Vegan Bordeaux Guide!
Brace yourself, I am about to write a glowing review of vegan food in France…
Bordeaux wound up being my absolutely favorite place in France so far. I actually love it, and look forward to visiting. Bordeaux is not some sort of excessive vegan haven, but what they do have counts.
20 years ago France was aggressively disgusted with vegan food in my extensive experience traveling there. I was in a small town by the name of Gordes, and cried more than I explored while submitting to a hunter/gatherer mindset during my stay there. I was constantly getting stung by bees, getting yelled at for not speaking French, and getting handed ham quiche after explaining I was vegan. If you read my last post about France, you’ll further understand why I am in such shock about being so excited about Bordeaux.
Fast forward to Paris. We had the worst time. There was plenty of vegan food, but that same feeling of “Ugh, another American”, was just everywhere. We aren’t people who tend to do really touristy things, so we were experiencing this on the fringe of Paris. We had a handful of nice moments, and stuck to eating at a single cafe where everyone was super nice and the food was amazing. But this is where we started giving up on visiting France all together.
Then one time, on a whim during our trip back from Italy we stopped in Bordeaux to pick up some food. This time, I saw “the special” feeling I was looking for during the better part of two decades. I saw the heart thumping, butterfly-feeling-inducing intersection filled with outside cafes and a warm buzz that made myself agree to give France “one more chance” before I gave up on her entirely.
Bordeaux is just simply ideal for people who:
- Eat vegan food and want to try some new flavors and dishes
- Enjoy vintage, second hand, antiques, and thrift shoping
- Want that storybook feel with out all the buzz
- Want to be treated like a person consistently, instead of “an American”.
- Enjoy little shops and boutiques
- Enjoy French architecture
- Want to chat with French people. even if you speak English or very broken French.
Let’s Start With Fruit Stands
Bordeaux is littered with awesome fruit stands. Almost every distinct area has at least a small handful of fruits and vegetables pouring out into the sidewalks. The produce is simply amazing. Always fresh, always a huge variety.
For me it’s hard to go someplace exciting and not want to collect ingredients and cook! Even if you don’t love to cook while you are on holiday, these fruit stands are stellar just to grab snacks for your stay.
Contrast Cafe / 16 Cr du Chapeau-Rouge, 33000 Bordeaux
Contrast! We loved this place and have been back every chance we get. They have a great vegan brunch menu, but also great vegan offerings for lunch, and a wonderful drink menu. It’s worth noting that the vegan tacos are excellent, as well as the vegan hot dog. The service is extremely friendly, and there is greta outdoor seating across the road.
Contract is located in a quieter part of Bordeaux, and gives the welcome feeling of lingering and relaxing. They have excellent coffee and for those who don’t love the pulp in European juices, they have fun straws that filter it out.
Beirut Kitchen / 8 Quai de la Grave, 33800 Bordeaux, France
I love this place so much! We have done take away about five times since discovering it. There is a single vegan option of all their vegan plates, which is big enough for two people. The flavors are incredible. I love every single thing that comes with this spread. Obviously I am a huge flavor fan, and this place really knows how to make flavors pop.
Jolly / 7 Pl. du Parlement, 33000 Bordeaux, France
Vegan crepes! I was so excited to find a place with vegan crepes! Vegan waffles! Vegan whip! They even had vegan savory crepes. This is such a fun place! In the middle of the main square, and flanked by a light buzz of activity, Jolly is such an unsuspecting treat for vegans looking to experience an authentic French crepe.
I love my crepe with just lemon and sugar, but there are many options to chose from including vegan ice cream. The own is fun, sweet, and accommodating as well as every staff person we encountered.
L’Arepa / 17 Cr de l’Yser, 33000 Bordeaux, France
I am sad I didn’t take any photos! It was a delicious surprise to find this place. Truth be told, we ate in the car the first time we drove past Bordeaux, way before we knew how awesome it was.
L’Arepa has really fantastic vegan arepas and delicious plantains, which was such a nod to the food I grew up with in South Florida. The owner is incredibly sweet and everything is fresh and delicious. The chimichuri sauce was a literal time machine, brining me back to all the awesome flavors I tend to miss more often than not.
La Cantine Viêtgétarienne / 24 Rue du Pas-Saint-Georges, 33000 Bordeaux, France
We have had a mostly great experience with La Cantine Vietgerarienne. Sometimes it’s a little greasy, but most of the time it’s awesome. We have gotten a variety of dishes and the flavors and sectors are fantastic.
Michel Mabelle / 33 Rue Gaspard Philippe, 33800 Bordeaux, France
This pastry shop was an awesome find. Filled to the brim with vegan offerings, all delicious! I was excited the had pumpkin pie! It had been some time since I was able to find it made vegan. The case was filled with everything from fancy fig tarts, to classic cookies.
On My List for Next Time
While we haven’t been able to hit up every vegan spot or place with vegan offerings in Bordeaux, we plan to make sure we do.
Finally, I am sharing a short list of places I want to explore for next time. I will make sure to do an update to this post once I get a chance to go back.
We tried to do Monkey Mood on a Sunday, but we needed reservations and it was dine-in only. We wanted to do take-away. So we will have to try again, because it looked like it was going to be great!