Just north of Bordeaux’s historic city center, and on the banks of the Garonne River lies Chartrons. A fashionable quarter full of quirky shops selling eccentric antiques, Chartrons has an air of vibrancy, and its metropolitan buzz was captured by the French novelist and poet François Mauriac in his works. Bordeaux is a hot-spot among tourists seeking the pleasures of a classic French city. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten restaurants in this area.
Tucked away in the corner of this district is Les Tontons. The specialized cuisine is an unconventional mix of Chinese and French, and visitors can choose between the dish of the day or pick from the contemporary buffet selection. The interior is stylishly furnished with wooden beams and exposed electrical fittings and complemented by the chic color scheme of slate grey and bright orange. The restaurant has a large terrace, so you can enjoy your meal outside on a pleasant summer’s day, with views of the Garonne River just a stone’s throw from the bistro.
Quai West is a great spot for a tasty lunch, serving up a host of French classics such as succulent steaks and perfectly cooked burgers. The bistro has a delightful terrace that looks out across the Garonne River and across to La Bastide – a quarter of the city located on the opposing side of the river. The terrace boasts the perfect view of the Jacques Chaban Delmas bridge. This architectural masterpiece is the longest vertical-lift bridge in Europe and is truly a sight to behold when vessels pass under it in order to sail into the city. Look out for upcoming music events at Quai West for some live entertainment.
La Tour des Chartrons serves up a range of delicious French dishes in a cozy, romantic setting. The kitchen prioritizes cooking with the freshest of ingredients and to a high quality. Pick from classic French favorites such as foie gras, lamb shanks or carpaccio of veal. The intimate bistro has an abundance of charm with its gentle lighting casting shadows off the exposed stone walls and occasional live music sessions adding to the enchanting ambiance.
This restaurant is in the style of a traditionally English pub, serving up a tasty twist on English pub grub. The menu offers British favorites, including lightly battered fish and chips as well as fantastic cuts of steak from Scottish farms. To complement the British theme is a variety of ciders and English brewed beers and ales. Meals can be enjoyed on the outdoor terrace or in front of a good game of rugby. There is of course a selection of French dishes for those who haven’t quite got their fill of French cuisine.
For a taste of exquisite fine dining, head to Le Confidentiel. The menu at this restaurant offers gastronomic masterpieces, all beautifully presented with immaculate care and attention to detail. Customers can pick from French meat dishes or seafood. Try the surprise seafood menu or the scallops served in a pastis cream sauce for a delicious aniseed flavor. The dining experience is accentuated by the intimate setting, with candles and stonewalls making this the ideal romantic spot. Or head down on a Saturday evening for live jazz and tapas.
Dine at this restaurant for a fun evening among a jumble of kitschy, eccentric furniture. The decor includes retro toys and a wall plastered with a photo collage. While Les Fils à Maman is a nationwide restaurant, with spots in Paris and Lyon, its artistic interior and unique concept allows it to maintain the allure of an independent establishment. Certainly, its status as a chain restaurant also fails to detract from the quality of the food, which is locally sourced and freshly prepared.
Paul’s Place is another restaurant that has been clearly influenced by the influx of Brits who reside in Bordeaux. The restaurant has also been visibly inspired by the nearby streets that sell an eclectic mix of antiques and bric-a-brac. From the outside, Paul’s Place appears somewhat unassuming, but transports visitors who enter to a quirky English restaurant, complete with every inch of wall and ceiling space plastered in old paintings, bizarre pieces of contemporary art and unique artifacts. Aside from the enchanting decor and tasty dishes on the menu, guests flock to Paul’s Place for live music, poetry readings and exhibitions.
For those seeking a departure from French food, La Bocca is a quaint Italian restaurant with charming green grocers onsite, selling delicious fresh produce and ingredients that are used in the kitchen for delicious Italian feasts. Customers can choose from a variety of traditional Italian dishes, such as platters of cured meats and gourmet pastas. The menu is routinely altered, dependent on in-season produce. Expect generous portions made from delicious ingredients , served with exceptional service, and all for an affordable price.
Down one of the quiet, narrow backstreets of Chartrons is this endearing little restaurant. The restaurant is in the unconventional style of a school canteen, complete with old maps on the wall, photographs of classes, and playful schoolbook-style menus. This spot is a favorite among locals, who are drawn to its homey interior and friendly service as well as its simple but delectable savory dishes and desserts. The crème brûlée is a particular favorite among customers and is not to be missed.
A bouchon is a particular style of restaurant with its origins in a city located far west of Bordeaux – Lyon. Lyon is popularly regarded as the culinary capital of France, and therefore this restaurant has made it to a spot on our list. Lyonnaise cooking is classically meaty, with typical dishes including roast pork or duck. Au Bouchon des Chartrons has successfully adopted this style, cooking with fresh organic produce to bring a touch of Lyonnaise cooking to Bordeaux. Staff at Au Bouchon des Chartrons are well informed on the origins of the dishes and offer helpful suggestions, making the dining experience here all the more pleasurable.