Brittany & Normandy Restaurant Recommendations

Thanks for all of the great recommendations and KA education.

Thank you. I do believe there’s a deep, interesting ethnoculinary background behind kouign-amann and it deserves to be known.

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I googled the pronunciation because it looked a little tricky. There are variations on the spectrum from from “queen” to “coon” with subtle differences. I’m assuming that any approximation will be understood because I hate to have to rudely point.

“Coon”? It might be one of those strange québécois pronounciations but in France queen is close enough

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In proper Breton it’s ‘cooeeng amann’ with a nasalisation on the final -ann, as in the French tante, so it sounds more like “awn”, and the final -n is pronounced. Some subregions of Brittany (“pays” or bro) will make it sound more like “kuing” which is pronounced a bit like “queuing”. The meaning is “butter cake”.

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Thanks!! I expect I’ll get lots of practice saying it.

We’re in Brittany now and bought our first kougin-amann yesterday at Chez Ty Kouign near our gite in the Cotes d’Armor (there are several locations). It came in a 9in tin pie plate (12€60) and the saleswoman told us to heat it up for 5min at 150C. It was outstanding—flaky with a shiny, carmelized top! In addition, the food highlights have been the plougastel strawberries, charentais melon and cheeses that we bought at La Criee (covered market in Rennes).
I’ll post details of any memorable meals when I get back.


While you’re in Brittany and shopping for cheeses, at crèmeries or on weekly open markets, keep an eye open for gwell (a.k.a. gros lait) and just pounce upon it wherever you can find it. It is a type of local fermented milk which can only be made in farms, all attempts to make it on an industrial level have failed. It is really delicious. Try it with Plougastel strawberries for instance.
I’m in Brittany too right now (until tomorrow afternoon) and I can say the shellfish like langoustines, tourteau and spider crab (my favorite) are very full and meaty right now.
If you go to Northeastern Brittany (the Saint-Malo region), look for moussettes (young spider crabs).

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Thanks, I’ll be on the lookout for qwell. We’ll be in the St Malo region next week but I’m not a fan of shellfish. My husband, however, plans to have oysters every chance he gets.

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Saint-Malo can be tricky because it’s so touristy (but so utterly beautiful, this week I had it all to myself since the weather was a bit rainy…). However it’s possible to find good food. If not guided properly, you’re also likely to fall into tourist traps, and these seem to be far worse than in Paris because there’s the seafood attractor playing, and I need not say more.

  • For moderately-priced, elegant cuisine made with great products = Le Bistrot du Rocher, Le Cambusier.

  • For buckwheat galettes and the best sweet crêpes in the world = this is the Breizh Café epicenter, so L’Atelier de la Crêpe, a lovely restaurant space that is also a state-approved crêpe school; Le Comptoir Breizh Café (intra-muros) which is also a cider bar with a list of more than 60 ciders and poirés.

  • You might say you’re not coming to Brittany for Japanese food, but Bertrand Larcher (Breizh Café’s founder), living his life between Japan and France, has created a small vortex of delicious Japanese food around the Saint-Malo-Cancale area — La Table Breizh Café in Cancale (elegant) and Otonali in Saint-Malo, a bright, spacious izakaya serving fantastic, cheap Japanese bistro food (lunch yesterday: bluefin tuna carpaccio and an excellent Japanese wagyu curry). Great sakes of course. It’s Japanese food with a Breton touch and these go quite well together.

  • If you want to splurge on a great seafood platter or simply prepared fish with the right amount of butter, stick to the big brasseries near the entrance of Intra-Muros, don’t think twice, they have plenty of customers and a high turnover. I particularly recommend Le Café de l’Ouest for seafood (fantastic sole meunière) and a Jacques Demy atmosphere, Brasserie du Lion d’Or for aged grass-fed meat, and there’s Ostaleri, a small restaurant right nearby, recently opened. I haven’t had a chance to try it but I hear plenty of good things about it.

  • In Cancale: Le Troquet, Côté Mer.

We just had a fantastic lunch at Rosmadec Le Moulin in Pont Aven. They got their first Michelin star in 1933 and deserve the star they have now. However, parking was a nightmare and the narrow streets and many one way streets made driving stressful. We had to park a bit out of town and then walk uphill after lunch but it was worth it.

Yes, Le Moulin de Rosmadec is quite good. Taken over recently by Christian Le Squer. Parking is a nightmare in Pont-Aven…
While you’re in the Finistère, you might want to try L’Auberge des Glazicks in Plomodiern or L’Amphitryon in Lorient.

Yesterday we had a wonderful Kouign-amann (individual size) from Ma Boulangerie, just outside of Carnac. It was not quite as carmelized as the one from Chez Ty Kouign (in a pie tin) but just as delicious. I can’t decide which I like better. Guess I’ll just need to continue taste testing.

BTW - Ma Boulangerie was a great place for lunch. We bought sandwiches and pastry and ate at their picnic tables in a large park like area in the back. Just be aware there are no toilets.

We had another great lunch today at La Vieille Auberge in Tinteniac. This was the first opportunity this trip to have my favorite meal…foie gras entree and sweetbreads plat. This was one of the best sweetbread preparations ever—milky soft sweetbreads in a morel cream sauce with 4 nice sized morels and creamy, truffled whipped potatoes.


A post was split to a new topic: Advices for a week in Normandy

That is indeed a good way of serving sweetbreads. I like the new style cherished by chefs (a whole ‘pomme’ of ris de veau roasted golden and crispy), but I much prefer the traditional way of cutting it into small chunks and simmering it in a mushroom cream sauce. Suits its taste and texture better. A type of preparation that is unfortunately disappearing.

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@naf. Can you turn @Anne’s post into its own separate thread. It’s lost tacked onto this old existing thread.

Ok! The new topic is here: