Where to eat and drink in Bordeaux

Food trippers in France often set their sights on Paris, but the southwestern city of Bordeaux is guaranteed to provide a delightful gourmet adventure. From the best restaurants to the top wine-tasting spots, here is our guide to food and drink in Bordeaux.
Grilled beef and bone marrow with bordelaise sauce. Photo: Shutterstock
Grilled beef and bone marrow with bordelaise sauce. Photo: Shutterstock

What to eat in Bordeaux

Bordeaux caters well for carnivores and a signature dish here is entrecôte à la Bordelaise: succulent seared rib steaks in a sauce made from bone marrow, shallots, red wine and butter. You’ll find this classic entrée on brasserie menus across the city, including at the lauded Brasserie L'Orléans downtown. There are also regular queues out the door for the simply named L’Entrecôte: this easy-going spot has been serving steak with its own secret sauce recipe for more than half a century.

Cèpes de Bordeaux are another dish not to be missed. These mushrooms sprout in forests around the city and, after the autumn harvest, they spill into markets and onto restaurant menus. At their best, they’re fried up with butter, parsley, garlic and shallots. 

Meanwhile, those with a sweet tooth must not leave Bordeaux without trying a canelé. These moreish, bell-shaped pastry morsels are spiked with vanilla and rum, and are best tried at Baillardran, a celebrated patisserie with several branches.

Canelés de bordeaux - traditional Bordeaux pastriesCanelés de bordeaux - traditional Bordeaux pastries. Photo: Shutterstock

Best restaurants in Bordeaux

Deciding where to eat in Bordeaux can be tricky – such is the volume and variety of restaurants in the city. But a few spots stand out from the rest. Often placed on a deserving pedestal, La Tupina keeps things traditional and convivial, with a fireplace at its heart and a focus on regional specialities. Expect dishes such as duck breast grilled on the fire and slow-cooked lamb shoulder. 

Another restaurant that won’t disappoint is elegant brasserie Le Quatrième Mur. Housed in the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, the venue is characterised by columns and vaulted ceilings, while its seasonal menu is the vision of Michelin starred-chef Philippe Etchebest. Dine here for lunch or dinner and feast on entrées like veal escalope and cod with a herby crust.

If you’re after something more laid-back, set your sights on Michel’s, a quirky bistro that’s an easy walk from Place de la Bourse – you can’t miss the lime-green façade hung with framed portraits. Inside you’ll be greeted with a down-to-earth menu including beef tartare and the casserole of the day.

Eating in Bordeaux on a budget

While Bordeaux is not known as a budget destination, you can take a bite from the city without breaking the bank. Fill up on fresh produce at the Marché des Capucins, the rumbling belly of Bordeaux, where covered market stalls brim with cheese, fruit, vegetables and baked goods.

Meanwhile, the staff at compact cheese shop Fromagerie Deruelle will gladly help you choose a selection from their swelling counters. You can then pair your choices with a baguette from La Fabrique Pains et Bricoles, the red-fronted bakery right across the road. 

La Boca, a food hall housing 15 independent restaurants, opened to much acclaim in 2018. Diners can sit at one of the sleek wooden tables and feast on everything from pintxos to sushi. While here, be sure to treat yourself to a dune blanche, an indulgent traditional, cream-filled crispy pastry.

Bordeaux’s food-truck scene is burgeoning too and roving vendors like El Taco Del Diablo, a California-style taco truck, can regularly be spotted about town. Throughout the summer months the Bordeaux Food Truck Festival sees street-food carts cluster in select locations in and around Bordeaux, serving everything from burgers to traditional Basque dishes.

La Boca, Bordeaux wineLa Boca, Bordeaux wine. Photo: Pierre Panchenault 

Where to drink wine in Bordeaux

There’s a reason Bordeaux is billed the ‘wine capital of the world’. The city sits amidst one of the planet’s premiere wine regions (also named Bordeaux) and you can relish incredible tasting experiences within its limits. 

Begin your wine odyssey at La Cité du Vin, a striking uber-modern building overlooking the Garonne river. A mecca for oenophiles, this museum is dedicated entirely to wine, with exhibitions covering everything from its place in contemporary culture to terroirs around the world. Wrap up your visit with a drink at The Belvedere – the museum’s eighth-floor bar offering a curated selection of wines and sweeping city views. 

Next, make a beeline for one of Bordeaux’s many wine bars. Bar à Vin, at the headquarters of the Bordeaux Wine Council, is the perfect place to start, with wine by the glass from €2. The ever-changing list showcases offerings from across Bordeaux’s appellations, running the gamut from Bordeaux Supérieur and Haut-Médoc to clairet and dry and sweet white wines. Beyond this, there’s Aux Quatre Coins du Vin, an intimate bar with exposed stone walls and an extensive list of French and world wines.

Bordeaux vineyards

During your trip, it’s well worth venturing beyond the city into Bordeaux’s wine-growing regions for a vineyard tour. 

A favoured area is The Médoc, home to the wine-drenched Route des Châteaux. Spooling north of Bordeaux, the route (road D2) passes through world-renowned appellations such as Pauillac, Margaux and namesake Médoc, each with plenty of wine estates to explore. In Margaux you’ll find the Château Paveil de Luze, producing Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blends (a traditional ‘Bordeaux blend’). Meanwhile 19th-century Château Pichon Baron in Pauillac impresses with towers, turrets and its own fine Bordeaux blends. 

Lovers of white wine, meanwhile, should plump for the Entre-Deux-Mers region. Here you’ll find Château de Reignac, which grows Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Sauvignon Gris, and offers tours and tastings.

Chateau Pichon Baron, PauillacChateau Pichon Baron, Pauillac. Photo: Shutterstock

Ready to take a trip to Bordeaux?

Our local experts can help you plan and book fantastic trips to Bordeaux and destinations around France. To get started, simply get in touch letting us know when you would like to travel and your ideas for the trip. We will then create a tailor-made itinerary especially for you, which can be amended until you are fully satisfied with every detail before you book. You can browse our existing itineraries for inspiration, and remember that all of our pre-planned itineraries can be personalised to suit your specific requirements.