Good food is key to any awesome cycling holiday. Luckily the Ile de Ré has a great selection of places to eat.

Which are the best Ile de Ré restaurants?

The general standard on the Island is high, and if you look carefully you’ll discover a few real gems. For us these were L’Ecailler and Les Embruns – both at the fine dining end of the spectrum and definitely worth a visit.

Read more below and let us know what you think and where we should visit on our next trip!​

Tips:

  • Looking for good cycling cafes and coffee stops rather than restaurants? Take a look at our ride guides, which include our tips on the best stops for cyclists.
  • As ever, the popular, well rated places do get busy and it’s wise to book if there’s somewhere you particularly want to go, especially in peak season. Bear in mind that the island’s population swells from around 16,000 to 160,000 in peak season – it gives an idea of how busy the restaurants become!

​La Flotte Restaura​​​​nts

We stayed in La Flotte so most of the restaurants we visited were here.

​L’Ècaille​​​​r

The food was fabulous and the service was excellent. Our favourite dish was an incredible salted caramel soufflé. Service was superb: the right amount of attentive so that you could tell the owner really cared, and ambiance was great too.

The restaurant is housed in an old ship owner’s house, dating from the 1600s and situated right on the port. Inside you’ll find wood panelling, outside a terrace with pretty harbour views. There’s a reason this place gets rave reviews (and Michelin guide recognition)!

Is this the best restaurant on the island? Get in touch or let us know what you think in the comments below.

Overall score: 9/10

La Croisette

Assiette terre et mer (seafood salad with delicious toast covered in goats cheese and spiced pears), La Croisette restaurant, La Flotte

Excellent, beautifully presented food in a great spot overlooking the sea. Highlights included an assiette terre et mer (seafood salad with delicious toast covered in goats cheese and spiced pears) as well as an impressive café gourmand.

At midday on a bank holiday Monday lunchtime, the place was overflowing. Service was reasonable and we felt the price tag represented decent value for money.

There was a good children’s menu and it’s location was fairly family friendly: the restaurant fronts the pedestrian seafront promenade so it’s easy to take young children out for a walk if they get restless between courses.

Overall score: 7/10

​La Fiancée du Pirate

It’s certainly easy to find – you can’t miss the pirate outside the front! It’s a modest brasserie with a pizza and crepes style menu. The food was tasty and we thought it was a good option if you’re looking for a reasonably priced meal with smiley, attentive service.

Overall score: 6/10

​La Poissonerie du Port

A nice location on the marina, but sadly let down by surly service and a price tag that was expensive for what it wasBes.

The emphasis was clearly on the food which was good, but plain: we all had different main courses of fish served in different ways and they all came with the same salad and mashed potato side.

When one of our party requested salad that wasn’t dressed, it wasn’t available: she just got an extra portion of mashed potato.  The restaurant furniture is basic: think plastic tables and paper napkins. Perhaps it was just the evening we were there but, despite the restaurant being almost full, it was also almost silent.

Did we just get unlucky? Get in touch or let us know your experience in the comments below.

Over​​​​all score: 5/10

 

​St Martin de Ré restaurants

Les Embruns

This is a small, intimate restaurant which serves superb food at a very reasonable price. Our stand out favourite dish was a perfectly poached egg wrapped in smoked salmon and served on a nest of crisp noodles. But without exception every dish had incredible flavours and was beautifully presented. Service was good (after an initial 20 minute delay – see below). The decor is much less smart than the food, with a beach/sea theme. Go, but make a reservation!

Beautifully presented fish and vegetable main course, Les Embruns restaurant, Saint Martin de Ré
Poached egg wrapped in smoked salmon on a nest of crisp noodles, Les Embruns restaurant, Saint Martin de Ré
Pineapple and icecream pudding, Les Embruns restaurant, Saint Martin de Ré

(The story behind urging you to make a reservation: we walked in at 8pm and were offered a table but told they wouldn’t be able to serve us for about 20 minutes. During that time, we weren’t offered a drink or anything to eat, we had to simply sit and wait. Luckily the amuse-bouche that did finally arrive tempered our frustration and a glass or two of Rosé des Dunes (one of the Ile de Ré’s best local wines) improved things considerably! But still, a slight blemish on an otherwise excellent experience).

Overall score: 8/10

La Cible

Restaurant on La Cible beach near Saint Martin de Ré

This is a trendy yet relaxed restaurant that serves great food. But the real highlight is that it’s right on the beach so it’s perfect for lunch before or after time on the beach. There’s a children’s menu (steak haché or fish) but no highchairs.

Service was mediocre and there was an unfortunate issue with a bug in the food that was not dealt with well by the management. But if you’re willing to overlook that as a one-off blip, it’s an idyllic spot and certainly convenient after time on the beach.

Overall score: 6/10

 

​Bois en Plage restaurants

Eau p’tit bois

The front of Eau-p’tit-bois restaurant on Plage des Gollandières near Bois en Plage

We ate yummy galettes and drank cold rosé at this colourful beachside restaurant. It was the perfect combination after an afternoon at the beach. The welcome we were given could not be described as warm, but then we were a party of five windswept adults and four sandy bedraggled children. And at 5pm the kitchen wasn’t officially open. So I guess in the circumstances they had some grounds for grumpiness!

Overall score: 6/10

 

Ars en Ré restaurant​​​​​s

La Clocher

The front of Le Clocher restaurant in Ars en Ré

Brightly coloured chairs make it easy to spot this traditional brasserie on the main square in front of the beautiful church. On a busy Friday lunch, it was busy yet the staff still promptly provided high chairs and took the children’s orders – always a big tick for us.

The food was good, standard brasserie style: the salmon and mussels we ordered were tasty, if not particularly memorable. The children’s menu was also pretty standard: sausages, home cooked fish fingers or steak haché followed by ice cream.

All in all a solid, if not mind blowing, choice.

Overall score: 7/10

 

Your thoughts!

What was your favourite restaurant on the Ile de Ré? Comment below so we can visit next time!

And don’t miss our ultimate guide to cycling Ile de Ré, which is full of everything you need to plan a holiday on the island.

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Clare Dewey

Clare Dewey is a cyclist with a passion for travel. She set up epicroadrides.com in 2018 to help make it easy for cyclists to explore the world by bike. Today her mission is still inspiring cyclists to discover new places on two wheels – and doing what she can to make sure they have the best possible time while they’re there. Clare has visited 50+ destinations around the world, many of them by bike.

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