is the most youthful, vibrant neighborhood in the city of Toulouse
, France. Built around a market hall that was once an ancient Carmelite convent, Carmes has a varied selection of great restaurants to choose from. Here are our recommendations.
Bakery, Restaurant, Vegetarian, $$$
A newcomer in Carmes, Le Refectoire takes its name from the refectory of the ancient convent of the Carmelites. Open every day, this charming little restaurant is decorated to create the authentic feel of a real old refectory. There’s also a small terrace to enjoy in fair weather. The menu is varied and includes a tasty selection of tapas in the evening. However, what Le Refectoire is best known for is its amazing bread, brought in fresh every morning from the nearby bakery.
Le Refectoire, 8 place des Carmes, Toulouse, France, +33 5 31 22 27 46
The name says it all: Le Carmivore is the ideal restaurant for meat lovers visiting Carmes. Vegetarians, you’ve been warned. The venue is cozy and includes an outdoor patio, the staff is always helpful and the quality of the ingredients is excellent. Their best dish: the entrecote du chef, or the chef’s rib steak.
Le Carmivore, 7 rue Joutx Aigues, Toulouse, France, +33 5 61 52 88 74
Au Petit Bonheur
Located in the central location of Carmes, Au Petit Bonheur is sure to charm with its delicious food, inexpensive menu, and friendly, cozy atmosphere. Locals flock to this spot for its abundant portions and sweet terrace seating. The traditional menu changes every day, and is kept a modest length to work with only the freshest local ingredients available that week. A visit to Au Petit Bonheur will likely end in happiness, as its name successfully suggests. Just make sure to book in advance, as the place is often full.
Au Petit Bonheur, 20 Rue des Filatiers, Toulouse, France, +33 5 61 14 07 06
Bistrot des Carmes
Bistrot des Carmes serves traditional regional dishes, freshly homemade with high-quality local ingredients. The menu changes often according to the season, to be able to offer only the freshest ingredients. The dishes are presented with great care to both presentation and flavor. They also offer a great selection of drinks, including some of the best wines in the region and from all across France. Don’t miss the chance to dine on their small terrace for a wonderful view. Be sure to end on a sweet note with one of their homemade desserts.
Bistrot Des Carmes – 1 Rue des Filatiers, Toulouse, France, +33 5 62 17 70 14
Le Point d’Ogre
Le Point d’Ogre is the place to go if you want to taste the most quintessential dishes of traditional Toulouse, such as the famous cassoulet, a rich casserole made with pork, goose and duck sausages and white beans. They’re also known for their excellent grilled meat and fish dishes prepared in wood fire, as well as their comforting, creamy polenta with goat cheese. These tempting plates are all reasonably priced and served by a friendly staff. This makes it one of the best options for regional cuisine in the city.
Le Point d’Ogre, 7 Rue des Paradoux, Toulouse, France, +33 5 61 25 53 54
Situated in a quiet street in Carmes, this hidden gem is extremely popular with the locals. It’s easy to see why. The cozy decor at Popote makes you feel like you’re dining at a French grandmother’s house, and the simple, traditional food reflects the quality of the local market ingredients. Space is limited, but there is courtyard which will make your dinner particularly romantic. Just remember to reserve your table in advance.
La Popote, 10 Rue de la Pleau, Toulouse, France, +33 5 61 25 03 51
Locals will tell you this shop serves the best sandwiches in town; we’re inclined to agree. You’ll see the proof in the long line which often winds its way out the door of El Canaille. Many of their ingredients are freshly imported from Spain, which may be what gives these sandwiches a distinct deliciousness that stands out from other offerings in town. El Canaille also serves a wide variety of tasty snacks, including mixed plates of cheese, jam, anchovies, Serrano, tomatoes, and cured meats. All of these are perfect for happy hour alongside a glass of smooth Spanish wine. The tables inside are small, so consider takeaway if you haven’t reserved in advance.
El Canaille, 39 Place Carmes, Toulouse, France, +33 5 61 32 76 07
If you’re in the mood for pizza, head to Pizza Lopez for one of the best slices in the city. Their pies are all freshly made right in front of the customers, using only the best ingredients available. There is a great variety of flavors to choose from as well. The choices range from the most classic (margarita or neapolitan) to the most outlandish and alternative (Flamenkeush or gorgonzola). The staff is friendly, and service is usually quick. It’s the perfect place to drop in for a bite before bar-hopping in Carmes with friends.
Pizza Lopez, 2 Place des Carmes, Toulouse, France, +33 5 61 52 19 08
Restaurant, Japanese, Asian, Sushi, $$$
This sushi restaurant opened just recently, but it’s already taken Toulouse by storm. Whether you’re dining in, picking up or even ordering delivery, Kiu Sushi‘s traditional Japanese dishes are always fresh and flavorful. The menu offers a wide range of lunch and dinner options, from filling shrimp and chicken noodle bowls, to bento box lunches, to assorted sushi and sashimi platters. These are all at a reasonable price. You’ll also find a few original and experimental items on this menu, such as the sushi with banana and a tempting speculoos biscuit to enjoy as dessert.
Kiu Sushi, 37 Rue Pharaon, Toulouse, France, +33 5 61 62 00 03
Let Le Ksar be your guide to Maghreb through a tasty tour of traditional Moroccan cuisine. Guests here will first be struck by the splendidly decorated interior, then made at home in these rich surroundings by the welcoming staff. Their menu offers a wide selection ranging from classic dishes to original new pairings. No matter what you order you can expect a hearty portion. If you reserve in advance the chef might decide to treat you to secret specials not seen on the regular menu. These include the sweet and sour pigeon pastille with ground almonds. Just be sure to leave some room for their sweet pastries with dates, figs, and orange blossoms.
Le Ksar, 7 Rue Perchepinte, Toulouse, France, +33 5 61 53 72 20