French cuisine is famous for its elegant flavours and distinct ingredients. Montpellier’s dining scene certainly lives up to this reputation. Covering everything from beloved French classics to burgers and Argentinian empanadas, Montpellier has no shortage of must-visit restaurants. Here we list 10 of the most unmissable restaurants in the city.
Burger et Blanquette
Located in the Esplanade Charles de Gaulle, Burger et Blanquette is the ideal restaurant for tourists who are tired from sightseeing in the nearby Musée Fabre or Place de la Comedie. They serve refreshing salads and mouthwatering burgers that will help revive anyone after a long day in the southern French heat. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed, so it is the perfect place for a lunch break, and since its location is central, visitors will be able to continue discovering Montpellier by foot after a satisfying meal.
Nestled away in one of the cobbled streets in Montpellier’s historic center, Le Petit Jardin has a lovely secret garden, with views of the city’s 14th-century cathedral’s stone walls. The shade and fresh air will help tourists decompress and after a sip of the delicious wine and a bite of the scrumptious food, they will be enchanted by the magical setting and atmosphere of the place. This bistro also has a dining room for those wishing to eat in a more formal setting.
This small restaurant prides itself on its fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. It is located close to Place de la Comédie, in one of Montpellier’s many tiny streets, which only adds to its charm. Saveurs et Sens is an artsy establishment that blends typical French cuisine with more modern touches, especially in its presentation. The food is not only easy on the eyes but it is also extremely tasty. This restaurant really lives up to its name, which translates to ‘Flavours and Meaning’.
Le Jardin des Sens is a Michelin Star restaurant located a short walk away from Louis Blanc in a fashionable and contemporary four-star hotel. Its setting is spectacular: a glass room with views to a typical Mediterranean garden. Their menu changes seasonally, guaranteeing the freshness of their ingredients. Their sophisticated dishes include a fusion of flavors like this combination of Mediterranean flavors and textures: tuna tartar with crustacean cannelloni, nuts in a pasta salad with squid-ink sauce, and a grilled red mullet over a quinoa tabbouleh with shrimp and ceviche.
A family-run restaurant, L’idée saveurs is a wonderful venue situated near Montpellier’s Eglise Saint-Roch. It is not a huge establishment, only seating around 20 people that, combined with its popularity, means that it is always full. The fresh, modern interior might not be what visitors expect in that area of the old town, but it makes for an unusual and fun dining experience in the historic center of Montpellier.
Upon entering this small restaurant visitors are greeted by a tall giraffe. La Girafe has two very distinct dining rooms: the upstairs is the interior of a refurbished chapel, while downstairs is a modern dining area with red décor and unconventional artwork. They do not have an extensive menu, but what they do have is fresh, in season, and very French. The owners of this restaurant personally take care of the diners and ensure that they have a wonderful experience.
Argentinian food in Montpellier might sound like an unusual mix of cultures, but the chefs at this Empanadas Club have worked wonders in fusing these two cuisines. They have even created a special empanada that intertwines both gastronomies: a Nutella and banana empanada (which is as delicious as it sounds). The place oozes charm and is covered with mementos brought all the way from Argentina. Visitors will sit at one of their long, wooden tables, but it gets busy so reservations are recommended.
Restaurant exterior | Courtesy of Le Petit Bistrot
Le Petit Bistrot is indeed, as its name indicates, a very small bistro. The chef, who is also the owner and manager of this restaurant, oversees everything and takes very special care of diners. The delicious food is served in big portions, and the wine list is excellent. It is situated a few minutes away from the Place de Peyrou, so tourists who are looking for a quiet place to have a meal after some strenuous sightseeing will appreciate the location and quality of this cute little eatery.
Minutes away from the Louis Blanc tram stop, Playfood is one of the most unique restaurants in Montpellier. The quirky vision behind its presentation makes it stand out as one of the most original eateries in the south of France. Food is served in small, transparent glasses rather than plates, and everything, from their beers to their recipes, is entirely one of a kind. They also have a great variety of vegetarian options, making it a great choice for all herbivore travellers.
Le Bistrot de Bacchus is located in the Arceaux area, slightly outside the city center but still only a short walk away from attractions such as the Jardin de Plantes. The atmosphere is laid-back and the food is of great quality. Diners can watch the chef while he prepares the dishes. The menu changes often depending on the produce that the chefs are able to find, so visitors can rest assured that their meal will be fresh.