The most obvious thing about food in France is that it's French. Not that you can't get British food, or most things anyway, but like French food in the UK it costs more. Fortunately it's not too hard to get used to the fact that while a 'cheese sandwich' is usually a couple of slices of Sunblest sliced white bread with Gateway/Sainsbury's cheddar cheese in it, un sandwich au fromage is more likely to be French bread filled with French cheese .
Unless you're in Village 1 , where there are no kitchens, you have the choice of cooking for yourself or eating in the resto universitaire . Both will cost roughly the same so what you eat probably depends on whether you can cook better food than you get in the RU (can you boil an egg?) and whether or not you can be bothered to trek off to the supermarket. A lot of the French students consider a fridge and an individual hotplate essential for their room.
There are three restos universitaires on the campus: RU1, RU2 and RU3 which are next to V1, V2 and V6 respectively. There is also RU Central next to Place de la Victoire . They all serve the same sort of stuff: you get a starter, main course, desert, as much bread as you want and sometimes salad. Usually it's not that bad, and occasionally you'd actually go as far as describing it as good, but then sometimes it is absolutely foul. It's usually lukewarm but they've thoughtfully provided microwaves so you can re-heat your food (and give the steaks a little more cooking). You pay with meal tickets that cost 12f70 each this year which is fairly good value, especially if you're really hungry. Alternatively you can use the tickets in the cafeterias. You can only buy the tickets between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. from a counter near the entrance of RU2 or RU3 or at RU1 up the outside staircase next to the bus stop.
Experience true French cuisine in the university refectories
At lunch-times there's more choice. It's worth looking at the week's menu to see what you're going to get - you quickly learn what you're not keen on.
Each RU also has a cafeteria where you can get snacks like sandwiches , pizza and salads. As well as for snacks, they're good for sitting around in, drinking coffee or beer or whatever, and can be reasonably sociable.
RU1 is the biggest, brightest and newest of the three and the only one with bizarre modern art on the walls.
In the cafeteria you can buy drinks, cakes and croissants and at lunch-time there is a salad bar and a pizza bar. It opens for breakfast at 7.15 a.m. and stays open until about 9.15 p.m..
RU2 is only open at lunch-times although the other two are only about ten minutes walk away. The cafeteria has been refurbished and extended this year so it's clean and there is plenty of room.
RU3 is fairly dull. So is the cafeteria.
St. Michel is the 'Latin quarter' next to the river around Place St. Michel and has more small restaurants than you can shake a baguette at. Here, everyone speaks Spanish or Portuguese and the bars and restaurants are cheap and cheerful so there is definately a good time to be had. Many of the small restaurants offer a fixed price menu that includes four courses, bread and wine for less than a fiver. They're friendly enough and make a great place to go with twenty of your mates.
There is a small road leading off Place Gambetta on the corner diagonally opposite Porte Dijeaux. Here, you will find a plethora of exotic take-aways where you can buy kebabs, paella and sundry Chinese delicacies.
Worth a look is Chez Mario - a small restaurant and bar in St. Michel as described above. Another restaurant is Restaurant La Petite Savoie - not especially cheap but serves La Raclette , a Swiss cheese speciality, in huge quantities; and McDo on Place de la Victoire (just kidding!). Le Phenécien on Rue St. Cathérine near Place de la Victoire does good kebabs.
Hilton Harbour - front cover - contents
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Bordeaux - A Guide For Clueless ERASMUS Students ©1995 P. Hilton All Rights Reserved World-Wide
Written & edited by P. Hilton. Designed & published by P. Hilton. Contributions by G. Pharoah, D. Richardson.Illustrations by Yann. WWW version ©1997 P. Hilton.