Biarritz, in South West France, is all about surf, golf, amazing green landscapes and beautiful beaches. It’s one of the places that should be top of your to-do list when you visit the French Basque Country, and not just for the sports or for the idyllic family holiday; Biarritz is one of the best towns to visit for discovering extraordinary foodie experiences. The mix of Basque influences and French gastronomy add to the charm of this seaside town. We travelled to this region and asked locals what they would say the best restaurants in Biarritz are, and where they usually go for food and drinks (because there’s no better recommendation than one from a local). These are the top suggestions:
Where to go for traditional food
Halles Market: If you want to find traditional food at a cheaper price – anywhere in the world – stop by a local market. Halles Market is the one to visit when you’re in Biarritz. Nathalie, from the bakery Artisan Boulanger (inside the market) said “don’t leave the French Basque Country without savouring the gâteau basque – a tasty layered cake filled with cherries or cream. As well as the hake and piperade (traditional dish made of onion, peppers, and tomatoes)”.
Manon Aupetit, who also sells traditional food at Halles market, highlighted some delicacies such as honey from Montagne, and special cheeses from all around the French Basque Country.
Best places for gateaux basque
If the gateaux basque piqued your interest, go where the locals go to buy this dessert:
St Charles: Frederic, a musician based in Biarritz, is crazy about this bakery. He encouraged us to try not just the Basque cake, but the bread and croissants too.
Maison Adam: Located in the centre of Biarritz, this place was founded in 1660 and it’s famous for its macarons as well as its gateaux basque.
Pariès: These guys even have their own gateaux basque amateur competition, so they’re definitely passionate about this dessert! They also specialise in chocolate, macarons and kanougas (soft caramel).
Best restaurants in Biarritz for pintxo
Pintxos are quite similar to tapas. It’s basically a small piece of food that usually comes on top of a piece of bread. They’re very traditional in the Spanish Basque Country, and many locals in the area follow this daily routine: go to a bar, have a drink, eat a pintxo, go to the next bar and repeat. This is a routine we can definitely get on board with!
Magali, another friendly local working at Halles market, said “pintxos are not as typical in the French Basque Country as they are in the Spanish Basque Country”, however the basque influence is huge, and that is why you can find many pintxo bars in Biarritz. She suggested to take advantage of the basque foodie experiences and try:
Casa Bixente: Located in the very centre of Biarritz, this place is good for affordable pintxos, tapas, cheese, and cold meat.
Bar Jean: All the bars and restaurants in the Rue des Halles are full of life, with people on the sun-soaked terraces, sipping drinks and eating pintxos. Frederic suggested Bar Jean because, although it’s a bit on the pricey side, “the food is really good, and the place is local and friendly”.
Chistera: Just by Bar Jean we found this restaurant, specialising in pintxos, fish and meat. We ate at this place, and even though all the food was great, we had a favourite (of course) – the ham croquettes. So, that’s our recommendation.
Best bars in Biarritz
Etxola Bibi: If locals could agree on a place to chill and have a drink, this would be it. With amazing views of the Côte des Basques beach, Etxola Bibi is the bar to meet your friends for after-work drinks and even play a bit of petanque (traditional ball game).
Restaurants with nice views in Biarritz
Le Pavillon du Phare: Céline Lesaourgues has been living in Biarritz for 7 years, and she didn’t even hesitate when we asked her where she’d recommend. Suggesting this bar/restaurant, located by the lighthouse. Be aware that it’s weather dependent, and only opens from April to November because it has an outdoor terrace. But if you get the chance, the view and the relaxed vibes are well worth the visit.
Olatua: This is the Biarritz Aquarium restaurant – although you can just walk in and enjoy the food and drinks without visiting these little ocean dwellers. The views are astounding and won’t disappoint.
For eating cheese
La Grappe a Fromages: If French people are known for anything, it’s their love of cheese… and for good reason! Frederic knows the best restaurant in Biarritz for eating amazing cheeses, and that’s La Grappe a Fromages. Enjoy the cheese experience with a glass of smooth French wine to wash it down. We’re almost back on the plane to Biarritz just thinking about this!
Best coffee in Biarritz
Milwaukee Café: You won’t find any coffee or restaurant chains in Biarritz, and that’s one of the many reasons we love it. Instead you’ll find lovely places like this café recommended by Lyde Beondeau. He’s a local from one of the surf schools in the area, and said that this place is known for great coffee and a delicious bakery, in a quiet and pleasant environment.
Best restaurants in Biarritz for seafood
Le Tandem: Céline also told us about this cute restaurant, placed by the Port Vieux, and suggested trying the main dish: the moules frites (fried mussels).
Although, of course, all the places around the Port Vieux are good for seafood. So, if that’s what you’re looking for, Port Vieux is the area for you!
Best pizza in Biarritz
Pizzeria Saint-Charles: What Céline said she loves about this place is that “it is not like any other Italian restaurant here; their pizzas are handmade”. You can even create your own pizza, or try their pastas, panini’s or salads.
Now, when you visit Biarritz, you won’t have the age-old dilemma about where to go for food! This list of foodie hotspots is enough to last you a week (at least). If you’ve been to Biarritz and have another place you’d recommend, let us know in the comments! We’re always eager to find more tasty places to eat in the world.