French cooking Lorraine / Grand Est region

top 5 of what to taste in Nancy

When you are greedy, you absolutely must try one of the culinary specialties of Nancy and Lorraine. If there is a gourmet city, this is it. Discover our selection to taste when you stay in "the city with the golden doors" which is not only famous for its sublime Place Stanislas...


1 The bergamots of Nancy 


THE specialty of Nancy

We don't really know where they come from, but what is certain is that they are very famous. They even have a PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) which allows you to be sure to taste a real bergamot and not just any sour candy. It is sugar with the essence of bergamot, a fruit that does not grow in Nancy but in Calabria in southern Italy. Some see in this Italian origin of the fruit, the explanation of the birth of the bergamots of Nancy since Rene I Duke of Lorraine was also king of Naples. 

Bergamotes Photo choisie par : Dessin botanique de la bergamote sur Wikipedia

Bergamots Photo chosen by Botanical drawing of the bergamot on Wikipedia

A somewhat mysterious origin

Others speak rather of the court of Lunéville, and of the worked sugar of which one made sculptures which one laid out on the table and of which the guests broke pieces to suck them and to scent their breath. The fashion was for lemon products, and bergamot (found in the very popular eau de Cologne in the 18th century) was the star of perfumes in the 18th century. 


A delight to suck on

Bergamotes Photo choisie par : Foodpictures/
Bergamots Photo chosen by : Foodpictures/

It was in the 19th century that the bergamot of Nancy became famous by being offered in ... Boxes of cartridges that remained from the 1870 war and were no longer in use. Boxes which became decorative then, to the point of attracting collectors. It is the military, very numerous in Nancy, who made the bergamot popular in France by bringing them back with them to their families. 

There is nothing more democratic than the Bergamot of Nancy since it can be sucked, crunched... Or both! 


2 The macaroons of Nancy 


An Italian origin 

The Italians were the first to have imagined, in the Middle Ages, to make macaroons - Macaroni in Italian - and it was an Italian, Catherine de Medici, who brought them with her to France when she married the French king Henri II. And the French loved it so much that many cities started to make it (Amiens, Joyeuse...). In Nancy, it is believed that the recipe arrived with the daughter of Queen Catherine, Claude de France, wife of the Duke of Lorraine Charles III. 

Photo choisie par : Claude de France (1547-1575), duchesse de Lorraine, fille de Catherine de Médicis 

Photo chosen by : Claude de France (1547-1575), Duchess of Lorraine, daughter of Catherine de Medici 

The "macaroon" sisters

Macarons de Nancy Photo choisie par : Foodpictures/
Macaroons of Nancy Photo chosen by Foodpictures/

It was the French Revolution that made the macaroons of Nancy famous. In 1793, in the middle of the Revolution, the convents and monasteries were closed. This is the case of the convent of the Ladies of the Blessed Sacrament. The nuns strictly observed a rule forbidding them to eat meat, but allowing them to eat eggs. What they do by mixing them with almond powder in the form of macaroons. Two of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament left their convent and, having nothing left, they started to sell the macaroons of their convent. Marie-Elisabeth Morlot and Marguerite Gaillot made macaroons so tasty that they became famous under the nickname of "Macaroon Sisters". Their secret recipe has been passed down and is jealously guarded by the House of the Macaroon Sisters in Nancy


3 Mirabelle plums from Lorraine

The Golden Fruit

Lorraine produces more than 80% of the world's mirabelle plum crop. This shows how much this fruit enjoys Lorraine! There are two main "species": the Mirabelle of Nancy (the largest, ideal for pies) and the Mirabelle of Metz (smaller, ideal for making alcohol). There are many mirabelle plum trees around the Colline de Sion, not far from Nancy, and they are magnificent in March-April because they are all white. There are of course mirabelle trees elsewhere than in Lorraine, but nothing beats the mirabelles of Lorraine in terms of flavor. It is said that this is due to the soil and the somewhat "extreme" climate, very cold in winter and very hot in summer. Note that Lorraine produces a lot of plums, especially quetches, and that there is even a conservatory that collects them in the Meuse. 40 kms from Nancy, in Rozelieures, the "Maison de la Mirabelle" (Mirabelle plum house) allows you to discover the history and the production of the plum and offers a lot of nice products (from alcohol to perfume, shampoo...)

Mirabelle plums from Lorraine / Photo chosen by : Shutterstock

Mirabelle plums from Lorraine / Photo chosen by : Shutterstock


To enjoy in summer

It is eaten in endless tarts in August at harvest time. We also make jam (which is available all year round), chutney (delicious with foie gras) and sorbets. If you like white spirits, you should try it at the end of a meal in a cool glass. Always choose mirabelles with red spots (like freckles) and a little white fuzz called "pruine" which is a guarantee of freshness. 


4 Quiche Lorraine 


The most famous dish from Lorraine

It is, it seems, the second most sold takeaway in the world. It must be said that it is simple to make. But like everything else that is simple to make in the kitchen, it has to be done well if you want it to be really good. Originally, no cheese was used, and if you do use it, don't tell the purists of the "Confrérie de la Quiche Lorraine" in Dombasle sur Meurthe (25 kms from Nancy), but the truth is that we sometimes use it at home. 

We advise you to go to the Foy, place Stanislas. Or you can go and buy some to take away from our pork butchers (the one from Edouard's at the Central market in Nancy is excellent). 


The recipe

5 Pâté Lorrain

The personal pleasure of the people of Lorraine

It is a specialty that is not very well known outside of Lorraine but is famous in Lorraine: pâté Lorrain. It is made of pork and veal meat, marinated in white wine (from Toul rather), cut in coarse pieces and coated with puff pastry. It is just a delight to break the crust after sport, when you work early in the morning, and there are many Lorraine people who make paté Lorrain-salade on Sunday evening. To taste with a little green salad it is a real delight. 

A pâté Lorrain / image chosen by / fantomache from Pixabay

A pâté Lorrain / image chosen by / fantomache from Pixabay


Our addresses: 

You can find pâté from Lorraine at pork butchers, butchers, and bakers. You can eat it cold, but often it can be eaten hot. Just ask for it. In Nancy, you can find an excellent one at the Clément pork shop, rue Poincaré. The best is at the Charcuterie Philippot in Champigneules (10 km from Nancy, 10 minutes by car and 10 minutes by train), as well as at the Maison Bluntzer in Lunéville (20 minutes from Nancy by car or train). 

Discover the most beautiful place in the world in Nancy with Monsieurdefrance.frDiscover the most beautiful place in the world in Nancy with


Others specialities


The baba au rhum 

This fabulous dessert was born in the castle of Lunéville. King Stanislas loved the Polish brioche filled with candied fruits. At the end of his life, aged (he died at 89) and not having very strong teeth, he had the idea to pour wine on his brioche to soften it. As the bun sagged, it reminded him of the traditional dress of Polish grandmothers, the "babas". He got into the habit of making it with Tokay wine, which was very expensive, and which only he could consume and go and help himself to a room guarded by Swiss soldiers, hence the French expression "drink in switzerland" to designate someone who does not share. Taken over by the Parisian Störher, rue mont orgueil in Paris, the idea of wine was changed in favor of rum, less expensive. You can taste very good rum babas in Nancy, capital of King Stanislas.

A rum baba / Photo chosen by / p.studio66/

A rum baba / Photo chosen by / p.studio66/

And there is even a restaurant dedicated to the king's favorite cuisine (a great gourmet!) and Polish or 18th century recipes. A great experience that we recommend and that you can enjoy at the restaurant "La table du bon roi Stanislas" (website in french) rue Gustave Simon in Nancy (right next to the Place Stanislas). 


The madeleines 

They were invented not far away, in Commercy, (we tell you the story and the recipe here) and you can also find delicious ones in Liverdun near Nancy. It is said that those of Commercy are softer and those of Liverdun are firmer. If you like local products, you must absolutely go to the "Epicerie du goût" place vaudémont, near the Place Stanislas. Here, the family of Metz-Noblat gathers the best of the products of Lorraine, in particular the madeleines, but also the "caviar Lorrain" (the best jam of currants of the world), cheese, beers... 

Madeleines photo choisie par Monsieurdefrance.Fr / Shutterstock

The beer 

Lorraine is a great brewing land. There are many craft breweries. It is because the best breweries were found there that Doctor Pasteur, inventor of the vaccine against rabies, stayed in Lorraine to study yeasts. This excellence of Lorraine for beer is due to the fact that the water is very good, pure, and not very calcareous, which allows to make excellent beers. 

Nothing more Lorraine than Beer / Photo chosen by : Ground Picture/ 

Nothing more Lorraine than Beer / Photo chosen by : Ground Picture/ 

We advise you to try the beers of the "Brasseurs de Lorraine" in Pont-à-Mousson (20 mn from Nancy by car and by train). They make everything by hand and create many flavors that have won them many national and international awards. 


The wine 

Lorraine is an old land of wine. Before the terrible Phylloxera epidemic that ruined the French vineyards at the beginning of the 20th century, it was covered with vines. It continues to produce an excellent wine around Toul, in Moselle and in Meuse. The wines of Toul (25 kms from Nancy, 20 minutes by car, 20 minutes by train) are excellent. You can discover them directly at the wine growers. The famous "Vin gris de Toul" (ideal for fish for example or a good aperitif) benefits from an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée. 

To taste it in Nancy, we recommend the wine shop "Les domaines" (website is in French language) in the rue Claude Charles behind the town hall of Nancy. You can also find the best wines there. 

Nothing like a good wine from Toul / Photo chosen by : stockcreations/ Nothing like a good wine from Toul / Photo chosen by : stockcreations/ 

And Nancy is the city of restaurants 

It is said that in Nancy you can have a different restaurant every day for a year, which is not surprising. Whether it is in the famous "rue gourmande" which takes its name from a large concentration of restaurants, on the Place Vaudémont, with its terraces, around the Central Market (towards the rue de la Primatiale or the rue des Ponts), or on the famous Place Stanislas, you can always find a restaurant open.

The people of Nancy love to go there and are curious, which means that you will come across all kinds of flavors. Don't hesitate to ask passers-by, to tell them what kind of restaurant you are looking for and you will see, they will find the right address for you.


Our favorite restaurants

Nancy is at least one different restaurant every day / Photo chosen by Andrey Bayda/ 
Nancy is at least one different restaurant every day / Photo chosen by Andrey Bayda/ 

"La Maison dans le Parc" gourmet restaurant (1 star in the Michelin guide in 2022) held by Charles Coulombeau, a young chef barely 30 years old who constantly innovates and offers an amazing menu. It's on Sainte Catherine street, one of the streets leading off from Place Stanislas. 

"Les Pissenlits" rue des Ponts. Traditional French cuisine and Eastern cuisine (there are delicious spaetzles). You don't have to look at the quantity and it's an excellent value for money).

"Le Bistronome" on rue Saint Michel (in the old town), a very nice restaurant with an excellent quality-price ratio thanks to the imagination and talent of the chef: Julien Picard. The restaurant is small (26 places), it is advised to reserve.

"Vins et Tartines" rue des ponts. Original (and big!) sandwiches that you can taste with the corresponding wine. Clotilde, the owner, is a sommelier, trust her and let her guide you. You can also buy the bottle of wine you like. 

"La Primatiale" is run by Nicolas in a very nice pedestrian street called "la rue de la Primatiale" (you can find the thirty-somethings on the go at the time of the aperitif, it's very nice). Nicolas cooks according to his tastes, but always fresh and of quality. 

"L'excelsior" emblematic brasserie of Nancy with a multitude of good dishes, in particular the famous "tout Nancy" which allows to taste the sweet specialities of Nancy in only one dessert. The decor is fabulous as it is entirely Art Nouveau (Majorelle seats, Daum lights...). 


If you like to cook  

If you took an Airbnb, consider shopping at the Marché Central - Central Market (Place Charles III), it's the "belly" of Nancy. You can find absolutely everything that Lorraine produces. For cheese, in particular, you should try "Frères Marchand" or the Martineau house (very demanding) and for meat, the Edouard butcher shop. For fruits and vegetables, we like Huyar Primeur and the "small baskets" that come at weekends (you can find mushrooms or even truffles when it's in season). For bread, go to Gwisdak on rue Raugraff (not very far). 


Around Nancy 

"L'imprimerie" is a handmade restaurant run by Morgan FADY, 30 years old and very audacious in the culinary field. Semi-gastronomic, the restaurant is often fully booked. It is located in Fontenoy la joûte not far from Lunéville (30 mn from Nancy by car). 

"Le petit comptoir" quai des petits bosquets in Lunéville. Just in front of the magnificent Château de Lunéville (Stanislas' residence), this is a traditional restaurant. The cuisine is fine and the terrace is a delight in summer. 20 mn from Nancy by car and by train. 

"Le vieux Ciné" in Badonvillers, run by Baptiste Bouché, a very nice traditional restaurant, which regularly dares to surprise the regulars who like to stay there while going to the lake of Pierre Percée for some fresh air. 

"Au vieux moulin" run by two friends, in the heart of the old village in Houdemont (15 mn from Nancy by car), a traditional cuisine with a touch of experimentation that you should discover.

Sorry for the translation errors. Our translator came across a bottle of Mirabelle from 1975, the best of the best, but now... it's in bad shape and it's cloudy... 

N.B. : alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health, consume with moderation.



Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme is "monsieur de France" the author of this site.