Béziers is a historic mid-sized town in the South of France, and it’s a great place to spend some time. However, wandering through the picturesque little streets of one of the oldest cities in France might make you hungry! It just so happens that this lovely town hosts some excellent restaurants. Below you will find my selection- in random order- of my top 8 favourite restaurants in Béziers, in case you are in need of gastronomic inspiration.
1. La Maison de Petit Pierre
Chéri and I have had dinner numerous times at the innovative restaurant La Maison de Petit Pierre, run by chef Pierre Augé, winner of the French edition of Top Chef in 2014. As he is named after his father, he quickly became known as “Petit Pierre” to avoid confusion. Hence the name of the restaurant located near the arenas: La Maison de Petit Pierre. The restaurant works with set menus. Their 3-course lunch menu, served from Monday to Thursday, is excellent value for 25 euros. And for dinner, you can choose between a 4-course menu (45 euros) or a 6-courses one (75 euros). Most of the time, we want it all. As Le Petit Pierre is a very popular restaurant, you have to make a reservation well ahead of time.
2. Le Patio
Restaurant Le Patio is part of the ‘Maître Restaurateur’ label and is hidden in the middle of Béziers’ historic town centre. And the restaurant lives up to its name, as you can enjoy dinner in a most charming courtyard. I bet that this patio, with its evergreen olive tree and twinkling lights, has been the setting of many marriage proposals… However, if you can’t sit outside, the interior will embrace you as well, with its modern yet cosy decor in warm terracotta shades. The Mediterranean inspired menu follows the seasons using fresh ingredients. Every course has a set price, and there are four to five options. Or you can opt for the set menus, starting at 24 euros and going up to 31 euros if you want three courses.
Fabien Lefebvre, former Michelin starred chef at Octopus, decided to return to his roots by opening this tapas restaurant Pica-Pica. Located on a corner of the spacious Place Jean Jaurès, it is an excellent asset to the town. You can enjoy your lunch or dinner on the beautiful terrace. However, I also love eating in their sophisticatedly designed interior with its warm colour scheme mixed with modern artwork, designer lamps and a classic black and white checkered floor. The lunch menu, served on weekdays, is between 20 and 25 euros. You can also eat à la carte, where you have a choice of dishes to share (from 8 to 45 euros). When the night falls, you will be treated to a free light and music fountain show on the Place Jean Jaurès.
4. Le Chameau Ivre
Life is too short to drink bad wine, as they say in France. However, sometimes it might be a bit difficult to choose which wine to go with your lunch or dinner. That’s why I like to eat at a wine bar, where they know their wines. One of my favourite wine bars in Béziers is Le Chameau Ivre. They stock no less than 2,800 bottles of wine (!), and they know how to pair each one with their great food. Le Chameau Ivre, which means “the drunken camel”, lies in the heart of Béziers. Right on the renovated Place Jean Jaurès with its musical fountains, the wine bar offers tapas and several set menus to enjoy while you have your wine.
5. Ô Petits Bontemps
Sometimes you find a hidden gem in an unexpected place. I mean, who would think of fine wining and dining next to Béziers’ library?! The building itself is a modern design, but the surroundings don’t really shout ‘go out and have a delightful dinner’. Until now! A few years ago, chef Olivier Bontemps and his wife Emanuelle opened brasserie Ô Petits Bontemps, and it is a great addition to this part of town. Ô Petits Bontemps offers a very decently priced lunch menu: 22 euros will get you three courses. The food they serve is a wonderful mix of Mediterranean flavours, and a true feast for the tastebuds.
If you are looking for a great Japanese restaurant in Béziers, or even the region, you should visit Osakaya. This sophisticated eating venue, run by chef Ping Zhang and his team, serves the best sushi, sashimi, maki, yakitori, and their signature rolls, using only fresh ingredients. The serene and elegant dining room is divided into two parts with a harmonious use of wood in the modern wall decorations, floors and tables. And the beautifully plated dishes are a feast for the eye and the palate as well. The restaurant has several set menus, or you can eat à la carte. It is also possible to order takeaway.
7. La Gagote des Halles
What better place to feel the hustle and buzz of a French town than to go to its covered market? La Gargote des Halles is exactly the place for this and a big-time local favourite that serves simple food of high quality. Think grilled meat, homemade fries and fresh salad. We’re a fan! As La Gargote des Halles is open from 07h00 to 16h00 and highly popular among ‘les Biterrois’, I suggest you make a reservation before you go. Or you can drop by before you do your shopping at Les Halles. Speaking of which, you can buy your meat or fish at the market and then have it prepared on the spot by Chef Sébastien. He will cook, grill, or roast it upon request and serve it with his famous fries and green salad.
8. Le Massilia
Le Massilia is one of the most authentic and friendly restaurants in Béziers. It’s also known as the ‘Bouchon Biterrois’, referring to the convivial restaurants in Lyon that serve traditional local cuisine. Le Massilia knows how to make you feel at home. When Chéri and I entered the cosily decorated restaurant, the owner welcomed us like old friends (although we don’t go there very often). Le Massilia’s chef, Jean-Marc Tolédano, and his team serve traditional French cuisine in a cosy bistro style. You can tell the chef is passionate about good food and wine, giving a modern twist to traditional French dishes. They serve set menus, both for lunch and dinner (21 to 26 euros), including some great local wines.