It took 25 years of marriage to finally travel to the region where my husband spent his childhood vacations: Hossegor. Not that I didn’t like it, or I thought it wasn’t interesting…and it was certainly not because I wanted to make him unhappy. Do I look like I’m a bad wife? But after hearing the same story over and over again, I felt like I myself spent my own vacations there.
So to please my husband, we went on a family trip to Southwest of France to finally reach Hossegor! I did not regret it, and I highly recommend it.
We took the train from Paris to Bordeaux, stayed a night in the beautiful city, and rented a car to travel to San Sebastián—a cute little town on the Spanish border; very busy, especially in the summer. After spending 2 days in San Sebastiàn, we drove to Biarritz. A lovely city with great little towns and beaches all around—like Hossegor, Saint Jean de Luz, Bayonne… Of course we took pictures of the house his parents used to rent, the ice cream store he frequented…it was a true pilgrimage of my husband’s childhood.
Everywhere, the food was absolutely delicious! Even though these places are all very touristy, the food quality is outstanding. I can spend hours talking about all the places to visit, the hotels to stay in, and the best beaches, but once again, I will focus on food and restaurants because this is what my blog is about.
Designed by Philippe stark. This restaurant is a very trendy, hipster place. There are many Mama Shelters in France and abroad. The one in Bordeaux has a very pleasant terrace where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the city. The food is good, but the best move is to have a cocktail and be there for the ambiance.
Japanese Fusion. I agree, it’s a bit strange to be in the Southwest of France and choose a Japanese fusion restaurant, but it had very good reviews, and I was a curious to try it. The décor was elegant, the service very friendly, and the food had a delicate aroma. If you want to stay away form the tourist restaurants, this one is a good choice.
The Cité du Vin is a museum, a place of exhibitions, shows, movie projections and seminars on the theme of wine. It was inaugurated by President François Hollande on May 31st, 2016. It’s also a place where you can buy wine: Latitude20. You have a tremendous choice of wine from all over the world – 800 wines form more than 70 countries. Latitude20 has a snack bar to have a light lunch to eat in or sandwiches to take away. The architecture is surprising and extremely contemporary.
Le Bordeaux Gorden Ramsey
Place de la Comédie, 33000 Bordeaux
📞+33 (0)5 57 30 44 44
Le Bordeaux is a brasserie in the middle of the old Bordeaux. It is part of the five-star hotel, Le grand hotel. 39€ for a lunch menu in a luxurious, but yet casual environment, is a great deal! There is a big terrace with huge parasols to protect you form the sun, but unfortunately, not from the heat. We opted for the air-conditioned area, as it was extremely hot that day.
A canelé is a small French pastry with soft custard inside and a dark caramelized crust, flavored with vanilla and a hint of rum. It’s a specialty of the Bordeaux region. The canelés Baillardran is a very famous place specialized in the manufacture of canelés. They use very fresh products without preservatives. Therefore their cannelés can not be stored for more than three to four days at room temperature. The best it to eat them the day you buy them, they are delicious!
31 de Agosto Kalea, 7, 20003 San Sebastián-Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
📞+34 943 42 63 94
The restaurant is divided in two, one side is the tapas place and the other is the restaurant. We tried them both. The tapas, called pintxos in San Sebastiàn, are delicious and varied. La Cepa is very busy and always packed. The restaurant side is quieter, but you may still need to stay in line to have a table. It’s family-dish style and they serve very local recipes with stew dishes on the menu.
La Cuchara del San Telmo
31 de Agosto Kalea, 28, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
📞+34 943 44 16 55
If you can sit outside in the little street that runs alongside the restaurant, it’s much better than being inside, as the restaurant is very narrow. It’s near a very charming place and the homemade food is delicious. The atmosphere is very friendly and the dishes are regional such as: veal cheeks stewed in wine, local squid sautéed with garlic, Galician cow loin roasted with eggplant mutabal…
C/ Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 15, 20003 Donostia, Guipúzcoa, Spain
📞+34 943 42 82 10
They have an incredible choice of pintxos, cold or hot. First come first served, so you can imagine the wait for a table and chairs for everyone. Don’t be discouraged; it’s worth the wait. If you are visiting San Sebastiàn during the high season, you won’t have other choices than to wait because all the restaurants are packed! You can always have one piece of pintxos and a glass of wine while waiting.
Bar du Marché
8 Rue des Halles, 64200 Biarritz, France
📞+33 5 59 23 48 96
The hotel’s receptionist recommended the Halles Market area for lunch; she told us all the restaurants are very good. We picked this one randomly and it was indeed delicious. The service was friendly and kind. The food was tasty and portions generous.
La table d’Arranda
87 Avenue de la Marne, 64200 Biarritz, France
📞+33 5 59 22 16 04
Recommended by the Michelin guide, this restaurant is fabulous. We had a delicious dinner: the dishes were very well presented and the food excellent. It’s a quiet restaurant, a little bit remote from the touristy area, which I’m sure you will highly enjoy if you are visiting during the high season.
Casa Juan Pedro
48 Allée Port des Pêcheurs, 64200 Biarritz, France
Looks like a last minute pop-up restaurant on a parking lot facing the ocean. This restaurant does not unwind throughout the summer. They serve very simple, but fresh seafood dishes. Pimientos stuffed with cod, squid, mussels, and grilled sardines are highly recommended.
Le Clos Basque
12 Avenue Louis Barthou, 64200 Biarritz, France
📞+33 5 59 24 24 96
This restaurant is a gem recommended by the Michelin guide. It’s quite hard to have a reservation as it’s very frequented by the locals. The restaurant is small, but they have a little terrace at the entrance shaded by climbing plants. We literally ate elbow to elbow, but it doesn’t spoil the moment. They serve excellent traditional food at a very reasonable price: prix fixe menu €27 to €32.
Pariès and Maison Adam are two pastry stores specialized in the gâteau Basque. The gâteau Basque is a traditional dessert from the Basque region of France filled with either almond, vanilla pastry cream, or preserved cherries.
Maison Adam is also famous for its macarons, which were served at the wedding of Louis XIV. They were very much appreciated by the Queen mother and Maria Theresa of Spain.
Les Halles, Hossegor
50 Avenue Suzanne Labatut, Hossegor, France
It’s a very nice and busy market to eat local food for lunch. There are different shops selling different specialties: Tapas, pata negra a la plancha, duck, marinated chicken… In the middle, there are big barrels used as tables and stools were you can sit and savor your meal.
I hope you will enjoy this trip as much as we did! Don’t hesitate to send me a message if you need more details!