From cosy bistros to sumptuous candlelit restaurants, in Bordeaux you’ll find dining for every occasion. The region is renowned for steak cooked ‘à la bordelaise’, with a rich gravy of bone marrow, shallots and red wine. But this is not simply carnivore country – creative and innovative chefs cook up everything from classic French dishes to modern Vietnamese cuisine.
The city’s restaurants retain a focus on quality ingredients and attention to detail, pitching Lyon as a foodie rival to other French cities. Many top restaurants are found in the heart of Bordeaux, in the vibrant and multicultural Saint-Pierre district – we recommend staying nearby for a taste of them all.
Read on for our pick of where to eat in Bordeaux.
A classic never dies
Bouchon Bordelais offers a contemporary take on the traditional French bistro, with generous portions of classic dishes like veal, lobster, foie gras and sea bass served in a cosy setting. Real care is taken over the food – the chef’s inspirations intriguingly include “everyday life, curiosity, my children’s remarks, the greengrocer and fishmongers’ market stalls”. With an elegant interior and a focus on seasonal ingredients, this restaurant is the perfect haunt for the laid-back gourmand.
Bouchon Bordelais is intimate and books up quickly – we recommend making a reservation before turning up. The ‘Discovery’ nine-course tasting menu costs €50. The à la carte menu offers good value at €21-27 around lunchtime and is priced from €27-39 in the evening. Bottles of wine range from €17-90.
Miles is run by four friends with French, Japanese, Israeli, Vietnamese and New Caledonian backgrounds. This diversity of influence can be found in their experimental menu, offering a fresh and eclectic twist on classic gourmet flavours.
The stripped-back, Scandi-inspired interior only seats 28 and there is no printed menu – only a surprise tasting menu that rotates every two weeks. Just let the waiter know about any allergies or dietary requirements and the chefs will adapt the menu for you. Dishes might be smoked chestnut puree, sous-vide monkfish, miso-roasted aubergine or hibiscus-roasted figs. The five-course tasting menu costs €48. A selection of 4 x 8cl international wines, chosen to pair well with the tasting menu, is just €22.
Stylish and contemporary
The aptly-named Le Chien de Pavlov is guaranteed to make your mouth water. Its interior is straight out of an indie movie, with animal-printed wallpaper, velvet rococo chairs and an overall sense of ‘grandad chic’. There’s a pleasant, flowery terrace, where you can enjoy a pre-dinner tipple.
The blackboard menu changes daily, evolving to suit up-to-the-minute food trends. Mains include osso bucco (veal shanks braised with seasonal vegetables), langoustines with giant couscous, and veal steak with ginger and salsify. Starters are €7-10, with mains at €16-35 (for two). Cooking lessons with the owners Mary and Maxime are available for €65 per person on some Thursdays and Saturdays from 6-8pm – call for details.