Dijon France Tour Guide by Lisa Hovis
France's flag above the PréfectureMy favorite Dijon café:  Café de la PréfectureSunflowers at my favorite Dijon floristOld steps at ChataeuneufPastries from my favorite Dijon patissierBurgundy LandscapeThe chouette on Dijon's Notre DameVive l'Orangina!Flowers at the Dijon MarchéLe Jacquemart at Notre Dame, Dijon France
See Dijon, France, through the eyes of an American woman who had the privilege to call it 'Home'

Lisa's Dijon Restaurant Suggestions & Recommendations

You can probably guess that "resto" is slang in France for...you guessed it...restaurants. And when you are living or visiting in and around Dijon, you must take time to enjoy the fine Burgundian cuisine at one of the many cafes, brasseries, creperies and restaurants that call Dijon home. Burgundy isn't France's "gastronomic capital" for nothing! But first, a few Dijon "rules":

  • Don't forget to mop up all the sauce with your bread. The cleaner the plate, the better!
  • Set the bread on the table. You won't find a bread plate here.
  • Don't ask for butter, then be surprised if they charge you for it.
  • Do ask for a "carafe d'eau" if all you want to drink is tap water. It is fine to drink and tastes good(to me, anyway). But if you prefer to spend several dollars on bottled water, I can't stop you. Just order Evian or Vittel if you want water "sans gazeuese" or Perrier or Pellegrino if you like the bubbles.
  • Be patient. French waiters take their time. They allow you to eat and talk. Don't be surprised if they don't acknowledge you right away. They'll appear when they are good and ready. If you want instant service go to McDo's! Unless you're at a busy cafe or brasserie, French servers won't bring the check unless you ask: "L'addition, s'il vous plait". In Paris, however, request "la note" when you want the bill. This will tell your server you understand you are in Paris. You will appear trendy even though you are wearing your high school jersey, Cubs baseball hat, and beat-up sneakers.
  • You won't get ice unless you ask. And even then, you'll probably just get one cube. This was my hardest adjustment.
  • Tip 5 or 10% if you liked your service. Tip is always included, and should say so on your bill. You don't HAVE to tip. Usually they add between 10 and 15% for service. But, if you normally give 20% in the US, go ahead and make a servers day and make up the 5 to 10% difference.
  • Do bring restaurant-vocabulary translations with you if you want to be sure of what you're getting.
  • Restaurants don't open for dinner until 7pm, some not until 730. The French eat late!

Jeff and I have always enjoyed our meals, with rare exception to the contrary. In Dijon, you really can't go wrong.

Three notable restaurants that have 1 Michelin Star are:

The Hostellerie du Chapeau Rouge (my dad ate here and loved it) - 5, rue Michelet. Menus 41/100€. 03 80 50 88 88 chapeaurouge@ bourgogne.net

Le Pre aux Clercs (we had a delicious lunch here when Jeff was invited to speak at a Rotary meeting) - 13, place de la Liberation. Menus 36/49/96€. 03 80 38 05 05 Email: billoux@club-internet.fr

Restaurant Stephane Derbord - 10, place Wilson. Menus 25€(for a lunch you won't soon forget)/88€(dinner). 03 80 67 74 64. Email contact@restaurantstephanederbord.fr

Frankly, whether you spend alot, or a little, you can expect a great meal. It's all good! But don't be too picky. I understand if you don't want to eat horse or snails without someone telling you, but really, trust the chefs. Travel is also for expanding your culinary experiences! If you're hesitant about speaking French, try the places on Place Darcy. These restaurants cater to tourists more than the little out-of-the way places, and generally there will be an English-speaking server around. The following are places we have personally been to and sampled several dishes. As you can see from the selection, we enjoy menus from around the world! If you go to a restaurant I have suggested, please let me know what you thought.

 

Here are some of my personal Dijon recommendations...

Havana Cafe: Cuban. Good menu prices, good food. Great atmosphere with nice three-season terrace. Fabulous drinks (Mojitos!). On the market square at 2bis, rue Claude-Ramey. They have a 10€ lunch menu M-F. WiFi. Closed Sunday for lunch. Phone 03 80 50 05 88. Email: alain.higuler@wanadoo.fr

Au Bon Pantagruel: Traditional Burgundian. Rustic one-price three-course menu: Dinner 22,95€, Lunch 11,80€ with "add-ons" if you're interested. Friendly, always busy. Reservations a must on weekends and summer evenings. Open 7 days. On the market square at 20 rue Quentin. Phone 03 80 30 68 69. Email: info@aubonpantagruel.fr

Le Taj Mahal: Indian. Excellent Indian food, the best we've sampled in our travels. Although we've never been to India! Staff is pleasant, and this restaurant is family-run on a little street next to the old Palais de Justice. The nan au fromage will knock your socks off. 8 rue Bouhier. Phone 03 80 30 54 61. Closed Monday lunch.

Le Savoyarde: French Savoie region. Fondue (but not the fondue of America), Raclettes, Tartiflette. 13bis, rue d'Assas off rue de la Prefecture. Phone 30 80 73 60 35. Menu from 13-25€. Closed Sundays, and July 14-20 August every year. Best to eat here in the colder months. In summer it will be stifling hot. Small place, popular, great ambiance! Make reservations!

L'Entresol: Good for vegetarian selections. Exclusively uses biological (BIO) products. Meat and fish is also served. Open only for lunch, closed Sundays. At 27-29 rue Musette, look up at the corner near rue Godrans to see it! Phone 03 80 30 15 10.

Cafe de la Prefecture: serves lunch 12-2 weekdays, Order the plat du jour! Excellent service with a smile. Fish is always the plat du jour on Fridays, and the daily specials are always market-fresh. Ask about the dessert du jour also! 48 rue de la Prefecture. 03 80 73 20 11.

Osaka: Japanese. Excellent, fresh sushi selections. Good menu for brochettes ( like shish-ke-bobs) - come with an excellent sauce. I like the hot towels at the end. Your kids will like the (live) Koi pond. Closed Sunday night. At 13 rue Musette. Phone 03 80 50 17 51.

Le Sauvage. Grilled meats, regional cuisine. Nice atmosphere, uses old hearth to grill. Huge portions. Get an entree and a plat only if you're really hungry. Otherwise, just a plat will do! For the potato "side", I recommend the gratin. The house drink is nice if you like sweet drinks. Terrace in courtyard. 64 rue Monge. Phone 03 80 41 17 33. Open everyday thanks to the hotel.

Le Bistrot des Halles: Traditional Burgundian. Facing the market at 10, rue Bannelier, this large restaurant offers 17 & 30€ menus. Open T-Sat. 03 80 49 94 15. Owned by the 1-star Michelin 'Pre Aux Clercs' people. Email billoux@club-internet.fr

La Concorde: Cafe/Brasserie. Great location near arch at 2, place Darcy. Open all the time, 7am to 1am. Popular tourist spot, but also a true Dijon institution. Good menu selections - make sure you check the plat du jour. I've never gone wrong with this option. They also make great salads: the big one is BIG, good for a meal in itself, the small salad great for a small appetite or snack.

Recommendations from friends:

Gril'Laure: Pizzeria/Grill. 8, place Saint Benigne. Open until 11:30 pm on Fri/Sat. Menus 19/30€. 03 80 41 86 76

L'Epicerie & Cie: Traditional Burgundian. 5, place Emilie Zola. Menus at lunch 9,9€. 03 80 30 70 69

La Petite Flamande: Traditional Burgundian. 9, rue des Bons Enfants. Menus 11,3/19,8€. Good value! Closed Saturday evening, Sundays, and holidays 03 80 67 16 56

Le Gustoso: Italian. 94, rue de la Liberte. Excellent pizza! 14€ menu. Closed Sundays. 03 80 30 79 88

Restaurant Simpatico. Italian. 30, rue Berbisey. Menus 18/35€. Open Tues-Sat. Closed 15 days in August. 03 80 30 53 33

Beyond Dijon: Burgundy restaurant Recommendations

Ma Cuisine: Burgundian. Beaune, in the passage Sainte-Helene, just off Place Carnot on a pedestrian-only street. Phone 03 80 22 30 22. Closed Wednesdays and weekends, plus all of August and various school holidays; best to call in advance.

Le Montrachet: Burgundian. Puligny-Montrachet, 10, Place des Marronniers. Phone 03.80.21.30.06. Open every day for both lunch and dinner.

 

Bon Appetit !

 

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