Here are the places you need to visit the next time you find yourself in what must be one of my new favorite cities in the world.

You know the kind of movie where the main character makes a really impulsive decision while traveling in a foreign country? Well, I’ve decided to be that person last June, as I was on my way back to the airport after an amazing stay in Cognac. Blame it on the region -or maybe on the many glasses of brandy I drank there- but I couldn’t make up my mind to the idea of going back home. Looking through the car window as we were driving through Bordeaux, I suddenly felt totally compelled to visit the city. Without any real plan, I booked an airbnb for the night and asked the driver to drop me downtown with my tiny black luggage. And I made the most of my time there.

 

La Bieristerie – 6 Rue Porte de Cailhau

 

This place magically appeared in front of me as I was sweating my life away in the middle of a crazy heat wave. Rushing in with was left of my energy, I quickly realized that I just stepped into an artisanal brewery that seemed custom made for me. From the seventies rock music playing on a record table to the overall trendy – ok, maybe a little bit on the hipster side- vibe, I felt totally at home while sipping my white beer with lime and basil.

 

Dan Restaurant – 6 Rue du Cancera

I went inside for the cute decor and I decided to stay after one glance at their menu. I am not usually a huge fan of fusion cuisine, but the meals at Dan are definitely more on the high-gastronomy side than on the weird one of amalgams of ingredients. They make their mission to create exquisite and simple Asian dishes made from local products, bringing the best of both cultures in their plates. Since I was traveling alone, I was lucky enough to get a place, but I strongly suggest you book your table in advance.

 

Le Point Rouge – 1 quai de Paludate

This place has a great reputation for serving delicious food, which I sadly didn’t try since I was already full from my visit at Dan. What I can tell you about Le Point Rouge is that even if they have a killer wine list – that you may be tempted to pick from since you are in Bordeaux- you need to go there to try their cocktails! Don’t be scared by their extensive cocktail list (and by that I mean almost 100 options), skip the fruity ones (there is no way in hell a drink named Porn Star can be a great pick), and treat yourself with their White Negroni made with flowery Lillet as a vermouth substitute.

 

Bradley’s Bookshop – 1 Rue de la Merci

Yes, mom, I did something other than only trying bars and restaurants. This English bookstore is located near many cozy terraces and is a must for every bookie looking to bring back a new friend for their already extensive library while being on French territory. But it is more than a bookshop: this place also offices as a coffee shop where you sip a damn good espresso before biting into one of their fresh pastries. It’s ok if you bring one more sweet treat before leaving the shop, I did the same.

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