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Mar 28, 2007 01:36 PM

Le Havre, Honfleur, Rouen suggestions?

Will be in Le Havre on a port stop, on a Friday in April, from 7am to 9pm. While there, we're also planning on visiting Honfleur and Rouen.

Are there any specific chow-worthy establishments I should visit for foodstuffs, in any of those cities?
(Will also be visiting Brest and Paris. So I'll have opportunities to pick up things in those cities, too.)

How about recommendations for any meals? I would prefer to eat where I could sample the authentic local cuisine. If for dinner, it would need to be in Le Havre.

While I'm in Rouen, I'm considering having lunch at La Couronne, to pay homage to the place that Julia Child had her food epiphany. (I suppose the food might not be the top pick now there, although it certainly is a chow-worthy stop in respects of gastronomical history. So I can be convinced to dine elsewhere in any of the 3 cities.)

Thanks for your recommendations! -R-

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  1. Go to La Couronne. The ambience is incredible and the food is good. They are famous for pressed duck--Salvador Dali's favorite. The archival photos are worth the visit--everyone from Marlene Dietrich to John Wayne is featured. An added attraction--it's across the street from where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. Here's the website:

    Rouen is also a wonderful town to wander about--Monet did a couple of paintings of the cathedral that you may be familiar with?

    1 Reply
    1. re: whs

      Thank you, whs, for the affirmation on La Couronne. Then, we will go!
      And thanks also for the website.

      Yes, I was able to see the exhibit "Monet in Normandy" in San Francisco last year.
      [ .
      Favorite from exhibit: "Rouen Cathedral Façade and Tour d'Albane (Morning Effect)" 1891, Link: ) ]

    2. Here are posts on Honfleur which I did last March:

      Go to and you will find links to Au P'tit Marayeur, as this is their site. It's mostly in French so you will need to either read the language or get someone to translate. The 20€ menu is shown and is a real bargain for such an excellent place. ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TO RESERVE IN ADVANCE. There's more to see on the website, so go to "Nos Liens" (our links) and find beautiful places to stay in Honfleur at reasonable rates and with extraordinary views of the port. Scroll down and click on where you will find several of these places, with ability to see the pages in English by clicking on the British flag. If you don't already have a place to stay, these would be a dream to choose from. On the P'tit Marayeur page, Nos Plats lists the menu items - both appetizers and entrées. Plan shows you a map of where they are located in the port area, and there is a page for reservations.

      My wife and I were unable to get into P'tit Mareyeur the night we were in Honfleur, but the B&B owner suggested another place about 1-2 blocks away - it was Le Bréard (Le Bréard, 7 rue du puits, 14600 HONFLEUR Tel : 02 31 89 53 40 Fax : 02 31 88 60 37) Check it out on the URL below and click on "Voir Nos Menus" to get an idea of what they offer and prices. They are closed Wednesdays. Just reading the menu makes me salivate and the pictures I see on websites make me think this is the place we ate at 3 years ago.

      We had a great meal in Honfleur- seafood is so fresh, you can't go wrong. But ask the Honfleur Tourist Office for names of other good seafood places. Based on comments I read, stay away from Le Bistro du Port in Honfleur

      2 Replies
      1. re: CJT

        Lots of tourist traps in Honfleur so be cautious - especially around the harbour. Best to simply have a few drinks and relax rather than eat on the harbour.

        However there are some good restaurants if you choose well. We had a good meal at the "Auverge du Viuex Logis" which is outside Honfleur towards Le Harve. It is a quite one star, very local and on the Saturday we went (last month) we were the only English speakers. Good Normandy food, comfortable dining room, and good relaxed service. The lady who ran front of house seemed to be the owner and greeted the other guests like old friends - usually a good sign.

        Fooding (the french gourmand website) has a good write up on "Sa Qui Na" which looked very interesting. Looks like the chef is ex Michel Bras. This is where I would head for if I went back - it does look quite fashionable though and not traditional.

        1. re: PhilD

          Honfleur reminded me of Camden, Maine. Touristy and precious, with overpriced restaurants serving mediocre food.

      2. Restaurant L'Absinthe in Honfleur. Honfleur is a touristic place to visit, but a lovely place to stay, because the tourists go somewhere else at night, mostly, and the mornings are very quiet around the harbor. And there's Restaurant L'Absinthe.

        3 Replies
        1. re: PSZaas

          Agree 100% with tourist comments. Breakfast at a harbour cafe is nice. Get their early (before 10:00), grab a table in the sun and relax before the buses and cars start arriving.

          1. re: PhilD

            Note that the comments about tourists deal with daytime. If you go to a restaurant at night in Honfleur, that's a different story. Since the town is very beautiful and picturesque, you will always find tourists there (you'll be one yourself). But the 2 seafood restaurants I posted about are excellent and Honfleur is an excellent place to eat seafood. Try the assiette du pêcheur in either place: great selection of mollusks and crustaceans. Au P'tit Mareyeur and Le Bréard are among the best. Other places along the port are not in the same category.

            1. re: CJT

              Thanks everyone to all your recommendations for Honfleur!

              I see I can either go to Honfleur early, or after visiting Rouen.

              I still think I'll eat lunch in Rouen at La Couronne --- so perhaps breakfast at Honfleur, before the rest of the tourists get there, will be a good choice.

              If we visit Honfleur after Rouen, we unfortunately might not have enough room for anything other than a good snack or light meal. Sampling seafood in Honfleur is definitely a plus, so I especially will look at the seafood restaurants.

              Much appreciated,

        2. While we're on this thread -- does anyone here have any recommendations for Brest?
          Link to thread:

          Thanks all! -R-