7 place Saint-Pierre
05 61 21 55 64
One of many bars on place Saint-Pierre in the heart of Toulouse. Described by one fan as “not very Basque, but very rugby”, the bar Basque is a Toulousian institution. With bars on two floors and plenty of space, it’s a traditional rallying point and welcomes all rugby fans.
11 place Saint-Pierre
05 61 12 35 73
This bar has nicknamed itself ballon ovale , the oval ball, in reference to the traditional shape of a rugby ball. It has a big waterfront terrace that attracts a lively crowd, while inside a big screen shows matches. On Saturday nights they stay open until 5am.
Bar Chez Tonton
16 place Saint-Pierre
05 61 21 89 54
The rowdiest of Toulouse’s rugby venues is occasionally closed down by the police when customers have become too excitable.
Throwing your friends into the river seems to be the done thing.
La Couleur de la Culotte
5 place Saint-Pierre
05 34 44 97 01
“The Colour of Your Underpants” attracts a young student-biased clientele with low-priced cocktails and house music, but on match days it’s swamped by rugby fans. Décor is unusual, with Empire wallpaper and chaise-longues. They do a good deal on tapas with an aperitif.
De Danu Irish Bar
9 ru du Pont-Guilhemery (Canal du Midi)
05 61 62 58 79
De Danu has a well-deserved reputation as a primary sports bar in Toulouse. Three giant screens continuously show sport-mainly rugby.
The Frog & Rosbif
14 rue de l’industrie
05 6199 2857
One of six pubs and micobreweries around France, brewing their own special varieties of beer and welcoming sports fans. Big screens show all football and rugby matches
16 place Victor Hugo
05 61 23 02 03
Credit cards accepted
Right alongside the Victor Hugo market, this bar-restaurant is a must for sports fans. There’s a bull-fighting bar on one side of the building with a big screen TV at the back, and a restaurant on the other, with more tables outside.
Lots of the Toulouse rugby stars eat here, no doubt enjoying the regional speciality of parc noir (black pork), which features in many of the dishes.
90 route de Blagnac
05 61 57 00 57
Bar: 18.00-02.00 Tuesday-Saturday
Restaurant: 19.00-23.00 Tuesday-Saturdays
A few minutes walk from the Ernest-Wallon stadium is a rugby (and bullfighting) themed Basquais restaurant owned by Jean-Marie Cadieu, a Toulouse rugby legend.
Decorated in Spanish bodega style, and with a sunny terrasse and garden, the bar is ideal for post-match relaxation with the house sangria and a plate of tappas. If you feel like more food, go to the restaurant and try the house specialities of sepia a la plancha (spicy cuttlefish) or brandade de morue ( salt cod pureee).
Restaurant des Abattoirs Chez Carmen
97 allee Charles de Fitte
05 34 31 94 84
20.00-23.00: Tuesday- Saturday
Any restaurant that can claim Frederic Michalak as one of its customers, not to mention other Toulouse rugby players, has to be worth a look.
Directly opposite the entrance to the Abattoirs Modern Art Museum, Chez Carmen used to serve the meat supplied by the abattoir and now caters to art lovers as well as rugby players, who obviously enjoy dishes such as pig’s feet and tete de veau. It does have a reputation for doing the best meat in the city.
La Brasserie du Stade
114 rue des Troenes
05 34 42 24 20
12.00-15.00 Mon-Fri; 20.00-late Wed-Fri
Credit cards accepted
Michel Sarran’s Brasserie du Stade is built into the Ernest-Wallon stadium and is run by the same chef whose main city restaurant ( Restaurant Michel Sarran) has two Michelin stars.
This large dining room manages to be stylish and sporty, elegant yet relaxed. Sports photos in dark red frames stand out against the yellow walls, and along one wall is a trophy cabinet that includes a Heineken Cup won by Stade Toulousain.
The cuisine, though, is streets ahead of any other sporting restaurant anywhere. Typical dishes include magret de canard, with a tapenade crust and courgette flowers, or la nage de poisons et langoustines aux baies roses.
Just don’t ask for a player’s autograph
Updated October 2015
Copyright Miles & Miles Publishing 2015