Gourmet cuisine in Beaune is stepping out of the shadow of the region’s eponymous Burgundy wine.
Beaune may be more famed as being the capital of Burgundy wine, but the town has also become a destination for fine dining – with Beaune restaurants now serving gourmet fare to almost rival the region’s eponymous wines.
Although the French region of Burgundy is relatively small, its contribution to the world of wine has been immense – Burgundy is the birthplace of both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes – and there is no better way to accompany fine wine than with befitting food.
The best restaurants in Beaune have evolved considerably over recent years and can now cater for every level of culinary persuasion, which includes Michelin star restaurants: the Loiseau des Vignes, located beside the Hotel Le Cep, provides an opportunity to taste Burgundy specialities and was the first European restaurant to offer an entire wine list by glass; and Le Benaton is renowned as one of the most creative eating establishments in town.
Although menus have become more sophisticated in their aspirations, restaurants in Beaune, France tend to remain loyal to their culinary roots while offering creative interpretations of traditional dishes, and even influences from other parts of the world.
The omnipresence of surrounding region’s vineyards means that, unsurprisingly, the local cuisine leans heavily on cooking ‘a la Bourguignonne’ – in Burgundy wine. Typical main courses include the world recognised boeuf bourguignon and coq au vin, with beef or chicken slow-cooked in a sauce made from red wine, onions, mushroom and bacon. Or the lesser known oeufs a la Bourguignonne, essentially eggs poached in red wine. Among other more traditional dishes that you will likely discover in Beaune restaurants are jambon persille (a parsley flavoured ham starter), escargots do Bourgogne (snails usually poached in a Chablis stock and smothered in garlic and parsley butter) and, since Dijon is nearby, various dishes featuring a creamy mustard sauce.
A fine way to begin the evening is with an aperitif of kir or cremant (Burgundy’s answer to champagne) in one of the cafes in and around the cobbled streets of the main square, Place du Carnot. From here is a wide range of Beaune restaurants within walking distance, although it is advised to check opening times and book during busy weekends.
At Wine Paths, our local experts can ensure coveted bookings at the best restaurants in Beaune as well as arranging bespoke food and wine tours of the picturesque medieval town swathed with hidden tunnels, cobbled streets, striking gothic facades and fine dining establishments serving the region’s heartfelt yet sophisticated cuisine. These include a food and wine tasting pairing at Michellin starred Loiseau des Vignes, which features a different theme every Thursday with the sommelier and chef crafting an exquisite menu around their five chosen wines.
When not dining in Beaune restaurants, you can enjoy one of our tours of the region, such as the chance to see Burgundy in a day – during which you can stroll vineyards accompanied by a private guide, visit cellars to learn about the vinification process, enjoy a traditional lunch of local charcuterie and cheeses and taste eight wines to understand Burgundy’s wine classification.
Of course, there is more to the region than just food and wine – with the Côte d’Or alone claiming 27 per cent of the country’s historic sites and the region’s vineyards recently being recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Read more on our Beaune destination guide before you start planning a culinary experience made in Burgundy’s heaven.