Traditional French Food
France: the land of bread, wine and cheese. It's no coincidence that we deferred to France when it came to finding a word to describe food.Read our guide to traditional french food.Read more
Breezing your way through the fresh air of Alsace or gliding down the hills of Tuscany is the perfect way to discover local, off-the-beaten-track cafés. Stopping off for a strong, steaming coffee and syrupy sweet snack is part and parcel of any memorable cycling tour. Here are a few of our favourite places to people-watch, soak up the sun and take in the local charm.
Hop off the saddle at Au Croissant Doré, a curio-packed café in Colmar. Here, even the till is an antique. The selection of pastries and cakes is a true delight for the eyes (and taste buds).
Not far from Kayersberg, which you'll reach on day five, you'll find the small town of Riquewihr, home to the charming Salon de Thé à La Couronne Koeffer and Hôtel de la Couronne. These two establishments are a moment's walk from each other, so you can enjoy a steaming coffee under the hotel's impressive Tudor arch then head for a cool beer at the tearoom. Or vice versa, of course.
When you reach Strasbourg, you'll be even more spoilt for choice. That said, if you're after a cosy, classy and minimalist coffee break, then Fou d’café won't disappoint. The clean, calm interior is the perfect place to sample the strong seasonal coffee (and moreish homemade desserts).
There's also the historic Café Brant, named after the German poet and writer Sébastien Brant. This popular local coffee house, which dates back to the late 1800s, seamlessly blends comfortable modern décor with its older features. You'll find plenty of delicious delights on the menu too, including classic pain au chocolat or omelette for breakfast.
If you're planning to glide through the vivid Tuscan hills on our e-bike tour, then there are a couple of delightful café pit stops to look out for. Bar Trovellesi, our spot of choice on the Piazza del Commune in Assisi, is certainly worth a visit. The cool, curved interior is packed with refreshing hot and cold drinks (the fruit-packed sundaes are also very tempting), and there are plenty of tables outside where you can watch local life unfold.
You'll find some gems in the smaller towns as well. Don't miss Bar 500 in Cortona – here you can tuck into a freshly baked focaccia over a speciality coffee, or get your energy levels back up with one of their infamously large salads.
Passing through the almost-mystical beauty of Montone, nestled in the lush Tuscan countryside, also gives you the perfect excuse to stop off at the Aries Café. This cosy, traditional establishment is ideal for taking in the charming view of the Piazza Fortebraccio (and is also close to the 18th-century Palazzo Gallenga Stuart). You'll find plenty of locals here in the morning, grabbing a strong espresso to set them up for the day. They also serve snacks, including zesty, icy gelato – just the thing for recharging your batteries in the Tuscan sunshine.
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