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Sep 7, 2010 12:28 PM

Provence: Recos for a Chow-based jumping-off city? Avignon, Arles, or Aix?

Ms. Brewer and I will be spending a week in Provence in late October, and we're planning to split the time as half with car, and half without car. For the portion of the trip where we are sans auto, we'll be pretty much confined to a single city for our dinner options. If we were to choose our base city purely from a Chow-focused perspective, would we be better off in Avignon, Arles, or Aix?


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  1. Aix. It has a lot higher disposable income due to to tourists, and this is reflected in the amrkets and eating.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mr_gimlet

      Arles, great eateries, great Roman ruins.

    2. Throw a dart as all 3 cities have decent to excellent restaurants, so you can base your choice on other things.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Laidback

        I agree - I also think it best to allow only a couple days in each town, too long and you run out of things to do and interesting places to eat.

      2. I would pick Arles. It has the single most interesting restaurant of the three, Jean-Luc Rabanel, plus others. Aix has a lot to see and the many good restaurants, but none at the top which equal Arles or Avignon.

        1. Avignon. Great eating (not just restaurants) and LOTS to do without leaving the portals. Excellent shopping, too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ChefJune

            I second beaulieu and ChefJune's opinion on either Arles or Avignon... there are more sites to see as well as a larger choice of restaurants (in my opinion) with or without a car.