Vegan/Vegetarian Guide to Bordeaux, France (2024)

Brunch at Kitchen Garden in Bordeaux, France

During my first few days in Bordeaux, I was hangry. I couldn’t find my unsweetened soymilk, hemp seeds, veggie burgers, tofu—and I was upset.

Hunger-induced grumpiness was no way to begin my semester abroad. But in a country that thrives on meat and cheese, I began to wonder if solely salads would become my reality.

I soon discovered, however, that Bordeaux’s veggie scene was vibrant—much richer, actually, than the plant-based resources in my American hometown. All it took was some good advice from locals, a little exploring, and a little luck.

From the charming French city that was my home for four months, I present to you my favorite vegan/vegetarian picks. Free map at the end!

Note: this post was written in 2017 but has been updated in 2023 after a recent visit to Bordeaux.

Is it Hard to Be Vegan/Vegetarian in France?

Before I dive in, I want to answer a common concern vegans/vegetarians might have before traveling to France. After studying abroad in France for a semester and living there for a year, I can confidently say that it’s generally not that hard to be plant-based in France, but it will depend on where you’re going. (Do keep in mind that I am not fully plant-based, however—each time I’ve been in France, I’ve been about ~85% plant-based, so this is from my perspective.)

In larger cities like Bordeaux and Paris, you’ll definitely find vegan/vegetarian restaurants, and places that are vegan-friendly. When I lived in Dijon though, there really weren’t a ton of vegetarian restaurants, other than this one Indian place. Most of the restaurants were more traditional and didn’t have great veggie options.

That said, while it was harder to eat out, I had no problem grocery shopping for myself. At this huge grocery store in the mall, I found vegan staples such as lentils, veggie burgers, tofu, etc. If you go to a smaller corner shop though, it will be difficult to find these things, and the premade meals are likely to be vegetarian at best (not vegan).

But don’t worry—there are many organic stores throughout France that will have what you need. Chains such as Bio c’ Bon and La Vie Saine are well-stocked with vegan staples, and these stores are common in most cities, even the smaller ones (just not the small towns and villages).

If you’re especially concerned about finding a particular kind of food in France, or if you’re traveling to a smaller town, be sure to plan ahead. You might cook something yourself and pack it for a day trip, or bring along any staple you need during your trip, such as hemp seeds. My friend Nina of Lemons and Luggage also has more tips for vegan travelers to help you be more prepared for your trip.

Best Vegan Restaurants in Bordeaux, France

Best all-around: Le BOUNE

Vegan-friendly, gluten-free options
Tram stop: line A, Sainte Catherine

Veggie bowls at Le Boune
Le Boune exterior Bordeaux

Le Boune is a brand-new, vegan-friendly restaurant with healthy bowls, salads, and wraps. It’s actually in the same location as my former favorite veggie restaurant in Bordeaux, Kitchen Garden, which closed in 2021 (the first image in this post).

The restaurant is on a corner near a bustling square and one of the prettiest photo spots in Bordeaux, La Grosse Cloche (a big clock tower). You can dine inside or outside on the patio.

I got the Boliney, which was a Thai-inspired bowl with pea grits, mango, radish, cucumber, beet, and pomegranate seeds. It was refreshing, but kind of light, though the lower price reflected the smaller portion. I would get the bowl again if I wanted a good dose of veggies, but if I was hungrier, I’d opt for another bowl or wrap with more protein.

Overall, I rate this place the best veggie restaurant since it’s quick, affordable, fresh, and tasty. It has a wide variety of options as well.

Best ethnic food: Monkey Mood

Vegan
Tram stop: line C/D, Saint-Michel

Monkey Mood is a fully-vegan restaurant with Indonesian-inspired cuisine. The interior is charming, and they also have a few outdoor tables.

I actually went here twice in a week because I wanted to try a couple different dishes. I really enjoyed the spring rolls appetizer, which was refreshing; the peanut sauce was also perfectly spiced.

I also had the Nasi Goreng with Chik’n (similar to fried rice), and while it was tasty, it was extremely salty. The same goes with the Kimcheese Burger. In France, it’s apparently rude to ask for modifications to your meal, but I would consider asking for any main dishes to be less salty, or I would opt for a bowl with more veggies.

My friend and I also tried the peanut brownie, which was unfortunately very dry, so we wouldn’t recommend it. The other desserts looked quite good though!

Make sure you make a reservation online if you want to eat here, as it’s really hard to get a seat otherwise. The place is so popular!

Best cozy spot: MAMACAM

Vegetarian, vegan-friendly
Tram stop: line A/C/D, Porte de Bourgogne or line B, Musée d’Aquitaine

Stuffed peppers at MAMACAM
Interior of MAMACAM

MAMACAM is a 100% vegetarian restaurant and is also vegan-friendly. Everything is made in-house, and the owner is very sweet. The menu is posted daily on their Facebook page, and you usually have a couple choices for the appetizer, main dish, and dessert.

The restaurant has a warm, cozy vibe; it almost feels like you’re in someone’s home as the owner prepares the meals right in the open kitchen and serves you.

I enjoyed a three-course meal for under 20 euros with a cold soup, stuffed peppers, and vegan flan. Everything was refreshing, but I especially liked the soup. Overall, it was a bit of a light meal, so just keep that in mind.

Best traditional French: La Mère Michel

Vegetarian-friendly
Tram stop: line C/D, Saint-Michel

Fries and flowers on a table
Inside of La Mere Michel, with vintage posters on the walls and ceiling

La Mère Michel is a traditional French crêperie with vegetarian options. The setting is really eclectic with vintage posters and knickknacks. There’s also outdoor seating in the square, though it can get noisy if there are performances going on.

I got the vegetarian galette, and it had a mix of veggies in the middle, which was a bit like ratatouille. There was no protein, so I’m glad I was able to help my friends eat some of their fries and cheese.

The food here isn’t the most exciting or tasty for vegetarians, but it’s a good option if you want something more traditional, or if those you’re eating with do. The cool setting also is definitely worth seeing.

Best dessert/ice cream: Jolly

Vegetarian, vegan-friendly
Tram stop: line C/D, Place de la Bourse

Ice cream in a cone and cup held up by two hands with the square in the background

Jolly is a dessert shop right in Place du Parlement, a beautiful and busy square. You’ll find traditional desserts like crêpes, waffles, ice cream, and shakes. There is a vegan version of basically everything.

I only tried the vegan ice cream and sorbet, and it was quite good. I found the pistachio ice cream a little too milky, but I really liked the mango passion sorbet.

There aren’t many tables, so you may need to take your dessert to-go, or find a seat on a bench in the square.

Best coffee/breakfast: Black List

Vegetarian-friendly
Tram stop: line A/B, Hôtel de Ville

Avocado toast at Black List Cafe in Bordeaux

Look no further for that insta-worthy brunch. The avocado toast has raving reviews, and I was quite satisfied with my taste test—it’s definitely not standard though, boasting a dusting of cajun pepper and exotic citrus-y seeds. While I’m not a coffee person, Black List’s brew also has a big thumbs up from the online community. The sleek shop is often crowded, so also feel free to stop by for a quick pastry or organic juice—its city center location makes it quite convenient.

Honorable mention: Mokoji

Vegetarian-friendly
Tram stop: line A, Sainte Catherine

Mokoji is your place if you’re feeling Asian food. The Japche dopbap without beef and beossot bibimbap without the egg are vegan and scrumptious. The atmosphere is sleek and has a bit of an upscale feel.

In a bustling part of town, it’s a great place to stop after running errands or seeing a film in the nearby independent theatre, Utopia. The restaurant is incredibly busy though, so make sure to book in advance or head over just as it opens!

Places I didn’t get to try

Dis-Leur is a fully-vegan bistro with tapas in the summer, and Au Nouveau Monde is a bar with some vegan burgers.

Best Grocery Stores for Vegans in Bordeaux

Romanesco broccoli, hummus, and beer

Best all-around: La Vie Saine

Tram stop: line A, Sainte Catherine

I found just about everything I needed at La Vie Saine, and more—organic peanut putter, alternative milks, meat substitutes, hummus. There was even a beauty and vitamin section. It has definitely the most extensive stock and overall reasonable prices for organic-specific stores in Bordeaux.

The location is convenient as well, just a few steps away from Rue Sainte-Catherine, a major tourist destination because of its plethora of iconic retail stores (it’s also the longest pedestrian road in France, at 1.2 km!).

Most convenient: Naturalia

Tram stop: line A/B, Hôtel de Ville

Entrance of Naturalia in Bordeaux

Naturalia is in the mall Saint-Christoly, which also has several other shops. This shop is smaller than La Vie Saine, but could be much more cost-efficient for certain items—I liked buying their bulk items, as well as their chia seeds. They also had a nice selection of fruits and veggies, such as Romanesco broccoli.

Note: there are also several organic chains, such as Bio C’Bon and Biocoop, which are also very convenient to pop into!

Best value: Casino

Tram stop: line B, Peixotto

When my parents saw my credit card statement when I was studying abroad, they were appalled to see “Casino” listed so many times—they thought I’d been gambling! In reality, I’d been shopping smart at the supermarket near campus.

The organic section here was inexpensive and extensive—at the time, I was able to score unsweetened soymilk fortified with calcium for only 1 euro, whole-grain bread for 2 euros, and dark chocolate dipped rice cakes for 1,20 euros. This was all basically half-price compared to organic stores! (While prices may have gone up since 2017, this place likely still has better relative prices. If you go, please let me know so I can update this post).

Another perk—you can make grocery runs between classes (especially if you’re at Bordeaux 1). And final pro tip: sign up for a student card, which automatically gives you 5% off each trip!

Note: for a large supermarket with organic aisles closer to downtown, Auchan Meriadeck is a good option, though not nearly as cheap.

Best Markets in Bordeaux

Groceries from the French market

These markets are obviously not veggie-only, but they have great options for groceries. 

Best all-around: Marché des Capucins

Tuesday-Sunday mornings
Tram stop: line B, Victoire

Marché des Capucins is the best-known market in Bordeaux, for many reasons. Prices are quite affordable and fare is far fresher than what you’d find in-store.

This was my place for avocados, which are quite pricey in France. There are also several places to grab a quick bite to eat, such as tapas, and many colorful flower stands to admire.

Best atmosphere: Marché des Quais

Sunday mornings
Tram stop: line C, Chartrons

Marché des Quais is a lovely place for a Sunday-morning stroll. Located just along the river, this market has a more refined feel than Capucins—the prices correlate, but it’s also quite possible to find affordable fare.

If you’re looking for a more classic market experience, this is your place. There are also several stands to grab a fresh lunch or sweet dessert.

Most convenient: Marché de Mondésir

Sunday mornings
Tram stop: N/A, probably better to take the bus. I wouldn’t go out of my way to go here; this is just in case you’re already in the area.

Not nearly as touristy as the other two, Marché de Mondésir is better if you’re closer to residential Bordeaux, and downtown is a bit too far. The merchants here could be particularly kind. I was offered free items on more than one ocassion—a shopkeeper once purposefully didn’t charge me for my onion and garlic when I purchased veggies, another gifted me a mini canelé (classic Bordeaux dessert) when I only wanted one. Prices here were most affordable.

Map of Vegan/Vegetarian Places in Bordeaux

So hopefully with all these resources, you Bordeaux-based vegans/vegetarians won’t need to be hangry. If you have any questions about eating mostly plant-based in France, don’t hesitate to drop me a comment! I could talk for days about food and Bordeaux.

Best Vegan Eats Bordeaux France

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2 Comments

  1. This is an absolutely fantastic resource!!! Thank you so much for writing it!! My brother in law is veggie as is my husband and we often have a miserable time of it eating in France!! We often travel with a TGV and have to wait in Bordeaux so I will be sure to refer to this again!! That supermarket with the student card sounds a God send. How are you doing food wise in Oxford? Xx

    1. Aww, thank you for all the love on my recent posts, Kezzie! Yes, it’s quite difficult to find good veggie options if you don’t know where to look. I hope this will help you out next time 🙂

      Oxford has been fine, especially since there’s an inexpensive market every week. But hall food has been a bit too heavy for me, and it’s hard to avoid dairy. But I suppose heavier foods help us stay warmer in this England weather haha.

      Sending you the best <3

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