Visit Biarritz, a Dining Paradise in French Basque Country
When it comes to the laurels of French cuisine, Lyon and Paris may get all the glory, but Biarritz—the quaint resort town located in the French Basque Country, only 15 miles north of the Spanish border—is a gem waiting to be explored. Once a refuge for creative souls like Ernest Hemingway (Biarritz is featured in The Sun Also Rises), today the town attracts surfers from all around the globe in search of the perfect wave.
You'll also find a mix of French and Basque restaurants, tons of seafood, classic pastries, and excellent wine in an environment that is both refined and relaxed. Around every curve in this charming coastal city is incredible food and drinks well suited to fuel your daily adventures, whether that be surfing at La Côte des Basques, boutique and gallery-hopping around town, or a lazy beach day at Grande Plage. Here are a few places worth noting for your stop in Biarritz.
Go hungry when you drop by Les Halles, because this is one market you’re definitely going to want to taste your way through. Dating back to the 1880s and brimming with the best in fresh seafood, cheese, meat, vegetables, pintxos (tapas) and more, this is a great place to get a feel for Biarritz’s food culture. Whatever you do, don't miss an opportunity for oysters and wine, and then wander the stalls to grab some items for a seaside picnic. We wouldn’t be surprised if you found yourself here a few times during your visit.
Situated on the shores of La Côte des Basques beach, this is the ideal spot to grab coffee and breakfast before a morning of surfing or strolling along the beach. The interior is distinctly airy and open, with eye-catching surf memorabilia and nautical treasures lining the walls. You’ll also find plenty of places to sit outside and watch the waves roll in as you sip your first cappuccino of the day.
A trip to Biarritz wouldn’t be complete without an evening of tapas and wine, and Bar Jean is the ideal place to make it happen. Grab a plate, fill it with a selection of the indulgent bite-size tastes that cover the bar, order a glass of wine and find a place to sit outside amid the laughter and energy of the town's buzzy nightlife. Don’t worry if you can’t find a table—the street and steps across the way are fair game.
One of the oldest patisseries in Biarritz, Miremont is a required stop for anyone with even the slightest interest in French pastries (so . . . that means everyone, right?). Indulge your sweet tooth while overlooking La Grande Plage beach and get a taste of Basque Country with a slice of gâteau basque, a traditional dessert with rich pastry cream filling a flaky crust. For a house favorite, order the hot chocolate with Chantilly cream or a tonka bean brownie. Macarons, croissants, financiers and more line the display cases, but don’t be overwhelmed by the endless options—you can always come back.
Photo: Miremont Biarritz
After a long day, Etxola Bibi is the ultimate spot to wind down and watch the sun dip beneath the horizon over the Bay of Biscay. With wooden picnic tables and benches overlooking the ocean, this place is about as casual as it gets, and you can expect to see tons of locals stopping by for post-surf drinks.
Welcome to TT on Tour, where Tasting Table's editors guide you through everything you'll want to eat, drink and do in rising travel destinations around the world.
Beth is a Brooklyn-based food writer. You can find her on instagram at @beth_kri or Twitter at @bkrietsch.
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