Exploring Bayonne: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Exploring Bayonne: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Exploring Bayonne: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Bayonne, a charming city nestled in the Basque Country of southwestern France, is not only known for its rich history and picturesque scenery but also for its delectable cuisine. From mouthwatering dishes to world-renowned chocolate, Bayonne offers a unique culinary experience that is sure to tantalize your taste buds. Join us on a gastronomic journey as we explore the local dishes, must-visit restaurants, and traditional recipes that make Bayonne a food lover's paradise.

Local Dishes

When it comes to local dishes, Bayonne takes pride in its Basque heritage, with a blend of French and Spanish influences. Here are some dishes that you absolutely must try:


A traditional Basque dish, piperade is a delicious combination of sautéed onions, peppers, tomatoes, and spices. Often served with eggs and crusty bread, this vibrant and flavorful dish is a staple on many menus in Bayonne.

Jambon de Bayonne

Bayonne is famous for its cured ham, Jambon de Bayonne. Made from specially raised pigs and seasoned with only salt and air, this delicacy is a must-try. Sliced thin and enjoyed on its own or accompanied by some crusty bread and cheese, Jambon de Bayonne is a true gastronomic delight.

Vegetable Basquaise

Vegetable Basquaise is a hearty vegetarian dish made with a medley of vegetables, including tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Bursting with flavor and seasoned with the distinctive Basque spice blend, this dish showcases the region's love for fresh produce.

Must-Visit Restaurants

Bayonne boasts a vibrant culinary scene with a variety of restaurants offering both traditional and innovative cuisine. Here are some of the must-visit restaurants where you can savor the flavors of Bayonne:

  • Restaurant Le Petit Baigneur - Located on the banks of the River Nive, this charming restaurant offers a cozy atmosphere and a menu featuring local specialties, including fresh seafood and regional dishes.
  • Restaurant L'Auberge Basque - Set in a beautifully restored Basque farmhouse, this Michelin-starred restaurant offers a refined dining experience with a modern twist on traditional Basque cuisine. Be prepared to be delighted by the chef's creative and innovative dishes.
  • Chez Pantxo - A popular local tavern, Chez Pantxo is known for its authentic pintxos, a traditional Basque style of tapas. Indulge in a variety of small plates, each bursting with unique flavors and textures.
  • Restaurant Txirrita - If you're looking for a relaxed dining experience, head to Restaurant Txirrita. This family-run establishment serves up mouthwatering Basque dishes, with an emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
  • La Table des Frères Ibarboure - Situated in the picturesque countryside just outside of Bayonne, this Michelin-starred restaurant offers a refined dining experience accompanied by stunning views. The menu showcases the best of Basque cuisine, with an innovative twist.

Traditional Recipes

If you'd like to recreate the flavors of Bayonne in your own kitchen, here are a few traditional recipes to try:

Poulet Basquaise (Basque-style Chicken)


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides.
  2. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside. In the same skillet, sauté the onions, bell peppers, and garlic until they start to soften.
  3. Add the tomatoes, paprika, salt, and pepper, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Return the chicken to the skillet, cover, and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  5. Serve the Poulet Basquaise with crusty bread or rice and enjoy!

Gâteau Basque (Basque Cake)


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Raspberry jam (or any other flavor of your choice)


  1. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Gradually add the flour, mixing until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  5. Divide the dough in half. Roll out one half and line the bottom of the prepared cake pan with it.
  6. Spread a layer of raspberry jam (or any other flavor of your choice) on top of the dough.
  7. Roll out the remaining dough and place it on top of the jam, sealing the edges.
  8. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown.
  9. Allow the cake to cool before slicing and serving.

Whether you're exploring the local dishes, dining at renowned restaurants, or trying your hand at traditional recipes, Bayonne offers a culinary experience that will leave you wanting more. Indulge in the flavors and celebrate the rich food culture of this charming city!