Food + Wine

World's Best Beach Food

Oysters in Brittany

The beach: Cancale, on the French Côte d'Émeraude

The place: The charming and friendly Bistrot la Marine, on the main street of St.-Quay-Portrieux, overlooking the Atlantic

The dish: Oysters pulled fresh out of La Manche

Thanks to a unique confluence of environmental blessings, oysters from the beaches of Brittany are among the tastiest in the world. Cancale oysters, in particular, have a firm texture and a tangy bite that endear them to oyster-lovers, and at seafood bistros along the Brittany coast, each oyster costs little more than one euro, or about $1.40 by current conversion rates (a better deal than the $2 to $3 per oyster at raw bars here in the States). Oyster restaurants in Brittany tend to follow a comfortable formula: wood paneling, tile floors, walls covered with nautical bits and bobs, and a patio or sidewalk tables with a view of the harbor. Bistrot la Marine, in the little seaside town of St.-Quay-Portrieux, adds its own lively touches to the formula, with retro-hipster live music on weekends and a friendly late-day bar scene. Tuck into a bowl of a dozen oysters with seasoned butter and a chilled glass of muscadet in the quiet étage upstairs overlooking the boats, with sprawling murals that depict old-school ostréiculteurs returning from a day's sloshy work in the bay.

Next: Afro-Brazilian beach cuisine in Bahia, Brazil >

Bistrot la Marine
38 Quai de la République
St.-Quay-Portrieux, France
33-2-96-70-87-38

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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