While you're here, make the most of our seafood specialities
Our freshly caught fish and shellfish have won a special place on local restaurant menus. Live langoustines (or scampi) jostle for place on the fishmongers' stalls. Their fine, delicate meat, like that of the spider crabs and lobsters, lends itself to the most simple cooking styles as well as the most refined and adventurous professional recipes.
The sardine, on the other hand, is the king of local dishes - indeed, in Douarnenez, the sardine is practically a cultural reference! You can try it raw, lightly marinated, grilled and braised or in a delicate savoury tart. Even after you've left Douarnenez you can still enjoy it all year round by taking home a few of the tinned sardines on which our town built its reputation.
There are two sorts of oysters: the common and the flat. You can try them ready-prepared in restaurants as well as buying them direct from the suppliers, known as ‘ostréiculteurs‘.
The common oyster
These are usually found along the coast near Saint Malo, Paimpol or even in the Gulf of Morbihan.
The flat oyster
These prefer deeper waters. The most famous are those of Riec-sur-Bélon in south Finistère.
One of the best lobsters in the world, the Breton lobster is easily recognisable thanks to its beautiful colouring, black with blue flecks. Our local ones usually come from the nearby Île de Sein.
Scallops (La coquille saint Jacques)
Adored by true gourmets, the ‘Saint Jacques' scallops are often fished from the waters of St Brieuc Bay near Brest, but can also be found in Douarnenez Bay itself. Even the top chefs choose our local scallops to grace their dishes.
The Atlantic Ocean is full of them. There are countless ways to enjoy a good sardine: tinned, grilled, baked in an oven, whatever you prefer - but Douarnenez sardines are at their very best in summer.
Whatever the variety, crabs can be prepared in all manner of ways with all kinds of ingredients or, for those who truly appreciate them, simply cooked and eaten unflavoured. They are fished from right along the Atlantic Coast in the sandy waters up to 50 metres deep.
Known as ‘moules de bouchot' in Brittany, our local mussels are small but very flavoursome. They are usually cooked with white wine, onions and garlic (‘à la marinière') or with cream (‘à la crème').
Fish soup and other tinned goods
The Breton tradition of tinned and preserved fish has gained a worldwide reputation despite the decline of the industry over the last twenty years. Nevertheless there are still three major factory sites including Wenceslas-Chancerelle, who produce one of the longest-running brands, Connétable, still a market-leader. The two others in Douarnenez are Cobreco and Paulet.