While Bordeaux is a global city, both local chefs and visitors tend to focus on regional flavours. Many restaurant menus, as is usual in France, change in rhythm with the seasons. Expect to find lots of seafood, rich dishes made from duck and goose, and local sweet treats known as canelés.
1. La Tupina
A favourite of those in the wine trade, convivial La Tupina serves rustic and hearty regional cuisine. Think south-west dishes like salad of duck hearts followed by escalope of veal with creamed spinach and a fresh pear tart, or maybe an entire veal kidney with mustard. Good wines; friendly service.
L'Embarcadère, which means pier, specialises in mouth-wateringly fresh fish. There is atmosphere plus at this bustling spot in the heart of the old city, which mirrors the ambiance of classic 1950s Paris bistros. Think oysters or langoustines. The sole meuniere is very good and the wines affordable.
Chef Guy Tanguy Laviale serves exceptional modern French cuisine that has the critics in raptures. His casual bistro style of cooking features dishes like scallops with creamy wild mushrooms and veal medallions with praline, pears and cockles, served with squid ink gnocchi. A hip gourmet hangout.
4. La Grande Maison Bernard Magrez
Uber chef Joel Robuchon was replaced in June by another French culinary legend in Pierre Gagnaire. This is arguably the best fine dining destination in Bordeaux, part of Relais & Chateaux. La Grande Maison picked up two Michelin stars in the 2016 guide and offers a traditionally serious experience.
5. Le Gabriel
Serving traditional French food over three levels in a heritage-listed 18th-century building overlooking the Place de la Bourse, this has been popular since opening in 2009. There's an elegant gourmet restaurant offering a modern take on traditional region flavours, a casual bistro and a bar specialising in Champagnes.
6. Le Pressoir d'Argent
An ultra-luxe grand dining room with a seafood theme and a menu created by chef Gordon Ramsay. Expect a serious, expensive, gourmet experience accompanied by fine wine. Ramsay and chef Gilad Peled earned a Michelin star in their first year. A maximum of 60 covers per night.
There is often a line outside this restaurant, which has just one main course. Part of a small chain, it offers a salad with nuts, a thinly cut steak with sauce and an unlimited amount of chips. There's a wide choice of desserts but it is the reliability of the steaks that's the drawcard.
8. Le Quatrième Mure
Former rugby player Philippe Etchebest built his reputation at Chateau Grand Barrail and won two Michelin stars at L'Hostellerie de Plaisance in Saint-Emilion. He's a TV star whose very chic new brasserie next to the Opera House has pulled in huge crowds since it opened in September, 2015.
In a setting that screams rustic chic, Jerome and Harmony Billot craft some of the most inventive cuisine in Bordeaux. The couple spent many years working in Hong Kong and that is reflected in a menu “inspired by Hong Kong and Asia in general”. Think trout with yuzu or veal served “Hainan-style”.
10. Restaurant Jean Ramet
This central restaurant specialises in south-west gastronomy with a focus on the fresh oysters sourced from Arcachon Bay served with crepinettes, small local sausages. Ramet highlights cep and chanterelle mushrooms during the season and other regional dishes like rich pâtés and terrines.