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As the cultural capital of the Vaucluse, Avignon might logically be considered the culinary capital, too. Visit during the July theater festival, however, and you’ll have the opposite impression. Sunny sidewalk tables spill out temptingly onto the streets, but nearly all serve the kind of food designed for people on tight schedules: salads, pizzas, and charcuterie plates, often of indifferent quality. For more generous and imaginative Provençal food, you will have to seek out Avignon’s few culinary gems or scour the countryside, where delightful meals can be had in roadside restaurants, renovated farmhouses, and restaurants with chefs whose talents are as stunning as the hilltop settings where they operate. Be sure to indulge in the sun-drenched local wines from the Luberon, the Côtes du Ventoux, and the Côtes du Rhône (especially its lesser-known vineyards), and if a full bottle seems too much for two people, order one of the 50 cl bottles now popular here (the equivalent of two-thirds of a regular bottle). It pays to do research—too many restaurants, especially in summer, are cynically cashing in on the thriving tourist trade, and prices are generally high.

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  • Le Chalet Reynard

    Le Chalet Reynard

    -04–90–61–84–55
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    La Fourchette

    17 rue Racine -04–90–85–20–93
  • Le Fournil

    Le Fournil

    5 pl. Carnot -04–90–75–83–62
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