Bordeaux places great importance on drinking – be it tasting excellent vintages in a bar à vin, guzzling cacolac (chocolate milk made in Bordeaux since 1954) in a cafe or glugging local Darwin beer in an industrial hangar. Medieval Saint-Pierre teems with atmospheric cafe pavement terraces, as do Chartron's riverside quays. Mainstream nightclubs congregate on busy quai du Paladate near the train station.

Best Lists

Drinking & Nightlife

  • Bar à Vin Wine-tasting and drinking in a supremely elegant space by Esplanade des Quinconces.
  • Night Beach Summertime hobnobbing with Bordelais hipsters on the rooftop of Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux.
  • Le Point Rouge Trendy speakeasy hidden in the basement of a riverfront hôtel particulier.
  • I.Boat DJ sets and live concerts on a transformed barge in the industrial Bacalan district.
  • Symbiose Clandestine cocktail bar with gourmet food pairings in Chartrons.
  • Mancuso Retro-styled music cafe cooking up stylish drinking, food and vinyls to listen to (and buy).

Alfresco Terraces

  • L’Apollo Vintage-cool pavement seating on pedestrian, people-watching place Fernand Lafargue in medieval Bordeaux.
  • Utopia One of Saint-Pierre's finest cafe pavement terraces, in a former church.
  • Café Laiton The hot spot for decent coffee with prime people-watching view of place des Capucins.
  • Café Gusco Serious coffee by Bordeaux's only female roaster on a village-like square beneath trees.
  • Ibaïa Café Seasonal, design-chic drinking on the edge of the River Garonne.

Cocktails

  • Symbiose Exceptional signature cocktails with exquisite food to match.
  • Le Point Rouge Pre-club cocktails in a hidden speakeasy on quai du Paladate.
  • Cancan Achingly cool speakeasy by Parisian duo Romain and Clément; fashionable retro vibe and outstanding music.
  • L’Alchimiste Craft cocktails and Italian small plates in a 1920s-styled lounge bar.
  • Le Taquin Waterfront cocktails, albeit a busy road separating the river-facing terrace from the water.

Specialist Coffee

  • Café Piha Beans are roasted on-site at this colonial-style coffee shop in Saint-Paul.
  • Café Gusco Specialist coffee and lunch by the city's only female roaster and barista.
  • Le Monologue Caffeine hits in fashionable Saint-Seurin.
  • Koeben Scandinavian drink-dine-shop hybrid: coffee shop, upmarket grocery and design-cool boutique.
  • La Pelle Café Where to find decent coffee in the Chartrons district.
  • Banana Café The perfect coffee stop pre- or post-Musée d’Aquitaine.

Craft Beer

  • Magasin Général Grab a home-brewed Darwin beer at Bordeaux's original hipster hangout on the Rive Droite.
  • Le Zytho Cavernous beer bar in a vaulted cellar in Chartrons.
  • Kabëng Artisan craft beer from Bordeaux and the region in St-Michel.
  • L’Atelier Bière An ingenious spot to brew your own craft beer.
  • Les BerThòM Industrial-styled, no frills bar à bières (beer bar) in Saint-Paul.