Empire Café

Restaurant Empire Café  in VichyEmpire Café (Vichy) - © Louis Michaud

With its double view (the parc de l’Opéra from one side and the open kitchen run by Ugo Déglon on the other), beautiful cement tiles, comfortable benches and gingham tablecloths, the main dining room of this small café is without a doubt the best spot in the city. At lunch, there’s no appetizer on the menu, but four main courses made with local products, including a generous leek tart with aged Cantal, pork belly, a giant salad, and a filet of wild cod with crispy skin and tender meat, served with organic al dente spinach and lemony mashed potatoes. For dessert: a freshly prepared millefeuille or a gargantuan and creamy rice pudding with caramel and nougatine — that will remind you of the one from L’Ami Jean in Paris, where the chef spent 3 months in 2008 as the sous-chef. The wine list is short but sharp: Coteaux-de-l’Ardèche blanc from the Château de la Selve (€22.50 a bottle), Pic-Saint-Loup from the Domaine Saint-Hubert (€22.50). Wines by the glass from €4.50 to €4.70. À la carte €19.50 to €34.50, menu €27-33, brunch €22 (Sunday). // M.A.-L. 

Getting there

Restaurant Empire Café
3, galerie de la Source-de-l’Hôpital
TEL: +33 4 70 59 88 73