Imagine yourself in the Toulouse sunshine. You’re sitting on the terrace of one of the bars lining the famous Place du Capitole and you’re wondering what to eat in the restaurant tonight… Good news! You’re just a stone’s throw away from an abundance of typical dishes, just waiting to be enjoyed!
I already mentioned Toulouse’s famous gastronomy in my previous article and perhaps I left you hungry for more. Today I’ll make amends by giving your eyes and taste buds a treat! And I even went to interview a Toulouse native on the subject to find out his best recommendations… Are you ready to discover the famous terroir of South West France?
1. Foie gras
Our gourmet gastronomic itinerary begins with a starter, of course! In Toulouse, there’s no need to wait until the end of the year to treat yourself: you can enjoy duck or goose foie gras from January right through to December.
And if you want to play the perfect Toulousain card, why not embellish your foie gras on toast with an onion confit with violets? This is another of the city’s specialities, which I’ll tell you about later.
Where to try it? Maison Samaran – charcuterie at Victor Hugo Market – 31000 Toulouse
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 7am to 7pm and Sunday from 7am to 2pm
2. Toulouse sausage
Make way for an essential feature of any Toulousain menu: the famous Toulouse sausage. Equally good roasted, fried or grilled, this large pork sausage is served in many restaurants in the Pink City and is eaten all-year round (oh yes!).
A Toulouse sausage has to be earned! You’ll have to get up early if you want to get the best in town to cook at home, which can be found at Victor Hugo Market.
If you would rather someone cook it for you, it will come with its perfect accompaniment: duck fat fries. And if you’ve ever been to the north of France, where the fries are made with beef fat, whatever you do don’t tell a Toulousain that they were better!
Where to try it? Maison Garcia – charcuterie at Victor Hugo Market – 31000 Toulouse
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 6am to 1.30pm and Sunday from 6.30am to 1.30pm
Where to try it? Restaurant Le Gueuleton Toulouse – 40 Rue Peyrolières – 31000 Toulouse
Open Tuesday to Thursday from 7.30pm to 10pm and Friday to Sunday from 12pm to 2pm, then 7.30pm to 10pm
3. Toulouse-style chicken
For those who love poultry, don’t miss the Toulouse-style chicken! Stuffed with Toulouse sausage, olives, tomato, onion and garlic (no less!), it’s then coated in butter before going in the oven. I said you wouldn’t go hungry: food in the South West is rich to say the least!
And if that wasn’t enough, this chicken is served with goat cheese, which itself is topped with onion and honey. This winning combo can be found in most food outlets in Toulouse.
Where to try it? Le Paradis Gourmet – 15 Rue des Puits Clos – 31100 Toulouse
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 7pm
4. Duck stew “Alicuit”
If duck’s your thing then duck stew “alicuit” is for you. And the best thing is, you can get it on every street corner! This stew, made using duck necks and wings, was initially reserved for workers in the Gersois fields, which doesn’t make it any less delicious! You’ll have to try it for yourself at one of the city’s restaurants.
Where to try it? Restaurant J’Go – 16 Pl. Victor Hugo – 31000 Toulouse
Open Monday to Sunday from 11.30am to midnight
5. Toulouse-style cassoulet
Originally from Castelnaudary, a small town an hour from Toulouse, this dish has its own distinct presence in the Pink City! Cooked with lamb or mutton, the people of Toulouse can’t get enough of it! There’s no point just talking about it though, you need to try it for yourself!
Where to try it? Restaurant Émile – 13, Place Saint Georges – 31000 Toulouse
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 12pm to 10pm
6. Toulouse croustade
Time for dessert! And let’s start this sweet break with the famous Toulouse croustade: a round pie made from puff pastry, with prunes or apples inside.
Where to try it? La Boulange Saint Georges – 6 Pl. Saint-Georges – 31000 Toulouse
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 7.30am to 7.30pm
What, you’re full up already? You can’t miss the fénétra, a typical cake made with almonds, candied lemons and apricots. Even the Romans used to enjoy it, and it’s certainly managed to stand the test of time.
Where to try it? Pâtisserie Didier Le Meur – 1 Rue Frédéric Bérat – 31200 Toulouse
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 6.30am to 7pm and Sunday from 6.30am to 1pm
8. pavé du Capitole
You can’t refuse a little treat… A delicious dark chocolate bonbon with orange praline, this invention from René Pillon will have you coming back for more (even if you’re no longer hungry). You should definitely visit one of his shops! Needless to say, you won’t be leaving empty-handed.
Where to try it? Maison Pillon – 2 Rue Théodore Ozenne – 31000 Toulouse
Open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 7.30pm and Sunday from 8am to 1.30pm
9. brique du Capitole
A small brick-shaped bonbon with puff pastry and praline, it’s also a tribute to one of Toulouse’s characteristic features: its architecture. Something tells me you’ll easily be able to slip some into your suitcase to take home to your loved ones, if you don’t end up eating it all before before you get there!
Where to try it? Le Paradis Gourmand – 45 Rue des Tourneurs – 31000 Toulouse
Open Monday from 1pm to 7pm and Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 7pm
And last but not least, one final feast. Sweet aromas, Toulouse’s emblem, ring a bell? Violet of course! A flower that loves the sun, just like the tourists!
Better known in candy or crystallized flower form, its lightness means you can eat it even when you’re not hungry. Also used in some of the region’s wines, it’s an absolute must-have in your suitcase before you leave for home.
Get on a barge and give it a try at La Maison de la Violette. Admission is free all year round.
Where to try it? La Maison de la Violette – Canal du Midi, 3 Bd Bonrepos – 31000 Toulouse
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 7pm
As you can see, Toulouse’s cuisine is rich and tasty in equal measure. And you know what? It doesn’t matter, as you won’t be charged for the extra kilos you take with you on your flight back home! Have I whetted your appetite? Well luckily the Pink City and its gastronomy are ready to welcome you! Time to book your ticket!