Along a curve in the Garonne River rises the iconic 18th-century architecture of Bordeaux, a striking unity of medieval roots, neoclassical style and urban planning so remarkably revitalized that half the city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Quite possibly one of the best corners of France to enjoy French gastronomy, Bordeaux has long captured the hearts of wine lovers, food connoisseurs and those who just have a passion for living the good life. As you stroll through this divine cityscape, you can’t help but get swept away in the local love affair with food and wine.
Below are our favorites for indulgence à la Bordelais while visiting the La Perle d’Aquitaine.
- Entrecôte Bordelaise: If you are opting for a full sit-down meal while in Bordeaux, this is a classic choice. Likely the most famous local dish, this Bordeaux-style steak is seared with a delicious sauce of shallots and red wine. You’ll find no shortage of restaurants and brasseries that not only specialize in the dish, but dedicate their menu to it.
- Cheese & local sausage: Not quite a dish, but this oh-so French experience shouldn’t be missed while in Bordeaux. Pop by a market like Marché des Capucins and make your selections from the dizzying array of cheeses, sausages and accompaniments. Our chefs love Comté, a firm and nutty cheese, and the creamy, richly flavored Saint-Nectaire. Pick out a loaf of bread such as pain de campagne and have the vendor wrap it all up so you can stroll to the Jardin Public or the banks of La Garonne for a very French picnic.
- Canelés de Bordeaux: A part of the region’s culinary heritage, this tempting pastry supposedly traces its origins to the 18th-century L’Annonciade monastery. The small fluted cakes have a rich rum and custardy vanilla interior encased in a glossy caramelized shell – an all-too-addictive combination. Head to Baillardran, a pâtisserie specializing in canelés that the Bordelais swear by, to enjoy them like a local.
Yearning to live like the French for a bit? Explore our cruises to Bordeaux now.