La Rochelle, a vibrant port city on the Atlantic coast, has an amazing culinary scene with many seafood restaurants in its old port as well as great classic ones in the old city. In fact, there are so many great restaurants and cool bars in La Rochelle that it was hard to do anything but eat and drink during my last visit there. In this list, I chose some of my favorite restaurants and bars in La Rochelle that are quite affordable for most people. If you are looking for something fancy, try the 3-star Michelin Restaurant Christopher Coutanceau, which I haven’t tried yet but which many people have recommended to me.
Let’s go and discover the best places to eat and drink in La Rochelle on your next trip there!
I will soon publish my article about the best things to do in La Rochelle, meanwhile, you can join my travel in the southwest of France Facebook group where you can find plenty of tips about La Rochelle and its surroundings.
Where to eat the best seafood in La Rochelle?
La Gerbe de Blé – for market lovers
If you follow my blog you know that I love market restaurants and that’s why La Gerbe de Ble was one of my favorite places to eat in La Rochelle. The main market of La Rochelle is an absolute must when visiting the city and its seafood section was one of the highlights of my visit. The restaurant gives you the option to buy seafood at the market stalls and eat it at the restaurant, you just have to pay for bread and wine 🙂 This is one of the best ways to enjoy the market!
Address: Marché Central, Rue Thiers, 17000 La Rochelle
Le Panier de Crabe – A proper seafood restaurant in La Rochelle
If you want a proper seafood restaurant with big trays full of crabs, oysters, huge shrimps, and many other creatures from the bottom of the ocean this is the place for you. Le Panier de Crabe in the historic center of La Rochelle is one of the most popular restaurants among locals, especially in the summer so be sure to book in advance (phone for reservations 09 53 56 59 97).
Address: 9 Rue de la Fourche, 17000 La Rochelle
Le P’tit Bleu – a fun place at the port of La Rochelle
Le P’tit Bleu was one of my favorite seafood restaurants in La Rochelle because it has a food truck vibe (which I love) but in a boat. The blue boat is located on one of the docks of the old port of la Rochelle, close to la Tour de la Chaine with its tables spread on the quai next to the docking boats. The place has a delicious seafood menu where you can find amazing oysters, sardines, and mussels besides other delicacies.
Address: Cours des Dames, 17000 La Rochelle
Le Comptoir Saoufé – oysters in the evening
If you’re looking for a place for an apero with a plate of oysters this is your place in La Rochelle. Le Comptoir Saoufé, located on one of the narrow streets in the hyper center of La Rochelle, has a small menu of seafood and tapas and is a perfect place for a night out or a pre-dinner apero.
Address: 12 Rue du Port, 17000 La Rochelle
Other places to eat in La Rochelle
Chez Albert – light lunch or a coffee break
Chez Albert is a very chic cafe in the market neighborhood with plenty of comfy and inviting sofas to sip your coffee on. If you need a light lunch munching a salad/quiche or a coffee break this is definitely the place. Their coffee is great and they have a wonderful menu for a more healthy lunch.
Address: 3 Rue Gargoulleau, 17000 La Rochelle
Cafe de la Paix – The beautiful one
The classic Cafe de la Paix was created in 1793 under the name Cafe Militaire and changed to its current name in 1990. The beautiful cafe with its art deco design is classified as a historic monument in France and is worth a visit even just for a drink.
Address: 54 Rue Chaudrier, 17000 La Rochelle
Heading now to the chic Saint Nicolas district, to the very cool Prao restaurant. Prau is focused on very fresh cuisine and local producers and has a very fun and young design to complement the menu. It is also an art place with exhibitions changing every month.
Address: 10 Rue Saint-Nicolas, 17000 La Rochelle
Bars not to miss in La Rochelle
La Guignette, located in the Saint Nicola districts is a real La Rochelle institution. Every evening, groups of friends of all ages gather around barrel tables to drink the specialty of the place, the red drink called La Guignette Rouge. It is a locals’ favorite so be sure to be early to find a table.
Address: 8 Rue Saint-Nicolas, 17000 La Rochelle
Terrasse de la Chaîne
This cute bar, owned by the Prao group of restaurants is one of the best locations for a drink with a view. The bar is located in one of the famous La Rochelle towers, Tour de la Chaine, and its terrasse view covers both the ocean and the port of La Rochelle.
Address: Tour de la Chaîne, 17000 La Rochelle
If you’re traveling in the Charente check out some of my other articles about the region:
Top 10 things to do in Cognac
Aubeterre sur Dronne – the most beautiful village in Charente
Best 50 things to do in Bordeaux
You may also like to read some of the following “intro to Bordeaux” articles I wrote:
The Ultimate Guide to Bordeaux
The best districts in Bordeaux
Where to stay in Bordeaux
What to do in one day in Bordeaux
Things to do with kids in Bordeaux