If you’re ever in Bretagne (Brittany) in France and you’re a seafood lover – make sure Cancale is top of your ‘to do’ list! It’s dubbed “the oyster capital of Brittany” with very good reason!
Cancale is located on the coast of North-West France, close to Saint-Malo. It is a small picturesque fishing port, but due to its popularity, it has a large number of bars, cafes and restaurants. Most of the restaurants specialise in – you guessed it – seafood! In other words… mine and Sander’s idea of heaven!!
The farming of oysters is still a major activity in the port and there are oyster beds covering about 7 square kilometres easily seen from the pier at the harbour. These beds harvest about 25,000 tons of oysters each year. (Source)
To sample them, you don’t need go to a restaurant, oh no – the way to do it is to have someone from the market stalls shuck them for you. The oyster stalls are located at the far end of the port next to the lighthouse.
A fraction of the price and very authentic! Tip: We only brought diet coke with us, but sensible (and I suspect – French) people brought along a bottle of chilled white wine!
Of course it has to be good weather to sit on the beach and devour oysters, so plan your trip wisely. Unfortunately, people don’t come to Northern France for the weather! But if it rains, you can always go to a restaurant…
Crèpes et Coquillages
The only restaurant we’ve been to in Cancale, and therefore the only one we can recommend is: Crèpes et Coquillages. (Other reviewers on Trip Advisor definitely agree with us!) The moules (mussels) with Roquefort sauce were nothing short of amazing… in fact I’ve gone off mussels of late, but these brought the love back. *That’s how good they were!*
We also had the fish soup – a steaming bowl of orange, crabby deliciousness and my Mum had a galette (crèpe) which she said was superb. (As superb as a crèpe can be I guess. Boring!)
If you’re not swayed yet… here are a couple more pics of one of my favourite seaside towns ever!
Getting to Cancale:
Public transport: There are no trains to the town, so if you’re using public transport you need to take a bus to / from St-Malo.
By car: Put “Chez Victor, Cancale” into your sat nav. (We use Google maps.) This will send you right to the end of the port – you’ll see the car park on the left. The road is aptly named Rue des Parcs. Cost is €1.20 per hour. (Correct as of June 2016.)
Prices vary depending on size and quality. You can get #1 oysters (the biggest/best) for around €5.60 for a dozen. You also need to pay extra for serviettes and lemon (50 cents each).