine coast

Of course, the Aquitaine Coast is known for the quality of it’s wines. But this isn’t its only speciality: you’ve heard of Arcachon oysters, Bordeaux cannelé (rum & vanilla cake), Bayonne ham, Basque chicken or the famous foie gras (liver paté) from the South-West. Discover soon the less well-known specialities of the Basque region, such as Axoa (spiced beef), Loukinkas (sausage seasoned with chilli peppers) or Tripotcha (sausage made with mutton blood, red pepper and nutmeg).

Béarn-Pays Basque Tourism Centre
4 allée des Platanes
64100 Bayonne
Tel: 0033 559 46 52 52

Côte d’Azur (The French Riviera)

For Riviera cooking, everyone has heard of bouillabaisse. Among other well-known recipes, look out for anchoyade (anchovy and olive oil paste), Niçoise salad (raw vegetables, hard boiled eggs, anchovies, tuna and olive oil.), pissaladière (onion, olive and anchovy tart), Tapenade (hors d'œuvre made from olives, anchovies and capers) or St Tropez tart. If you want to test some other dishes, try “Supions” (cuttlefish chips) or the Porchetta Niçoise (stuffed sucking pig). Obviously you can’t leave without having a Pastis!

Saint-Tropez Tourisme
40 rue Gambetta
83990 Saint-Tropez
Tel: 0033 494 97 45 21


Cooked meats, wines, cheeses… Three products that have made Corsica a prized destination for gourmets! Once on the island, don’t miss the Figatellu (lightly smoked liver sausage), Coppa ham, Polenta (a ground cornmeal alternative to pasta), Kid goat, Canistrelli (lemon biscuits) with chestnuts, honeys, Cape muscats, Brocchiu cheese and for the bravest, Casgiu Merzu: this “dancing” goat’s cheese is swarming with small live white worms (asticots) !

Porto Vecchio Tourist Office
Rue du Député Camille de Rocca Serra BP 92
20538 Porto-Vecchio
Tel: 0033 495 70 09 58


Further reading:

- Picardie, regional recipes and traditional recipes (recettes du terroir et recettes traditionnelles)
Albin Michel Publications
- Enjoy Brittany Cooking (Aimer la cuisine de Bretagne)
Ouest France Publications
- Flavours of the Basque Country (Saveurs du pays basque)
Atlantica Publications
- Traditional Cooking around Nice (Cuisine traditionnelle du pays Niçois)
Edisud Publications
- Good Corsican Cooking (La bonne cuisine Corse)
Solar Publications