Toulouse, France’s fourth largest city, is a large university town home to about 100, 000 students. With so many people and so many students to entertain, Toulouse offers a plethora of bars and pubs in different shapes and colors for all ages and tastes. Here is our selection of the top ten bars in Toulouse’s center.
If you are looking to mix with the local Toulousains, Café Populaire is the place for you. Situated in one of Toulouse’s busiest nightlife areas, this bar does not pretend to be anything but a simple, affordable place to relax in after work or university. ‘Café Pop’, as it’s affectionately called by the locals, is the ideal place for anyone looking for some raucous and convivial fun. They regularly invite bands and DJs and they have a Jazz jam session every Sunday evening. Happy hour is every night from 7 pm till 9.30pm, all night on Wednesdays, and there are some special offers other days of the week.
If you are looking for something a little more classy, try Fat Cat. This bar only opened in 2015 and serves some delicious cocktails. The Art Deco bar has a hushed but relaxed atmosphere, with lots of little tables and comfy armchairs for an evening tête-a-tête. Jazz fans will be happy to hear their favorite music played at the Fat Cat, where live Jazz piano evenings are regularly organized. The staff is young, enthusiastic and will do their utmost to ensure you have a good time.
The best Reggae, Roots and Dancehall music in Toulouse can be found at Reggae Pub. The pub hosts concerts and DJ nights every week. On Mondays they often do a ‘skate evening’ where you can bring your skates and dance. On Tuesdays there is a happy hour from 8 pm to 11 pm where for every drink bought you get one free. On Wednesdays they organize an open mic evening if you wish to show off your singing talent, and on Thursdays entrance and all drinks apart from cocktails cost only two euros.
This wine bar boasts the largest repertoire of wines of any wine and tapas bar in France. In fact, it has over 2,200 different bottles from 20 countries. Therefore, if you tasted one of its bottles every day you would need over six years to taste every one of their wines! N°5 was given the Award of Excellence in 2015 by the Wine Spectator. The owner is a professional wine taster and he and his wife can guide you in your choice of the best wines. They organize wine and champagne tasting classes and special tapas and cheese tasting soirees. The chic bar has a relaxed atmosphere. Salon Privatisable | Courtesy of N°5 Wine Bar
Chez ta Mère is run by a group that promotes local agriculture, music and a variety of creative performances. There’s always something happening at the bar, whether it’s improvisation, theater, concerts, talks or debates. You will hear mainly Jazz, Instrumental and World music here. Being a non-profit organization, the drinks are cheap and concerts work as part of a ‘pay-what-you-want’ system. You do need to join the organization to buy drinks, but again, you decide how much you wish to give. The cafe-bar is a great place to meet people since it is a friendly and easy-going venue.
Bear’s Bar is one of Toulouse’s most popular gay bars, conveniently situated near the city’s main train station. The bar has a busy timetable with themed dressing-up parties, quizzes and various DJ nights. There is a sauna afternoon get-together about once a week. The music is mostly Electro Pop, and entrance is mainly reserved for men but they do have mixed evenings. This is a great place to dance the night away.
This English pub is a popular venue with students, being located next to one of Toulouse’s three main universities. The bar boasts traditional decor with wooden benches, stools and thick carpets. The George and Dragon serves British beers such as the Charles Well award-winning beers, shipped directly from the brewery, and the staff speaks both English and French. You can watch major sports events on their flat screens or play board games, and they organize quiz nights, live music nights and darts competitions. Alternatively, you can sit outside on their terrace and watch the world go by.
Walking through the front doors of Puerto Habana is like walking into Cuba. The impressive setting is colonial in style, with a large wooden staircase and a mezzanine floor offering a view over the dance floor below. A Cuban fresco covers one wall and a large glass chandelier dangles from the ceiling. Dancing is a must here, so the music adapts to Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, Reggaeton and Zouk dances. There are salsa and Bachata classes every week. The cocktails are great, especially the Mojito, and they also serve tapas.
This bar specializes in vodka. They have over 30 different types of vodka as well as a large selection of gin, rum and whisky. The upstairs bar area is redecorated every four months by various artists – no two walls are ever the same. They have a downstairs ‘cave’ where you can dance to DJs at least three times a week, playing all sorts of music genres such as Rock N’Roll, Soul, Funk, Electronica, Rhythm & Blues, Hip Hop or Boogie. There’s a happy hour every day from 6 pm to 8 pm. The only downside is that the venue is small, so it can get a little cramped.
This bar is a paradise for beer-lovers, offering over 150 different kinds of beer. The selection changes according to the season and the owner’s new purchases. They also have a good selection of rums and whiskeys. There are musical evenings several times a week with different DJs showcasing their sets. Rock music predominates, but they also play Funk, Metal, Lounge Hip-Hop and Latin music. Game nights are also organized. The place is small but cozy and the staff are young and energetic. Additionally, there are tasty tapas-style snacks to go with your drinks.