Gastronomy in Aquitaine is a real way of life coming from diverse influences: Gascogne cuisine « with the Grand Gousiers » (local wine growing and tourist promotion association) with a regional way of speaking that it sometimes coarse, a more « gourmet » Guyenne cuisine with a somewhat British air, a new cuisine from the most inventive, sprinkled with stories and anecdotes, at any rate, a very trendy culinary art…
Here, we are always happy, with a plateful!

Gastronomic routes and gourmet trips


Both in the countryside and in town, you can follow gourmet routes and sample both the riches of our cultural heritage and the delights of good food.

Happy are those who opt for slow tourism ! On the way keep your eyes wide open to discover, our most beautiful villages. Take the time to listen to people from the region telling you anecdotes and local stories. Savour these new aromas which, over the course of tasting sessions, awaken nose and palate with subtle flavours.

Here are the « official » routes, identifiable via a signage system. The names are clickable and lead to the different websites.
:: The gourmet route of the Basques.
:: On the Ossau-Iraty cheese route.
:: The Périgord foie gras route.
:: The Périgord walnut.
:: The oyster route .
:: The wine routes: around Bordeaux, and Bergerac, in the Béarn Jurançon area and the Landes Tursan area..

And in terms of the cities? Here are the highly tempting programmes in Bayonne, Bordeaux and Pau :

:: Bayonne: 2 suggestions, one via the tourist office about chocolate (2 hour visit, €10 per person, by reservation), the other with a local guide who takes you on a discovery morning of the local traditions from ham to trinquet (Pelota courts) (For groups from 8 people, €65 per person).

:: Bordeaux: 1. The Tourist Office of the City of Bordeaux offers numerous suggestions, from markets to vineyards including specialised shops. 2. An epicurean passionate about their town, « food tours » according to the season, Miam, balades gourmandes.

:: Pau: The covered markets introduce you to savoury and sweet delights thanks to the Gourmet pass. On the menu there is Henri IV ham with « garlic and Jurançon » flavours, sheep’s milk and dairy cow cheeses, brook trout marinated in sorrel, « coucougnettes d’Henri IV » (raspberry and almond sweets), Denier de Navarre (coin shaped biscuit), etc. and in terms of wine, the essential Jurançon. Tourist office, €12.

Fromage de brebis et berger ©CDT64-Medialab

Shepherd and sheep’s milk cheese.©CDT64-Medialab


The taste for feasting


Did you know that the region has its own Food Industry Promotion Agency (AAPrA) ? A little bible was created in 2014, the Aquitaine gastronomic heritage inventory. A unique work in France that now lists over 300 products.

Here is an overview of the products benefiting from a PGI (Protected Geographical Indication). And of course, in the South-West, they also have their own festival!

The Truffle Festival in Sarlat, the nearest Sunday to 20th January
Here is the « black diamond » of Périgord. An elderly person would tell you that 50 years ago, you could smell the truffles from thePérigueux law courts on market day. A tall story, or a sign that times have changed? Yet the truffle remains the very essence of Périgord Noir. A lot of villages have their own market Sorges is a model, it is on the last Sunday of January.

Fattened duck and goose market in Dax scheduled on Saturdays during winter, since 1356 under the Black Prince.
We owe foie gras to a young girl, who lived not far from Peyrehorade. Raising a little gosling, Yantine fed him so much that he soon became big and fat. The local lord wanted it for his table and after trying it, asked for all the ducks to be raised in this way. Foie gras is still the jewel of Landes! Incidentally, geese and wild ducks naturally gorge themselves, before their migration, to protect against the cold at a high altitude.

The Bayonne Ham Festival, Easter weekend
Created in 1462,, this festival is an opportunity to discover the traditional and artisanal production methods of Bayonne ham and to see the best ham being chosen! At the time it was about only recognising ham coming from pigs raised in the Adour basin and preserved in salt from Salies-de-Béarn.

The Paulliac Lamb Festival, on Pentecost Sunday
Another ancestral tradition, another exceptional dish. With the transfer of Aquitaine to the King of France and thanks to the policy of Colbert, there are numerous Pyrenean shepherds from the valleys of Aspe, Ossau and Barétou who come to spend winter in the valley of Garonne and Médoc. The lambs are raised for 75 days maximum without leaving the sheep pen. They are fed on their mothers’ milk, who graze at the foot of the vineyards.

The Prune Festival, end of August – start of September
It was the monks from the Abbey of Clairac who, in the 13th century, created the Ente plum, but production did not really get going until the 16th century. Its oblong shape reminds one of the rugby ball so dear to our region! See also the the Pruneau Gourmand (Gourmet prune) museum in Granges-sur-Lot.

Fête de la truffe à Sarlat ©OT Sarlat-Croustous

Truffle Festival in Sarlat ©OT Sarlat-Croustous


Gourmet restaurants


Here is a non-exhaustive list of great Aquitaine restaurants:

:: Dordogne: L’Oison in Chancelade, Le Vieux Logis in Tremolat (Dordogne), Etincelles Le Bourg, Sainte Sabine Born
:: Gironde: Les Belles Perdrix of château Troplong-Mondot in Saint-Emilion, Le Pressoir d’Argent from Gordon Ramsay in Bordeaux, La Grande Maison in Bordeaux, Château Cordeillan Badges in Pauillac And if you are feeling a bit peckish and you want to eat something on the go, try the creations of the great chefs at French Burger, South-West French fast food.
:: Landes: Les Près d’Eugénie in Eugénie-les-Bains, Le Relais de la Poste in Magesq, MB Restaurant in Capbreton, Le Jean des Sables in Hossegor, La Villa de l’Etang Blanc in Seignosse
:: Lot-et-Garonne: L’Aubergade in Puymirol, L’Auberge du Prieuré in Moirax, L’Agenais Eric Mariottat, La Table des Sens in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, Le Stelsia, in Saint-Sylvestre-sur-Lot
:: Pyrénées-Atlantiques: L’Atelier Gaztelur in Arcangues, L’Impertinent in Biarritz, Cap e Tot in Morlanne, La Villa Eugénie in Biarritz, Ithurria in Ainhoa.

>> You will find other gourmet restaurants on the dedicated web page, by selecting the « gourmet restaurant » option under « Type » in the drop down menu.

And to get your hands dirty… some culinary workshops
There are many culinary workshop offers, including in hotels and guesthouses, sometimes seasonal. We have brought together below some ideas and you will find others on our dedicated web page by selecting the « Gastronomy » option under the « Type » drop down menu.

In Gironde
La Villa des Chefs ; L’atelier des Chefs ; Ecole de cuisine du Saint James (Culinary School) ; Cooking lessons in Château Pape Clément ; L’atelier culinaire.
In the Basque Country and in Béarn
Grand Chef Biarritz Cooking classes ; Gaztelur ; L’Atelier culinaire et vous ; Cuisine du Béarn et de l’Adour.
With children
:: Féerie Gourmande in Uzos. At the Musée des Arts sucrés, the famous witch Confiture awaits you for a treasure hunt. Will she reveal the secrets of her recipe to you? A tasting session rounds off this journey full of surprises.
:: Chocolate workshop in Bayonne : Follow the « Discovery tour from the cocoa tree to chocolate ». Naturally, the visit to this 20th century chocolate factory ends up with a tasting session.

Atelier au restaurant Le Saint James ©CRTA

Atelier in restaurant Le Saint James ©CRTA


Designer tableware


Was it not Delacroix who said: « the greatest merit of a table is to be a feast for the eyes »?!
Aquitaine has a collection of unique tableware objects, sometimes winning prizes during exhibitions. These are plates, glasses, knives and even tablecloths created and designed by the greats of yesteryear and our times.

Samadet dans les Landes
The 18th century was marked by the development of earthenware manufacturers. In Landes, La Manufacture Royale de Fayence de Samadet (Samadet Royal Earthenware factory) experienced its golden age between 1732 and 1838, before being replaced by porcelain. There you can admire highly valued tableware, decorated in shades of blue and green, in a Chinese style with polychrome decoration, etc.
Départemental Museum of Earthenware and Tableware of Samadet.

The Bordeaux Decorative Arts Museum
In Bordeaux, there was a time when small dishes were served in the large ones, while the ships’ holds would certainly carry wine, they also took « the » tableware destined for the colonies, the fine earthenware of Jules Vieillard. So how were these very trendy items so original? Their patterns were marked by a taste for orientalism and the works of Hokusaï in particular. This fine and renowned earthenware has been snapped up in the auction houses and the Bordeaux Decorative Arts and Design Museum is showcasing it in a wonderful collection.

The Basque Museum
The pottery and art of Ciboure, created between 1919 and 1950, went from art déco to neo-basque. It is made according to a sculpted sandstone method. This pottery was revisited by the artist Robert Brandhof in 1995, perhaps towards a Basque-Dutch modernity? In any case, it breathed new life into this pottery after a period in the shadows. Basque Museum of Bayonne. .

A little shopping perhaps?
As timeless as they are inimitable, the Nontron knife and the Basque-Béarnaise tablecloths..

The Nontron knife is the oldest knife of France , its origin goes back to the 15th century and the sword of Charles VII « the victorious » is said to have been ordered from Nontron residents. An expertise which has not waned and can be discovered during a workshop visit.
The latest creation, made by Christina Ghion, won the 1st prize at the Aquitaine design awards –

A wonderful combination of Béarn linen (with its capital at the village of Coarraze) and the traditional colours and stripes of the Basque Country! Through the « thread » of time, chic and typical tablecloths have adorned our tables and tea towels and aprons have decorated our kitchens. Famous artist have worked to update the collections, the American Hilton McConnico, renowned for applied creation and stylists like Gouny and Marrange. The brands to follow: Tissage Moutet, Artiga, Ona-Tiss and Lartigue.

…. and now, the Aquitaine designers we have been talking about in the press :
Roland Daraspe, Maître d’Art (Master of Art) in Macau (33); Diane Casteja, Master glass-blower in Urrugne (64) ; Vincent Poujardieu, Architect/Designer in Bordeaux-Mérignac (33) ; Anne Xiradakis, Designer in Bordeaux (33).

Linge basque d'aujourd'hui ©Lartigue 1910

Basque linen today©Lartigue 1910


The next meeting: Bordeaux So Good


A reinvented terroir for a Bordeaux Festival of Gastronomy and Lifestyle.
Transformed into a giant market going from Hangar 14, through the Place de la Bourse and extending up to the TNBA (Théâtre National de Bordeaux en Aquitaine) in Bordeaux, the city becomes a meeting place where producers, major chefs and specialists come from all over Aquitaine, each with something unique. They offer you tasting sessions and culinary demonstrations and also feed into debates on eating better and gastronomy’s place in our societies.

Bordeaux SO Good, the Bordeaux gastronomic festival on 18th, 19th and 20th November 2016.


As of 1 January 2016, the Aquitaine, Limousin and Poitou-Charentes regions are now only one! Also discover tourism opportunities in