If you’re in Châteauneuf-du-Pape to taste some award-winning wines, you’re in the perfect place. If you’re there to have your award-winning wines accompanied by a delicious lunch with a view, your options are surprisingly limited.
Most of the wine-producing Châteaux don’t serve food. There are a few places to eat in town, but these feel more than a little incongruent with the fame and beauty of the region. The smoky terraces of these local bars and pizzerias just don’t feel deserving of a good wine. When you’re in such a stunning part of the world you want to savour the views as well as wines and food.
But that said, fear not, you’ll get your lunch with a view. We’ve explored, experimented and considered some admirable options that satisfy a range of tastes and budgets. All offer a superb meal with a spectacular view.
You’re in Châteauneuf-du-Pape to taste the wines and see the vines, so book a table at Château des Fines Roches.
This posh hotel has a restaurant open to all, with seating out on the terrace which means your dining experience provides a panaramic view of the romantic surrounding vineyards. When coupled with the delicious wines, the awesome food and the lovely staff, it’s a pretty special experience, well worth savouring. You can spend as much as you want here if you’re that way inclined, but it also offers a great value ‘plat du jour’ (one dish) or ‘formule du jour’ (2-3 dishes) at lunch and a range of delicious wines by the glass. Over-egged descriptions of food can be nonsense in lots of places, but certainly not here. My cod and roast veg was probably one of the best meals I’ve had in a France! Not to mention that they’ll start and end your meal with a little freebie nibble.
Recommended by locals as the best restaurant in the town centre, and couldn’t be situated any closer to the ruins of the old Château itself. The short effort of the uphill climb on an empty stomach is rewarded with stunning views all the way down across much of the town and its surrounding vineyards.
The food is delicious, the wine is delightful and the views are divine. It’s not the cheapest option but the menu offers a variety, including a reasonably priced 3-course menu du jour. So even if you’re a budget conscious indulger, you can still spoil yourself here.
Just next door to the Le Verger des Papes restaurant is this cute little outdoor café. The views are just as stunning, with the Château ruins in one direction and miles of rolling vineyards in the other, but the atmosphere is much more relaxed.
The menu is far from extensive but they do nice charcuterie and cheese boards and some excellent ice creams too. And of course, they have wine. It’s available by the glass at some of the best prices you will find in the whole area.
You’re after something simple but spectacular. Grab a picnic and go!
There’s a great little boulangerie in the centre of town. Grab your baguette there (possibly even a leek quiche) and walk the 5-6 minutes up hill to the ruins of the old Château.
At the top of the stairs head left (don’t go round to the right, behind the ruins) and perch yourself right on the wall. It’s the perfect picnic spot (although probably not a sensible option for travelers with kids) to enjoy lunch with magnificent views. You’ll be overlooking the town, the vineyards as well as the Rhône River and the mountains, and you’ll be feeling incredibly smug too. It’s very cheap but pretty priceless.
We hope you find somewhere that works for you. Let us know!