Situated near the coast and surrounded by some of Europe’s largest wine regions, Bordeaux is a true haven for eating and drinking well. So, it makes perfect sense that the Bordelais have welcomed brunching culture with open arms, with many excellent places to grab breakfast recently springing up around the city.
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An appreciation of good food, together with the French mentality of finding “le bonheur de vivre” (the happiness of living) through life’s simple pleasures has contributed to a brunch culture in Bordeaux that combines traditional French values with modern, international influences. And while the classic French breakfast of coffee and a croissant remains popular, international favourites such as avocado and eggs now also take the foreground within Bordeaux’s brunch scene. Culture Trip spoke to Clémentine Moncla, the owner of the city’s Black List Café and Le Tigre du Volcan, who shared her local insight and expertise in choosing the very best breakfast and brunch spots in Bordeaux.
Situated on rue Poquelin Molière, Horace is tucked away from Bordeaux’s busiest streets. The café offers a brunch that perfectly combines coffee shop culture (high-quality coffee as well as British-inspired cakes and desserts) with French bistro culture (generous portions of locally sourced food). Clémentine says: “They always find a twist in their dishes that makes you want to eat there every week.” Don’t forget to leave space to indulge in one of their dreamy desserts, which includes a selection of carrot cakes, lemon meringue sponge cakes, chocolate brownies and a delicious strawberry tart.
Located next to Marché des Capucins, Oven Heaven is the perfect place to stop for breakfast before exploring the authentic market, where you can find many of France’s finest delicacies, including Bordeaux’s freshest local produce. “Even though this is not a brunch place as such, you will find the best home-made croissants – so if you’re looking for a quick breakfast, you should grab an espresso and one (or two?) of their deliciously flaky pastries.” French breakfast pastries are freshly made in-house each day, and owners Dimitri and Kevin share their expertise with customers, serving their own quality coffee roasts that are curated with passion and fine precision.
No matter how far you’ve travelled to get to Bordeaux, you’ll feel right at home when visiting Café Eriu. Owner Grace and her team run a beautiful, cosy coffee shop where they serve Irish specialties alongside other home-made brunch options. In addition to the homely brunch dishes, the laid-back ambiance and the welcoming staff make Café Eriu a worthy spot on the Bordeaux coffee shop scene. Soak up the stylish decor and breathe in the scent of their perfect coffee blends while waiting for your food. Clémentine explains: “The food (which is partly imported from Ireland) is so tasty and delicate, plus you can have a nice digestive walk in nearby Jardin Public after a delicious brunch.”
For a taste of French breakfast heaven, walk along the river to find Patisserie S, a cake shop serving quality coffee and expertly made pastries. Clémentine told Culture Trip: “For a 100 percent sweet breakfast, this classy pâtisserie is the best address in Bordeaux, and pastry chefs Satomi and Stanley excellently mix together their French and Japanese influences to produce the best pastries.” At Patisserie S, the pastries are made with love, and there’s a selection of excellent cakes, too, including a delectable mango mousse cake. Enjoy the comfortable café inside, where you can sip and savour every last taste of your coffee and sweet treat.
Serving healthy all-day brunches, and offering both sweet and savoury options as well as a second vegan/gluten-free menu, Contrast has certainly earned its high praise and popularity on the Bordeaux brunch scene. Entering the café you’ll see why, with colourful juices and brunch dishes filling the tables. Their toasts are served with home-made bread, and there’s a choice of seasoned-to-perfection avocado, hummus, eggs or salmon – the beetroot hummus is also highly recommended. Meanwhile the vegan and gluten-free options include smoothie bowls and fluffy pancakes. As this spot is located so close to the cathedral, it’s the ideal location from which to enjoy a scenic stroll around the city centre post-brunch.
The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club stands loud and proud amongst the city’s brunch options, as it is one of the only cafés in Bordeaux serving up authentic British food. The menu includes British breakfast classics such as bacon and sausage sandwiches, scrambled eggs and crumpets. And, of course, there’s the full English breakfast, which includes, bacon, sausage, eggs, hash browns, baked beans and grilled tomatoes (there’s also a vegetarian version for those who don’t eat meat). For something slightly lighter, opt for scones with cream and jam, accompanied by a cup of real English breakfast tea.
La Parenthèse Crêperie
In France, the English term “brunch” is now commonly used to describe a late breakfast. And La Parenthèse Crêperie is well regarded as one of the best spots to go for a traditional French brunch in Bordeaux. While crêpes (particularly savoury crêpes) have historically been seen as a lunchtime dish in France, they have now entered the realm of brunches, too. Indeed, a trip to Bordeaux is simply incomplete without tantalising your taste buds on a crêpe, one of France’s most classic dishes. At La Parenthèse Crêperie, choose from the sweet and savoury menus or feast your eyes on both by starting with a savoury galette (a Breton pancake made with buckwheat flour) as your main course and finishing with a sweet crêpe for dessert. Besides crêpes, they also offer a brunch menu that includes coffee and fresh pastries, as well as bacon, salmon and eggs.
This article is an updated version of a story originally created by Valentine Baldassari.
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