The Best Wine Bars in Toulouse
As France’s fourth-largest city, it should come as no surprise to hear that Toulouse is home to a wonderfully diverse range of cultural and culinary experiences. From its bustling food markets to historical buildings, calm green spaces, and top-class museums, Toulouse possesses something for everyone. But did you know that Toulouse is also an excellent city for wine?
Over 200 varieties of wine are produced across France, though visitors often flock to the most famous areas of Champagne, Bordeaux, Provence, and Burgundy. Now, don’t get us wrong, the wines coming out of those destinations are extraordinary! But it is unfortunate that other great wine regions and tasting experiences get overlooked as a result.
Choosing to delve into some of France’s less well-known centers of wine production normally results in uncovering some sensational wines (at very good prices!) and holiday time spent in beautiful areas free from large tourist crowds.
Toulouse is located in the Haute-Garonne department of the Occitanie region of southwestern France and smack-dab in the middle of the wine-growing region of Southwest France.
Haute-Garonne is home to many fantastic wineries and in areas such as Fronton, you’ll find a wine tradition that stretches back to Roman times. Some of the vineyards here were planted before Bordeaux!
There is, therefore, plenty of exploring to do from Toulouse (more on that later). But excellent wine and wine tastings can also be found within the city of Toulouse itself.
Toulouse offers a nightlife that is second to none. From high-end, Michelin-starred restaurants to charming hole-in-the-wall bistros, you’ll always have options in Toulouse when it comes to catching up with friends over a drink or enjoying quality food. And within this milieu of bars and eateries, Toulouse boasts some first-rate wine bars.
So, join us today as we give you the inside scoop on some of our favorite Toulouse wine bars. But if you decide that you’re going to stay at home for a glass of wine or want to buy a bottle for a picnic by the Garonne river, why not have a read of our guide to Buying Wine Like a Local in Toulouse.
Le 5 Wine Bar: The Best Wine Bar in the World
Le 5 Wine Bar (formerly known as N° 5 Wine Bar) is simply a must-visit spot for wine lovers in Toulouse. This wine bar, located in the center of the city, is home to over 20,000 bottles of wine and offers over 500 wines by the glass.
Just some of the awards Le 5 Wine Bar has picked up: Best Wine Bar in the World 2017, 2018, and 2019; Best Wine Bar in Europe 2016, 2017, and 2018; Best Wine By the Glass 2017; Best Wine List in the World 2017 and 2021; Most Original Wine List in Europe 2017 (awards from Wine Spectator, World of Wine, and World of Fine Wines).
Their innovative system of self-serve wine dispensers means that you can treat yourself to wines that aren’t usually on by-the-glass menus. Plus, the multiple serving sizes mean that you don’t have to commit to a full glass of something you’re not sure you’ll love. You can try samples or half glasses of many different wines while in search of your new favorite.
The bar also offers “Oenological Journeys.” Join them for a fascinating journey into the world of wine and learn all about how to analyze wine and identify complex flavors.
Le 5 Wine Bar’s vaulted brick cellar is the perfect, cozy spot for wine enthusiasts to dive into the dizzying array of French and international wines on offer.
The bar is also a popular choice for food and specializes in tapas dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients. The sommeliers here are happy to recommend wines to your taste and let you know what dishes would pair perfectly with them.
⬩5 Rue de la Bourse, 31000 Toulouse
Au Père Louis
Au Père Louis has been open since 1889 and is the only bar in Toulouse featured on the city’s register of historic monuments. Popular with locals, this charming bar offers a fine selection of wines, historic 19th-century decor, and a lunch menu filled with classic, unpretentious French dishes.
At night, the menu transforms into platters of cheese and charcuterie, perfect for nibbling while you sip.
This is the ideal choice for visitors hoping to enjoy a glass of good wine in an old-fashioned, quintessentially French bar. Au Père Louis was even featured on an episode of Rick Stein’s French Odyssey.
In this bar, the focus is on conversation and “convivialité” – you won’t hear any music played here – so it’s the right choice if you’re looking for a quiet spot to spend time with friends.
We recommend trying the house specialty, quinquina, an apéritif of fortified wine flavored with cinchona bark and other herbs. French soldiers used to drink this as a cure for malaria! These days, we think it’s a cure for the modern world.
Note: We’ve heard that ownership of Au Père Louis will be changing in June 2022, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for changes to one of our favorite haunts.
⬩45 Rue des Tourneurs, 31000 Toulouse
La Cave se Rebiffe
This underground Corsican wine bar is run by local artist, Marc. Always offering a warm welcome, you’ll get excellent recommendations when sampling wine at La Cave se Rebiffe.
In addition to the large wine list, the bar also offers tasty food, specializing in Corsican tapas dishes. At La Cave se Rebiffe you’ll find a warm atmosphere and a constant flow of local and international visitors.
If you’re lucky enough to be in town on Tuesday, you can catch one of the bar’s weekly live music sessions.
⬩2 Rue Joutx Aigues, 31000 Toulouse
Located in the heart of Toulouse’s historic Saint Cyprien district (just a short walk from the Saint-Cyprien – République Metro station), Le Botanique is a relaxed wine bar specializing in organic and natural wines.
Produced without the use of pesticides or herbicides and with few or no additives, these wines are selected from both French wineries and wineries in Germany, Austria, and elsewhere. The strong wine selection is complemented by a simple food menu based on local produce.
After a visit to Le Botanique, we recommend taking a walk through the Saint Cyprien district. The neighborhood is one of Toulouse’s oldest, its history stretching back to the medieval period.
Today, the area possesses a cosmopolitan atmosphere and a pleasant blend of old and contemporary architecture.
⬩63 Allées Charles de Fitte, 31300 Toulouse
Les Petits Crus
Situated just across the river from Saint Cyprien, you’ll find Les Petits Crus. This small wine bar tucked away on Rue des Couteliers is all about the harmonious coupling of delicious wines and cheeses. The cheeses they select are all made from raw milk, and their wines are 100% organic.
Les Petits Crus’ menu allows you to select your pairings based on a theme. Opt for the Les Passionnels theme and you’ll get strong cheeses that offer explosive flavors; take the Les Voluptueux theme, on the other hand, and you’ll get a creamy, delicate selection.
For each theme, there is a specially-chosen wine pairing for each cheese, which helps you explore how different wines and cheeses work together.
Tasting menus can also be accompanied by charcuterie and tapas for a more substantial meal.
⬩17 rue des Couteliers, 31000 Toulouse
Les Passionnés wine bar and restaurant is a really refreshing choice. Classic French dishes are given a modern twist, and all dishes are based upon delicious, fresh local ingredients.
The wine selection on offer is bold. Here you’ll find smatch batch productions, and wines you won’t find on the menu of your average city center brasserie.
Located by the side of the canal Brienne (still near to the city center, but located in an area mostly frequented by locals), you can eat outside when the weather is nice.
⬩31 B allee de Brienne, 31000, Toulouse
L’Alimentation Bar à Vin
Opened in 2015, L’Alimentation is dedicated to championing winegrowers and local food producers. Situated in a good central location on the Place de la Bourse, L’Alimentation offers a relaxed, modern atmosphere and plenty of seating both indoors and out.
This wine bar also has the distinction of being open 7 days a week!
If you’re impressed with the wine and food on offer, head to their shop, Le Foodstore, at 3 bis Rue Maurice Fonvieille; here you’ll find quality produce and an ample selection of good wines to choose from – the perfect stop before a quiet night at home.
⬩24 Pl. de la Bourse, 31000 Toulouse
The Maison Sarment boasts of offering a taste of authenticity. The owners only offer wines from producers with whom they’ve formed meaningful working relationships.
The food is similarly well-selected – quality is judiciously guaranteed. If you are part of a large group or organizing a special event, the cellar of the Maison Sarment can be reserved and you can even enjoy a tasting session with their sommelier (who also speaks English).
An excellent place to sit and enjoy a quality glass of wine. When the weather is nice, outdoor seating looks onto the vibrant atmosphere surrounding the Marché des Carmes.
⬩17 Place des Carmes, 31000 Toulouse
Our final choice for our list of the Best Wine Bars in Toulouse is Le Salmanazar, located on the Rue Bouquières in the historic neighborhood of Carmes.
Those in love with history will really enjoy sitting down for a drink in Le Salmanazar. The bar’s refurbished vaulted cellar is built around the Roman remains of the old city wall.
Hosting various cultural events and wine tastings, Le Salmanazar is an important hub in the local community. A cozy, evocative, and welcoming place to enjoy a fine drink.
⬩15 rue Bouquières, 31000 Toulouse
Exploring Wines From Around Toulouse
Visiting Toulouse as part of a wine tour? Or maybe you’re based in the city and plan on arranging a trip to the countryside? 50 km northeast of Toulouse you’ll find the vineyards of the Gaillac region.
With fields of grapes running along the river Tarn and around the medieval towns of Cordes-sur-Ciel and Albi, these vineyards are set in idyllic surroundings and make for a wonderful day out.
Visit the Vins de Gaillac website to learn about the 2,000-year history of wine production in this area and check for regular events, such as wine festivals, held annually within the wineries. Learn about the gaillacoise, the ancestral way that winemakers in this region make delicious, sparkling wines.
A Toulouse wine always worth seeking out when traveling in the region is Fronton. Fronton wines use the Négrette variety of grape which is almost completely unique to this region.
The Négrette grapes give Fronton wines a really distinctive character; powerful violet and licorice aromas first come through on the nose, but they are given balance by a more delicate floral quality.
Fronton wines can be made in a variety of styles, from light and fruity to full-bodied reds with strong tannic flavors – and don’t forget the crisp, dry rosé!
Whatever your tastes, if you want to drink fantastic wine in Toulouse and its surrounds, you’ll never be left wanting — it’s a winning destination for any wine enthusiast.
If you’d like to explore Toulouse’s wine bars in the company of a certified French Wine Scholar and Toulouse resident, then join us on our very own Wine Bar Tour of Toulouse.
This brings to a close our run-through of the Best Wine Bars in Toulouse. If you have any questions about this blog or our tours, please get in touch.