Les Sables d'Olonne > Discover > Restaurants > Local specialities

Local specialities

Les Sables d'Olonne are landing daily, based on the fresh, delicious products that we offer the sea...

A Salty Excursion... at the Fishing Port

Each day, regularly and diligently, a prettily colourful, picturesque ballet featuring some 50 boats from Les Sables, not to mention from Charente, Bretagne and England, set the pace of port life at Quai Franqueville, under the benevolent, often hungry eyes of the gulls.
The men quickly unload the day’s catch, which varies with the seasons: sea bass (which the locals call loubine), sole, sardines (those famous little bluegreen fish with silvery bellies), cuttlefish (called margate or morgate in the Vendée), tuna, hake and striped mullet (whose succulent flesh is very popular amongst the finest palates who have nicknamed it the “woodcock of the sea”).

Not to mention delicious brown shrimp (called boucs or boucauds), pink shrimp (bouquets), winkles (goules-torses), crabs (balleresses), spider crabs, and the list goes on...

Plenty to satisfy seafood lovers looking for the freshest, highquality delicacies. And to delight restaurateurs who advertise traditional or more refined dishes on the menus posted at their respective establishments.
A product supply chain that extends to your plate, and always with the greatest respect for what the sea has to offer.

A Wine Tourism Excursion... amid the Grapevines

In Les Sables d’Olonne, the Fiefs Vendéens de Brem region is home to another – but by no means lesser – local treasure : wine. The history of these grapevines dates back to the Romans, who introduced them during their trips to buy salt from the now-French coastline. The wines of the Fiefs Vendéens de Brem obtained their own AOC (controlled designation of origin) in 2011.

The whites come from the Chenin, Chardonnay and Grolleau Gris grape varieties.

The red grapes Gamay, Cabernet, Pinot Noir and the surprising Grénette make up the AOC’s rosé wines when simply pressed, and its reds when fermented.
The very elegant white wines, the fresher, fruitier rosés and the generous, silky reds are terrific both for cocktail hour and when paired with a meal.

As the saying goes, enjoy them with moderation. But bear in mind that the most discerning wine enthusiasts long ago recognized the inherent qualities of these wines, which a number of trade journalists have listed among the greats.

An Introductory Discovery Excursion... in the Salt Marshes

At any hour of the day, a stroll through the salt marshes of Olonnes country is always extremely enjoyable. The views there are extraordinary, and the light is particularly bright. The restful marsh landscapes are an invitation to a bucolic getaway, far from the more intense activity of the causeway and the port.
Explore the marshes and learn about fleur de sel (fine sea salt). After a few days in the region, you’ll find it impossible to leave without bringing back at least a small packet of this local “white gold”.
Back home, sprinkle just a few grains on your fish, poultry or even a chocolate mousse, and you will be transported back to the ocean spray of the town of Les Sables.
The local fine sea salt is of the highest purity. It is the fruit of a combination of three elements :
the sea, the wind and the sun. It appears at the surface of the water as a thin layer of pure white crystals that form atop the salt marshes. The salt workers here love what they do and will be happy to tell you all about it.
Glasswort also merits special attention, particularly if you want to push the limits of your culinary adventures. This small wild plant, which grows crookedly with leafless stalks, is capable of rivalling the most popular greens. When freshly picked for example, it can be used in the same dishes as green beans: stir fried as an accompaniment or even raw in a salad.
When prepared and pickled in vinegar, use it as a condiment to add some punch to your lunch meats, charcuterie, and so on.

A Tasty Excursion... through the Covered Markets, Fish Wells and Fishmongers

Les Halles Centrales are a must-see on a historical, gourmet walk. Built under the First Empire in 1810, renovated in 1889 in Baltard style and then more recently in 1990-1991 in accordance with the previous style, this covered market has stood the test of time without losing its wonderful old-fashioned charm that continues to marvel photographers and fans of beautiful architecture. Open Tuesday to Sunday (daily in July and August), from 8 am to 1 pm, Les Halles Centrales hosts a vast array of local farmers and craftsmen: market gardeners, fishmongers, butchers, cheese makers and dairy farmers, bakers and confectioners, prepared foods makers, florists, and makers/ sellers of regional products and preserves.

Other open-air markets dot the landscape of local gastronomy. It should be noted that Conserverie La Sablaise, the last cannery in Olonnes country, produces delicious specialities (fish soups, rillettes, marinades, sauces, mayonnaise, sardines, anchovies, cuttlefish, tuna and more), thanks to their strict policy of purchasing only fresh, French-fished products.

Special Offers

Retour haut de page