The city of Dijon, famous for being the home of Dijon Mustard, is only 1.5 hours away from Paris. You can rent a car or better still, take a direct train from Paris to Dijon. Dijon is often known as the food capital of Burgundy and if you’re fond of gastronomy or wine, we highly recommend spending a few days in the city. Read this article to know how to plan a trip to Burgundy.
When you’re in Dijon, food tops the list of attractions. Here, the focus is on quality produce and the farm-to-fork movement is dominant. The produce is so good that it translates to French food like you’ve never tasted before! Perhaps that is why Burgundy is home to so many Michelin-starred eateries and iconic restaurants.
Of course you will come across many little bakeries, serving the tastiest breads and pastries at every corner in Dijon. But there are some meals you must try if you like trying local specialities on your travels. Without further ado, here are 5 restaurants that you MUST visit in Dijon:
1. Dr Wine Restaurant
The best part about a city-break in Europe is the al-fresco experience – nothing compares to sipping on wine and dining outdoors while people watching. Dr. Wine is a laid-back eatery in the city centre that offers just that! You can opt for a table on the cobbled-street or the more private patio at the back of the restaurant.
The restaurant boasts of choicest wines from the region and the menu is rich in fresh produce. You can opt for a 3 course menu or tapas-style nibbles, but either way you will not be disappointed. The staff is friendly and happy to recommend wine and food pairings. We went for a simple melon and feta salad and pan-fried fish, followed by chocolate fondant. We relished every bite of the meal! Definitely recommend for a lazy lunch in Dijon.
For a laid-back dinner, we recommend Speakeasy – a French brasserie that stands out from the rest! Expect dark-red velvet couches and matt gold interiors with an exhaustive wine list – a given, when you’re in Burgundy! We also sampled the local black-currant liqueur Kir that is mixed with wine to make a cocktail called Kir Royal that is popular in Burgundy.
But it’s the food that is the star of the show – try French classics like escargot (snails) or local specialities like gingerbread-encrusted fish, boeuf bourguignon, or Oeuf en Meurette (eggs poached in wine). And finish your meal with an iconic crème brûlée – the best we had during our week in Burgundy!
3. La Menuiserie
This small eatery in the centre of Dijon is ideal for a quick lunch – they pride themselves on local produce, which is sourced literally from the neighbouring markets. This is why the restaurant does not even have a printed menu – the menu is penned on a blackboard as it changes frequently depending on the produce that is in season.
But do not let the short menu fool you – every dish is tasty and you can literally feel the freshness of produce in every bite. The ambience is casual and the chef is happy to cater to any dietary restrictions you might have – in case you’re vegan, dairy-free, or vegetarian.
4. Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin
Where else will you find an entire city dedicated to wine and food but in Dijon? This is not exactly a meal but an experience for food lovers. Hop over to Cité de la Gastronomie to see the exhibits about the evolution of French food, interactive rooms dedicated to pastries, games, market stalls, a gorgeous wine cellar and so much more.
Entry is free and you would love it especially if you are with kids or you are a keen baker. Once you are done exploring the Cité, there are lots of restaurants to choose from. Whether you want a full-blown meal or just some cheese and wine, there is something for everyone here!
Did we save the best for the last? Yes we did! Cibo is not just a restaurant – it is an EXPERIENCE. This Michelin-starred eatery offers a 15 course tasting menu for €90 and I would rave about every course if I could! We have eaten at many Michelin-starred eateries (some great, some plain disappointing!) over the years, but Cibo would definitely be at the top of the that list. The restaurant has a very minimalist, almost Scandinavian vibe about it. There is no strict dress-code and most guests were dressed rather casually.
Perhaps that is to let the food do all the talking. The chef, Angelo Ferrigno, is a magician no less. It is said you eat with your eyes first and lord knows, you eyes will be so satisfied after this meal. The portions are small and intricately designed – every course looks like art and tastes even better.
Service at Cibo is extremely friendly. For eg the entire tasting menu is printed in French but the staff painstakingly translated every single course for all English-speaking guests at dinner! If you are vegetarian or vegan, you should inform them when you make a reservation. Since this is an elaborate menu, prior notice is compulsory for all dietary requirements.
Cibo is gourmet dalliance at its best! Put this one on your list, especially if you are celebrating a special occasion or you enjoy fine food bursting with flavour.
That’s it – our list of 5 casual and formal eateries in Dijon. There is something here for everyone. We hope you find the one for you and enjoy eating and drinking your way through Burgundy.