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Dining in Bordeaux


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Surrounded by some of the finest vineyards in France, if not the world, Bordeaux is a place where eating and drinking takes pride of place and locals eat heavily and heartily.

Sauce Bordelaise is perhaps the best-known local speciality. Made with red wine, bone marrow, shallots, and seasonings it is liberally served with grilled meats and is particularly good with a steak served rare, the way the French like it. You must also try Lamproie a la Bordelaise where the Lamprey eels are skinned, chopped and then stewed in red wine with carrots, leeks, herbs and garlic. The sauce is then thickened with the blood of the lamprey before being served.

But if that sounds too strong for you, then oysters are always good in Bordeaux. Even so you may find yourself being sold non-native oysters so always ask for ‘gravettes' or European Oyster which taste far better and are grown locally in the still unpolluted Arcachon Bay.

In Bordeaux they love to eat ducks and when not eating duck they are frying things in duck fat. One famous restaurant called La Tupina has been in Bordeaux for over 40 years and everything possible is cooked in duck fat over an enormous wood fire, even in summer. A meal here is a treat but you may need to lie down later, especially if you have the chips cooked in duck fat.

For a lighter meal the Café Tupina is perfect, simply stand at the bar and sample some wines with dishes of sliced meats, a fine salad or some of the best sandwiches in Bordeaux.

Locals are very fond of Le Petit Commerce where fish is their favourite with excellent seafood and fish cooked simply on a hot plate so as to preserve all its fresh flavour. Of course meat eaters are not forgotten and there is roast pigeon, leg of lamb, grilled steaks and of course delicious duck breast.

Le Vieux Bordeaux restaurant continues to be very popular with a lovely shaded garden to eat in and over 200 wines to choose from. It’s a restaurant that tries to keep its food light, ideal if you want to walk the town after. Desserts are particularly inventive.

One of the oldest restaurants, created in 1825, Le Chapon Fin is an institution in Bordeaux. Holder of many Michelin stars the food is refined and creative and it is where the rich of Bordeaux have always gone to eat.

Wherever you wander in Bordeaux, great eating awaits you, just look around and take your pick.