This being France, it’s hard to go wrong when it comes to dining out and Lille excels thanks to a Flemish twist. Some dishes to try are:

  • Carbonnade flamande – chucks of beef stewed in beer.
  • Spéculoos – spicy biscuits also used a lot in deserts like ice cream.
  • Moules-frites – a winning combination of mussels and chips, not just reserved for the Belgians.
  • Waterzoi – poultry or fish in a creamy sauce, served with vegetables.
  • Potjevleesch – a white meat terrine, traditionally including chicken, rabbit and veal.

And some places to try them are:

  • Méert patisserie (25-27 rue Esquermoise) – a must for thin, cream-filled waffles (called gaufres) and scrummy chocolates.
  • Tous Les Jours Dimanche (13 rue Masurel) – a quirky café with fabulous Spéculoos cheesecake.
  • Au Vieux de la Vieille (2 rue des Vieux Murs) – a typical local restaurant known as an estaminet, serving traditional Flemish fare.
  • Aux Moules (34 rue de Béthune) – a local institution and a must for fans of mussels.
  • Wazemmes food market (place de la Nouvelle Aventure) – you’ll find flavours from all over the world at this bustling Sunday market.


Like nearby Belgium, Lille is a beer lovers’ haven. Be warned, the traditional, locally brewed beers are strong-tasting and potent. Sample some at the micro-brewery Les Trois Brasseurs, opposite Lille-Flandres station.

The water is safe to drink in Lille.