Bordeaux is the capital of the wine industry, and where there’s great wine, you’re sure to find great food to go with it. So it should come as no surprise that some of the world’s best cookery schools are in Bordeaux, bringing with them some very skilled chefs.
From the Sea
Proximity to the Atlantic means that seafood isn’t in short supply in Bordeaux. Many restaurants feature a house version of fruits de mer. Le Petit Commerce – It mightn’t look like much from the outside (or inside for that matter), but when it comes to food, you shouldn’t judge a menu by its cover. Le Petit Commerce does serious seafood, brought in fresh daily. They even sell some of it on from a little stall just across the street.
With fresh seafood sourced from nearby Arcachon Bay, La Boite des Huitres
is a real find on Rue de la Vielle Tour. This brasserie specialises in oysters, but you’ll also discover great pate, rich desserts and, of course, fine wine, on the menu.
From the Land
Mind you, Bordeaux isn’t lacking when it comes to meat either. After all, those luscious regional reds need to be paired with equally fine meat produce. Ask a chef what the region’s signature dish is and the most likely answer you’ll get will be entrecote a la bordelaise, rib steak cooked in a rich sauce of red Bordeaux wine and bone marrow. Meaty terrines and pates are commonly found on many of the menus here too. La Tupina
is a classic Bordeaux restaurant that has been voted one of the best in the world by the International Herald Tribune. Despite this accolade, this authentically French brasserie at 6 Rue Porte de la Monnaie remains very reasonably priced. Cassolette Café is a brasserie that offers old-fashioned family food at great prices. What’s unique about this place is that you choose the ingredients for your cassolette (a type of casserole baked in an earthenware pot) and wait for the cooked dish to appear.
The Best of Both Worlds
Can’t decide whether you’d like meat or fish? Have both at Fernand
. You’ll find Fernand at Quai St Pierre and although it looks like it’s been there for a hundred years, it’s relatively new to the food scene. All the classic Bordeaux dishes are on offer here, including fruits de la mer, duck, calves head, sea bass, and goose. The set lunch menu is particularly good value. For a lesser-known culinary gem, seek out L’appart in Mérignac with a modern menu that’s constantly being changed. Very popular with the locals.
And for Afters
There’s plenty for those with a sweet tooth too. Canelés are the regional speciality here, a pastry looking much like an upturned crème caramel with a custard centre and a caramelised crust. A good place to try them is Baillardran
, a local chain of Patisseries. And if you adore cheese, then you’ll simply love Fromagerie Deruelle. Run by Elodie Deruelle, this little cheese shop in Rue de Pas St George has all of the region’s specialities, including St Felicien and mimolette.