Is the universe conspiring against me? Because it seems horribly unfair that I spent a whole month in Grenoble and it wasn’t until the last few days that I found this tiny, riverside gem of a restaurant hidden behind a nondescript storefront.
Of course, you could also call it my fault. Because our landlord recommended this restaurant week one and instead of calling right that second for a reservation, I worked my way down another list of local recommendations before booking a last-minute lunch here just before we were scheduled to depart.
Either way, it was my loss. Because Troquet les Mouettes served up the best meal I had during our time in Grenoble and I would have eaten here so many more times if given the chance.
As it was, a single lunch is all I got. But it’s still one of my most memorable French meals of all time.
Eating at Troquet les Mouettes
The interior of the restaurant is simple and clean and the ever-changing menu is printed out on a blackboard and brought directly to your table and explained. If you don’t read French, bring your dictionary or ask politely if there are any English-speaking staff who can explain. You won’t find an English menu here.
Expect a multi-course lunch menu with a handful of options for each course. We chose a tender steak served with sweet potato puree and figs for our main and a chocolate brownie topped with homemade mint ice cream for dessert. Everything was thoughtfully prepared, simple, and featuring the best ingredients – which are the hallmarks of a great meal (and especially a French meal).
Reserve ahead. We foolishly tried to just pop in on several Grenoble restaurants and every time they were fully booked.
Address: 13 Quai Claude Bernard
Phone: +33 04 76 50 95 13
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12 – 14 and 19 to 20.
Price range: Average for a two-course meal is about 20 euros.
Dog friendly? Yes!
What to do in Grenoble (when you’re not eating)
Don’t miss the big fresh market where you’ll find everything from juicy rotisserie chickens to baked goods to fresh local produce.
If you have more than one meal in town, head to La Ferme à Dédé for the second. I suggest the traditional crawfish and chicken, served with delicate scalloped potatoes.
And if you’re exploring the region, don’t miss nearby Annecy and its excellent fresh market.