11 Best Restaurants in The Basque Country, Gascony, and Hautes-Pyrenees, France

Hôtel du Cirque et de la Cascade

$ Fodor's choice

With its legendary views of the Cirque de Gavarnie, this spot, which opened at the head of the valley in 1848, is well worth the one-hour hike up from the village. Despite its name, the hôtel is a restaurant, but not just any old one: the garbure here is as delicious as the view is grand; the eighth-generation owner claims his recipe, using water from the Cirque and cocos de Tarbes, or haricots tarbais (Tarbes broad beans), is unique.

1-hr walk above village of Gavarnie, Gavarnie, Occitania, 65120, France
Known For
  • unique recipe for garbure
  • setting in a magnificent mountain village
  • requiring a hike to get there
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Nov.–May

Les Pyrénées

$$$$ Fodor's choice

A former stagecoach inn on the route to Santiago de Compostela now houses the best restaurant in the Pyrénées. Created by renowned master chef Firmin Arrambide, it is now run by his son and daughter, Philippe and Sandrine, and the haute cuisine is still characterized by refined interpretations of Pays Basque cooking with a focus on Pyrenean delicacies. For dessert, the elder Arrambide's recipe for gâteau Basque has circled the world. After dining, you can bed down in one of the inn's 14 rooms and four suites; needless to say, you'll want to invest in one of the board plans.

19 pl. Charles-de-Gaulle, St-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, 64220, France
Known For
  • regional mountain cuisine
  • famed gâteau Basque for dessert
  • trout from the Nive and local wood pigeon
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues. in Sept.–June, Reservations essential



Next to the Musée Basque, with a dining terrace over the River Nive just short of its confluence with the Adour, this unassuming and unpretentious local favorite serves honest Basque cuisine in a traditional setting. The agneau de lait (suckling lamb) and chipirons en persillade (cuttlefish in chopped parsley and garlic) are classics.

38 quai des Corsaires, Bayonne, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, 64100, France
Known For
  • river views
  • central location close to the sights
  • traditional Basque dishes
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon.

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Chez Albert


The Port des Pêcheurs (Fishing Port) provides a tantalizing glimpse of old Biarritz, plus some tantalizing dining options. Water views and salty harborside aromas make Chez Albert’s hearty fish and seafood offerings all the more irresistible. But beware, this easygoing eatery is definitely on the tourist radar—it's nearly impossible to find a seat on the terrace in summer.

51 bis, allée Port des Pêcheurs, Biarritz, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, 64100, France
Known For
  • big crowds, especially in summer (arrive early)
  • delicious seafood
  • beautiful ocean views from terrace
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Wed. and Dec.–Jan.

Chez Pablo


The catch of the day determines the offerings here. Plaster walls, benches, and long tables covered with red-and-white tablecloths give off a casual vibe, but the dishes are often excellent.

5 rue Mlle. Etcheto, St-Jean-de-Luz, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, 64500, France
Known For
  • informal atmosphere
  • rotating menu of seafood classics
  • takeaway food
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Wed.

Henri IV


On a quiet pedestrian street near the château, this dining room with its open fire is a cozy find for a cold, wet winter night, and the terrace is a shady place to cool off in summer. Traditional Béarn dishes here include magret de canard (duck breast) cooked over coals, and cuisses de grenouille (frogs' legs) sautéed dry and crispy in parsley and garlic.

18 rue Henri IV, Pau, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, 64000, France
Known For
  • central location handy for a sightseeing break
  • traditional regional dishes
  • cozy atmosphere
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues. and Wed.

L'Auberge du Cheval Blanc


Run by members of the Tellechea family since 1715, this former stagecoach inn in the Petit Bayonne quarter serves a combination of cuisine du terroir (home-style regional cooking) and original recipes in contemporary surroundings. Michelin-starred chef Jean-Claude Tellechea showcases fresh fish as well as specialties from the Basque hills, sometimes joining the two in dishes such as the merlu rôti aux oignons et jus de volaille (hake roasted in onions with essence of poultry). The Irouléguy wines offer the best value on the wine list. Be sure to be there on time: lunch ends at 1:30.

68 rue Bourgneuf, Bayonne, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, 64100, France
Known For
  • Basque wines
  • some of the best fine dining in the area
  • celebrated chef
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. No lunch Sat. No dinner Sun.

L'Isle au Jasmin


This informal café close to the château has bamboo decor inside and comfortable chairs outside so you can sit along the boulevard. The owner roasts and grinds the coffee beans herself, and there is also a wide selection of teas, ice creams, and homemade cakes available.

28 bd. des Pyrénées, Pau, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, 64000, France
Known For
  • charming café and tearoom
  • outdoor dining
  • macarons and other tasty pastries

Le Café Mère Poule


If you want something quick and casual that still bears the stamp of Michel Guérard, try this latest addition to his culinary empire, an elegant café with a terrace on the main street. It specializes in croq'poules, a special version of the French staple, the croque monsieur. You can also choose from a soup of the day and a nice selection of desserts.

Les Prés d'Eugénie, Eugénie-les-Bains, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, 40320, France
Known For
  • informal way to get the Michel Guérard experience
  • central location
  • outdoor terrace tables

Le Chalet de Biscaye


Outstanding traditional Pyrenean cuisine is on the menu at this restaurant a little bit outside of Lourdes on the way to the lake. The bread, desserts, and ice creams are all homemade.

26 rte. du Lac, Lourdes, Occitania, France
Known For
  • relaxing location beyond the bustle of central Lourdes
  • traditional Pyrenees cuisine
  • exquisite presentation of dishes
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues.



The name is Basque for "skiff" or "small boat," and you feel like you're in one here, with yachts and fishing vessels going about their business in the bay just a few yards away. The mixed seafood platter is legendary, and daily nonstop service from noon to midnight makes it a hard meal to miss.

Pl. Louis-XIV, St-Jean-de-Luz, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, 64500, France
Known For
  • excellent seafood
  • good draft beer
  • late night hours