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10 Best Beziers restaurants to eat at in 2024

The best Beziers restaurants [Photo courtesy of https://www.instagram.com/restaurantpicapica/]

 

I live about 20 mins from Beziers and we probably go into the city about once a month to watch the Rugby, do a bit of shopping and grab something to eat. When I started writing this article, I was thinking that Beziers is a bit of a wasteland for good restaurants. But the more I thought back to some of the good meals I have had in Beziers over the years and did a little bit of research; I actually realised that Beziers is undergoing a bit of a renaissance in its restaurant scene. 

Beziers is currently home to three of the best Chefs in Languedoc (Pierre Augé at La Maison Petit Pierre, the 3 Michelin star Chef, Gilles Goujon, who has returned to Beziers and opened L'Alter-Native restaurant and Fabien Lefebvre, who runs the Pica-Pica restaurant in Beziers).

Beziers is also home to some interesting dining experiences, from small restaurants aboard a canal barge, to market place restaurants where you can buy your meat or fish from a stall holder and then take it directly to a Chef, who will cook up a delicious meal for you.

Beziers is ideally located for a restaurant scene. The city is located 10 kms from the Mediterranean sea, so there is always a good supply of fresh fish. The Etang du Thau is also close-by and this produces the best quality oysters and mussels in France. Beziers is also surrounded by the Languedoc wine region, the largest wine producing region in the World (see The Best wines of the Languedoc wine region). 2 hours north of Beziers, you will find the Aubrac Plateau, where the famous Aubrac cattle graze on lush grass, which helps produce some of the finest beef and steaks in France. Finally, the higher altitude areas of the Corbieres hills, the Haut Languedoc National Park and the Cevennes, are a fantastic source of Goats cheese, herbs and organic vegetables. Basically, Beziers has it all. But why has the restaurant scene in Beziers never really taken off?

 

Restaurants Beziers France

 

I think one of the first reasons, is that although Beziers used to be a rich town, especially when it was exporting tonnes of Wine throughout France, in recent years it has been suffering from economic decline. There are pockets of wealthy people in Beziers, but in general people do not have an awful lot of money. Thankfully, in recent years, the fortunes of the City seem to be turning around. Beziers remains the cheapest place to buy property on the whole of the Mediterranean coast in France. As a result, investors have been piling into the city from nearby Montpellier and also Paris. Neighbourhoods have been smartened up and the whole city centre has had a face lift. This has really changed the atmosphere of the town

Secondly, the problem with the restaurants in Beziers (and a lot of Southern French towns) is that there is an awful lot of pretty mediocre restaurants. We have a couple of French friends that run restaurants and what they tell us is that the 35 hour week really hammers restaurants. The kitchen staff only have the time to either do the starter and main meal prep, or to do the main meal and desert. There is simply not enough hours in the day for them to prepare the whole meal. So what basically happens is that most of the deserts are bought in or some of the dishes are made from vacuum-packed bags.

The other problem that restaurants in South France face is the impact of the tourist season. There is a massive spike in trade during the summer months and then during the winter and autumn, the restaurants have to slim down and lay-off staff. The hotel and restaurant staff in France are also impacted by the peculiarity of the French social security system. There is actually a built-in dis-incentive for them to work on a full time annual contract. They can earn more money on "chomage" (unemployment benefit) during the winter months, than they would receive on reduced hours working in a restaurant. You can't blame the staff, you can't really blame the restaurants - but the net effect is that most restaurants do not build up a settled team of people. 

 

 

Best Beziers restaurants

I do believe that over the next few years, the restaurant scene in Beziers will transform. As more and more people with a bit more disposable income come into the town and the improvements to the city centre start to attract people from the surrounding towns and villages back into Beziers, I think you will see a growth of new restaurants and pop-up establishments. If you are planning a trip to the Languedoc in 2024, I have listed below the 10 best restaurants in Beziers that are worth checking out. I have eaten 6 of these restaurants and the other recommendations come from two of my wife's friends who are active members in the Ladies in Languedoc group (or 'Lushes in Languedoc' and 'Ladies out to Lunch' as I shamefully refer to them).

If you do come to Beziers and you find a great little restaurant, please let me know and I will a.) go and check it out and b.) add it to the list.

 

 

#1 Best Beziers restaurants - La Maison de Petit Pierre

 

maison petit pierre restaurant beziers

 

The Petit Pierre restaurant, Beziers, first came to prominence when the Chef and patron, Pierre Augé, won the Top Chef TV title in France in 2010. Top Chef is the French equivalent of Masterchef. Augé has since gone on to win this coveted title 3 times, this most recent victory being in April 2016. What is perhaps surprising is that Augé has yet to achieve a Michelin star, but this is sure to come soon. 

What is surprising about Petit Pierre when you visit it, is that it is not the sort of stuffy, formal restaurant you may expect. It is relaxed and friendly. The waiters are very knowledgeable and will always stop for a chat and discuss the dishes with you. The seating for the restaurant is mainly in the patio garden, with vines hanging down, parasols and distressed wooden tables. Inside you have wooden chopping boards hanging on the walls and plenty of colourful cushions.

We ate here with friends and we had a really good meal. Everything  is cooked really well and the presentation of the food is lovely. The restaurant doesn't really look much from the outside, but when you step through onto the terrace, it is a really nice space. The one thing you must do if you visit Maison La Petit Pierre is to visit the cheese shop which is next door. This has to be one of the best cheese shops I have ever been in. Our French neighbours drive the 20km to Beziers every weekend, just to buy their cheese.

 

petit pierre366c

 

Lunch at Petit Pierre starts from around €15 and Dinner ranges from €40-€70. There are 4 menu choices: €15, €23 (the three course lunch menu), €40 and €70 (which includes 6 courses + amuse bouche). 

You will find the Petit Pierre restaurant at 22 Avenue Pierre Verdier, Beziers, France. This is very close to the Bullfighting arena in Beziers.

For reservations pleases call : +33 4 67 30 91 85 or make a reservation through the restaurant website: La Maison Petit Pierre restaurant

 

 

 

#2 Restaurants in Beziers: L'Alter-Native

l alter native restaurant beziersQuentin Pellestor-Veyrier & Gilles Goujan, L'Alter-Native restaurant Beziers [Photo courtesy of https://www.lalternativegoujon.fr]

 

Gilles Goujon is a bit of a superstar in French cooking. He came to prominence with his 3 star Michelin restaurant, Auberge du Vieux Puits, which is located in the Corbieres hills in Southern France (see our review of Auberge du Vieux Puits). He is probably one of the top 5 chefs in the South of France at the moment (alongside Hélène Darroze at Villa La Coste in Provence, Alexandre Mazzia at AM in Marseille, Mauro Colagreco, at the Mirazur restaurant in Menton, Dimitri Droisneau at the 3 star La Villa Madie in Cassis and Jacques Chibois, at the 2 star La Bastide St Antoine near Grasse).

Gilles Goujon was brought up in Beziers and this was where he first started his journey in food, first becoming a waiter and then training as a chef. I always think that with a name like Goujan, you are always destined to end up being a Chef.

Goujan eventually moved to Cote d'Azur (working at the 3 star Le Moulin de Mougins) and then to the 2 star Petit Nice restaurant in Marseille. In 1992, he set up his own restaurant in the tiny hamlet of Fontjoncouse, in Corbieres hills in the Aude. It was a minor miracle that anyone got to hear of the Auberge du Vieux Puits, given its location, but soon customers started to flock to this restaurant, aided by Goujan's regular appearances on French TV and his award of the Legion of Honour in 2015. Auberge du Vieux Puits gained its first Michelin star in 1997, a second star in 2001and a 3rd star in 2010.

 

l alter native beziers restaurant

 

I first became aware that Gilles Goujon was setting up a new restaurant in Beziers in about 2019. I had a client who was renting her apartment above the old L'Octopus restaurant in Beziers, which had closed in about 2018. As I was visiting the apartment to take photos, I bumped into the this burly looking bloke who was taking a wheel barrow full of bricks into the ground floor of the apartment building. When I got further up the stairs, the client told me:

 

". . . Oh that is Gilles, I think he is a famous Chef. But he has been working day and night knocking down walls in the restaurant . . ."

 

So you have one of the most famous Chefs in France, with 3 Michelin stars, humping building materials about on a building site for his new restaurant. Hats off to the bloke. Talk about getting your hands dirty.

L'Alter-Native restaurant officially opened up its doors in 2020 and it was awarded its first Michelin star in the same year. Gilles Goujan oversees the restaurant with his executive chef, Quentin Pellestor-Veyrier. The restaurant also employs Goujan's two sons, Enzo and Axel.

The restaurant menu features fish from Goujon's own "aquaculture" farm and vegetables grown in his permaculture garden. This is not as strange of bizarre as it sounds. The theory behind aquaponics, is that the bacteria in the special soil transforms the ammonia contained in the fish waste into nutrients, which is then absorbed by the vegetables. So the fish breeding feeds the vegetables. Goujon also features produce sourced from various farms and gardens in the Aude region. 

I have to say, I have heard mixed reviews from people I know who have eaten there. They either rave about it, or they were disappointed. It is very expensive (for Beziers) and the portions are small. But I think that when you are dealing with Michelin star food, it is not going to be cheap and you are not going to leave with your stomach bursting. It is more about the experience and the whole theatre of the food. What I would say though is that the restaurant is smaller than you imagine, but there is a nice courtyard space where you can dine out in the warmer weather. 

 

l alter native beziers restaurant terrace

 

 

The other thing I would say is that Beziers needs a Michelin star restaurant. It lost is only Michelin star restaurants back in 2017 when the L'Ambassade restaurant had its Michelin star taken away and then in 2018, when L'Octopus restaurant closed its doors. A city of 80,000 people needs to have a marquee restaurant, especially one run by a Chef with the name recognition of Gilles Goujon. It is all part of the effort of turning Beziers around. This is a city which has everything. It is the oldest town in France, it lies just 10kms from the Mediterranean coast, it has an airport, a TGV train station, 2 motorways run past the city, it holds one of the biggest festivals in the South of France and it is surrounded by the largest wine producing region in the World. So my wallet may not stretch to L'Alter-Native every month (or even every 3 months), but I am glad that it is around.

You will find L'Alter Native restaurant at 12 Rue Boieldieu, 34500 Béziers, a small street that runs parallel with Allées Paul Riquet in the centre of Beziers. The restaurant is open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch and evening meal (lunch only on Sunday). The menu starts at €75 euros and the 7 course taster menu is €129 euros - which I don't think is too bad for a Michelin star restaurant.

For reservations please call +33 04 67 49 90 00 or visit www.lalternativegoujon.fr

 

 

 

#3 Restaurants in Beziers: Pica Pica

octopus restaurant beziers425cFabien Lefebvre at work at Pica Pica restaurant Beziers [Photo courtesy of https://www.instagram.com/restaurantpicapica/]

 

I really like Pica-Pica. I have eaten at this restaurant in Beziers a couple of times and I have really enjoyed both visits. I would perhaps describe Pica-Pica as more of a tapas or apero-style restaurant. The restaurant is run by Fabien Lefebvre, who used to own the L'Octopus restaurant (see above). Lefebvre is a native of Beziers who was taught to cook by his grandmother, who lived in nearby coastal village of Valras. After training in Cote d'Azur and at the Hotel Bristol in Paris, Lefebvre opened L'Octopus in 2004 and he ran it until he left in 2017. The restaurant continued under a different Head Chef for another year or so, before it closed its doors. Lefebvre was warded the prestigious "Meilleur Ouvrier de France"  in 2004, in recognition of the level his cooking had reached. Lefebvre opened Pica Pica restaurant in 2019.

The concept behind Pica-Pica is that it is a sharing restaurant with Brasserie standard food. So basically think high-level tapas. The restaurant can seat 100  people inside and 80 on the terrace outside. Pica-Pica is featured in the Michelin guide at a level of BIB Gourmand. Apparently, the Bib Gourmand is a separate category of Michelin stars, specifically dedicated to more pocket-friendly establishments. So it recognises excellent cooking at family-run restaurants and mid-priced eateries. This is how the Michelin guide describes Pica-Pica:

 

Fabien Lefebvre, formerly Michelin-starred at Octopus, is the chef behind this delicious and friendly brasserie. He serves up uninhibited Mediterranean cuisine, cleverly blended with other influences. The menu features a selection of tapas (hummus with cumin and pita bread; croquetas de jamón), picas such as lamb kebab with za'atar and sumac, or grilled octopus. More elaborate dishes include semi-salted cod, watercress and gnocchi, lemon and caviar emulsion. And then there are the tasty desserts. A down-to-earth concept, with sharing in mind. The lunch menu is a steal. A resounding success.

[SOURCE: Guide Michelin 2024]

 

pica pica food

 

I like two things about Pica-Pica. The interior décor is quite funky and the there is also a lot of light. It is not some dark gloomy restaurant. Secondly, I like the fact that in the back room, you can sit and watch the Chefs cook up your food. There is an open kitchen and you begin to appreciate how much time and care that they take over their food and also how many staff it takes in the restaurant to prepare your food. If anybody you are with ever grumbles about the price of the food, you just have to sweep your hand around the entire kitchen and say "Voila!".

Another thing that really impressed me about Pica-Pica is the staff. They are friendly, polite, good fun and incredibly knowledgeable about the food. Also, it is not some poncy place where they look down on you if you order a bottle of wine below €50 euros. It is more than acceptable to sit there with a local Alaryk IPA beer (which is brewed in Beziers) and enjoy your food. In fact, if you do order an Alaryk, you will get an appreciative nod and smile from the waiter.

 

pica pica beziers restaurantPica Pica restaurant Beziers [Photo courtesy of https://www.pica-pica.fr/]

 

You will find Pica Pica restaurant at 20 Bd Jean Jaurès, 34500 Béziers, which is on Place Jean Jaurès. The restaurant is open 7 days a week for lunch (12–1:45 PM) and evening meal (7–9:45 PM). The inside is air conditioned, but I think in the summer it is nice to sit out on the terrace and enjoy Place Jean Jaurès, which has been refurbished, bringing it back to its former elegance. 

For reservations please call: +33 07 85 98 96 24 or visit the website: www.pica-pica.fr

 

 

 

# 4 Bezier restaurants: Le Taj Mahal, Indian restaurant Beziers

taj mahal beziers366

 

So this is a bit left-field. As a rule, Indian restaurants in France are pretty poor. We have searched out Indians all across the South of France and normally we have been left pretty disappointed. There is a good one in Toulouse and 3-4 Indian restaurants in Montpellier, of varying quality. But trust me, Le Taj Mahal in Beziers is the best Indian restaurant I have eaten at in France. If you don't believe me, then look on TripAdvisor for the best restaurants in Beziers. Le Taj Mahal will be listed at number 4 or 5.

This is our treat whenever we visit Beziers. Le Taj Mahal is the nearest you are going to get to a British Indian restaurant in South France. The food is reasonably priced, the waiters speak French and English, they serve Indian beers and the decor is authentic Indian restaurant style. The Taj Mahal also do deliveries within a 25-30km radius and it is surprisingly cheap (you get a reduction on the delivery charge the more you order).

We have tried all our favourites at the Taj Mahal: Lamb Rogan Josh, Chicken Tikka Masala, Prawn Bhuna, Chicken Korma and Chicken Jalfrazee. All are cooked well and the flavours take me back to the curry mile in Rusholme Manchester. The co-owner and head waiter at Le Taj Mahal, is a very nice lad and he always spends time chatting away. If I could make just one request though: please put popadoms on the menu!!

 

taj mahal indian restaurant beziers

 

You will find Le Taj Mahal restaurant at 8 Boulevard de Starsbourg, Beziers, France. This is actually a small side street off Avenue Georges Clemenceau, the main route into Beziers from the north of the city. It is 4 blocks before the main round about at the top of Allees Paul Riquet. For reservations or a take away order please call +33 4 67 77 76 17.

Le Taj Mahal restaurant is open from 11.30am to 11.30pm daily. For more information please see Taj Mahal Indian restaurant Beziers.

 

 

 

#5 Best restaurants in Beziers: Ô Petits Bontemps

o petite bontemps restaurant beziers

 

Probably the best meal I have had in the last 6 months was at the Ô Petits Bontemps restaurant in Beziers. So we have a thing with our best friends here in France, Dot & Gav. On the last Friday of each month, we all down tools and we travel to a local town or village and have a nice lunch followed by quite a lot of wine. We then either get the bus home or we try and blag a lift from one of our kids. Anyway, Dot had been told about Ô Petits Bontemps restaurant from a client of hers and we went. When we arrived, we thought that there was some mistake. We were standing outside the modern library in Beziers and we couldn't see a restaurant. There was a terrace with parasols, but this just looked like a café. But then a waitress started waving at us, so we went over and she told us that we were in the right location.

Inside, it is all glass and wooden tables. It sort of looks like a University refractory, if they still have those sort of things. I probably wouldn't call it a restaurant as such, more of an all day eatery. Ô Petits Bontemps serves everything from snacks to breakfast, to homemade patisseries, as well as lunch. It is open from 10.00am to 6.00pm, 6 days a week. The staff, who are all excellent by the way, seem to be made up predominantly by catering students. I don't know, but perhaps there is a link with the local professional Lycée.

The story behind this restaurant is that it is run by husband and wife team, Olivier & Emannuelle Bontemps, which is an excellent name for a restauranteur. The name of the brasserie is in honour of their twin children ("les petits"). They used to run a high-end restaurant in an equally improbable location. For many years they had a successful restaurant, Ô Bontemps, situated located in the sleepy, wine-making village of Magalas, about 15 km from Beziers. There are many beautiful villages around Beziers to have a fine dining restaurant, but Magalas is not one of them. It is just a rather dull working village.

Olivier Bontemps, was trained at the prestigious, Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, and later worked under Jacques & Laurent Pourcel who ran a 3 Michelin star restaurant in Montpellier (Jardin des sens) and also Fabien Lefebvre, when he ran L'Octopus restaurant in Beziers. 

 

o petite bontemps food

 

The couple chose to move their restaurant to Beziers when they saw an advert in the local paper from the new Beziers library, who were looking for someone to take over the running of a café-brasserie, on the ground floor of the Library building. The idea behind Ô Petits Bontemps, is that they seek to make the maximum use of the kitchen and the premises. So whilst it is a very good brasserie restaurant, it is also a café during the mornings and afternoons, it sells homemade patisseries to take away and it also operates as a fully staffed catering company.

The menu changes frequently. When we went we had Lieu Noir mariné (marinated Pollock), Hallibut with a herb crust and a Brochette de Boeuf. Apparently, when Olivier Bontemps ran his restaurant in Magalas, he was known for his suckling pig ribs, which were slowly cooked for 3 days.

I think when we went we really didn't know what to expect, because we had no idea where to restaurant was located. And it takes a little while for this to sink in. But as soon as the food comes, you forget all that, because it is really tasty food and it is presented beautifully. Ô Petits Bontemps is almost like the opposite of Les Caves de la Madeleine (see below). Here the restaurant surroundings seem at odds with the quality of the food. But please don't be put off by this. If you want to have an excellent meal, with great service in a calm setting, then Ô Petits Bontemps is a really good choice.

You will find Ô Petits Bontemps restaurant at Médiathèque André Malraux, 34500 Beziers. The restaurant is open from 10.00 to 17.00 Tuesday to Saturday, with the lunch service from 12.00 to 14.30. You can choose to dine either indoors or outside on the terrace overlooking the 'pool' in front of the library building. A 3 course meal costs just €23 euros, which is incredible value.

For reservations please call: +33 04 67 36 20 82 or visit the website O Petits Bontemps.

 

 

 

#6 Best restaurant in Beziers: Bistro La Prison

le prison beziers restaurant

 

Bistro La Prison is the newest restaurant in Beziers. It enjoys fabulous panoramic views over the city and towards the Mediterranean coast. The restaurant forms part of a 5 star hotel, built in the old Beziers prison, next to the cathedral. Some good friends of ours went and stayed at the hotel and ate at the bistro. They said that the bedrooms of the hotels are located in the old cells, with the original metal doors. They said that the food at the restaurant was only surpassed by the views at night over Beziers.

There was a prison on this site, dating back to the 12th Century. The current building dates back to 1857 and was designed to hold 50 prisoners, although in reality the prison population was often above 100 and sometimes up to 300. The prison also featured two cells specifically for women prisoners.

Beziers prison was the only prison in the local area that featured a guillotine and was used to house prisoners from across the Languedoc who had been sentenced to death. The last execution was held in 1949, for two men who had murdered a local Doctor. The prison was nicknamed the "Malapague" or Deadbeat, for obvious reasons.

 

le prison restaurant beziers

 

Bistro La Prison enjoys a 180-degree panoramic views over Beziers, the Orb valley and towards the Mediterranean coast. The menu is very clean and simple and features dishes such as poached Haddock, Butternut squash Cannelloni, Seiche risotto (cuttlefish), Venison loin and Beef cheeks. There is no flowery language on the menu, it just lists down what is going to be on the plate.

Our friends, Pam & William Kilpatrick, said that the deserts were amazing and the wine list was not too expensive. They said that because the restaurant stays open until the evening, the lunch service does not feel rushed and the staff were happy for them to sit there and nurse their drinks, whilst they took in the views.

 

le prison beziers

 

You will find Bistro La Prison at Place de l'Albigeois Hotel La Prison, 34500, Béziers, which is just next to the Cathedral. The restaurant is open Wednesday to Sunday, 12.30 to 23.30 (all days except Sunday when the service is from 12.30 to 17.30). Its weekly lunch menu is changed every month and costs €26 euros for 3 courses or €22 euros for 2 courses (which I think is very good value. The 3 course evening meal is €36 euros, 2 courses is €29 euros. There is also an à la carte menu.

For reservations please call : 04 48 14 03 54 or visit the website: Bistro La Prison 

 

 

 

#7 Beziers restaurants to eat at in 2024: Maison Carne

maison carne beziers france

 

So we haven't been to this restaurant yet, but good friends of ours have been and they raved about it. Maison Carne is located on a pretty square in the centre of Beziers. The concept of Maison Carne is very simple, it all revolves around one thing: Côte de bœuf. That is all they serve. In the restaurant there is glass chiller room, featuring all the Prime Ribs hanging up. You choose your cut of meat and tell the Chef how you want it to be cooked and that is it. Every steak is cooked in a charcoal oven, giving it a unique taste.

A 1kg Côte de bœuf is priced at €34.90 and this what you pay whether you eat it by yourself or you share it between two people. The steaks arrive with chips cooked 3 times. You can also buy steaks from the Butcher's shop to take away and these are priced at €24.90 each. Cheese can also be ordered after your steak and this is priced at €7 euros per 100g.

In terms of your accompanying drinks, you pay for your wine by the centimetre. The wine comes from the Corbières region. Each centimetre costs you €1.00 euro. I think that this is a really cool idea, although with my wife, this would ruin us financially.

 

maison carne restaurant beziers france

 

The Côte de Bœuf is probably one of the most celebrated cuts of meat in France. The meat is a beefsteak sliced from the primal rib primal of cow. It is usually served with the rib bone attached. In the United States and the UK, it is usually called a tomahawk steak. It can also be called a rib eye steak, but this is normally when the bone is removed. 

The Côte de Bœuf is considered the most flavoursome cut of steaks, because compared sirloin steaks or Filet de Bœuf, the muscle meat is exercised a lot by the cow during its life. The resulting meat has a lot of marbling of fat, which makes it suitable for slow roasting or grill cooking. The marbling helps impart more flavour to the meat during cooking and improves the tenderness of the steak.

Another key part of preparing a Côte de Boeuf steak is that the meat is not cut until the beef has been aged for between 12-14 days. I just assumed that this hanging process just helped enhance the flavour and make the meat more tender. But there is an actual scientific process involved:

 

". . . During maturing process, glycogen, naturally present in the beef muscle, is transformed into lactic acid, lowering the pH of the meat and activating the enzymes necessary for protein fragmentation . . ."

 

[SOURCE: Le Gôut du Boeuf

 

maison carne beziers restaurant

 

You will find Maison Carne at 30 Bd Jean Jaurès, 34500 Béziers which is on Place Jean Jaurès. The restaurant is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 13.00–15.00 PM and then from 19:30 PM–12.00 midnight.

For reservations please call: +33 04 48 08 95 32 or visit the website: Maison Carne.

 

 

 

#8 Beziers restaurants: Les Caves de la Madeleine

les caves de la madeleine beziers restaurantLes Caves de la Madeleine Beziers restaurant [Photo courtesy of https://www.les-caves-madeleine-beziers.com/]

 

I was put on to this restaurant by one of our Owners. We have rented out her apartment in Beziers, on Place de la Madeleine for the last 10 years. I met her one time, to collect some cash for a booking we had done for her. We were standing on Place de la Madeleine and I asked her if the restaurant on the square was any good and she said:

 

". . . Ah! ouais. C'est vraiement excellent. Mais ne parlez pas car il est difficile d'y obtenir une table . . ."

 

So despite being told not to tell anyone about it, here I am telling everyone! Anyway, a couple of weeks after getting the tip off, me and my wife went there for lunch. And it was very good. I think that the location definitely helps. The restaurant is situated on one of the prettiest squares in Beziers, with a lovely old church. It is also next to a parking, so you can arrive, park up and walk straight to the restaurant, without fighting for a parking space.

The church on the square holds a pretty dark history. In 1167, the Viscount of Beziers, Raimond Trencavel,  was murdered in the church by a mob of local citizens. Apparently, they were angry because a couple of months earlier, one of his soldiers had attacked a local man and his crime went unpunished. So they exacted their revenge. Then in 1209, thousand of local citizens were murdered by an army sent by the Pope to quell the growth of the Cathar religion in the area. The army led by Simon de Montfort, set fire to the church, with thousands of people inside. In total, some 20,000 people from Beziers were estimated to have died over a 2 day period in July 1209. The soldiers were instructed just to kill the Cathars, but when they asked how would they tell the difference between Cathars and Christians, they were told:

 

". . . slaughter them all, for God will know his own . . ."

 

 

les caves madeleine food

 

We sat on the terrace in front of the restaurant and just watched everybody wandering buy. We had a nice apero with some charcuterie and then the food came. We both ordered fish and it was really well cooked. I have to say that I wasn't necessarily blown away by it. I mean fish is fish. Anybody who gets excited by a piece of white fish . . . well, maybe they don't get out much. But my point is, it is not just the food here which makes it a great place to eat. You will definitely eat well, for sure. But what really makes it a good restaurant to visit is the location on the square, the constant stream of people walking past, the sunshine and the really friendly staff. 

You will find Les Caves de la Madeleine at 2 Place de la Madeleine, 34500 Béziers. The restaurant is open Thursday to Monday  from 12.00 to 1.30pm and 7.00pm to 9.30pm (closed Tuesday and Wednesday).

For reservations please call: +33 04 67 28 17 08 or visit the website: les-caves-madeleine-beziers.com

 

 

 

#9 Restaurant in Beziers: La Gargote des Halles

les gargote des halles

 

So this is a real treat. Every Christmas Eve, we get our boys back from Montpellier and London (or wherever they are) and we take the bus into Beziers. We then head for the indoor market in Beziers and grab a mid-morning beer and aperitif. We then wander around the market and pick out some fish or a nice steak and then take it along to this boisterous bar on one side of the market (La Gargote des Halles). We give it to the man behind the bar and then in about 15-20 mins he returns with a delicious plate of food, a bottle of good cheap house wine and then we sit and devour it. There is a service charge of €12 euros for the cooking of the food and the accompanying salad and chips. But that is it. Isn't that great? You buy the freshest meat or fish from the market and you can then get it cooked for you straight away at the next door bar.

 

les halles beziers indoor market

 

 

The other thing about La Gargote des Halles, is that it is the best place in the world to people watch. You get all sorts of people there, especially at Christmas. You have old ladies in fur coats and gentlemen in smart suits. You have youngsters in tracksuits stopping for a beer. You have the market holders grabbing a meal and a chat after they have closed up for the day. And you get all manner of people from Beziers.

At Christmas, you will also have a local band from Beziers (that plays at the Rugby and the summer Feria), playing away. People will get up and dance, they will sing along. It is a really great atmosphere.

 

la gargote des halles beziers

 

So look, this is never going to be the best food your ever eat, but in terms of an experience, La Gargote des Halles, gives you something unique to remember and talk about.

You will find La Gargote des Halles at the indoor market in Beziers (Les Halles). The address is Place Pierre Semard, 34500 Béziers. Les Hallles is open 6 days a week from 07.00 to 14.00 (it is closed on Monday). La Gargote des Halles is open early in the morning, serving coffees (and the odd Pastis!) and food is served from about 11.30.

You can reserve a table at La Gargote des Halles, either call in whilst you are visiting the market or telephone ahead: +33 04 67 36 64 90.

 

 

 

#10 Best Beziers restaurant: Hallegria

les halles beziersLes Halles indoor market Beziers [Photo courtesy of https://www.beziers-mediterranee.com/]

 

So whilst we are in Les Halles in Beziers, the other restaurant to try out is Hallegria. Les Halles de Béziers, is the indoor market in Beziers. The building is very beautiful and dates back to 1891. It was completely renovated in 1987 and is now listed as an Historic Monument in France. Les Halles currently has 21 market holders, selling everything from fish, to cheese, to wine, Spanish hams, vegetables, bread, a couple of butchers and various charcuterie. Les Halles also accommodates 3-4 bars and 2 restaurants. The restaurants are based inside Les Halles, but they also have a terrace outside. La plancha des Halles, serves good quality, reasonably priced, typical French dishes such as Magret de Canard, Tartare de Beouf and Gourmet Burgers. Hallegria is both a tapas bar and a restaurant. This is very popular with the Rugby crowd in Beziers and will be packed out before matches and when the 6 nations is on TV. It also has live music on at the weekends. Both restaurants are good, but I think the most interesting one is Hallegria, in terms of the menu.

 

 

hallegria restaurant beziers

 

We ate at Hallegria with our boys last year. I have to say that the food was excellent and the atmosphere was very good. It is a very sociable restaurant and you could see that it was definitely a place where friends go to meet up and catch up on gossip and share the odd filthy joke.

I think what we liked about the food, was that each dish had an interesting twist. Although we ordered some typical French classics like Magret de Canard, a Filet de Boeuf with caramelised onions (which was delicious) and pan-fried Saint-Jacques (scallops), each came with an interesting sauce or an unusual vegetable pairing. You could tell that the Chef had really put a lot of thought into the menu. We shared the starters of oysters and foie gras. The deserts all looked home made.

Hallegria gets very popular during rugby games and it is clearly a place where Rugby fans meet up before and after games. They show a lot of live Rugby games on the TVs in the bar area, especially when big games like the 6 nations are on. During Beziers summer Feria, the restaurant and bar is absolutely heaving. On Wednesday and Thursday nights and at the weekends, they have a lot of live music and the good atmosphere brings in a lot of people. It tends to be an older crowd, people in the 30s, 40s and old farts like me.

 

hallegria beziers restaurant

 

You will find Hallegria restaurant located in the corner of Les Halles indoor market in Beziers (address: Place Pierre Semard, 34500 Béziers). The restaurant is open 6 days a week, closed on Monday. On Tuesdays, the restaurant is only open for lunch 12.00 to 2.30pm and on Sundays the restaurant is open from 12.00 to 16.00. From Wednesday to Saturday, the restaurant opens from 12.00 to 2.30 pm and in the evening from 7.00pm to 01.00am. There are a range of menu options and you can get a 3 course lunch for €19.50 euros and an evening meal from between €26 to €34 euros. A Plat du Jour will only set you back €13.00 euros during the week. The restaurant also serves sharing platters, served on slate boards from between €4 euros to €9 euros. The platters feature the usual tapas dishes of serrano ham, patatas bravas and pan con tomate.

For reservations please call: +33 04 67 36 85 84 or visit the website: www.hallegria.com

 

 

 

Other Beziers restaurants

There are probably a couple of other restaurants in Beziers that should have made the Top 10 list, but either I have not visited them or from what I have heard they can be a bit variable. L'Ambassade restaurant was until very recently the place to go in Beziers. Located opposite the Train station, this used to be a Michelin star restaurant, but it loss its crown in 2015. La Raffinerie restaurant, down by the canal should be good given its nice location, but I have heard people both rave about it and also complain. We had our Go Languedoc Xmas dinner at the L'Orangerie bistro, right in the heart of the old town of Beziers. I would say it was pretty good and it is in a lovely location down a side street running parallel to Allees Paul Riquet. The restaurant is upstairs and there is a wine bar on the ground floor. Not bad, but not spectacular either.

 

 


 

Where to next . . .?

If you are planning a trip to the South of France in 2024, then Beziers is an excellent location. Beziers has its own airport and Ryanair runs cheap flights to Beziers from Sweden, Belgium, the UK & Ireland. Beziers also has some excellent beaches nearby and the accommodation is considerably cheaper than Cote d'Azur. You have already seen that Beziers has some excellent restaurants, but you also shouldn't miss out on one of the biggest festivals in the South of France (Beziers' Feria), some fantastic local vineyards and the beautiful countryside nearby. Beziers is reputedly, the oldest town in France and the historic centre is a joy to walk around. From a tourism perspective, Beziers has plenty to see and do.

If you are planning a trip to Beziers or the Languedoc in 2024, then the following articles are a good source of local information:

 

4 Best Beziers beaches France to visit in 2024

The Languedoc has some of the best beaches in South France and the beaches close to Beziers are particularly popular. Discover the 4 best beaches near to Beziers to visit during your stay.

 

15 cheap villas to rent near Beziers airport France

We have highlighted some of the best villas and apartments to rent in and around Beziers, South France. With a local airport providing cheap flights, Beziers is an excellent destination for a holiday in 2024

 

beziers feria2Beziers' Feria: Best festivals in Languedoc, France 

The Feria in Beziers is one of the largest festivals in the South of France. The festival is spread over 5 days in mid-August and welcomes over 1.2 million revellers each year.

 

beziers riverBeziers tourism information

Discover everything that Beziers has to offer. This Southern French town has an amazing history stretching back over 2,000 years and is one of the liveliest towns to visit in South France during the summer. 

 

beziers airport south france2024 Cheap flights to Beziers airport in South of France 

Check out the 2024 summer schedule of flights to Beziers airport Ryanair flies to Beziers from 9 destinations across Europe and provides some of the cheapest flights to the South of France.

 

beach houses languedoc10 Beach houses to rent in Languedoc, South France in 2024

Go Languedoc provides high quality holiday accommodation across the South of France. Check out these 10 stunning villas & gites to rent for a beach holiday in the South of France in 2024 

 

Go Languedoc
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