There’s no shortage of amazing food shops in Lille, but the selection below are ones that you won’t want to miss.
1. Meert, 27 Rue Esquermoise
This place is a 170-year-old Lille institution. There’s a restaurant/tea room at the back and a spectacular chocolate shop at the front. Service can be slow and the food is pricey, but worth it for the exquisite décor, just don’t go if you’re starving.
2. Patrick Hermand, Rue Basse
This patisserie on the corner of rue Masurel will stop you in your tracks. Even if you don’t go inside, the selection of macarons in the window will have you entranced. Spoil somebody and bring them back a box, there are 22 sweet flavors and five savory flavors to choose from, including fois gras, and black or white truffle.
3. Philippe Olivier Fromagerie, 2 Rue du Cure Saint-Etienne
Take the small street directly opposite Meert to find this delightful little cheese shop, or just follow your nose! It’s part of a regional chain and has a fantastic selection of cheese to taste and buy. Pick up some local Maroilles to bring back to London – but be warned, it is pretty pungent.
4. Alex Croquet, 66 rue Esquermoise
If you fancy some nice crusty bread to go with your cheese purchases, you’ll find this famous bakery a bit further down Rue Esquermoise. They also sell some cakes and sandwiches if you want to eat on the go.
5. La Chambre aux Confitures, 12 rue Esquermoise
If you just walk past it in the street, this little shop looks like a high end perfume or cosmetics shop. Look a little closer and you’ll find the stylish pale wood shelves are stacked high with pots of jam. There are so many different flavors it will make your head spin and you can sample before you buy – bliss!