Bordeaux is a charming, yet quaint city with streets that beg to be wandered. After exploring its picturesque churches, squares, medieval gates, and riverside promenade, you’ll be under the city’s spell. But first, breakfast. And I have just the place: Books & Coffee.
Located in a rustic side street, Books & Coffee is subtly and sweetly tucked away. Walking to the café leads you to La Grosse Cloche, the clock tower of the city’s town hall in the middle ages. The central location and most importantly, the lovely food guarantee that Books & Coffee is popular and worth visiting.
I went for breakfast early on a Saturday morning just after 9am and I easily got a table. However, it didn’t take long for the café to fill up – the people of Bordeaux know what’s good. The brunch menu is small, but more than sufficient: eggs Benedict, eggs Victoria (with smoked trout), granola and yogurt, pancakes, pastries, toast, and brioche French toast. Just enough choice I’d say. Books & Coffee subscribes to the ethos of doing a few things, but doing them really well.
I opted for the brioche French toast with fruit and a cappuccino. The coffee game at Books & Coffee is strong. They actually have their own roastery where they roast coffee beans from a variety of countries, including Panama, Honduras, and Ethiopia. On the same street as Books & Coffee, you can find their boutique La Brûlerie which sells their coffee beans as well as teas, brewing equipment, jams, and chocolates.
The biggest surprise at Books & Coffee though, was not the fantastic quality of the coffee, but the large 500ml bottle of pure Canadian maple syrup that was placed on my table before my food arrived. I was stunned! Maple syrup in France?!? No less an ENTIRE bottle! This is unheard of! Needless to say, I was impressed by this very generous nod to our home country and national breakfast condiment. In case you’re interested, Books & Coffee uses Escuminac maple syrup from Québec. Should you wish to buy some while in Bordeaux, it’s sold at La Brûlerie.
Back to the food, the brioche French toast was gorgeous and of course, delicious. Initially, it may not look like a large portion, but I assure you, it’s filling. The brioche is fresh, grilled to a gentle crisp, and when topped with as much maple syrup as you like, it’s the breakfast dream. The French toast and pancake flavours change throughout the year, but I’m sure that no matter the toppings, they’ll be great.
Also keep an eye out for the baked goods at Books & Coffee, especially the homemade chocolate chip cookies. They. Are. Divine. Soft on the inside, lightly crunchy on the outside, buttery, sweet, filled with hearty chocolate chunks. My kind of cookie. They’re the perfect take away treat to enjoy later in the day! It ranks highly alongside my other dessert finds in Bordeaux: the beautiful choux cream puffs at Chez Pascal Dunes Blanches and the canelés at La Toque Cuivrée!
Be sure to visit Books & Coffee in Bordeaux for the food, the coffee, and the full-sized bottles of Canadian maple syrup!
- Get there early on weekends to avoid a wait.
- The chocolate chip cookie is a must.
- On Sundays, only a set course brunch menu is available which includes hot drinks, freshly squeezed orange juice, an egg dish of choice, a sweet dish (e.g. pancakes or French toast) of choice, and a dessert. I’m sure it’s fantastic!