Bordeaux may be known for its wine, but there’s so much more to this French city than its vineyards. (Although with renowned names like Margaux, Lafitte, Cordeillan-Bages, Médoc and Saint-Émilion, wine can surely take up much of your trip.)
This port city on the Garonne River is in the Nouvelle Aquitaine Region and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is known for its Gothic Cathedral Saint-André and its notable art museums. Next to Paris, Bordeaux is the city with the most listed or registered monuments in France.
Public gardens line the river, which still has remnants of World War II’s concrete German bunkers. However, Bordeaux’s riverfront has been cleaned up and revitalized and become a lively scene for cafes and art installations.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite from sightseeing, there are a great variety of Bordeaux restaurants to fit everyone’s price range or desire for a lavish gourmet meal. There are plenty of Michelin Guide selections or Michelin starred restaurants in Bordeaux, and they are definitely worth the splurge. Seasonal ingredients and tasting menus are par for the course, and there’s no better way to enjoy Bordeaux than to eat your way through the city. Here are some (very subjective, of course) recommendations for some of the best restaurants in Bordeaux and the surrounding area for some fantastic bordelaise cuisine.
How Frenchly Chooses Best Restaurants
With an editorial team comprised of journalists who have lived and traveled extensively in France, Frenchly has the unique opportunity to share authentic experiences of the best restaurants throughout France. Frenchly recommendations are based on personal experience, thorough research, and customer reviews. We update these lists regularly as new restaurants open and existing ones evolve.
The 8 Best Restaurants in Bordeaux:
- Le Davoli
- Le Chapon-Fin
- Les Tables Vatel
- La Brasserie des Chartons
- Café Maritime
- Le Puy Paulin
- Château Cordeillan–Bages
- Hôtel de Pavie
A Michelin guide selection, Le Davoli is in old Bordeaux, in the St. Pierre district. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant has a light and bright dining room with interior stone walls, and offers two tasting menus. Menu Flora, the most reasonably priced at 72 euros, has selections like côte de veau with artichokes and chorizo, and for dessert a dark and white chocolate ganache with raspberry sorbet. They also have a formule at lunch priced at 28 euros, with a glass of wine and coffee for an additional 8 euros. If you can, try the côte de cochon, a large cut of pig, with French peas and spinach in a spicy salted caramel-infused gravy, one of the dishes that makes Le Davoli a contender for one of the best restaurants in Bordeaux.
13 rue de Bahutiers, Bordeaux 33000
Telephone 33-5 56 48 22 19
2. Le Chapon-Fin
Le Chapon-Fin‘s outstanding Rococo dining room dates to 1901, and the restaurant was founded back in 1825. It is a Michelin Guide selection, with main courses averaging 37 to 46 euros. Dishes include duck foie gras, Branne pigeon smoked with hay, French peas and chard, and poultry pie with Landes chicken, morels, spinach and crispy Kohlrabi.
They have a menu priced at 69 euros that features the rare white asperges as a starter, and lamb with white and sweet potatoes in a black garlic sauce. Their wine list has 250 wines by the glass, including rare wines like a Petrus 1986 and 1985 Dom Perignon.
5 rue Montesquieu, Bordeaux, 33000
Telephone 33-5 56 79 10
3. Les Tables Vatel
Les Tables Vatel is part of a chain of Bordeaux restaurants, but it’s still one of the best restaurants in Bordeaux, known for its top notch dishes made with seasonal produce from local producers, and this location is situated right on the Garonne River for a refined dining experience by the water. Here one can get a tasting menu during the week of either entrée/plat or plat/dessert for a reasonable 17.50 euros. All three courses will only set you back 21.50 euros. Dishes include magret de canard, tartare de bar, and pavé de saumon. The restaurant will suggest a wine pairing for your selections. They have a wine bar as well, with appetizers, small bites, and craft cocktails, on their sunny patio. Average à la carte prices are around 38 euros per person.
114 Quai des Chartons, Bordeaux, 33300
Telephone 33-5 56 115 888
4. La Brasserie des Chartons
If you’re looking for an old school example of la brasserie bordelaise serving traditional French cuisine, La Brasserie des Chartons is an excellent option. It is one of the true Bordeaux restaurants serving port-style shellfish of all kinds: oysters; shrimp; gravlax truite, and an abundance of seafood dishes. During the week, for 19.90 euros, they have a menu de la Maison with entrée and plat, or plat and dessert. The menu also includes other dishes on their menu, like tartare de boeuf, Quenelles de volaille, and of course, crème brulee. À la carte dining runs around 35 euros per person.
8 Quai de Bacalan, Bordeaux, 33300
Telephone 33-5 57 02 53
5. Café Maritime
Although the Café Maritime is not directly on the river, it is close to the centre ville and has a Sunday brunch for 37 euros, set amidst decor with a light and airy modern twist. One of the best restaurants in Bordeaux for brunch, Café Maritime offers a plentiful spread, whether you prefer a poached egg or scrambled, alongside an assortment of breads, brioche, pastries from the restaurant’s pastry chef, smoked trout, bacon, and a variety of salads. In addition, the restaurant has a reasonably priced lunch menu during the week for 18.50 euros. Other menus start around 32 euros with selections of faux filet de boeuf, pavé de merlu, white fish with polenta, and a fondant de chocolat with mascarpone.
1 Quai Armand Lalande, Bordeaux, 33300
Telephone 33 5 37 10 20 40
6. Le Puy Paulin
Le Puy Paulin is a traditional French bistro, akin to the old zinc wine bars around Les Halles in Paris. Located on the Place Puy Paulin in the centre ville, menu selections feature burgers, the quintessential poulet de roti, beef by the pound, and platters of charcuterie and cheeses, alongside dishes made with seasonal produce. Prices are reasonable, with main courses between 25-30 euros. This bistro serves a selection of regional wines from Entre-Deux-Mers, or “between two seas,” which actually refers to vineyards between the Dordogne and Garonne Rivers that surround Bordeaux. Local wines in Bordeaux, in addition to being fabulous, are incredibly affordable.
14 Place Puy Paulin, Bordeaux, 33300
Telephone 33- 5 56 81 85 52
7. Château Cordeillan–Bages
It would be a waste to visit Bordeaux and not travel out to some of the famed vineyards in the region, especially since some of the best restaurants around are attached to famed wine estates. The 5-star hotel Château Cordeillan-Bages and its restaurant, Café Lavinal, have been part of the Relais et Châteaux hospitality group since 1991. They are located in the nearby town of Pauillac, which is about an hour from Bordeaux by train. The surroundings are lush, and the hotel and restaurant are housed in beautiful old stone buildings. Vigneron Cordeillan-Bages has been recognized as one of the top wine producers in the world. The food is what one would expect for an expensive dining experience. The dishes on offer are Venison with foie gras, lamb saddle, and sea bass, priced between 45 and 90 euros per main course. Simple starters like butternut squash and smoked haddock are more reasonably priced, as are the desserts. (Save room for dishes like their luscious hazelnut panna cotta.) Their wine list has 1,800 bottles, so there are no shortage of options for an exquisite wine pairing tailored to your taste and budget.
Route de Château, Pauillac, 33250
Telephone 33- 5 56 59 24 24
8. Hôtel de Pavie
Some of the best restaurants in Bordeaux… aren’t quite in Bordeaux. The wine lover’s region of Saint-Émilion, just an hour from Bordeaux by train, should definitely be on your list if you’re visiting the region, even if just for a day trip. The Hôtel de Pavie, a 5-star hotel in the village, was once a convent. After the French Revolution it became a post office, and then a dancehall and restaurant called Hostellerie de Plaisance in 1927. In 2000, the winemaking Perse family took control of the venue, and turned it into a Michelin starred restaurant. The family hired three Michelin star Chef Yannick Allene to helm La Table de Pavie. The restaurant currently holds two Michelin stars, and is housed among the vineyards of this charming town, with remnants of old Roman ramparts. There is a tasting menu priced at 180 euros, and a tasting menu at 230 euros, with white asparagus, lobster, lamb, and cheese, plus more interesting fare like roast pigeon and strawberry soup. Not to be missed is their dessert, a warm chocolate cake with Tahitian vanilla ice cream. They also offer more affordable lunch menus, at 85 and 115 euros.
5 Place de Clocher, 33330, Saint-Émilion
Telephone 33-5 37 55 07 35
June Rives has lived in France off and on for 23 years. She now lives in Paris. June is a tour organizer specializing in wine tours of Italy and France. She works with the American market creating travel itineraries and finding apartment and home rentals throughout Europe. She is also the author of 4 novels.