Eating and Drinking

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There’s an unsurprisingly Flemish flair to the local cuisine - the Lillois version of Moules-Frites is the local speciality, along with of course beer - Pas de Calais is the capital of the French brewing industry.

There are apparently more than 900 places to dine in the city, so you’ll be spoilt for choice whatever cuisine you’re after. Keep an eye out for ‘estaminets’ - Flemish-style cafes serving up fine traditional rural dishes and the best in local produce.

If you’re going to try the local delicacy, then you can go little worse than Aux Moules(rue de Bethune), a lively local hotspot which has been serving up shellfish since the thirties. Look out for the giant mussel shell and the neon sign. Likewise, if you want to try out an estaminet then Le Barbue d’Anvers (1 Bis rue St Etienne) for a taste of local style. It’s part of a small chain of local eateries and brasseries which are well worth your time - details at http://estaminetdunord.fr/.

Other local bites for reasonable prices can be found at Chez la Vieille and** 'T Rijsel** (both located on rue de Gand) - try specialities like carbonnade de boeuf (beef braised in beer) and poulet au maroilles (roast chicken smothered in a local cheese).

Those with a sweet tooth will definitely be tempted by Le Meert (27 Rue Esquermoise) which is a delightful patisserie, whose ornate interior and design is virtually unchanged from when it opened in 1839.