Even though Paris’ tourism industry is on the rebound, a small French city is stealing the show. Ever since 2013, France has been receiving a record breaking amount of visitors. Out of the 85.7 million tourists that visit the country annually, over 40 million pass through Paris. This adds up to a 6.2% yearly growth, which is unheard of for a city that’s just recovering from 2016’s downward trend. Despite this resilience, Paris is facing fierce competition from France’s emerging tourist hub Bordeaux.
Fueled by an internationally notorious wine industry, Bordeaux is quickly becoming France’s main attraction. While Parisians become more prudish towards tourists every year, this city of 243,000 welcomes them with open arms. Bordeaux produces the best wine in the world, and has only started catering to tourists within the last twenty years. This fairly recent focus on tourism is appealing to the millions of visitors who feel like they got manhandled in Paris. Bordeaux offers quality experiences without the attitude, which is the best of both worlds.
Even though their main focus is wine, Bordeaux is home to some truly exceptional bistros. Michelin Guide featured 26 of their restaurants and awarded three with two stars and three with one star. This is an impressive accomplishment for such a modest city, and showcases how unique Bordeaux really is. To highlight what’s available, we compiled a list of the top bistros in Bordeaux. This city is filled with surprises, so discover why visitors are falling head over heels for France’s wine capital!
Best Bistros in Bordeaux
Bistro #3: La Cagette – When it comes to eating fresh, no bistro is more dedicated to the farm to table experience than this venue. Translating to the open wooden crates used to bring freshly harvested produce to the market, La Cagette doesn’t disappoint. Their head chef Théo Saint Martin brings each of their dishes to life with seasonal produce that’s grown locally. While this dedication to fresh food is admirable, it’s far from their only appeal.
On top of offering sensational cuisine, La Cagette doesn’t abuse customer’s budgets. Costing €14.50, their prix-fixe lunch menu is one of the best value organic options in Bordeaux. Despite being affordable, the quality stays the same. Clients can indulge in meatloaf, Tomme cheese quiche and sea bass roasted in the infamous Moroccan spice mix chermoula. For those who want to find the perfect mixture between quality and value, this bistro can’t be ignored!
Bistro #2: Le Bouchon Bordelais – Located in the heart of the city, this bistro provides affordable access to the best of Bordeaux’s cuisine. Their mission is to provide quality food to multiple types of budgets and clients, and this generosity is reflected in their prices. Lead by revered local chef Frédéric Vigouroux, this bistro offers a slew of epic dishes. From scorpion fish with fennel to lamb bayaldi with pecorino, clients are treated to nothing but the best of France’s world renown food.
Even though most Parisian bistros frown on clients that only order mains, Le Bouchon Bordelais encourages it. Their lunch plates run for ten euros a piece, while the mains only go for twenty euros. This laid back attitude compliments the food perfectly, and creates a unique charm that’s hard to find in France. All these factors makes Le Bouchon Bordelais a venue well-worth visiting, so at least stop by for lunch!
Bistro #1: Le Quatrième Mur – Gordon Ramsey may have stolen the spotlight with Le Pressoir d’Argent, but it’s not Bordeaux’s only restaurant that’s headed by a reality star. Despite being lesser known on an international level, everyone knows about Chef Philippe Etchebest in France. His culinary masterpieces won two Michelin stars at L’Hostellerie de Plaisance in Saint-Emilion, and he’s doing it again in Bordeaux. From poached egg with smoked duck breast in cauliflower cream to mandarin-orange tarts, eating his food is an experience. These amazing dishes are backed up by a lively atmosphere, so come indulge in this TV chef’s vision!