Petite France Quarter
In the south-western most part of Strasbourg, just past the Vauban Dam, the River Ile splits off into five tributaries. These tributaries snake and wander through the city, fracturing it into several small slices. The largest of these slices, La Grande Ile (The Main Island), made an ideal spot for tanners and fisherman to set up shop and became known as La Petite France (Little France).
Today, Petite France is a gem of preserved Medieval architecture and great place to spend an afternoon. Fine restaurants and charming hotels are everywhere. The streets are all cobblestone and many of them are closed off to cars. On the roofs of the half- timbered houses you can frequently see storks nesting and old wagon wheels. Many of the city’s famous river tours depart from this area of town.
Shopping in Petite France is plentiful but not as upscale as in the center of the city. For lunch or dinner I highly recommend these fantastic restaurants-
Maison des Tanneurs– A old tannery that was converted into a restaurant in the early 1900’s. The fare is a French/German mix and all of it very very good. If your feeling adventurous try the escargot with butter garlic sauce or for a classic German meal, the Sauerkraut and Schnitzel. Service can be a little lacking due to the high volume of customers.
La Cloche a Fromage– I loved this beautiful restaurant not far from the center of Petite France. They specialize in Cheese and have over 200 different varieties that you can try. Stop in for the fondue or the raclettes, which will blow your mind. This place is a bit pricey but completely worth it.
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