Where to eat and what to do while traveling along France's Route Nationale 7. From the charcuterie of Lyon to the Pissaladieres of Provence, this is an eating tour of a lifetime.
Where to Eat
30 cours de Verdun, Lyon (33/4/7256-5454). Moderate.
This cavernous brasserie epitomizes the genre, with its convivial bustle, efficient service, Belle Epoque setting, and solid, delicious Lyonnais fare.
Cafe Les Saveurs d'eleonore
4 place du Docteur Fomari (33/4/9357-6000). Moderate
This cheery, simple eatery is a fine place to sample Provençal specialties such as savory pissaladieres, fougasse cake made with anise and orange blossom water, and Menton lemon tart.
La Mule Blanche
Quartier de la Mule Blanche, RN 7, Tain-l'Hermitage (33/4/7508-5275). Inexpensive.
Follow the lead of the truck drivers and order the entrecote with fries, coq au vin, or fluffy chocolate mousse at this roadside eatery.
14, boulevard Fernand Point, Vienne (33/4/7453-0196). Expensive.
The restaurant, once owned by the legendary Fernand Point, is in the capable hands of chef Patrick Henriroux, who crafts beautiful two-star Michelin plates from the region's finest ingredients.
3 Rue Frederic Isnard, Antibes (33/4/9334-1776). Moderate.
In the coastal town of Antibes, this casual eatery is best known for its simple treatment of seasonal foods, particularly fish.
Le Relais 500 de Vienne
986 RN 7 Chonas L'Amballan, Vienne (33/4/7458-8144). Inexpensive.
This roadside eatery and motel, open since 1959, marks 500 kilometers on Route 7 (hence, the name). This is a classic place to stop for a mid-trip meal of hearty regional specialties, such as frisee aux lardons and pig's foot terrine.
Pic Le 7
285 avenue Victor Hugo, Valence-Drome (33/4/7544-3605). Expensive.
Whether you choose the high-end restaurant or the cafe, chef Anne-Sophie Pic, the only living female to hold three Michelin stars, will dazzle you with her refined and imaginative cooking.
What to Do
Le Mas Flofaro, 69 corniche Tardieu, Menton (33/6/8026-5224).
Call in advance and make an appointment to see — and depending on the season, taste — the fragrant, tangy Menton lemon. Learn about the culture and history of this citrus-growing region from the knowledgeable farmer, François Mazet.
Patisserie Gateau Labully
Place de l'eglise, Saint Genix sur Guiers (33/4/7631-6302).
The village boasts several pastry shops with their own version of the Gateau Labully, the heady brioche bun studded with rose-colored pralines, but this one is the original.
Valrhona Boutique Chocolaterie
14 Avenue du President Roosevelt, Tain-l'Hermitage (33/4/7507-9062).
Fill up on top-quality chocolate and confections at this elegant shop in the legendary Valrhona chocolate factory.
Dinner for two with drinks and tip
Inexpensive Under $20 Moderate $20-$80 Expensive Over $80
****See the article Route 7: The Road to Paradise »****