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Southern France's Bistrots de Pays

Frédéric Lagrange

Photo: Frédéric Lagrange

The village bistro that may or may not also function as a café, grocery store, and bread drop-off is one of rural France’s coziest, most sustaining traditions. Since it is often the only spot to congregate and buy a newspaper in a village, as well as the place’s only business, the bistro acts as switchboard, nerve center, and lifeline. Even if you can’t understand the gossip they overhear or the mutterings of the town drunk, you'll love the atmosphere.

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Destinations: Esparron-de-Verdun · Provence

Themes: Road Trip · Food + Drink

Inspired by: Five Small-Town French Cafés — by Christopher Petkanas, Published Sep. 2008

Hotels (5)

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Restaurants (5)

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    L'Oustau de la Font

    The restaurant has an exhaustive wine list with an entire page of red magnums. The eatery occupies an ancient stone house beside the old public lau

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    Les Deux Nines

    The mayor of St.-Jurs believed so strongly in a bistro/café/grocery/bread drop-off that he built this one with municipal funds. The grocery is ador

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    Le Bistrot de Pierrerue

    The unlikely people behind Pierrerue's only storefront are Maryvonne and Mark Marinelli, Americans in their forties who formerly owned a corporate

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    L'Auberge

    The 146 year-old property once had guest rooms, a grocery, a café, and a gas station but now is a café-bistro only. Have some of the on-the-house

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    Café de la Lavande

    Hang out in this cozy village bistro and dine on a magnificently fatty sauté of veal with salsify. You may even spot director Adrian Lyne - known t

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