If I could give a Lille visitor only one suggestion for a dinner spot, it would be, without a hint of doubt, Le Barbue d’Anvers. Located in the middle of the charming, tiny yet restaurant-packed rue St. Etienne, this restaurant is THE spot for awesome ambiance and authentic Flemish food.
I went for the realest deal I could find; a starter course of fried Maroilles (very stinky, very Flemish) cheese, a main dish of Carbonade Flamande (beef stewed in beer and served with fries), and a dessert of profiteroles filled with Speculoos ice cream…accompanied by a few Belgian beers, of course!
Our waiter was the tops, helping me practice my French and overseeing my English translations for my parents. He advised that perhaps the courses I’d ordered – all extremely heavy foods in large portions – would be way too much food for my 5’1” self. Reasonably, I should have agreed, but instead I told him that that sounded like a challenge.
Alas, an hour and a half later I was very full, he was very impressed, and my family and I were very sure that we had found Lille’s greatest. Seriously, my words do not do Le Barbue d’Anvers justice and I can’t recommend it highly enough, especially if you are looking for food traditional to the Flanders region.
No surprise that the restaurant is usually packed; if you do plan to go, make sure to secure a reservation…though indulging in a couple Belgian brews while you wait in the bar isn’t the worst way to start your experience. Bon appétit!