Bordelaise food may traditionally centre around meat or fish, but vegetarian and vegan restaurants are popping up around Bordeaux. Discover the best vegetarian and plant-based eateries in La Perle d’Aquitaine (The Pearl of Aquitaine).
Despite being the origin of the traditional entrecôte à la Bordelaise (steak and fries) and with fresh seafood of Cap Ferret right on its doorstep, Bordeaux is also known for its innovative culinary creativity, and is home to a vibrant vegetarian dining scene, too. Alexandra Muller, a vegan French food blogger from Bordeaux, and founder of WeLoveRaw (an online ethical and raw food store), gives Culture Trip the lowdown on Bordeaux’s vegetarian and vegan venues.
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Offering exquisite vegetarian food in a laid-back and friendly atmosphere, Rest’O is an unmissable spot for foodies visiting Bordeaux. Muller ranks this restaurant as a firm favourite “for the incredible cuisine of chef Sliman and delicious desserts of his partner Akané”. At Rest’O, owners Sliman and Akané carefully select seasonal ingredients to ensure the food is always packed with the freshest flavours. “I recommend the cannelloni. For me, it’s a stand-out dish on the menu, which (like all of the dishes here), is made with heaps of passion and expertise,” Muller says.
Whether you’re hungry for a hearty breakfast, a healthy lunch or simply a light bite to eat, Kitchen Garden is a prime spot for discovering innovative and memorable vegetarian cuisine. “The dishes are generous and colourful – you’ll want to try everything on the menu; however, the veggie burger and sweet potato fries (with a vegetable charcoal bun) hands down win my vote whenever I’m dining here,” says Muller. Sustainability is the focal point of every aspect of this restaurant – food, drink, furniture and decor.
Boasting exquisite Lebanese food, the Falafel Lab is 100 percent vegan and invites customers on a journey to chickpea heaven. Falafel and hummus are the stars of all the dishes here, including sandwiches, salad bowls and smaller individual plates. With inspiration taken from family recipes, the menu adds creative twists to authentic dishes. Try, for example, the red hummus, which adds another dimension to the original chickpea-and-garlic combination by adding the fiery flavours of chilli and red pepper.
For good vibes all around, swing by Monkey Mood when dining out in Bordeaux. Here you can savour vegan Balinese-inspired dishes in a beautiful, boho setting. “I absolutely love it here,” Muller says. “Not only is the food amazing, but inside the decor invites you to travel. My favourite dish is the Gado Gado – a salad full of flavour and drizzled in a sublime homemade peanut butter sauce.”
In the heart of the Chartrons district, Les Sauvages is a hidden treasure in a leafy part of the city. Inspired by the owner and chef’s personal travels abroad, the menu predominantly comprises burgers, including both meat and vegan options, meaning there really is something for everyone. Meanwhile, the kitchen also serves up appetising brunch options and lighter salad bowls. Service is friendly, while the colourful yet minimal decor will leave you feeling at once energised and relaxed after a busy afternoon.
For an exclusively gluten-free menu, head to Banana Café. Here, you’ll find “an array of organic, gluten- free and flexitarian dishes,” says Muller. As the menu is updated each week, variety and seasonality is guaranteed. According to Muller, “there is always a vegan dish designed to make your tastebuds dance with delight”. With gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and meatier dishes on offer, Banana Café is the perfect address for a group dinner in the heart of Bordeaux’s city centre. Muller’s top tip? “The home-made hummus (if available) is not to be missed.”
Located just a short walk from the cathedral, “Contrast is the best place to go for brunch as all-day breakfasts are served even on weekdays,” Muller tells Culture Trip. Nutritious and healthy vegetarian dishes include beetroot hummus and guacamole on toast, pancakes and fruity smoothie bowls. For those who don’t eat gluten, sweet potatoes can be used as a bread alternative in the toast and egg dishes on the menu. With coffee to die for and fresh juices galore, this vegetarian brunch spot is definitely one to write home about.
Situated on Rue des Augustins in the heart of a lively student area, MUNCHIES is definitely an affordable pick, as it caters to the needs of students nearby. Offering 100 percent vegan food in a cool and fun environment, this spot is ideal for a much-needed afternoon pitstop or a meat-free lunch. While the menu is short, dishes are created with organic and local produce. If you have the lunchtime munchies, satisfy your hunger by filling up on the vegan hotdog, which should undoubtedly be followed by a scrumptious cake for dessert.
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