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Bordeaux’s best food & drink

  • Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Last updated: 09 July, 2024

Bordeaux is where all the famous specialities of southwest France come together accompany: tender lamb from Pauillac, beef from Bazas, ceps (boletus mushrooms) from the Landes, duck, geese, foie gras and truffles from the Dordogne, oysters and other seafood from Arcachon and the increasingly acclaimed Aquitaine caviar from the Garonne and Dordogne rivers.

The traditional cuisine of the city is very bourgeoise and a bit heavy; food was meant to go with a bottle of wine rather than vice versa.

What to try

People here like a good steak, an entrecote bordelaise, with a sauce made from shallots and red wine. The southwest’s duck and goose appear in foie gras, confits and magrets (steak-like breasts). One odd speciality here is lamprey, in a sauce made of its blood with a touch of chocolate.

Along with its fabulous wines, the true symbol of Bordeaux may be the tiny, toque-shaped pastries called caneles.

Also see our round-up of traditional French foods to try in France.

The dining scene

Bordeaux has its grand bourgeois restaurants with mind-blowing wine cellars, but you’ll also find wine bars where you can educate your palate with wines by the glass while nibbling on platters of charcuterie, cheeses, or a light meal. Bistros are popular for less formal dining, and good places to find creative, informal bistronomique cuisine.

It’s a great city for markets, with pride of place going to Marche des Capucins.

Who to go with: tour operators

11

Bordeaux Wine & Trade Museum

  • Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

People sit at a table with glasses of wine ready for tasting in front of them

Experience

This small museum is a must for those interested in the long history of wine-making in France. Guided visits take you to the wine cellars to see exhibits of wine-making equipment dating from the present back 2,000 years. The tours explain the different grape varieties, how they make Bordeaux’s famous ‘Grand Vins’, and end with a wine tasting.

Adult price: £35

Min age 18

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 2 hours 30 mins

When: Varies

Freq: weekly

  • Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

The Chartrons – Bordeaux’s picturesque 18th-century wine merchants’ quarter – hugs the River Garonne, where sailing ships once docked to load their barrels and bottles. Today, the Quai des Chartrons is a riverside promenade that hosts the Marche des Quais, a lively, extremely popular market, every Sunday morning.

Some 70 stalls sell high-quality, fresh produce to take home for Sunday lunch – or simply tuck into the city’s famous seafood (oysters, mussels, grilled prawns) at outdoor tables. This being Bordeaux, naturally, there is plenty of fine wine on sale to accompany your feast.

Good for age: 18+

Halles de Bacalan

  • Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Exterior view of the building, with slatted wooden roof and the Wine City Tower behind

Experience

Although it only opened in 2017, this vast new food hall by Wine City has become one of the most popular foodie hangouts in the city, with a mix of stalls run by farmers, chefs and producers.

Good for age: 18+

La Toque Cuivree

  • Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Close up of a branded sign

Experience

This pastry shop makes cracking versions of Bordeaux’s famous cinnamon and orange canele pastries; they also do rum-soaked caneles in jars and savoury versions with chorizo, now available in several locations in the city.

Good for age: 18+

La Tupina

  • Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Chef preparing food in an atmospheric kitchen

Experience

Long-time favourite in a cosy dining room near the quais, this is the best place for Aquitaine caviar and foie gras, and traditional Bordeaux soul food like lamprey and goose confit.

Good for age: 18+

Le Bar a Vin

  • Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Red wine being poured into a glass

Experience

Exceptional wine bar in an 18th-century prow-shaped townhouse run by the Bordeaux Wine Council, with 30 wines by the glass served by knowledgeable young wine students, along with cheeses, cold meats and chocolates.

Min age 18

Good for age: 18+

Le Chapon Fin

  • Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Interior of a large restaurant with classic decor

Experience

Since 1825, the ornate rococo dining room and glassed-in garden have welcomed the beau monde of Bordeaux and the world, with a formidable wine list to choose from, famous for classic cuisine and over 200 wines by the glass.

Good for age: 18+

Le Pressoir d’Argent

  • Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Close up of a wooden board with beef wellington slices on

Experience

Enjoying a grand setting in the Intercontinental Hotel and named after the world’s only silver duck press, this is now part of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant empire and one of the city’s top restaurants.

Good for age: 18+

Marche aux Capucins

  • Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Close up of a vegetable stall in a market

Experience

The ‘Belly of Bordeaux’ is the city’s biggest and busiest covered market, offering delicacies from France and around the world. Join the locals for a mid-morning snack – a half dozen oysters on the half shell – at Jean-Mi’s stand.

Good for age: 18+

Max Bordeaux Wine Gallery

  • Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Inside the gallery, where there are racks of wine bottles

Experience

Bordeaux’s world-famous Grands Crus are expensive, so you want to be sure you’re buying a wine you really like. At this high-tech wine gallery, you can sample a sip from 48 of the finest bottles – each of which has been allowed to breathe to perfection.

Min age 18

Good for age: 18+

  • Bordeaux, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Exterior of Wine City building on a sunny day

Bucket List Experience

Wine City

Designed by Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazieres, Bordeaux’s spectacular Cite du Vin opened in 2016 – its curvaceous, spiralling 55m glass tower evoking wine swirling in a glass. Far more than simply a wine museum, it offers a total, immersive wine experience, packed with 19 permanent exhibits that tickle all five senses.

This fascinating, in-depth, high-tech history of winemaking around the world culminates in the building’s spectacular rooftop belvedere, where guests can join in with a wine tasting. The frequent, changing exhibits make the Cite du Vin just as popular with the Bordelais locals as with visitors to the city.

The architecturally-striking building, designed by architects XTU, ‘does not resemble any recognizable shape because it is an evocation of the soul of wine between the river and the city.’

Adult price: £18

Good for age: 18+

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around
Duration: -

Getting there & doing it

Conveniently, both the sights and best places to eat are concentrated in the historic centre. You’ll find convivial spots with outdoor dining around Place du Parlement and nearby Rue St-Remi, and rather smarter restaurants and wine bars in the Golden Triangle. Many of the best restaurants are in four- or five-star hotels.

The Michelin guide is always useful for locating good restaurants, with an online site that allows you to book them as well.

When to do it

On Sunday mornings, enjoy the favourite Bordelais pastime of slurping fresh oysters with a glass of white wine at the open-air Marche des Quais, on the Quai des Chartrons. Gourmet Sunday brunches, often in fancy hotel restaurants, are also popular.

Every July Bordeaux celebrates its wine and food with a huge party, alternating between wine festival, the Fete le Vin or the river festival Fete de le Fleuve.

Who to go with: organised tours

6

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

  • Bordeaux

Our Bordeaux food tour is a walking tour around the historical center of Bordeaux. The tourist is guided by a "Foodie", a local "buddy" able to explain every detail of the selected restaurants, their preparations, and the relevant history/curiosities. Do Eat Better tours are a mix of high-quality gastronomy as a way of showing French culture and lifestyle and a walking experience together with a local friend. This is the reason why we accept small groups only: we want to focus on a genuine exchange and give to each tourist the highest attention possible.

Price €99

Min age 0

Rating 4.84 / 5 [152 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • Bordeaux

Hello ! We are Claudia and Anthony, two day-one food fanatics :) After 3 small years since it’s launch, the No Diet Club has already filled thousands of bellies, achieved an overall grading of 4,9/5 et counts over 4000 reviews! Many thanks, friends! Our goal is simple, we’re here to make you discover the “crème de la crème” of gastronomy, very far from all the touristic clichés. A balance between local specialities and what the locals really eat on the daily. Today, we’re very fortunate to be working alongside a young and dynamic squad of tour guides a little all over France and internationally to provide you with the ultimate mind blowing selection in each city! LET’S GET THICK! Join our 120,000 subscribers on Instagram @ no_diet_club

Price €59

Min age 0

Rating 4.84 / 5 [133 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • Bordeaux

Discover the rich history of Bordeaux and taste many delights on this 3-hour historic and gourmet food tour. Exploring the city on foot with your food-lover guide, visit well-known local shops to meet the owners. Please advise us if you have any food allergies - special requirements. No alternatives will be available the day of the tour.

Price €86

Min age 4

Rating 4.60 / 5 [79 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • Bordeaux

Anne is a culinary school graduate who has cooked in some of the best restaurants and traveled cooking for clients in private yachting. Simona has traveled the world working in food security and now focuses her life in the French countryside growing as much on her land as possible. We look at food tours from an historian and chefs point of view. We try to give the whole, complete story to what you see and taste with fun personal antidotes. It's amazing all of the products that the SW of France has to offer, so this tour is always evolving with new products, small shops and chef owned restaurants to visit.

Price €210

Min age 12

Rating 4.96 / 5 [30 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • Bordeaux

Visit Bordeaux tasting delicious local specialties! During these two hours of guided tour, you will discover the historic center of Bordeaux, its main districts, monuments and squares: Saint-Paul, Saint-Pierre, the Grosse Cloche, the Saint André cathedral, the Monument aux Girondins or the Grand Theater... But above all, we will stop at 4 independent traders, each carrying a sweet specialty of the region that you will taste on the spot and with greed. It's not just canelé in Bordeaux, you'll see!

Price €22

Min age 0

Rating 4.93 / 5 [16 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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