Living in Bordeaux is almost like having a bad boyfriend. The months of October to May are terrible weather. Grey skies, constant rain. Then May comes around and you have a few glorious sunny months and forget how sad and miserable Bordeaux skies can be. Then, October comes around and it starts all over again…but you’ve just had those wonderful summer months and think maybe there’s a chance there will be some sunny days sprinkled throughout the fall and winter seasons.
Well…there’s very little chance.
You know this! You’ve been living here for four years. And yet.
In all seriousness, I do love living in Bordeaux. HOWEVER. The winter months are tough for me. (And winter basically starts in October. There is no real fall here.) It’s not that I mind the cold, I mind the gloomy skies! If it were cold and sunny, that would be ideal. But that’s not Bordeaux!
So, how do I combat my winter blues? Rather than staying cooped up in the house all day, I like to get some work done at local cafés. I find a change of scenery and shocking servers by ordering dessert for breakfast brightens my day.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of what I consider to be the best cafés in Bordeaux for working or studying, spanning over a few of the city’s neighborhoods. Now, a work/study cafe is very different than a coffee date kind of cafe in my eyes. I would not recommend these places for dates or social get-togethers! These are cafes with outlets, wifi, and are not necessarily lounge-like places. If you want to know about those spots, that’s another post.
Okay, okay, so, enough rambling–want to know where you should go to study? C’est parti !
15 Rue des Argentiers, 33000 Bordeaux
Located in one of my favorite neighborhoods, Saint Pierre, Cafeincup is a great study spot in the old town. There are outlets aplenty and the cafe is split up into two stories, so you should be able to get a table! Servers are cool and leave you alone, even when you’ve been studying for hours. Just don’t pull an Emily in Paris and make sure you always say ‘bonjour’ before you order your first coffee or snack. (This is true for anywhere in France!)
67 Rue des Ayres, 33000 Bordeaux
Located on Rue des Ayres near Musée d’Aquitaine, Mademoiselle Simone is the perfect study spot. It is on the smaller side, but on weekdays you can usually find a table. The menu is varied, with a number of brunch and lunch options. Though my personal favorite is the carrot cake paired with a café allongé! Just don’t tell the lovely ladies who work here that I told you could eat cake for breakfast. (But you can. And should.)
24 Rue des Ayres, 33000 Bordeaux
Also near Musée d’Aquitaine, Verde Nero is a great café for studying. The servers don’t really care about your existence which is actually perfect when looking for a café you can loiter at all day long HEH. Be aware, you order at the counter. Otherwise, you’ll be sitting at your table for 30 minutes before someone tells you–which, again, fine if you’re just there to study! There are huge tables so if you’re a messy worker like me, you can spread out all your notebooks and gear. (Though, sanitize accordingly!)
15 Rue Notre Dame, 33000 Bordeaux
Located in the beautiful Chartrons neighborhood, Juliena is the study spot for tea lovers. This tea salon offers a variety of teas, in addition to sandwiches, sweet treats, and more. And if you’d like to admire some gothic architecture, you can visit the Church of Saint-Louis-des-Chartrons just next door after you get some work done. Or before! Whatever tickles your fancy.
Le Cafe du Cloître
145 Rue de Saint- Genès, 33000 Bordeaux
If you’re looking for a peaceful study spot, this is the place. The hours are a little particular, but it’s worth it. (Open 14h30-18h from Monday- Thursday, Fridays it’s open from 8h15-11h and again from 14h30-18h.) Tucked away in the Barrière Saint Genès neighborhood near Talence, Le Cafe du Cloître is probably one of the most unique of cafés in Bordeaux. It’s open to all and located in the heart of La Maison Saint Louis Beaulieu, the diocesan house of the Catholic Church in the Gironde. Perfect for studying, reading a book, or whisper level conversations. This place is simply serene. It’s especially pretty when the weather is nice as their terrace is unmatched. And their cookies are delicious!
So, what do you think? Let me know which café you test out, or if there are any that I need to add to my list.