The Languedoc region of the South of France has over 200 kilometres of fine beaches overlooking the big blue Mediterranean Sea. No wonder you can find so many great beach restaurants along the coastline. But which one to choose? Well, let me give you some ideas by sharing my 12 favourites (from north to south). From fancy joints serving gastronomic food to typical Southern French ‘paillotes’ where you can enjoy your dinner with your feet in the sand. Just to let you know: this list will keep growing as I find new treasures to add. And as always, drop me a line with your suggestions!
Effet Mer – La Grande Motte
Every time I enter Effet Mer in La Grande Motte, I feel right at ease. This beach restaurant has a great vibe and a Balinese inspired decor. The natural wood and old shutters, which have been used as decoration, give it a colourful and stylish atmosphere. They also have very comfortable looking beach beds that you can rent. Foodwise, their menu offers a choice between freshly made salads, grilled fish or prawns, tartare and burgers and some meat dishes like ribs and chicken.
La Paillote Bambou – La Grande Motte
La Paillote Bambou is a hip and happening beach restaurant for the Montpelliérain in-crowd. No worries if you’re not in that crowd though, as even I felt very welcome, and I brought my family with me :). As you would expect from the name of the restaurant, the place oozes class. Natural materials like- what else- bamboo, woven straw, wood and even cactus leaves have been combined with a rustic colour palette, and it definitely does the trick. Excellent seafood and a freshly shaken cocktail in hand, well… life can’t get much better.
Bonaventure – Palavas-les-Flots
You will find paradise at beach restaurant Plage Bonaventure: great design, good food and the best view over the Mediterranean Sea! This bohemian style beach restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, in portions to share- or not… And if you’re up for it, you can stay all day at Plage Bonaventure, as they also rent out beach beds and organise great parties.
Le Poisson Rouge – Frontignan
You wouldn’t expect a beach restaurant when pulling up in the middle of the residential area of Frontignan. But when you enter Le Poisson Rouge, a pleasant surprise awaits you! As soon as you step through the door, you will walk into an inviting open space, exquisitely decorated with simple, beautiful materials. And outside, there is a relaxing terrace facing the Med where you can also rent beach beds. You’ll eat authentic French food, with an emphasis on delicacies from the sea.
Mango’s Beachbar – Cap d’Agde
Mango Beach Bar is one of a kind. The bar and restaurant are completely decorated in an eclectic Cuban style. The many colourful corners immediately invite you to sit down and relax. The simple but delicious menu has an enticing choice of salads, quesadillas and tapas, as well as Mango’s signature dishes. If you’re into partying, then you might also want to keep an eye on Mango’s events, as they know how to throw a fiësta.
Nudisme Interdit – Cap d’Agde
I couldn’t be more pleased to start the summer season at Nudisme Interdit. Open since the summer of 2020 with partly the same owners as Biquet Plage in Leucate (further down on this list), this is the place to go if you’re looking for a gourmet feast. Refined and original cuisine is of paramount importance at this restaurant, and every dish is prepared with fresh produce and an eye for detail. Chéri and I were cheerfully welcomed into a decor that was a funky blend of seventies and new wave.
Les Vagues – Grau d’Agde
Walking into Les Vagues is like stepping into another world. An Asian Temple to be precise. The stylish outside flows into the equally stylish inside with wooden floors, enormous Buddha statues and oriental art tastefully scattered all around. To top it off, the paillote has an eye-catching open roof construction with symmetrical wooden beams. All of this literally a few steps from the sandy beach. One glimpse at the menu tells you that you’re in the right spot for exquisite food. Cocktails in hand, the starry sky above, the sea in front of you. Yep, la vie est belle in the South of France!
L’Hospitalet Beach – Narbonne Plage
If one of the highly regarded wine estates slash restaurants of the La Clape region near Narbonne opens a beach restaurant, it’s a simple must-go. L’Hospitalet Beach at Narbonne Plage is Château L’Hospitalet’s summery sister, sophisticatedly dressed and with a natural breeze. Chef Chabert and his team make sure that you enjoy every bit of the gastronomical menu proposed, just like the wine estate’s top restaurant L’Art de Vivre. The attentively prepared dishes deliver the sun to your plate and your mouth.
Mamamouchi – Gruissan
Although restaurant Mamamouchi in Gruissan looks out over the lake of Mateille, it has the same typical beachy vibe (and therefore earns a place on this list). No wonder, as Mateille’s actual beach is just around the corner. I love going back to this laid-back eatery, and so does my family. Mamamouchi has several different sections to eat in: more of a restaurant set-up, a relaxed lounge section and a terrace along the Étang de Mateille. Each part is equally stylish and boho-chic. While treated with the ever-changing view of the blue lake with the Massif de la Clape in the backdrop, you can enjoy their good food made with fresh, local products. To be concluded with a revitalising plunge in the sea.
Le VB – La Franqui
All the good places require a bit of effort to find. This especially applies to secluded places like restaurant Le VB. But- in my opinion- that’s part of the fun. To reach Le VB, you go where most tourists won’t. The pine tree-shaded terrace is a bohemian mishmash of tables and chairs in natural colours, combined with driftwood objects. Here you can have tapas and cocktails with your feet in the soft sand. The more sophisticated restaurant part also looks very natural with its use of wood decor. The menu consists of more elaborated dishes, celebrating Mediterranean flavours. And I have to mention the staff, as they were very welcoming and genuinely friendly.
Biquet Plage – Leucate
Want to have an excellent seafood lunch with a quirky atmosphere and a view over the endless blue sea? Enter the out-of-this-world universe of Biquet Plage on the beach in Leucate. It’s a restaurant and a beach bar, and they sure know how to throw a party. Everything about this place is cool, without being too hipster or fancy. The decoration is a fun mix between vintage pieces and artwork by local artists and is full of little jokes. And then the food… At Biquet Plage, you can enjoy among the best seafood from the region. Great vibes, fantastic food and good tunes while looking out over the Mediterranean sea, what more can you ask for?!
Maya Club – Torreilles
Arriving at Torreilles Plage, you’ll spot Maya Club from a distance. The cheerful mix of coloured shutters lures you to the restaurant. And then, following the boardwalk, you’ll walk into a magical setting. The view immediately transformed me and put me in a holiday mood. Think waving palms, fluttering parasols, aesthetic greens, and a tropical-inspired interior that brings the outdoors in. On top of this visual perfection, the homemade food is fabulous, and the staff are ultra-friendly as well.