I tested the restaurants in Calais for you

When you are vegetarian or vegan, going to a restaurant can sometimes be a real ordeal. Of course, you can always go into just any restaurant and hope the chef will come up with something other than a green salad or an omelette! But between us, when I go to a restaurant, I like to eat something other than what I can cook at home. And you can be both vegetarian and a foody, they aren't incompatible, are they?

In this article, I'm only listing my favourites of the restaurants I have personally tried (as a vegetarian), this is not in any way an exhaustive list of restaurants. For more choice, look at the Tourist Office's selection here http://www.calais-cotedopale.com/ou-manger/restaurants#!/page/1

This article will be regularly updated with my gastronomic discoveries so please come back or comment with your vegetarian experience in Calais.

London Bridge:

The reference on VégOresto, this is the only restaurant in Calais and the surrounding area whose vast menu is 100% vegan from the starter to the dessert, and frankly, it is good to be spoilt for choice. After some hesitation, I went for the vegan bolognaise pizza, I really recommend it! The soya protein bolognaise, vegan mozzarella (homemade) and pizza base are really excellent.

I will have to go back to try all the choices, but here is a selection of photos of dishes from the menu to drool over. So, what will it be?

L’histoire ancienne :

At L'Histoire Ancienne, the chef proposes a vegetarian set menu every day, made with fresh seasonal produce and based around a cooked dish. I have tried this restaurant several times and highly recommend it. Every day there is at least one vegetarian dish on the menu, if this does not suit you for whatever reason you can really trust the chef to come up with a delicious and refined impromptu vegetarian or vegan dish.

Tonnerre de Brest:

This restaurant likes to call itself a little bit of Brittany in Calais, in reality it is also a little bit of paradise because of its very warm welcome.

When it comes to vegetarian dishes, there is choice in the menu, in which seasonal vegetables and fruit have pride of place. Since its pancakes are made to order, it is also possible to have an ingredient removed (like ham). My most recent order was a buckwheat pancake with leek and Emmental fondue and, for desert, a pancake with vanilla ice cream and fresh fruit. Mmmm…

Les grandes tables du Channel :

This restaurant, located within Channel, Scène Nationale theatre, is worth a visit just for its atypical atmosphere: it was the city abattoir. The layout was designed by the architect Patrick Bouchain and François Delarozière, the artistic director of La Machine theatre troupe. Les Grandes Tables du Channel has 2 distinct spaces: on one side is a bistro with a large central fireplace and on the other is a restaurant with an open kitchen (where you can also take cooking lessons with the chef).  When it comes to the food, there is little choice in the menu, but culinary offerings are very regularly changed, always including a vegetarian dish, not always a vegan one, but in this case, you can trust the chef to improvise.

Oh ! Mouettes :

I tried this restaurant with another vegetarian, who told me they had never eaten so well in a restaurant in France.

Oh! Mouette is in the Courgain Maritime district, facing the fishermen's huts. It offers refined, authentic cuisine mainly based around fish. There are however some meat dishes on the menu, but no vegetarian dishes. I recommend that you specify that you require a vegetarian dish when you reserve because the result is impressive, for our starter, we had a celeriac remoulade accompanied by avocado cream, and for the main course Provençal seasonal vegetables with rice, everything was absolutely delicious. It was so good that we had no space for a desert… a shame because it looked very appetising. This restaurant's little extra is its view over the port where we saw a magnificent sunset.


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