This article was very fun to make. I, together with the talented photographer Laura Macias , went out to check five coffee shops in Bordeaux. There are plenty of nice coffee places in Bordeaux, with quality coffee, beautiful design, and a great atmosphere so choosing this list wasn’t an easy task. So how did I choose these five? First, all of them have amazing coffee and a cozy atmosphere. But I also wanted them to be spread out around the city so every coffee in this article is located in a different district of Bordeaux. And last but not least, as most of my readers are English speakers I chose coffee places that are English-friendly. In all of them, the owners and most of the staff speak English and you don’t have to break your tongue when ordering a coffee. So let’s start discovering the best coffee places in Bordeaux!
If you want something sweet to go along with your coffee don’t miss my article about sweet specialties in Bordeaux.
This place, I must admit, is my coffee place of choice when I hang out with my girlfriends, I discovered it through my Kiwi friend Julie and it’s been on our list ever since. The place is owned by Pierre Guerin, one of the nicest and most welcoming people in coffee land. The name Piha combines two of his big loves: kite surfing and coffee. Piha is the name of a surfing village in New Zealand, where Pierre used to live and surf for quite a while and where he learned the barista craft. Coming back to France, knowing that he wanted to continue his journey in the coffee industry, he started working as a Barista in the KB Cafe shop in Paris and then in
Piha was opened in February 2017 in what was previously a print shop. With the help of his interior designer friend, they designed this elegant coffee shop, with mostly sofas instead of chairs to make you feel comfortable when you meet your friends for a coffee.
Pierre really loves his staff, you can see that he genuinely appreciates their contribution to the success of this place. From Pauline, the manager and tea expert to Joslin the Barista and Angele, the chef, who’s also responsible for the delicious desserts on the bar (you must try the homemade chocolate cookies). Most of Piha’s clients are people from the neighborhood and while Pierre loves Bordeaux his real dream is to move closer to the sea where he can roast his coffee and surf every day.
They offer brunch every Saturday and the first Sunday of every month. On Saturdays, Pierre hosts coffee workshops and from the little course we received while making this article, I can assure you that it’s worth your time. Pierre has plenty of interesting collaborations with other places in the city. Other cafes use his roasted coffee and he sells other craft products in Piha (a local beer for example). These days he and Carole are developing their online shop selling freshly ground coffee roasted in the shop in Bordeaux, check it out here.
L’Alchimiste Café Boutique
We now move to the fancy district of Quinconces and to one of the most popular coffee addicts’ places, L’Alchimiste Café. Arthur Audibert is a pioneer in specialty coffee roasting in Bordeaux. After working for a decade in consulting in Paris, he came back to his home area to open the first roastery in Bordeaux. He was influenced by his many travels abroad where he tasted quality coffee and decided to contribute his part in developing the coffee culture in France. Five years ago he opened a roastery, L’Alchimiste torréfacteur de cafés
After a year he was joined by Yohan Caunegre, another cafe enthusiast who wanted to learn from the master and open the coffee scene to the wider public. After living in Australia and working in a coffee shop, Yohan wanted to bring the rising culture of coffee shops with a quality cafe to Bordeaux. In 2016, in addition to their roastery in Darwin, they opened their coffee shop on a cute paved street not far from hotel de Ville, Rue de la Vieille Tour. Albeit the central location, opening the cafe on that street was a gamble as at that time it wasn’t such a popular spot. Today, when you see this popular street with all the beautifully designed boutiques and pastries on the way to the coffee shop it’s easy to see the gamble paid off.
This cozy little place is divided into three areas: the bar, the sitting room with a few little tables surrounded by forest-themed wall decorations, and a small gallery with changing works of art, chosen by Virginie, Arthur’s wife. The name, L’alchimiste comes from the idea of transformation – the fact that the product starts from fruit and transforms into coffee.
This place is all about coffee, they don’t serve food, and the only snacks you can get are the cakes on the bar. Their coffee mostly comes from Central America and Eastern Africa (Ethiopia and Kenya).
We finally get to the female representative on the list and for that, I will make you leave the center of Bordeaux. Gusco is run by Pauline Savin and is located in the Meriadeck district, distant from the buzz of Bordeaux center. Just a few minutes walk from Hotel de Ville you’ll get to a tiny square with turquoise tables from where you can spot the beautiful welcoming smile of Pauline.
Pauline started her career in the wine industry and learned to appreciate good coffee through her husband, a distributor of coffee beans. He used to bring home samples of green coffee which they would taste together. After many exhausting years in the wine industry and after becoming a mom, Pauline decided to open her own business. It took a trip to New York, which included a marathon of visiting coffee places, for her to decide to open a coffee place back home. She wanted to prove that good coffee culture can exist in France. Another brave decision was to roast her own coffee in order to own its taste. As someone who didn’t come from the coffee world, she had to learn everything from scratch and this girl definitely owns it!
In June 2017 she opened her specialty coffee place, Gusco. The name is a combination of the names of her kids Gustav and Colombe. The place is small but beautifully designed. It is a combination of many ideas she saw in other coffee shops as well as Portuguese touches as it’s a country she really loves. I especially loved the sofa with the hanging tables. They cook their own food and many customers actually come to Gusco for lunch. Pauline is super funny and charming and makes you feel at home in a second, and if you combine that with her great coffee, it’s really worth the walk.
La Pelle Café
We are moving from the historic center of Bordeaux to the northern chic neighborhood of Chartrons. A charming street like
Carlos, originally from Brazil, was surrounded by coffee from an early age and says he was always the one making coffee for his family so it’s no surprise he chose it as his profession. He left Brazil at the age of 26 and moved to Italy where he started his career in the coffee world. His first city in France was Paris, where he was one of the associates in a specialty coffee place, called Coutume Cafe.
At the end of 2015, he and his wife Paula decided to move to Bordeaux and open their own little coffee place. While searching for the perfect place for their new “baby” they fell in love with the Chartrons neighborhood, and I can definitely see why. They are located on one of the most pleasant streets of Bordeaux, and they perfectly fit there with their chic design. The idea behind it is to make the bar the main scene with the baristas being the main actors in the play. The name Pelle comes from the Italian and Portuguese word for skin and it’s also the name of a coffee shovel in French.
He’s a real advocate for quality coffee and if you are interested in expanding your knowledge about different types of coffee and roasting he’s your guy. Pelle cafe usually has coffee coming from10 different origins, from countries like Costa
What else: From time to time Carlos runs coffee-tasting workshops, you can see more details on their facebook page.
Cofete B – This coffee shop closed its doors in 2022
Note– Cofete B was a coffee place when I wrote the article and since then it became a place where you can eat lunch and buy a lot of local products. However, the coffee and the service are still great! The place is now called Pacha Mama.
Here’s what I originally wrote about Cofete B
Coming back to the heart of the historic center we are heading to Pacha Mama in the
Lizbel’s story is about not giving up and having a lot of patience and optimism to follow your dreams. Her studies and career in England looked very different from what she does now. After several years in the hospitality industry, she arrived in Bordeaux with no prior knowledge of French and had to find work and reinvent herself. During her student years in London, she worked as a Barista in a coffee shop, where she got equipped with the techniques and with a dream to have her own place. Finding the right place wasn’t easy and took a very long time. But with her ambition and the support of her boyfriend and his family, she opened Cofete B, less than a year ago. She chose this location because she wanted something central but on a small street for it to feel cozy and something that would draw the neighbors in.
While her coffee is amazing, it’s the food that gets her excited and she made it the focus of the place. The food is mainly vegetarian and there are always vegan options so for all of my vegan readers, here’s a great place for you. Saturday and Sunday are the brunch days and they have become very popular. On Sundays, the place gets so busy that you have to book in advance.
Most of the clients are locals who come for a coffee in the middle of the week and then come back with their kids for a brunch on the weekend. You can see that people really love her, they come in and give her a bissou and tell her personal stuff about their lives. Others just come by to say hello on their way home. I can see why, she’s a really loveable person. Her vision for the place is a neighborhood coffee shop where people come to talk and be with friends.
One of the spaces in the cafe is quite isolated from the bar and that allows for hosting different events, which is something Lizbel really loves. As she’s busy with making the food and coffee, the events are not coffee related. It can be anything from a language exchange to yoga.
Hope you enjoyed our list!!! I would love to read about your favorite coffee places in Bordeaux in the comments below!
If you’re looking for more ideas for day trips in the Bordeaux region here are a few other articles you might want to read:
The best beaches around Bordeaux
Day trips around Bordeaux – wine, beaches, and villages
10 day trips from Bordeaux by Public transport
A weekend in Medoc – Bordeaux wine tours
What to do and eat in Saint Emilion
You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here: