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Jan 19, 2010 05:22 AM

Looking for recommendations in the Toulouse area

My son, a budding foodie, is about to take off from Tulane to spend a semester in Toulouse. I've searched this board a bit and have hit a bunch of the other usual spots, but haven't had much luck gleaning what seemed like good info. Hud is an omnivore, and an adventurous one as well (even more so than I). He will be on a budget, of course, but has been known to splurge when that is called for (or when his parents are visiting). He'll have opportunities to travel around the region as well, and will be starting his trip from Barcelona, so any appropriate tips would be greatly appreciated. And really he loves it all -- seafood, meats, cheeses, veggies, pates, bar food, ethnic and regional cuisines, street carts...

thanks in advance for any tips you might proffer


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  1. I am giving this a bump in hopes that someone will have some info for the kid. He's over there now, and will be for the next few months. I gave him one tip on cassoulet's, but that's about where my hep petered out.

    Any further help greatly appreciated.


    6 Replies
    1. re: fatheryod

      We have been to the area several times. We have not found anything exceptional in Toulouse.

      However, to the South (1.5 hours drive) is Saint Girons. We usually base there at a family run hotel/restaurant, Hotel Eychenne. We have tried to eat our way through the menu in two trips. We need to go back again. I highly recommend the food and the wine. Their website is

      Also, there are two croustade (similar to a tart) shops in Foix and Saint Girons. The croustades are fabulous. They have choices of savory or sweet. My favorite last time was the TOC-tomato, onion and zucchinni. However, the questche was a close second. We have taken them on many picnics. The location in Foix has a small seating area- run by a British couple. Their website is (Martine Crespo).

      These are the best discoveries we have for the area.

      1. re: hoteliere

        Funnily enough, whereas Toulouse would arguably be the capital city of the best food region in France, I also never had particularly worthwhile food at Toulouse or around. But maybe we did not have the right guides? After all, in France, you often have to know the good places to eat well.

        1. re: souphie

          Hi - just found a series of reports about the southwest - an a reference to a post of yours about lesser known areas in France - did you write something about that? Can you give me the (a) reference?
          Thanks, Jim luyten

        2. re: hoteliere

          This is timely for me. I hope to be spending a week this April in Arguenos, a small town not that far from Saint-Girons. So thank you hoteliere for the suggestions, even if they don't help for Toulouse.

          1. re: RandyB

            Le Saint Sauvage. Really wacky decor, but good food.

            1. re: sistereurope

              Michel Sarran isn't bad - 2 Stars and with wine probably only 100 pp

      2. I guess he can't go to Michel Sarran every day for a semester. There are plenty of markets and restaurants in Toulouse (street carts, not so much). You get mostly duck, steak, foie gras, duck, quite a lot of fish, and duck. If you get tired of southwest and other French cuisine, there's tapas, Italian, and lots of "ethnic" stuff around (e.g. for some reason there are three or four places doing Argentinian empanadas). I would check reviews on websites like Cityvox for recent info. I suppose it's true that it's not worth travelling to Toulouse from Paris (or from Louisiana) just for the food, but you can certainly eat well.

        It is possible, however, that your son will end up spending all his time (and your money) at the Place St-Pierre, where you will find all the Americans "studying" abroad and all of their French "classmates". I'm not sure if there's any food at all to be had there.

        1. One of the best meals I had in the region was in Cahor at Richard Marco. Not cheap but memorable and perhaps the best foie gra dish I have every eaten.