Bordeaux, France: best food and drink guide
France's wine capital is a must-visit for food, too. We've put together the best places to eat and drink with a little help from Bénédicte Baggio, a journalist and food blogger based in Bordeaux.
1 Neo-bistro A small, casual restaurant run by Israeli, Vietnamese, Japanese and New Caledonian chefs, Miles turns out wonderfully creative food. Think pork loin with celeriac and vanilla purée, roasted root vegetables, baby beetroot leaves and preserved lemons.
2 Third wave coffee Set in DARWIN, an eco-business hub in a former barracks on the city’s right bank, Arthur Audibert – alias L’Alchimiste Torréfacteur – roasts coffee with passion and precision. Enjoy a Chire moka from Ethiopia or a Manzano arabica from Salvador.
3 Local street food Margot and Tristan drive around Bordeaux in their Seasons Food Truck (a 1974 Citroën HY) serving fresh, seasonal street food. The menu changes weekly and features everything from veggie wraps to the famous Hangover: roast potatoes with bacon, eggs, salad and lemon dressing.
4 Wine, cheese & music At the Chartrons docks, Le Bistrot du Fromager pairs regional cheeses with the area’s best red and white wines in a smart, contemporary setting.
5 Bite into a bitoche If you’re a meat lover, head to humble La Tanière on the docks and order a bitoche – minced beef cooked like a large burger, served with a creamy mushroom and piment d’Espelette sauce and frites. It’s cheap, and very good. 41 Quai Richelieu, no phone
6 Crazy for cake Bordelaises are crazy about puits d’amour, tiny choux pastry cakes filled with caramelised Chiboust cream. Originating in Captieux, an hour’s drive south of the city, a company specialising in the pastries set up a branch in Bordeaux last year. lepuitsdamourdecaptieux.com
7 Local tapas At Belle Campagne, a locavore restaurant, tapas are made with simple, fresh ingredients. Share a plate of Girondin beef with juniper essence cream, or dip bread in a Rocamadour cheese roasted with hazelnuts.
8 Wines by the glass A liquid primer on regional (and other) vineyards, at Aux 4 coins du Vin you can choose from 32 wines by the glass – from a 2004 Château Pontet-Canet to a Bandol Domaine Tempier – instead of having to order a whole bottle.
9 Home-style brunch At Plume Bakery and Coffee, fill up for the day on homemade granola with fresh fruit, scrambled eggs and ham or Brebis cheese with a fresh brioche and maple syrup.
10 Handmade chocolates A local but dynamic institution, at Maison Darricau craftsman Michel Garrigue creates chocolates laced with spice (cinnamon, curry or nutmeg) and aromatic herbs (thyme, tarragon or basil). Don’t miss the red wine ganache truffle. It’s a local specialty.
11 Cruising the Garonne For a romantic dinner on an elegant boat, with the city’s 18th-century UNESCO-rated facades as a backdrop, book dinner aboard the Sicambre. It’s packed with local produce, from Arcachon oysters to mullet tartare, red wine jelly with duck liver, asparagus and Bayonne ham.
12 Classy cocktails It’s not obligatory to drink wine all the time in Bordeaux. If you’re looking for a superior cocktail, try the lovely Maria Randall, with its vintage floral wallpaper, and sip a Diamond Sour, made with violet cream, amaretto and mashed raspberry. (6 Rue Louis Combes, 00 33 557 30 9147)
13 Standout burgers Order a Reuben (made with Black Angus beef, gorgonzola and pastrami, and served with mature cheddar chips) at Kokomo Delicatessen, on the charming Place Fernand Laffargue. You won’t be disappointed. (12 Place Fernand Lafargue, 00 33 557 770 724)
14 A secret terrace In old Bordeaux, close to the Grosse Cloche, there’s a magical hidden terrace at Potato Head restaurant. Get a table here to try young couple, Mary and Max’s, inventive cooking in dishes such as veal tartare with horseradish ice cream.
15 Amazing ice creams Don’t leave Bordeaux without trying an ice cream from M&O. A small boutique with a Scandinavian feel, all the ice cream (and accompanying waffles) are handmade. Succumb to the raspberry-cranberry-hibiscus, apricot-rosemary or mango-jasmine sorbets, or to the honey-pine nut and pistachio ice creams.
Trust olive: Bénédicte Baggio is a journalist and food blogger based in Bordeaux (mylittlespoon.fr).
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