A splendid Belle Epoque setting and creative cuisine are the reasons for having achieved the well-deserved three Michelin stars, a prestigious culinary honor. The chef, Francis Garcia, creates such delights which can savor the taste buds of any gourmet. The service is efficient, but incredibly discreet. It is known for having served many of the celebrities too, so be ready to pay a little extra to get that celebrity treatment at Le Chapon Fin.
Since 1968, this restaurant has been buying its ingredients from the region's best producers and markets, and its fish fresh from the Bay of Arcachon. The cauldron (Tupiña in Basque) is the restaurant's emblem, and in winter there is always a wonderful smell coming from a soup bubbling away. Try dishes based on lamb, foie gras from the Landes region or various poultry served with fresh vegetables. The fireplace in the center of the restaurant makes for an incredibly inviting and romantic evening, filled with delicious food and even better wine to warm you from the inside out.
Don't try to get in here on Thursday night, because that's when this tapas bar really draws in the crowds of night revelers of all kinds, looking for a snack and a flavor of Spain. It has pictures of bullfights on the walls, a bull's head, sawdust on the floor and big tables with stools for you and your friends to try out the assorted tapas made from squid, olives and anchovies. The system for ordering involves changing money for tokens and these can be used to choose your favorite snacks. Strong colors and flavors make this a place where lots of locals like to start off their evening.
Have a rest on the Cathedral Square while enjoying traditional bistro cuisine at its finest. The large café is popular with shoppers on the town, and with city hall employees. It's a smart place, serving local specialties like veal head and tongue ravigote, and herring filets with cooked potatoes served with oil and vinegar. A house specialty is the steak tartare, prepared in front of you. The terrace offers a panoramic view of the square.
This is a favorite haunt for students from the nearby medical school, who give this place legendary status. Young crowds gather on Thursday nights especially, when it's virtually impossible to get to the bar or even to squeeze in through the front doors. By day you can take a break on its shady terrace and get to know this famous bar that hasn't changed in years. The simply decorated hangout is definitely worth knowing about and is even more fun on theme nights that are organized almost every week.
The Samovar is a lovely small tea house with a living-room charm coming from the old, outmoded couches that make it feel like grandmother's living room. The Samovar serves different teas and coffee as well as some pastries and small plates. One point which makes it a perfect place for bookworms is its big library. It is the perfect place to chill out and read. There is also a small terrace with a couple of outside tables for smokers.The Samovar is an associative tea house with an interesting cultural program including a lot of lectures, discussions, readings and other artistic and political events.
Capperi is a friendly restaurant that serves some of the best Italian food in the neighborhood. Although it is a small place and has only three tables, the service is quite quick and the fare delicious. The menu is only in French but the staff speak and understand English. Pizzas served come with thin and crispy crusts. They have a variety of toppings to choose from. Guests can sit looking at the river promenade and enjoy their meal. French wines are also served here.