Visiting a new country always means exploring local delicacies and trying something new. Although French food may seem quite familiar to us here in England, there is a difference between eating French food in France, and like a local, which seems like a worthy feat to try and explore. So, here are a few pointers for treats to look out for on this quest and how you can particularly succeed with this in sunny Toulouse.
Breakfast: French breakfast has to start with the French bakeries (‘patisserie’ or ‘boulangerie’ in French). Opening bright and early, the bakeries are usually teeming with fresh bread and pastries. If you’re lucky, you could even arrive just as the bread has left the oven, making the trip to the bakery even more satisfying. Aside from the normal array of French pastries, one gem to look out for is a ‘tresse’ (although the name of this pastry can vary between bakeries). A ‘tresse’ is a little plaited pastry dotted with chocolate chips and sometimes a custardy filling. All being said, it is a divine discovery and well worth a try if you can find one. You can then accompany your pastry by a good French coffee and you should be well set up for the day.
Lunch: Lunchtime is yet another good excuse to visit the bakeries, where you can grab a fresh baguette sandwich, or a plain baguette to make up your own concoction. Alternatively, the markets are another place to eat well and for a reasonable price. The static markets in French towns sometimes have restaurants in them, like the Victor Hugo market in Toulouse. The Victor Hugo market restaurants have set lunch menus using fresh produce from the markets, which is then beautifully cooked by chefs there. Three course menus are usually priced around 14 euros a head, you can also buy a jug of wine for a reasonable price to accompany your meal. So, there’s another good place to find some of the best food in French cities and for a good price.
Tea/Dinner (or whatever you want to call it): If you have ignored all my previous culinary suggestions, do not ignore this one. The most divine meal you shall ever have is located at the restaurant ‘L’Entrecôte’. This is a steak house with a set menu from which you cannot derive. The menu entails walnut salad, steak and thinly cut chips. However, it is the most incredible steak out there – trust me! You can’t book a table, and yes, it’s a bit pricey, but it’s well worth it. There are several of these restaurants dotted around France which certainly demonstrates the French can do steak well. Another suggestion, for those who are non-steak fans, is sushi. Sushi is starting to make a trend in certain cities in France with Toulouse being one of them. Nonetheless, wherever you are, it’s sure you won’t be too far from finding somewhere wonderful to eat!