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Al fresco tapas

The Pink City is so close to Spain that you wont go far without encountering a dish of tapas. As soon as the first rays of spring sunshine appear youll find the people of Toulouse outside bars and restaurants sharing drinks and little bowls of food. So, would you like to sample foodie delights in the sun too?

LEsquinade in the sunny South-West

Once the sun starts to shine on the Pink City, nothing beats sitting en terrasse with friends trying delicacies. The place to meet is l’Esquinade where the sun seeps into the chef’s cooking. And because this place knows the way to a customer’s heart they’ve set up tables in the Tiercerettes square, just outside.  With any luck, there will be one available.  Once seated order a pitcher full of cocktail of the week, a nice big serving of patatas bravas, plancha grilled vegetables, seafood and foie gras and share with friends until late into the night.

Pintxos pandemonium at lExtrapade

Meet on the other side of the Garonne river in a spot as lively as the one above: the Estrapade. The restaurant borrowed the name.  It just threw in the X from pintxos (the Basque name for tapas) to become l’Extrapade. The food comes in tiny morsels – often little portions atop slices of bread – enjoyed outside in the sunshine or sheltered under a big marquee.  With a glass of red. What’s the best thing to order? Try the duck breast with green pepper Pintxos, the three cheeses or the ricotta stuffed pepper.  And you will fall head over heels for the mini foie gras burgers!

Chez Vincente – the friendly bodega

In this place, there’s more room outside than there is inside at the bar. The plates of food are immaculately put together but stepping inside the restaurant is like coming home, Chez Vincente– it’s a summer thing! Sit outside the Dalbade Church with a glass of white or rosé wine and sample cuisine that sits between Spanish and Toulouse culture.  Tapas, cured meats, unique cassolettes and homemade cheese boards – this place celebrates sharing. Let the sunshine in!

Tapas delicacies at lAvant Marius

Chef Nicolas Brousse wanted to transform his bistro cuisine into something more delicate. l’Avant Marius is the result of this experimentation. It opened a year and a half ago, next door to big brother, Monsieur Marius, which already has a great reputation.  People pour in after work and sit outside eating the chef’s delicious creations. Diners can’t get enough of the bold, quirky taste combinations: tuna, foie gras, soya, noir de Bigorre rillettes, apricots and prunes.  However, please be aware that there are only 20 seats outside.  And, as such, it is better to book a table…

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