The fourth largest metropolis in France, the bustling city of Toulouse is full of art, culture and gastronomy, as well as some lovely hotels. Its nightlife is also impressive, with lively bars throughout the various neighborhoods. We list the top ten places to have a drink in the city.
Not far from the lovely, tranquil Jardin Japonais, DAdA is an enchanting, quirky wine bar that transports guests to an almost Alice in Wonderland-style world with its unusual décor. The wine and original cocktails are well worth a try, along with the nicely presented, delicious French foods on the menu. Also of note is the very pleasant outdoor terrace that is perfect for the summer months.
A veritable paradise for rum-lovers, La Cale Sèche has an impressive range of more than twenty rum flavors, as well as some rare, old bottles available to please connoisseurs. The cocktails are also inventive, including some delicious mojitos and a very fruity house punch. The nostalgic music and warm atmosphere, where locals and visitors mingle alike, make this little spot well worth a visit.
For an authentic Irish experience in the heart of this very French city, Le Dubliners is a cosy pub that fully embraces its Irish roots, both in its warm, wooden décor and in its relaxed, convivial ambiance. As well as a wide range of very good beers and whiskeys from across the globe, this pub has its own darts bar and also hosts weekly live gigs, as well as serving a good range of food to accompany drinks.
Hidden down a side street, a few minutes’ walk from the center of Toulouse, Bar à la Une is a concealed spot that offers an authentic Toulouse experience. Patrons would do well to embrace the French tradition of having an early evening apéro (French slang for ‘apéritif’) by taking advantage of the delectable tapas and regularly changing French dishes and wines in the menu.
For a taste of Englishness, The Wild Rose is a comfortable, pub-style bar nestled in one of the quieter districts of city. With a fantastic selection of drinks, including an impressive ten different kinds of mojitos in unusual combinations such as mango and violet, it’s not quite a British “local” but it’s fun and there is also a bilingual, weekly pub quiz, which is always a fun experience in another country.
Just a few hundred meters from the stunning river Garonne, you can find an authentic pocket of Belgium in the form of L’Ancienne Belgique, a fabulous Belgian bar that serves superb real Belgian beers, with around 70 to choose from. The cozy décor adds to its unique charm, with an entire wall covered by the enormous selection of beers.
Situated in the animated Place de l’Estrapade, Le Petit Vasco is a lovely little bar with a welcoming, buzzing ambience. With a good selection of wine and some delicious tapas, including a melt-in-your-mouth house foie gras, it is a great spot to spend an evening. The outdoor seating is especially pleasant in the summer and the occasional live music and themed soirées make for fantastic nights out.
Not far from the magnificent Saint-Sernin Basilica, Chez Ta Mère is a hub for live music in Toulouse, with a little stage that regularly hosts talented musicians, bands and singers, both local and foreign and spanning many genres. It also has a lively social scene, with a great atmosphere that welcomes visitors, and great wine and beer. The décor is particularly noteworthy, reflecting the artistic theme of the venue with unusual tapestry wall-hangings and quirky furniture.
Located in the lovely Saint-Etienne district of Toulouse, Event is often true to its name, hosting a regular evenings with live DJs. The lounge inside is as comfortable and cozy as the outdoor terrace is pleasant and sunny. The inventive cocktails are particularly worth mentioning, as well as the wide range of spirits, yet the biggest draw is the food, a sublime mix of Belgian and Toulousain influences, including melt-in-your-mouth Belgian chips and duck confit.
Just a few minutes from the lovely Place Esquirol, Le Quinquina combines Spanish conviviality with French class, serving particularly good white sangria and tapas, as well as brilliant cocktails, all in a stylish setting. The themed soirées are especially worth watching out for, including many evenings with live DJs and a range of music genres, from rock music to jazz to funk, and fun games to boot.