Best restaurants in Cote d'Azur, Provence & Languedoc
If you are looking for a good place to eat in South France, then follow the Go South France guide to the best bistros and restaurants in South France. The South of France has such a diverse range of good food and seasonal ingredients that you would think that the region would be awash with great restaurants. But with all the good Chefs heading off to Paris, Cote d'Azur and London, you often have to search hard to find a good place to eat.
Best South of France restaurants
Here is our selection of the best South France restaurants that we have eaten at recently.
Best South France restaurants: Auberge du Vieux Puits, Michelin star restaurant, South France
If you love excellent food and wine, then there can be no finer restaurant in the South of France as Auberge du Vieux Puits. This Michelin star restaurant is run by the celebrated French chef, Gilles Goujon; and it has just received its 3rd Michelin star award.
I can not recommend this restaurant highly enough. The food, the service, the wine, the cheese . . . all were excellent. See our article on Auberge du Vieux Puits for more details.
Restaurants in South France: Cuisine Jardiniere de Saisons, Carcassonne
Robert Rodriguez'' restaurant in Carcassonne is described in the Michelin guide as "An authentic bistro, friendly and beautifully retro. The chef prefers to use organic products and dishes are very generous and indulgent (cassoulet, pies, etc.). In short, we enjoy!". Well you can''t get much better praise than that. If you are looking for authentic French cooked food in an environment that is, well, shall we say eclectic!, then this is worth a shot. The chef has a huge mustache (and I mean huge!) and the restaurant is full of retro antiques and old French singers playing on the stereo. Robert Rodriguez loves his Languedocien cuisine, so the menu contains plenty of meat, fish and game served with a dash of Michelin flair. Robert Rodriguez uses only organic, locally sourced, pesticide-free produce. He also runs a grocery opposite. Closed Wednesday & Sunday evenings.
Cuisine Jardiniere de Saisons: Address: 39 rue Coste Reboulh, Carcassonne. Tel: +33 4 68 47 37 80; Website: www.restaurantrobertrodriguez.com
Les Vagues beach-side South France restaurant
Les Vagues beach-side South France restaurant on the Mediterranean coast near Cap d''Agde is the perfect spot if you want to have an excellent meal out overlooking the sea and beach.
To say that Les Vagues overlooks the beach is not entirely accurate. Les Vagues is actually built on the beach.
Best South France restaurants: L'Entre Pots restaurant, Pezenas
L''Entre Pots restaurant, Pezenas, is without doubt the best restaurant in Pezenas, indeed in my opinion I would even describe it as one of the best gourmet restaurants in South France. Yes, it is (relatively) expensive, but when it comes to restaurants in South France, "you get what you pay for".
The thing that I most like about L''Entre Pots are the different flavour combinations. I really have not tasted food like it (except at Gilles Goujon's Auberge du Vieux Puits). Praise indeed, but well justified.
Best South France restaurants: Chez Saskia, Carcassonne
This little restaurant next to the Hotel de la Cite inside Carcassonne's castle walls, offers classic French dining. Here you will find a proper cassoulet (not the poor imitations cooked up down the road). Other dishes that feature on the menu include lemon sole in beurre blanc and faux filet in a pepper sauce. The walls are covered in photos of the famous faces who have stayed at the neighbouring hotel, including Jacques Chirac, Winston Churchill, Yves Montand and many more. This restaurant inside Carcassonne's medieval city is open 7 days a week during the summer, but it is closed on Tuesday & Wednesday outside summer.
Chez Saskia: Address: place Auguste Pont, La cite, 11000 Carcassonne. Tel: +33 4 68 71 98 71.
Les Palmiers restaurant, Pezenas, South France
Les Palmiers restaurant in Pezenas, South France is probably one of the best mid-priced restaurants in Pezenas. The restaurant is set in a great location in an open-air courtyard in the heart of the old windy streets of Pezenas'' historic quarter.
You literally dine out under the stars, beneath 3 huge cream canopies strung in between the two adjoining properties.
Best South France restaurants: Cafe du Port
Cafe du Port is a very popular bistro on the banks of the Canal du Midi at Paraza. The restaurant specialises in home cooked food (don''t expect a fast service as everything is cooked fresh in-house).
The menu is Mediterranean and relies heavily on seasonal market vegetables and regional products. Cafe du Port Canal du Midi restaurant is open daily from Spring to October.
Best restaurants South France: La Marquiere, Carcassonne
I have never eaten here, but friends of ours reckon that it is the pick of the restaurants in Carcassonne's medieval city. This family-run bistro serves classy, beautifully presented French cuisine in an old shuttered Auberge.
The head chef is Marius Bernard, who has run this Carcassonne restaurant since 1985. Inside, the restaurant contains the original wooden beams and fireplace. The menu at La Marquiere contains many regional dishes such as cassoulet, duck breasts, fillets of Charolais beef, salmon and trout tartare with ginger and citrus, or a Bourride of monkfish on crushed tomato toast. When our friends went they both had the Foie gras Raviolis with mushroom ceps sauce which they said was sublime.
The restaurant has a huge wine list and it is supposedly the best wine cellar in the region. There is a really nice courtyard which is a great place to sit from April through to October.
This restaurant is closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays out of the summer season. During the summer La Marquiere is open from 12.00-2.30pm & 19.00-10.30pm.
La Marquiere restaurant: Address: 13 rue St-Jean, La cite, 11000 Carcassonne. Tel: +33 4 68 71 52 00. Website: www.lamarquiere.com
Best restaurants South of France: Auberge de La Croisade
The renowned gourmet restaurant of Auberge de La Croisade is situated by the side of the Canal du Midi in the village of La Croisade. The Auberge offers a very good value leisurely lunch menu and the setting is top class with views across the valley of the Aude to the Pyrenees. The menu is surprisingly well priced and uses only fresh local produce.
The wine list features many local wines from the Corbieres, St Chinian and the Minervois. The head chef was trained at the Hotel Crillon in Paris and at the Dorchester and Claridges in London. The Auberge is located in a converted Canal workers'' building and was opened in 1993. Youcan either sit in the beautifully restored dining room or in the conservatory, overlooking the Canal.
During the summer there is a shady terrace with fantastic views. La Croisade is a small village situated between the villages of Cruzy and Ouveillan. Auberge de La Croisade is located 17 km north of Narbonne, 23 km west of Beziers and 50 km east of Carcassonne. It is situated ninety minutes by boat along the Canal du Midi from Capestang or Le Somail, and can be reached on foot or by bicycle along the towpath from Capestang or Argellers.
The Auberge is open all year, apart from ten days in late November and three weeks in February. The restaurant is very popular with locals and you are advised to book in advance. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner from Thursday to Sunday inclusive and closed ou Tuesdays.
Auberge de La Croisade: Address: Port Seriege, Hameau de la Croisade, 34310 CRUZY. Tel: +33 04 67 89 36 36. Website: www.auberge-de-la-croisade.com
South France restaurants: La Table de Roueire
Another high end restaurant worth mentioning is the Table de Roueire; which is situated between Quarante and Capestang. The restaurant has a superb terrace overlooking fields towards Creissan, which is lovely for summer lunches. The head chef prepares daily menus made fresh on the premises and he is very skilled at combining wild flowers and herbs in the dishes. Table de Roueire is open daily 12.00 am â€“ 10:30 pm
Vinipolis restaurant & wine cellar
The Vinipolis restaurant and wine centre is a welcome addition to the South France wine industry. The enterprising wine cooperative of Florensac opened the Vinipolis complex in 2008. Set in a shiny glass building, Vinipolis provides informative tours and wine tastings, together with an excellent brasserie next door.
Table d'Emily, South France restaurant
What a great little place this is. Tucked in the narrow streets in the heart of the port town of Marseillan, this restaurant was recommended to us by many friends who raved about it. It took us around 3 years to actually get to go there, but we were very impressed. The lunch time menus start from around â‚¬19 a head. We went full out and had the taster menu which was around â‚¬49. This menu combined oysters, St Jacques with Iberico ham, duck, beef and chacuterie in a never ending series of dishes. The wine is pretty good but a little on the dear side. We took a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet, followed by a Saint Chinian wine. But the most amazing thing is the cheese board. I thought that I had died and gone to heaven.
Table d''Emily is located at 8 place Carnot, Marseillan. Tel: 04 67 77 63 59. I would advise you to book ahead (certainly for the evening). The restaurant is closed during November and I think that it is also not open on a Tuesday (if memory serves me correctly). Table d''Emily seats around 50, with an extra 15-20 seats outside in the courtyard during the summer months.
I would say that Table d''Emily restaurant is probably one of the best restaurants in Marseillan. Other notable restaurants in Marseillan include:
La Maison de Camille, this restaurant/cafe is run by very friendly people and is located right on the port side. The decor is very stylish and La Maison de Camille is a nice place to have a drink during the day or have a simple meal at night. We have only ever had drinks here and crepes for our boys, but I would like to try it during the evening. It would be a great place just to watch the world go by.
Le Chateau du Port (9 Quai de la Resistance; Tel: +33 (0)4 67 77 31 67; Web:www.chateauduport.com). Friends bought us a meal here as a joint birthday gift. It was a few years back when we were really struggling for money whilst we were building up the website, so it was very much appreciated. I cannot remember much about it, other than the wine was extremely good and the food was a good standard, (but without being spectacular). The inside is very chic and it is located overlooking the port (on the quieter right side). We have friends who always go there and they say that they have never had a bad meal yet.
L'Auberge du Presbytere, South France restaurant
This restaurant has one of the most amazing views. It is located on a rocky outcrop in the hills above Roujan. The local village is called Vailhan and we often go here to swim in the lake that is below the village. We have also been to a Music Festival in the village (a very drunken night). It is a sleepy sort of village and you do need a map and compass to find it (it is about 5kms along country roads out of the back of Roujan). We took two of our sons here, just before I was going away on a work contract. It was the middle of August, the sun was shining and we were sat outside having fantastic food.
The lunchtime menu is small, but you can easily find something that you like. All the produce is locally sourced and cooked very well. They tend to overdo the ''foaming'' but the taste combinations are very good. Wine is the usual restaurant price. But the most interesting thing that happened was that I was stung on the underside of my foot by something (it must have been a hornet) and then when I was on the plane the next day my foot swelled up like I had Elephantitus. I do not know what they feed the bees and wasps in Vailhan, but it must be good. So all in all, I would recommend this place for a treat. I think that it would also be very nice to go here in the evening (less killer hornets around at night).
L''Auberge du Presbytere is located at 1 Rue de l''Eglise, 34320 Vailhan, France; Tel: +33 4 67 24 76 49. The restaurant is quite well sign-posted when you get into Vailhan. Just head for the church.