HOME > Chowhound > France >


A week in Burgundy... any suggestions?

Will be spending a week in Burgundy in Decembre, principally between Dijon and Lyon... would much appreciate any restaurant, market, or foodie destination suggestions. Thanks

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Highly recommend our wine guide, Mary Kirk. She is a dual US and French citizen and speaks flawlessly in both languages, has an undergraduate degree from US, but then a somellier degree from France. She organizes as much or as little as you would like, but the focus is wine. Usually three tastings a day and she can arrange lunch in a fine restaurant, unless you'd rather be spontaneous. She will even pick you up from your Paris hotel, drive you to Burgundy, and drop you back off at your hotel at the end of the day. We really learned so much and enjoyed the time we spent as a result of her expertise and knowledge without loosing any time actually looking for these places. You can reach her at Marykirk@hotmail.com. Her rates are really reasonable and you certainly get your money's worth.

    If you would rather go it alone, highly recommend Musee des Vins in Beaune, where for a flat fee they let you into a cellar with a tasting cup. There are about 25 wines to sample from the region. They are placed on barrels as regular intervals, with all of the wine cellar vaults on either side. Very cool. Remember to spit at first, because the better stuff is at the end in a converted rectory. Hard to spit so much good wine, so we left feeling really mellow and were only too glad to hang out in Beaune for the rest of the day.

    1. Covered market in Dijon is great, fromager in Saulieu has his own fromage fort, which was my favorite cheese on this past trip.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        Do you know the name of the market you refer to or where it is... it seems there are at least 7 marche in Dijon. Merci.

        1. re: Gman

          The central, covered market in the pedestrian area.

          1. re: souphie

            Got it. Thanks Souphie. Do you know....are all covered markets referred to as Les Halles, as this one is? I see now there is a building in Beaune referred to this way as well... I was only familiar with Paris' historic market..

            1. re: Gman

              Maybe not all, but most. A halle is exactly that kind of architecture. Some covered markets are in more ordinary buildings, they're just called marché: Saint Quentin, Lebon for instance.

      2. From North to South:

        Ma Cusine in Beaune. An informal restaurant/bistro with good food, lots of passion, and a huge wine list.

        Lameloise in Chagny. Outstanding and consistent three star Michelin restaurant with an extensive wine list, and prices at the very bottom of the range of restaurants at this level.

        Aux Terrasses and Restaurant Greuze in Tournus. Both different and both excellent, with value for money, good service, and good wine lists. Both have one star in Michelin.

        1. If you get as far south as the Beaujolais, Le Cep in Fleurie is very special. The female chef-owner serves refined versions of regional specialties. Extensive list of local wines. This was one of RW Apple's favorite restaurants.


          5 Replies
          1. re: rswatkins

            Thanks especially for this... I would follow Johnny Apple anywhere and am just now savoring the new collection of his food essays just published!

            1. re: Gman

              Apple included Le Cep in an article published in the NYT after his death titled "Ten Restaurants Worth a Plane Ticket."

            2. re: rswatkins

              I visited the Maconnais frequently over the past couple of years. I bought a lot of Fleurie from Coudert a few months ago. I also can recommend Andre Besson in Solutre, possibly the best 6 euro white on the planet, and also Renaud. Great places to taste. Just very mellow people, happy to chat and deguster. These producers have been exporting all over the world for decades and are set up for tasting drop ins, but most seem surprised when Americans show up.

              1. re: Busk

                Thanks - Going to try and muster up our courage for some degustation...my only two previous experiences were not fabuleux (very grumpy anti-american guy in St. Emillion, and a very strange..... caretaker(??) in Gevery Cambertin at the Chateau.) but we'll have more time this time around, for starts, and can scope out a few places before taking the plunge.

                1. re: Gman

                  Nah, none of the guys above are like that. They don't speak much English, but they are just regular guys making and selling some nice wines. Not much attitude in Southern Burgundy. Also, if these places didn't want tourists showing up, tasting and buying wine, they wouldn't put up a sign with an arrow inviting them.

                  I just opened a 2006 Renaud Pouilly-Fuisse. It's an excellent example of this wine. I think I paid 11 euro for the bottle.

            3. We spent this past April meandering through the back roads of Burgundy and can recommend several restaurants scattered about the region. In Auxerre we enjoyed La Salamandre and Le Jardin Gourmand. Just below Avallon the Moulin des Ruats serves traditional cuisine in a beautiful setting on the Cousin river. Le Chambolle in Chambolle-Musigny is another good little husband/wife place with a fine, affordable wine list. La Cabotte in the pedestrian area of Nuits St. George was so good that we went 3 times; it has a young chef who does some modern things with traditional cuisine. A similar, even more casual spot that we kept returning to was Ma Cuisine in Beaune which is so well known that reservations are strongly recommended...no frou-frou, just excellent product perfectly cooked. For something different you might try the Michelin starred Le Charlemagne in Pernand-Vergelesses. It features a young French chef with a Japanese wife in a very modern setting with quirky combinations and presentations. We enjoyed it but it may be a little too off the wall for some. More traditional and just south of Beaune is another Michelin star, the Hostellerie de Levernois. If you get over to Autun don't miss the tiny, casual Le Chapitre right behind the cathedral. There are dozens more but most of them have been described on this forum before so I tried to stick to the less mentioned, other than Ma Cuisine which has become known by all but maintains its personna..

              5 Replies
              1. re: Laidback

                Gman, CJT, Laidback and Ken-
                I was looking through my notes - I take back what I had written below on not eating out in a restaurant while in Burgundy. Three weeks of living out of a suitcase and visiting a ton of family - fabulous trip, but lots to take in. We had a really great lunch in Beaune at Ma Cuisine. The staff was unbelievably warm and easy going. The food was delish, with a wine list to match. I had amazing skate and escargot traditional. My husband had the Andouillette AAAAA (Association Amicale des Amateurs d'Andouillette Authentiquessausage). I know... I had to find out what the AAAAA meant. Ken and Laidback were right - Add this one to your list while in Burgundy.

                1. re: ChristineBerenger

                  Thanks - looks like we'll be renting a gite just outside of Beaune and am eager to try Ma Cuisine... not sure I'm up for the andouillette, though I am curious... what did your husband have to say about it? I think what would be divoon would be a place that served tapas sized dishes of French food, so you could try something and bail without too much regret. I find I face all the unknowns on a French menu and want to be adventurous but hate to waste the opportunity if it turns out I don't, in fact, like rognons de veau...

                  1. re: Gman

                    I am right there with you on that sort of meat. I think my limit ends but includes wild boar saucisson (huge fan - we even tracked down an amazing place in NY - which is where we live - that has the real deal). Maybe I am limited because I'm 'merican? My husband is French and he eats all that kind of stuff. He has become quite the connoisseur and he LOVED the Andouillette. We really enjoyed the warmth of Ma Cuisine - and it was clear that this is where the locals eat.

                    1. re: ChristineBerenger

                      Many offal (variety) meats require an introduction, some consideration, another experience, maybe even more consideration. In other words, they are most often acquired tastes. I had my doubts originally but have found that they have a strange beckoning nature, like sea sirens or mermaids! Know also that they are most often served with a strong accent sauce, wine or mustard or both. I've been known to have andouillette 5 or more times in one week, only slightly less so rognons . Liver in France is a totally different entity than American. First, it is often cut thick and served rosy, the only way to go. Overcooked liver is why we fault our grandparent's product. Sweetbreads, on the other hand, are so luscious that you will probably be a convert after your first taste.

                      I'd suggest you just take the plunge. After all, as they say, it's only dinner! Enjoy.

                      1. re: mangeur

                        Merci bien Mangeur. Yep - I've already gone over to the dark side on the foie gras.... and I love it, especially since some of our friends in France have generously shared foie gras made from their homes in the SW with me. I actually served it for Christmas last year with a Sauternes gelée. OMG - amazing... I just can't go to the dark side on all offal quite yet. I was a true vegetarian for a year, but I missed bacon too much. Look at me now.

              2. I highly recommend Le Montrachet in Puligny-Montrachet, both for its restaurant and as a nice, quiet central place to stay.

                1. As usual it is left to me to recommend some low-end peasanty good eats, as all the chow-sophisticates have all the expertise on all the chichi places... :-)

                  Ferme des Perriaux, in the old gare (train station) of pretty St Fargeau. Better book ahead tel (+33)3 8674 1645. Since the restaurant is a side-business of a real farm, - which means all the ingredients are farm-fresh, - it may not be open for December, and if it is open, it is very popular with the locals.
                  Btw the farm itself is in nearby Champignelles and has a couple of very nice b&b rooms.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Parigi

                    As usual, you have come up with a treasure. I was not aware of the gare restaurant, but their chambre d'hote with table d'hote is exceptional. Thanks for the additional address.


                    1. re: mangeur

                      Not sure if it is open in winter, but if you go to Saint Fargeau, make the short trip to visit the Guédelon building site. It is a medieval castle being built by hand using medieval tools and methods (they cut their own wood from the forest, make their own cement, cut all the stone, etc.). It was started within the past 10 years or so and will not be completed for another 10-12 years. Well worth a visit. However, the only dining there is an outdoor place serving basic food for visitors. Go to the Guédelon website for more info and to see what it is all about - you will find out if they are open in winter.

                  2. Hi there Gman.

                    My sister-in-law lives right outside of Lyon. Their favorite restaurant in Lyon is:
                    La Cantine des Sales Gosses
                    5 rue de la Martiniére
                    69001 Lyon 04 78 27 65 81

                    The owner loves to change it up and even has a surprise menu (meaning - chef's choice, you'd just need to inform the restaurant of any food allergies). They also have an impressive wine selection. For what you get - both food and wine - it's not a bad deal. My absolute favorite thing that we had was a glacé made out of cep mushrooms and then a nother made out of foie gras. Don't knock it until you try it. My mouth is watering as I type about it.

                    For wine, if you want a treat and are near Lyon with a little extra time, the Northern Rhône is not far away and something to seriously consider. I assume since you have Burgundy on your list, wine is on the agenda for your holidays. I actually just did a 5 part series on my website on the Northern Rhône Valley - seriously delicious and amazing wines:

                    We also visited Burgundy about a month or so ago. I am fortunate in that we have a ton of family there who wanted to wine and dine us. I don't have any restaurant recommendations for you since we visited family. However - if you are a mustard fan, be certain to stop by some of the mustard shops in Dijon. This is a must. We are mustard freaks. You will get mustards there that you cannot get in the U.S. I assume that you are going to Burgundy to do some wine tasting too. I am in the middle of doing a series on Burgundian wines:

                    Overall, in Burgundy, it looked like Beaune had quite a few adorable places to dine. Have a blast. You will have an amazing gastronomic experience in both places!

                    1. Chowhoundies Rule!

                      Thanks everyone and keep 'em comin'. Haven't quite settled on where we're going to perch but plan to get around quite a bit - we'll have 8 or 9 days... I promise a full report from the road! Christine I'm with you on the mustard freak front, and always come home with tubes & tubs of it as well as a few small glasses of Amora!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Gman

                        Agreed! We never return from France without 2 big jars of Amora mustard. We know it's time to return to France when we run out of it and so we go every 2 years. That's not the main reason we go however.

                      2. If you make it to the Cote Chalonnaise south of Beaune, in Givry you will find a very nice bistro called La Billebaude. It was recommended to us by several of the wineries we visited and it was even better than "advertised". We had escargots and steaks from the local raised white charolais. But the best dish was the oeufs en meurette, one of the tastiest most comforting dishes I have ever had.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Pammel

                          Thanks - j'adore oeuf en meurette!

                        2. Second the recommendation for Le Charlemagne in Pernand-Vergelesses. I would save it toward the end of the trip, when you're tired of the traditional Burgundian menus. The food is very innovative and playful, but delicious! (We had lunch recently on a Thursday and there was only one other table occupied for part of the lunch time. However, lunch will take at least a couple of hours for the full experience.)

                          (Lots of restaurants say they are modern, but they are still working within the context of local tradition -- maybe escargot in a cast-iron pot with a slightly different sauce, or a non-standard rendition of oeufs meurette -- but still not as off-the-map inventive as in many US restaurants.)

                          That said, my husband discovered two things on the traditional menus that he really liked... the afore-mentioned oeufs meurette (poached egg in a red wine sauce, although each restaurant had its own variation) and fromage blanc (a sweet-sour dessert of fresh cheese and sweet cream and sugar).


                          1. First of all, many thanks to all the Houndies that posted earlier. It was extremely helpful. That said, we ran into two problems trying to take many of your suggestions: the dreaded congeles annuals (even though it was only mid-December, lots of places were closed); and snow… which kept us from venturing far a field, and sometimes venturing… AT ALL. We were staying in a cottage in the Haute Cotes de Nuits… once the snow arrived, any car travel became dicey, at least at evening. Only one road was ever plowed or sanded, and not often. We ended up eating in a punishing 4 nights. Fortunately, the markets provided terrific meals at home. Some highlights below: In general I only list the food I ate, or in some cases, stole a taste of, or out and out plate swapped at the half-way point. After a spell this seemed the most practical thing to do to try the most dishes… In general, unless otherwise stated, meal prices shown included entrée, plat and dessert and coffee.

                            Hostellerie des Clos, in Chablis
                            Started with Gougeres and a few other amuses, including a Foie Gras Crème brûllée (Nice place, nice fireplace, cozy, found some of the food kind of odd… but…not bad. I had a chilled (?) Brandade and artichokes, followed by a pan seared Dorade, a plateau de Fromage and a tart tatin. 92€ dinner for two, 26€ bottle of Chablis. Lots of seeming, wine-biz gents dinning solo.

                            Le Marronnier, in Buffon, en face de Canal du Bourgogne
                            Stopped here on our way south to Fontenay because there was a good crowd of vehicles out front, including a few Orange tele-com trucks. Again, seemed like a table full of wine-biz guys on the road had the same idea. No one else seemed like they were there for the first time. Had filet de Harengs aux pommes de terre a l’huile, Couronne de Sole avec Sauce Crustacee and plateau de Fromage. 28€ lunch for two, 12€ demi of Petite Chablis.

                            Loiseau des Vignes, 31 rue Maufoux, Beaune
                            It was late, and we were spending the night next door at Hotel Le Cep so we popped in without a reservation. Plenty of room to spare on a Wednesday in December. Had Poitiron soup amuse, Nuit St Jacques in a veloute, Joue de Veau grand mere et pomme purée. Ended with a sort of apple napoleon with apple chips and basil ice cream. The schtick at this place is supposed to be all wine by the glass only, and very good ones at that. But after hesitation on my part for round two (do we really want to keep choosing a wine for each course? Maybe…) the waiter offered a traditional wine list of bottles. Overall I found the place a bit fussy and stuffy for my taste, and not all that memorable, except the joue de veau, which was delicious. 118€ Dinner for two, 49€ for a bottle of St Aubin, 9-25€ for individual glasses of wine.

                            La Cabotte, Nuits-Saint-Georges, on the pedestrianized Grand Rue. Thanks Laidback for this suggestion. We loved it, and went twice. Had a Coronet avec frommage amuse, then a marvelous champignons veloute amuse. Started with Coccotte (these little cocottes now appear to be everywhere… were they always?) of escargot, morels, chataignes, et vin jaune. I sampled Bman’s Morteau Roti et crème de chataigne. We both had filet de Cannette, eclats de dragees et ecrasee de pommes de terre. The Jordan almonds on top of the duck were weird but delicious, and the sugar coating melted as you made your way through the perfectly cooked duck. Nice cheese plate followed with Brillat Savarin, Salers, cindered Chevre in a ring, and Epoisses. A little chocolate pot de crème accompanied the coffee. A real journey for the tastebuds. Not the warmest host, but serious and delicious food and overall a lovely experience. 56 € lunch for two, 29 € bottle of Hautes-Cotes de Nuits rouge.

                            Ma Cuisine, in Beaune. LOVED this place. The chef/owner was funny, warm and charming, and the food was incredibly good. Had pate de campagne, Veau roti (more like a braise) and finished with Epoisse – which was a point et parfait. 49€ lunch for two
                            33€ bottle of Champy Pernand Vergelesses blanc. We have happily gone back several times. The next time we tried we found they were closed for a month. Ordinarily only open M-F, closed Wed.

                            Made 3 of the 4 meals at home in the snow from a great Poulet Fermier Rotisserie from the Marche at Nuit-Saint-Georges. Had the pomme de terre from down below, natch. Salad of mâche et bettrave (love that you can buy pre-roasted beets, seemingly anywhere…) and followed by a cheese course of Vieux Comte et Brillat Savarin.

                            Restaurant L’Industrie, close to Les Halles, Dijon. Your basic local café, but cheap, lively and good. Had Oeuf mimosa au thon, and Steak Frites and Tarte aux poire. On our way out the owner offered us a glass of his homemade…. Wine? Marc? Vielle Prune???? Not sure, but a nice and festive gesture as we got closer to Christmas. 22€ lunch for two, 10€ pichet de vin rouge.

                            La Cabotte, Nuits-Saint-Georges… encore
                            Cornette du fromage et Foam de champignon encore. Then a Croustilliant de pied de Cochon topped by Rougie in a sauce moules. Next a Poele Noix St. Jacques et Boudin Noir et cube de pomme de terre. Then the Cheese foursome and the single best dessert in 25 days in France: Molleaux du caramel burre sale. I’ve emailed and begged for the recipe. If you’ve got contacts, this recipe could be your ticket to becoming my new best friend. We talked about it for days. 77€ dinner (1 menu 28€, 1 menu 49€), 33€ bottle of Hautes Cotes de Nuits rouge.

                            Hotel Chevreuil, in Meursault. Nothing stellar, nothing bad (well, maybe one of the cheeses seemed on the border….) Had Oeufs en Meurette, Coq au Vin blanc, cheese plate but the real discovery was the wine. Loved it and had a hard time tracking it down. 46€ lunch for two, 25€ bottle of Clos du Chateau Bourgogne Chardonnay, Chateau de Meursault.

                            Chez Guy in Gevrey-Chambertin. Souphie, I think I read a post elsewhere where you recommended this one. Also loved it. Funnily, ran into the gang from La Cabotte, seemingly dejeuning with the chef/owners of Chez Guy. Had Jambon Perseille, Joue de Boeuf 12-heures Pinot Noir on a bed of carrots (amazingly good – they sell it, along with a few other signature dishes for take away. We should have bought some…) and a Dome de creme broulee (kinda stiff, fatty and weird) and glace caramel. 62€ lunch for two, and when in Rome… sprang for a bottle (at 60€, one of the least expensive on the menu) of Gevrey-Chambertin, 2005 Vielle Vignes Naigeon.

                            Cafe La Fountain, in Autun. We were hoping to hit La Chapitre as Laidback recommended, but it was congele-d. Potage legumes, Estofade Pintade a la Bougignon, Tarte tatin, 40€ lunch for two, 18 demi of Hautes Cotes de Nuits.

                            La Gourmandin, Beaune
                            Very popular spot. We hadn’t reserved so were sent to Siberia upstairs. Terrine du magret en croute, Faux filet Epoisses, Fromage, Tart au pommes. 48€ Dinner for two, 32€ Bottle of Chorey les Beaune rouge.

                            Chez Jeannette, Fixin
                            Found this place just wandering around the Cote d’Or. Had Oeuf en Meurette, Crepunette de vollaille en chous avec petite legumes (stuffed cabbage with ground chicken… kind of tasty) Mouse de cassis avec sable, grand cart de fromage and very nice Mignardises with coffee. 50€ Lunch for two, 29 € bottle of Fixin, Les Herbues, Maison Michel DEFRANCE. Liked this wine so much we went down the street, found the cave, and had a very pleasant degustation with two other gents from the restaurant that happened to have had the same idea just before us. We bought a case… we did still have several weeks ahead of us and lots of entertaining plans.

                            La Ciboulette, Beaune. Just inside the Porte St. Nicholas. Had Terrine de Haddock et Lentil, Filet de Boeuf au truffe, Gratin Dauphinois, perfect mini primeurs, Fromage
                            and pomme, sable et glace de vanilla. Lively, fun, and friendly. Reservations necessary.
                            75 € Dinner for two, 40 € Faiveley Mercurey… I think…. One of the few places I didn’t keep the receipt.

                            Other good suggestions folks made:
                            http://www.lafermedesperriaux.com/ was closed for the season- just missed it by a day!
                            Lameloise in Chagny: ditto, though once I got a glimpse of the menu I was sort of glad. Tres Cher. Charlemagne was open but also was a bit outside our price range, and all the towns off the N74 were frequently impassable in the snow….

                            Snow also kept us from Macon and Lyon. Marches at Beaune, Nuits-Saint-Georges, and Dijon were all terrific, and twice a week, and so jolly as we got closer to Christmas. In addition to the great chicken that kept giving, we also had a terrific leek tart, good celerie remoulade, and great fruit and vegetables. Someone should give Marcel Sabatier, the butcher appearing at all the markets above, his own TV show. He and his wife were delightful, funny, and doled out bites of sausage to youngsters on line with their folks who could not have been happier.

                            Did also do the tasting that VMK suggested, though it was at Patriarche, not the Musee du Vin, which was interesting but had no degusting. Heartflet thanks again for all your guidance. Now on to the Paris notes….

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Gman

                              Great review. Am sooo going to steal all the info.
                              Btw, you made a mistake in French that turns out to be brilliant:
                              "the dreaded congeles annuals (even though it was only mid-December, lots of places were closed); and snow"
                              You meant "congés annuels", but your Freudian motor grabbed a hold of your (which side is the language side again?) brain and made you say "congelés" which means "frozen". Too apt !
                              Hope you don't mind my picking on you. Am just marveling at how linguistic mistakes often have an eloquence all their own.
                              Don't post your wine reviews on the other forum; post them here! We are sooo deserving.

                              1. re: Parigi

                                That's funny, and this year quite fitting!! It probably also stemmed from my declining eyesight, standing in front of some closed boite witha dissapointed and hungry look on my face.... I think it's a mistake that got locked in a while ago but now at least i can correct it in proper company....

                                Parigi and June, was hoping we would do more tasting but the snow really quashed that goal. Other than the daily bottles we had with lunch and dinner, we only degusted at Fixin, and at Patriarche. However, we stayed pretty faithful to Burgundy in the ensuing weeks in Paris as well, and now, having spent the time there and enjoying them with meals and elsewhere, I feel like I have a much stronger grasp of (at least) the lesser Cote d'Ors (think we only tasted one Grand Cru, and that at Patriarche - a very nice Chambolle, I think. For me the memorable wines are the Gevrey mentioned above and the Chateau Meursault Chardonnay, which I'm told by those more knowledgeable, shared many qualities of the much pricier Meursault. We actually went to the chateau to try and stock up, but as it was the end of their season, on the brink of their conges... they had none. Only, interestingly, the pricier bottles up the wine chain...... hmmmm. Finally hunted some down in the Patriarche wine mall/gift shop on the Place Carnot in Beaune. Had stood outside that place at least 4 other times and never went in and never realized how vast it was. The other star was the PV from Champy, which we hunted down a half-case on a quiet street in Beaune at the Champy headquarters after having it with lunch at Ma Cuisine. The owner(?) there was a delight, and threw in a bottle of his favorite red PV that they offered. Also gave us a restaurant recommendation when we told him we were Paris bound. Didn't make it to Le Fumoir near the Louvre but will try it next year, I hope.

                            2. Gman: what a great review of your trip! would love to hear what wineries you visited -- or did you? You could post that on the Wine forum. ;)

                              1. Since I only have, basically, one recommendation, let me add to this fairly extensive thread:

                                Having originally made reservations at Moulin des Templiers--an old favorite from 15 yeas before, situated in the romantic Vallee de Coussins just outside of Avallon on the way to Vezelay, we were disappointed to learn when we arrived that the boiler had exploded and we could not be accommodated. The owner, however, thoughtfully made arrangements for us to spend our two nights in the Hotel les Fleurs, just above the valley in Pontaubert. Fortunate choice, since the two dinners we had there were superb. Among the memorable dishes on this typically Burgundian menu, altho one with an emphasis on fish, were the poulet fermier in a rich wine -mushroom-carmelized-onion sauce--accompanied by potatoes pureed with vanilla and bourbon--and an excellent bass in a chestnut-cream sauce. The rooms were also pleasant, tho simple, and inexpensive, and altho we'll still return to the moulin out of gratitude and for old-time's sake, Hotel les Fleurs will definitely be on our dinner list.

                                And thanks to the above poster for the Le Chapitre reco, an excellent spot for a light lunch (dinner at Hotel les Fleurs required light lunches!} after a visit to the cathedral in Autun.