Modeled after the British tradition of teatime, the phenomenon of the salon de thé has been fully embraced by the city of Toulouse in southwestern France. Adorable tea houses abound, and you can find cozy establishments on almost every corner offering a selection of cakes, crumbles, and tarts galore. If you’re looking for an afternoon treat with just the right ambiance, here are the best spots in la ville rose:
Capitol/Jean Jaurès – 6 Place Roger Salengro
Located right off of the bustling Alsace Lorraine, Flower’s Café has a large outdoor seating area in one of the most charming corners of the city. Their pastries are consistently wonderful, and they have a terrific lunch special.
Carmes – 28 Rue Pharaon
The fondant au chocolat cake at Dip’s is the most decadent and satisfying treat imaginable, with every bite replete with just the right amount of rich, gooey chocolate. It’s truly impossible to order wrong here. They also have large tables, great wifi, and tons of space, making it a laptop-friendly café, which is a rarity in France. And they’re open daily, so you can basically just move in.
Capitole – 16 Rue des Lois
Located just a couple minutes off of the main Capitol plaza, this cute and classy salon de thé is an ideal spot for a relaxed afternoon break with friends. In addition to all of the regular cakes offered at a salon de thé, Eugénie also boasts huge chocolate chip cookies and decadent, Spanish-style hot chocolate.
Esquirol – 4 Rue Baronie
Piles of books stack up from the tables to the ceilings at Le Petit Magre. They specialize in gaufres (waffles), decked out with ice cream and whipped cream. Their offerings change daily (some days are better than others), but it’s always a great place to hunker down with a book and enjoy the light-spirited atmosphere.
Esquirol – 45 Rue des Tourneurs
This salon de thé pays homage to its British influence, with portraits of distinguished-looking people decorating the dining area, busts of roman leaders lining the walls, and chandeliers dotting the ceilings. For those with a sweet tooth, L’Autre Salon de Thé offers some of the sweetest and creamiest pastries and hot chocolate. Their prize offering, though, is their banoffee pie, an English tradition of bananas, cream and toffee on a thick pastry crust.
Esquirol – 6 Rue Baour Lormian
Located in the bustling Capitol/Esquirol area, Ô Thé Divin offers the type of crumbles that will inundate your taste buds (hopefully in a good way) and change your life. They boast a selection of more than 20 pastries, including daily specials like brownie cheesecake. You’ll be served your game-changing gâteau and drink of choice in flowered teapots and cutlery—can anyone say mignon?
Esquirol – 2 Place de la Bourse
A glance into their display window at Perlette reveals an array of picture-perfect creams and cakes swirled and molded to create works of art. Unfortunately, their décor isn’t as spot on, and looks vaguely like a children’s tea party gone wrong: oversized pink chairs and pink napkins which contrast terribly with stark black tables. The delectable pastries make up for the interior design, but if it’s really not your scene you can order takeaway goodies at their Jean Jaurès storefront.