Sophie Jugie

Sophie Jugie heads the glorious Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon, France. As director, she not only oversees collections and operations, but also serves as the face of the museum, traveling, entertaining, and interacting with the leaders of her museum community as well as the international art community in Europe and other parts of the world.

One aspect of Sophie’s job entails dining with dignitaries visiting Dijon. Being a woman of highly refined and educated taste, Sophie knows restaurants as well as art and knows the perfect places to take visitors.

Eager for the inside scoop, I asked Sophie for a list of restaurants that she frequents with dignitaries and then requested  that she broaden the list to contain some of her favorite places that give an overview of the good food found in Dijon.

Ever generous, Sophie replied with the following:


The Place de la Liberation with two good restaurants: Le Cafe Gourmand and Le Pre aux Clercs

The most beautiful place in Dijon is obviously the Place de la Libération, the former Place Royale, in front of the Palace of the Dukes and of the States-General of Burgundy where the Musée des Beaux-Arts is located. Here are two favorite restaurants.

For an informal lunch, I like Le Café Gourmand (9 place de la Libération, 03 80 36 87 51) for its original and often renewed menus and its terrace. This is a perfect place to me.

Sitting next door is the famous Le Pré aux Clercs (13 place de la Libération, 03 80 38 05 05) where one of the most talented chefs of Dijon, Jean-Pierre Billoux, is cooking. Among the many delights of this one-Michelin starred restaurant, I recommend the spectacular “quenelles d’ecrevisse.”

It wouldn’t be fair not to mention the other Michelin starred chefs of Dijon producing inspired and rarefied cooking: Stéphane Derbord of Restaurant Stéphane Derbord (10 place Wilson, 03 80 67 74 64)  and William Frachot at Hostellerie du Chapeau Rouge (5 rue Michelet, 03 80 50 88 88).

Jean-Pierre Billoux

Jean-Pierre Billoux also owns a typical bistrot, Le Bistrot des Halles, (8 rue Bannelier, 09 80 49 94 15) on the market, with simple but genuine dishes. Also around the market, which is very animated Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, are a number of other good restaurants. I like Lilouhane (10 rue Quentin, 03 80 30 59 37) for its seafood and DZ’envies (12 rue Odebert, 03 80 50 09 26) where the talented David Zuddas produces original cooking in a design environment.

In other charming streets of Dijon, you will find a large choice of nice places.

Courtyard of La Maison Milliere

Behind the wonderful church of Notre Dame, La Maison Milliere (10 rue de la Chouette, 03 80 30 99 99) offers en trompe L’oeil garden courtyard in which to enjoy a pleasant meal.

In the animated rue de l’Amiral Roussin, not far or the Renaissance Palais de Justice, is my favorite Italian restaurant, Osteria Enoteca Italiana (32 rue Amiral Roussin, 03 80 50 07 36)—vera cucina Italiana, good Italian wines.

The fried Camemberts of Le Petit Roi de la Lune (28 rue Amiral Roussin, 03 80 49 89 93) is a tasting must.

Le Petit Roi de la Lune sits next door to La Causerie des Mondes

And next door you will find a  serene place for a cup of tea, a salad and a dessert at La Causerie des Mondes. Both restaurants are in medieval half timbered houses.

The Place Emile Zola reminds me of the south of France with its big plane-trees and fountain and there I recommend a funny vegetarian restaurant Les Pieds Bleus (13 place Emile Zola, 03 80 50 06 66).

Recently, in the nearby rue Berbisey, also full of bars and restaurants, I discovered Le Piano qui Fume (36 rue Berbisey, 03 80 30 35 45) with an astonishing delicious and refined menu at a very mild price.