Capucins is one of the oldest markets in France and it rightfully carries the title “The belly of Bordeaux”. Bordeaux’s market has such an importance in the gastronomic scene of Bordeaux that I always spend at least an hour there on my food tours.
It’s a big market, abundant with colorful stands of fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese and all the delicacies of the Southwest of France. However, it differs from many other French markets in that it’s a place for much more than just buying groceries. People go there for their morning coffee, for lunch or the sacred combination of wine, oysters, and friends meeting on the weekend. There are so many restaurants and stands at the Bordeaux market that for a newcomer it can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why I decided to gather a list of all my favorite places at Marché des Capucins.
When it comes to local food, oysters are one of the highlights of our region. Bordeaux is just one hour away from Arcachon, one of France’s main oyster farming centers. So it’s not a surprise to find good oysters at the main market of Bordeaux. Chez Jean-Mi became one of Bordeaux’s go-to places for fresh oysters. I love that place so much that it quickly became a must on my food tour! On weekends, many locals rush here to meet their friends over a plate of oysters and a glass of white wine. Apart from oysters, the place serves a variety of seafood, delicious soups and more. You can sit inside and soak up the market atmosphere or grab a table outside to enjoy the sun while you sip your wine. The place tends to be very busy during the weekend so be sure to come early (around 11 am) to get a table.
Opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturday from 7:00 to 13:45 and Sunday from 9:00 to 15:15.
Café Laiton – the best coffee in the Bordeaux market
Finding good coffee in a French market is not always easy and that’s what makes Café Laiton quite revolutionary. This cozy little coffee place is owned by the lovely Gaëlle who decided to open a quality cafe in Bordeaux after spending several years in Buenos Aires. There she used to work and drink her coffee at the market and came with the idea to replicate the ‘coffee at the market’ experience back home. Moving to Bordeaux, she realized that the Capucins market, where she used to spend a lot of time as a child, is the perfect scenery for her coffee shop. The place is quite small, but the market adds a lot of space to it. You can sit at the bar or grab a table outside. Apart from good coffee, they also serve homemade food and pastries and a delicious brunch on Sundays.
Opening hours: Wednesday to Friday from 8:30 to 13:45 and Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 to 14:45.
Bistro Poulette is a chic restaurant that can easily fit the stylish food scene in the city center. But being located at the market of Bordeaux gives it a unique twist. Food and drinks are being served quite early in the day and you don’t have to wait for lunch to start your gastronomic celebration. If you come in the morning you can enjoy their breakfast, brunch or take it a bit further with a plate of charcuterie and wine. At lunchtime, you get to enjoy their specialty, which is Mussels, served in casseroles and cooked with a variety of sauces like white wine, curry and more.
Opening hours: Wednesday to Friday from 8:30 to 15:00 and Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 to 15:00.
Tortill’art – a Spanish delight at the Bordeaux market
Strolling in the market, you can easily miss this littletortilla bar. But, as it’s one of my favorites at the marché des Capucins, I must spread the word. Juan servers several types of tortillas and delicious Spanish Jambon with wine or a homemade Sangria. Tortillas are his specialty and some of the recipes run in his family for generations. He’s a super nice guy who you can have a fun chat with while sitting at the bar. What makes this place even more attractive are the prices! You can easily have a full lunch here for less than 10 euros.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday until 13:00 and Saturday and Sunday until 14:30.
Pata Negra – for the best Pintxos
One of the best tapas bars in Bordeaux is located in the Capucins market. In the middle of the week, this place mainly sells Spanish delicacies but on weekends it turns into a fantastic tapas bar with a huge variety of pintxos. Once you’re seated by the hostess and get your plate you can start picking the Pintxos. There is one problem though! there are so many of them that it’s really hard to choose only a few. Just be sure not to throw the long toothpicks holding the pintxos, as that’s how the restaurant knows how much to charge you. This is a very popular place so if you’re in the mood for delicious tapas, be sure to come early.
Opening hours of the bar: Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 15:30
Les Jardins – delicious lunch and tapas
Another fun place for lunch is Les Jardins. This little restaurant has a great variety of dishes on their daily menu. You can enjoy local meat dishes and many French delicacies like snails, oysters, and shrimps. The service is super friendly, especially when you’re coming in the middle of the week. The owner really tries to give attention to every customer which is refreshing.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 to 13:00, Saturday 5:00 to 14:00
Les Puits d’Amour – a magical dessert before you leave the market
This beautiful pastry carries the name le Puit d’amour, a well of love. It’s a local pastry, created by Maison Seguin in a little town South to Bordeaux called Captieux. Les Puit d’amour is filled with crème Chiboust (a mix of crème pâtissière and an Italian meringue). It’s a perfect bite size end to your market journey. Be aware that they arrive every day with only a few trays of les Puits d’Amour and once they finish selling them, puff they’re gone. So be sure to pass by before lunch and buy a box for later.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 until the last puit d’amour 🙂
Hope you enjoyed our virtual market tour! If it opened your appetite to discover more of the local flavors of the South West of France, check out the Lost in Bordeaux food tours where I take you through a journey of tastes and fascinating stories about the cuisine of the Bordeaux region.
Saint Michel is one of the most cosmopolitan and lively neighborhoods in Bordeaux, a home to a mixed population of students, immigrants, artists and people attracted to the hip vibe of the neighborhood. While it’s usually not part of the traditional sights seeing tours of Bordeaux, it’s worth much more than a short visit to the Basilica of Saint Michel and its tower. Saint Michel is located next to some of the most posh areas of Bordeaux and yet it has a completely different feeling to it, at times it feels as if Victor Hugo cuts Bordeaux into two different cities. The neighborhood is home to some of the best markets of Bordeaux, numerous places where you can browse for vintage clothes and furniture and an endless list of lively restaurants and cafes.
This guide to Saint Michel offers you a great variety of things to Do and See in Saint Michel. We’ll go through the most important monuments in the neighborhood and recommend where to eat, drink, shop and have a picnic. This neighborhood is constantly evolving and new places are opening all the time so even if you live in Bordeaux for a while now, I invite you to take a look and re-discover one the happiest places in town.
Basilique Saint Michel
The Saint Michel Basilica, classified as a world heritage of UNESCO in 1998 stands at the heart of this lively neighborhood. This church, built between the 14th and 16th century in a Flamboyant Gothic style, is the biggest parish church in Bordeaux. The Basilica is 75 meters long and is divided into 3 distinct parts. Start your tour from rue Canteloup and go towards Place Meynard in order to have the basilica fully reveal herself.
See Bordeaux from la Flèche Saint-Michel
Just next to the basilica you’ll find the Saint Michel bell tower or “la flèche” as the Bordelaises like to call it. This is one of the main monuments of the city and one of the sights you will often find on postcards of Bordeaux. Built in the 15th century, the bell tower of the basilica is 114 meters high and is the highest bell tower in the south of France. La flèche is a standalone building alongside the basilica, rather than on top of it. During the tourist season the tower is open to visitors and due to its height, offers a magnificent view of the city.
In 1881 a cemetery and catacombs were discovered under the town bell. Several mummies, that were also part of that discovery were shown to the public in the late 18th century. You can learn more about one the biggest mysteries of the city in the film presented in the cellar of the tower. The “Fleche” is located on Place Canteloup and can be visited daily from April to October, the ticket price is 5 euros.
The Saint Michel Market
Marché Royal, one of the biggest open-air markets in Bordeaux, takes place every Saturday morning at Place Meynard. The surroundings of the church and bell tower is filled with more than 100 merchants, selling everything from fruits and vegetables to kitchen supplies, clothes and even pillows :). From my experience, this is the cheapest market in Bordeaux. However, if you are into bio produce, this one is probably not for you. On sunny Saturday mornings, the market attracts both locals, doing their weekly shopping and outsiders that come for the noisy market atmosphere and chic cafés.
On Monday mornings a different market is taking place in front of the church. You will find very diversified merchandise displayed on the stands of Marché Neuf, including books, house supplies, clothing, toys and more, however it’s not a food market and doesn’t have the vibe of Marché Royal. This market is composed of hundreds of stands but has a more local vibe to it.
When: Marché Royal: Saturdays 7am to 1pm; Marché Neuf:Mondays 7am to 1pm
Place Canteloup et Meynard – 33800 Bordeaux
Browsing for Antiques
A French Brocante (secondhand goods market) is a nice way to discover the history, culture and different fashion trends of a city through the interesting stories of the objects you find. It usually doesn’t have a feeling of a flea market but rather a more antiques and vintage vibe to it. In Bordeaux , the brocantes have an important place and besides many local vide greniers (kind of a garage sale), the city hosts a huge brocante twice a year in Place de Quinconces. But if your visit is not planned during this time of the year, Saint Michel proposes a smaller scale brocante all year long.
Les Brocanteurs du Passage
Passage Saint Michel, located just in front of the church is home to 18 stands of antiques dealers and artists, with a variety of art and design items from different periods and styles. The prices are quite high but it can definitely inspire if you are into vintage stuff. The passage is open daily except Monday , see more details here.
Address: 15 place Canteloup, 33800 Bordeaux
Les Hangars is a new space of antiques and vintage pieces of art and furniture. It has a very posh and spacious look to it and is quite pricey but it has a significant selection of antiques.
Address: 18 – 22 Rue des Allamandiers, 33800 Bordeaux
Sunday flea market
Every Sunday morning more than 80 dealers gather at the square in front of the Basilica of Saint Michel for the Brocante du Dimanche. This is the weekly flea market of Bordeaux where you can find real bargains and purchase everything from toys for kids to antique frames and electronic devices. The quality of most of the items is not the highest but as with any flea market, you’ll have to work to find what you’re looking for.
When: Sundays 7am to 2pm
Place Canteloup et Meynard – 33800 Bordeaux
Eat and shop at La Mère Michel
La Mére Michel is the essence of what the main square of the quartier is all about, a combination of a brocante with good food, a great location and a hip atmosphere. It has a beautiful view of the bell tower of Saint Michel, but distant enough from the hustle of the market. On the menu it says “Crêperie-Bistrot-Brocante” and that’s what it is. The house specialty are crepes and the menu is mostly composed of many different types of crepes and galettes, with some traditional plates as well. The interior is decorated with many vintage items and they are all for sale for very affordable prices. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, I’d still recommend you take a look on the unique design they’ve put in place. On a sunny day, it’s a perfect place for an outside brunch, with tables right on Place Meynard, facing the bell tower and the church. The restaurant is open the whole day on weekends and closes for a break between lunch and dinner on week days.
Address: 22 Place Meynard, 33000 Bordeaux
Drink mint tea
Saint Michel is full of chic cafes and it’s hard to chose one when you want to take a break from antiques browsing. If you stay in the church area you will see that a lot of locals are actually drinking mint tea and not coffee. Until recently Saint Michel was mostly an immigrant neighborhood and many shops and cafés are owned by families who emigrated to Bordeaux from the Maghreb or the Middle East. Glasses stuffed with spearmint is something your’re going to see a lot on Saturday mornings there. My favorite place is Café de la Fraternité which is located on place Meynard right in front of the church.
Address: 27 Place Meynard, 33000 Bordeaux
Buy pastries at la Boulangerie
If you see a long line of people coming from a boulangerie, especially on Saturday morning, you’re at the right place. La Boulangerie (la boutique) on 51 rue des Faures, is a very popular bakery frequented by both locals and tourists. It’s located next to the Bell tower of Saint Michel. The design is very simple and modern with a nice vintage touch. They offer great baguettes and a nice selection of pastry that you can take with you to one of the cafés on Place Meynard.
Address: 251 rue des Faures, 33000 Bordeaux
Buy Mediterranean spices
Alongside the many cafes and restaurants, you will find plenty of shops specializing in mediterranean food, most of them located in Rue des Faures. From outside they may seem as just small supermarkets but if you go inside you’ll discover a paradise of spices such as Sumak, Bahar, Tahini and more. Bordeaux doesn’t have a big immigrant population and specific ingredients are not always easy to find, that’s why this place is a treasure for everyone who is looking to cook an Arabic or Persian dish. My favorite oneis Bazar Istanbul on 84 Rue des Faures, where I’ve always been able to find anything I need.
If you’re planning on a mint tea break, as was suggested before, combine it with some beautiful oriental pastry. France is the Queen of Patisserie, there’s no dispute about that, but if you need a break from the traditional French patisserie, A la rose de Tunis on 70 Rue des Faures, with its huge selection of Tunisian pastry is the place for you.
Saint Michel is a rising area in Bordeaux and a wave of new hip coffee places have established themselves in the neighborhood. Besides the many restaurants next to the main square and all around the area, there are also plenty of relatively new cafés with a hipster vibe to them. Two of my favorite ones are:
Michel ma belle: a small cozy coffee place on 33 Rue Gaspard Philipp, with a great selection of cakes, beautiful interior design and a distant view of the bell tower from the few tables outside.
Excuse my French: Located right in front of Bazar Istanbul on 87 Rue des Faures. There are a few tables on the busy street outside giving it a very lively atmosphere.
Visit the Capucins market
Le Marche des Capucins is a true Bordelaise institution. It’s located a few minutes walk from the main area of Saint Michel and can be seen from the Basilica. This is the biggest daily market and has everything that a good market should have. Stands of Fruits, vegetables, sweets, spices and fish all mixed with lively cafes and restaurants. Most of it is covered so you can enjoy it on the city’s numerous rainy days. Most cafes and restaurants also have tables outside, which makes it a perfect place to hang out with friends and family for an early snack or a proper lunch. In the weekend, the market is packed with locals, who gather to dine oysters accompanied by white wine. Be sure to come early to be able to catch a table. Marché des Capucins is open daily except Monday.
Have a picnic in Parc des Sports
Parc de Sports is a large green area with different sport facilities, located on the bank of the Garonne just in front of the Saint Michel neighborhood. If you walked too much and need to rest, buy some goodies at the market and head to the “Quai” for a picnic. This parc is less known than other picnic spots in the city and is mostly used by the locals, which makes it less crowded on Sunny days. Also, the view of the Garonne is quite impressive so try to find a spot closer to the river.
Silicon is a space of contemporary art with an agenda to promote young local artists. The gallery is located in one of the quieter streets in Saint Michel and is not that easy to spot, but definitely worth a visit if you’re around. See up to date info about the running exhibitions here. The gallery is located on 33 rue Leyteire.
Address: 33 rue Leyteire, 33000
Shop for second hand clothing
There are several second hand clothing shops in the area including Amos, a big chain of solidarity shops in France. One of my favorites is the little boutique on 9 rue des Faures, called Le Fil a Retordre. It looks small but has everything you need, clothes, shoes, books, toys, house decor and even some original designs of clothes and bags recycled from old items, all in very good condition. It’s owned by a nice lady who has owned several second hand shops in Saint Michel in the last 35 years. You can feel she’s a real local with an agenda to make clothes accessible to everyone and has not raised prices despite the rising popularity of the neighborhood.
Address: 9 rue des Faures, 33000
Dinner and concert at Quartier libre
Although it doesn’t look very impressive from the outside, this is one of the best places in town for a nice dinner with a live concert. The menu is usually quite limited but has great value. Most nights a concert is taking place at the bar, with a variety of local bands playing. Wednesday evening is jazz night, and you even have a place to dance if you feel like swinging. Quartier Libre is located on 30 Rue des Vignes.
Address: 30 Rue des Vignes, 33000
Discover rue Camille Sauvageau
There are so many beautiful boutiques, trendy cafes and bars on this street that it requires a separated article. I invite you to take a walk on this charming street that starts from the Basilica of Saint Michel and goes all the way to the Saint Croix neighborhood. Everything feels very stylish, vintage clothing shops, a nice little flower shop, the old buildings and the paved road all add to the charm of this narrow street. Take a long walk to discover the gems on rue Camille Sauvageau.
As this is one of the most growing neighborhoods in Bordeaux there are new cafes, restaurants and boutiques popping up almost weekly so to be really up to date you should visit there frequently. In this list I tried to give you the places that are particularly loved by the locals so you could try and experience your visit through their eyes.
If you go visit and find something new, don’t be shy and comment with your update below.
Share it with friends who are planning to visit Bordeaux this summer. Thanks!!
This weekend the European Patrimony days will take place and some of you might take this opportunity to discover the city through its beautiful buildings and institutions. If you are not into that, there are still plenty of events taking place this weekend in and around Bordeaux. A street art festival, an open air electronic music party, swing dancing on the streets, a biking tour and much more.
Here is the list of things to do this weekend in and around Bordeaux:
Journées Européennes du Patrimoine
The European Patrimony days are a great opportunity to discover some of the most beautiful and interesting places in Bordeaux that are usually hidden from the public. During the weekend of September 15-16 many public and private buildings will open their doors to the and allow you a taste of the city’s history. Some of the most interesting places to visit during the weekend are: the Opera of Bordeaux, Grosse Cloche, Hôtel de Nairac, Tribunal de grande instance de Bordeaux and many more. If you haven’t planned anything yet and want to avoid standing in line, check out my post about the 10 places to visit on Journées Européennes du Patrimoine.
You can see the full list of places open to visits here.
When: September 15-16 Where: Many places across the city, check out the program above.
Shake Well Festival
Shake Well Festival is an international graffiti festival taking place in the university campus of Pessac on September 14-16. This is a free event that gathers more than one hundred graffiti artists and gives them a huge space of 2000 m2 to express themselves during the weekend of the festival. The event will be accompanied by a lineup of different electronic music artists taking the scene from 10:00 to 21:00. For more info check out the website of the festival.
When: September 14-16 Where: Domaine Universitaire, BORDEAUX MONTAIGNE, 19 esplanade des Antilles, 33607 Pessac
Swing on the streets
Swing In Kiosque is a series of improvised dance events that are taking place in Jardin Public two times a month. This weekend the event will take place on September 16. Take a look at the full program of events on their facebook page.
When: September 16 at 15:00 Where: Jardin Public, 33000 Bordeaux
Festival L’Effet Papillon
The third edition of the Effet Paillon Festival will take place in Martignas-sur-jalle on September 14-15. The festive weekend will be packed with music, street art shows, a designers market, workshops and an outdoor food area. For more details and the lineup click here, to purchase tickets click here.
When: September 14-15 Where: 14 avenue de Verdun, 33127 Martignas-Sur-Jalle
Last Chance to see the street art expo in Base Sous Marine
Legendes Urbaines, the beautiful street art exhibition presented at the Base Sous Marine during the last 2 months is coming to an end on September 16 so this is your last chance to go and see it. The exhibition, hosting more than 50 street artists, follows the evolution of street art from the 80’s until today and presents different art styles from graffiti, to video art, vitrage paintings, works on wood, fabric and much more. The entrance to the Base Sous Marine will be free on the weekend of September 15-16.
For more details check out the facebook page of la Base Sous-marine.
When: until September 16 Where: La Base Sous Marine, Boulevard Alfred Daney, 33300 Bordeaux
The Pavillon d’été of L’Orangeade
The summer pavilion on le Quai Deschamps on the right bank of the Garonne is a great way to enjoy your evenings during the hot Bordelaise summer days. The pavilion, organized by the Orangeade association, is hosting free music and gastronomy events every Friday and Saturday until September 22. Take a look at the program for this Friday (Sep 14) and for this Saturday (Sep 15).
When: September 7-8, starting 6pm Where:Quai Deschamps, 33100 Bordeaux
A free concert of JJ. Thames and BearCatz will take place this Friday at the Place Fernand Lafargue as part of the Relache festival. The free music festival is promoting local music, and is taking place in different locations during the summer months. For more info click here.
When: September 14 starting 18:00 Where: Place Fernand Lafargue, 33000 Bordeaux,
Open Air Festival
Bordeaux Open Air is a series of free summer electronic music events, all set in different locations and with a great city vibe to them. The next event will take place on September 16 in Jardin Public and will be dedicated to Djs from New Delhi .
When: September 16, 14:00 Where: Jardin Public, place du Champ de Mars, 33000 Bordeaux
La Guinguette des Enfants
One of the best summer places in Bordeaux la Guinguette Chez Alriq dedicate this Saturday to families with kids. Plenty of games, workshops and a picnics will take place on the bank of the Garonne. For more info click here, the price is 5€ for adults.
When: September 15, 11:00 to 17:00 Where: ZA Quai des Queyries, Port Bastide, 33100 Bordeaux
The big scooter race
The Nire Laguna Thomas association organised a wonderful event to help raise funds for research on pediatric cancer.
A kids scooter race will take place this Saturday on the Quai of Bordeaux, starting from la Maison Eco-citoyenne. More than 300 kids, ages 5 to 10 will take place in the event. If you want your kids to participate in the race, register here.
When: September 15 10:30 to 16:30 Where: la Maison Eco-citoyenne , 33000 Bordeaux
Summer Rock in Bouliac
This Saturday (September 15) a fun event will take place in Bouliac called “Bouliac on the Rock”. The program includes an American cars exhibition, a rock concert, a raffle, vinyl discs and food stands. The festival is free, see more info here.
When: September 15, starting 11:00 Where: Parking du stade, Bouliac,
Exhibition and a painting atelier for kids in Le Garage Moderne
An exhibition of three painters will take place on September 13-25in one of the most unique places in the north of Bordeaux, Le Garage Moderne. This Saturday (September 15), the Garage Moderne will also hold a painting workshop for kids so you can enjoy some art while your kids are busy creating one.
When: September 15, 14:00- 18:00. The exhibition will be presented September 13-25. Where: 1 Rue des Étrangers, 33300 Bordeaux
Did you ever ride a bike in a museum or a hotel? Discover Bordeaux by bike through places where usually bicycles are not allowed: museums, sport centers, cultural and historic places and more. More than ten places have opened their doors for this unusual experience. The tour will take place this Saturday (September 16) and will start at the Maison Écocitoyenne Bordeaux. For tickets click here and for more info about the event click here.
When: September 16 Where: Quai Richelieu, 33000 Bordeaux
Open doors in Climb Up
Climb Up Bordeaux will hold an open door weekend (September 15-16) to allow you discover one of the newest climbing centers in Bordeaux. For details check out the website and the facebook page of the event.
When: September 15-16 (9:00- 18:00) Where:17 Avenue Pythagore, 33700 Mérignac
Vegan Market in the Bastide Neighborhood
A vegan and vegetarian market will take place this Saturday (September 15) at la Place Stalingrad. The stands will include food, drinks, oils, accessories, flowers and different objects, all with the agenda to promote a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle. For more info click here.
When: September 15, 10:00- 18:00 Where: Place Stalingrad, 33100 Bordeaux
Monuments of Cinema
The Monuments of Cinema festival allows you to see great movies at remarkable monuments in the Gironde. During the whole week (September 8-15) movies such as Lumière, l’aventure continue, Monty Python and Everybody wants some! will be screened in places like Château de Cadillac, Parc Chavat in Podensac and the Sauve-Majeure Abbey. See the full program here.
When: September 8-15 Where: Different locations in Gironde, check out the program