Restaurants in Toulouse

As if it needed to be said, food is important in France. As a university town and a regional capital, Toulouse has a wide range of prices but quality remains high. Regional products are widespread, and there’s an infusion of tastes from North Africa, as well as the almost inevitable arrival of American fast-food chains. Many restaurants in Toulouse serve a formule du jour (set menu), which provides great value for money.

Bear in mind that many restaurants in France are closed on Sundays and Mondays and that lunch is often only served between 1200 and 1330.

The Toulouse restaurants below have been grouped into three pricing categories:
Expensive (over €65)
Moderate (€35 to €65)
Cheap (up to €35)
These Toulouse restaurant prices are for a three-course meal for one with half a bottle of wine or equivalent (where available). They include tax but not service. Other than perhaps in the tourist hotspots, tipping is not expected and you may find that if you do tip, the waiter will run after you to let you know that you’ve forgotten your change.

En Marge

Price: Expensive

Frank Renimel’s collection of delicious, innovative cuisine earned En Marge its Michelin star. The traditional pink-brick entrance ushers you into a funky silver restaurant, with eye-catching works of art on both the wall and on your plate. Chef Renimel grew up here, and his passion for his homeland shines through.

Address: 8 rue Mage, Toulouse, France
Telephone: 05 6153 0724.

Les Jardins de l'Opera

Price: Expensive

Expertly executed dishes, professional service, an extensive wine list and a lovely courtyard setting right on the main square make this one of the best restaurants in Toulouse. Chef Stéphane Tournié dares to mix global influences with local, traditional dishes and constantly both surprises and delights critics with his ideas. The setting is airy and classical, the food creative.

Address: 1 place du Capitole, Toulouse, France
Telephone: 05 6123 0776.

Michel Sarran Restaurant

Price: Expensive

In Michel Sarran Restaurant, one of the best restaurants in Toulouse with two Michelin stars, dinner is supposed to be like eating at home. A rather grand home with an Italian terrace and a flamboyant menu, but Michel Sarran does provide an intimate and welcoming atmosphere. Local delicacies, such as lavender, violet and foie gras, influence the menu, and with food this good, it’s hard to disagree with Sarran’s own sentiments about his work: "We are sellers of pleasure".

Address: 21 boulevard Armand Duportal, Toulouse, France
Telephone: 05 6112 3232.

Chez Carmen

Price: Moderate

For the best quality meat in town, Toulousains swear by Chez Carmen. Back in the day, when the modern art museum Les Abattoirs used to be Toulouse’s abattoirs (slaughterhouses), Chez Carmen bought the freshest meat available from across the street. This tradition has continued, and if you’re wondering about trying steak tartare for the first time, then Chez Carmen is the place to go in Toulouse. It has a wonderfully French atmosphere, with red-chequered tablecloths and old wooden barrels, although its roadside location does detract from dining outside.

Address: 97 allée Charles de Fitte, Toulouse, France
Telephone: 05 6142 0495.

La Mare aux Canards

Price: Moderate

Canard (duck) features prominently in the local cuisine, and La Mare aux Canards gives you the Toulousain dining experience with lashings of tradition. Its rustic décor, with Toulouse’s signature pink bricks and half-timbered ceiling, provides a hearty, authentic atmosphere. You’ll also find local specialities such as cassoulet and foie gras, but the place made its name with its delicious magret du canard (duck breast) and confit du canard (duck stored in its own fat).

Address: 14 rue des Gestes, Toulouse, France
Telephone: 05 6123 8158.

Le Colombier

Price: Moderate

Cassoulet is the region’s signature dish and since 1874, Le Colombier has been the place to find it in Toulouse. Castelnaudray, Toulouse and Carcassonne argue over who invented it, although all agree that it had something to do with fighting off the English. Cassoulet contains saucisse de Toulouse (Toulouse sausage), confit du canard (duck stored in its own fat), white beans, goose and pork slices.

Address: 14 rue Bayard, Toulouse, France
Telephone: 05 6162 4005.

La Boheme

Price: Cheap

This charming basement restaurant in Toulouse serves French and local specialities in a romantic setting (an old cellar dating back to the 17th century in fact).

Address: 3 rue Lafayette, Toulouse, France
Telephone: 05 6123 2418.

Victor Hugo Restaurants

Price: Cheap

They’re tricky to find, but above southwest France’s largest covered market (Toulouse’s Marché Victor Hugo) live some great restaurants that serve the freshest food you can find. Look for the unmarked door and head upstairs. You’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d stumbled into the market’s canteen as the atmosphere is so informal – but don’t be fooled. Quality and service are excellent and meals are very reasonably priced. It’s lunchtime only, though, and you can’t make reservations.

Address: Place Victor Hugo, Toulouse, France
Telephone:

L’Aubrac

Price: Cheap

If you’ve fallen in love with the regional cuisine, then head to L’Aubrac for an all-you-can-eat foie gras menu. It serves all the classical dishes of Toulouse, including plenty of cheese, wine and an endless supply of baguettes. The interior design is a bit of a hotchpotch but that just adds to the quirky sense of occasion. Great value for money.

Address: 7 bis rue de la Colombette, Toulouse, France
Telephone: 05 6162 9808.
Website:
Edited by Tina Banerjee
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