Beaune ( pronounce as “bone”) is a small town UNESCO heritage, located south of Dijon and known to be the capital of Burgundy Wines. Only 2h30 by train gets you to the tiny train station of Beaune. The centre of the town is less than 20 minutes by foot from the train station. The reason of being of the town and its “joie de vivre” is the WINE ( making it, tasting it, understanding it and of course drinking it). Beaune is one of the best places all over France for Tasting Great Quality Wine and Exceptional Gastronomy.
In addition to wine, Beaune is famous for its Hospital built in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin and Guigone de Salins. This Hospital was welcoming everyone in the region, regardless of their revenus, from 1452 to 1960. The gothic style building was inspired by Flemish architecture, as Burgundy used to be an independent country stretching from Flanders to Lyon, until its annexation to France at the end of the XVth century. Beaune was the capital of the Duché of Burgundy -run by the Ducs of Burgundy. The Wine hospital can be visited any time of the week and all year round, no reservation needed and an audioguide comes with the tour.
Beaune is literally surrounded by famous vineyards known as the Côte de Beaune ( the Slopes of Beaune). Therefore one can walk or bike or hire a car for the day to visit the vineyards and do wine tastings. There are many reputable wine activities and one can easily hire a guide for a Half Day or more. Biking is very much in fashion and very easy to do. One can hire traditional or electrical bikes, or a bike tour to visit the vineyards.
The reason you want to be based in Beaune is really the wine & food activity. There are numerous wine cellars to visit in Beaune and hundreds of amazing restaurants. You can not take the risk of drinking and driving. The sound of a small village is really romantic, but being trapped at night in one of them is just less romance and the cost of a taxi is very high. You can still visit the villages and vineyards during the day but you really want to be on foot and close to the choice of restaurants at night.
Where do locals go for a drink within Beaune?
Numerous wine bars will be awaiting for you to sample by the glass the varietal of Burgundy wine appellations. The Bistrot du Coin – translates as the Bistrot of the Corner is a popular place packed with locals. You can enjoy a wide selection of Burgundy Wines by the glass at a reasonable price. Another local wine bar is Le Bout du Monde. A bit more fancy and classy it is the gathering of the Beaunois (Beaune people). Great wine list and charcuterie. Le Colombier another great place to enjoy wine and tasty food. The terrace facing the Notre Dame Church is packed during the summer days. All the sommeliers around the world know the spectacular wine list – full of rock star wines at “reasonable” prices. The food itself is on another level, as Rolland, the owner & chef used to run a Michelin Starred Restaurant. La Table du Square used to be the locals wine bar, until the owner decided he wanted a restaurant. It is still possible to have a drink pre-diner and enjoy the outside terrace during the summer. Le Bistrot Bourguignon is the first wine bar of Beaune, created in 1985 by Jean Jacques and Agnes Hegner. A great selection of local wines by the glass, a cosy setting, located rue Monge, right next to the Beaune Markets. Many locals gather here on Saturday lunch to share a glass of wine after doing their grocery shopping at the markets.
Where to enjoy great quality food inside Beaune town?
Beaune has a few Michelin starred restaurants which is rather impressive for such a small town (Beaune population is just over 20k). When you choose a Michelin Starred restaurant you have time to spend at the table, first of all. If you choose to go during lunch and weekdays, you will save a lot of money. One of these beautiful places is Les Jardins des Remparts – located just a few steps from Hospices de Beaune – has one of the nicest terraces in Beaune. The food is innovative, light and very tasty.
L’Oiseau des Vignes – is another Michelin Starred restaurant located in the very centre of Beaune, the street in front of the Notre Dame church. The restaurant was opened by Dominique Loiseau – wife of chef Bernard Loiseau in 2007. It was one of the first restaurants in Europe to offer a wide selection of wines by the glass. The food is rich, tasty and fancy.
Benaton Restaurant is another Michelin star treasure of Beaune, located just outside Beaune ring, easily walking distance from the centre of Beaune. Run by a skilled Japanese owner & chef your eyes and taste buds will be impressed.
La Lune restaurant is located opposite L’Oiseau des Vignes, in rue Maufoux, the street in front of the central church of Beaune. It is a tiny restaurant with seats facing the open kitchen. The food is delicious. Fish, vegetables, mushrooms, meats are freshly cooked in front of you. It is a very popular place as the food is superb and prices moderate.
Le Bistrot des Cocottes is a classic French Bistrot. Food is local and well executed by the chef – owner. The wine list has a lot of rock star wines and growers. The wine by the glass is well chosen & delicious. Prices are moderate.
La Superb recently opened in Beaune and it is delicious. The owner used to run the Michelin star Benaton restaurant. The food is creative, exquisite, great local produce, very well executed and presented. The lunch menu is around 20 euros. Great local wine by the glass with rockstar producers & wines.
Caves Madeleine is one of the favorite restaurants of Beaune. The humble chef and owner is passionate about local, organic produce. The taste is pure and clean. Vegetables, fish & meat are purchased from the local organic and biodynamic farms around Beaune. Moderate prices and an increasing collection of local wines.
Coming soon the following:
Le Bistrot de l’Hotel
Le Comptoir des Tontons
Restaurants outside of Beaune – bike, train or car needed to access them
Le Bistrot au Bord de l’Eau
Hostellerie de Levernois
Auprès du Clocher
Pierre et Jean
*You will find many other restaurants listed in Beaune – we chose to list here only the restaurants serving high quality food. If you look at the various prices of the menus served by these restaurants – you will find prices from low to high. Lunch is generally a better deal compared to dinner.