2023 top 17 beach restaurants and paillotes in Occitanie

Maya Club

With more than 200 kilometres of fine beaches along the Occitan coastline, you will find many restaurants overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. But which one to choose? Well, let me give you some ideas by sharing my 17 favourites collected over the years (from north to south). From fancy joints serving gastronomic food to typical Southern French ‘paillotes’ where you can enjoy dinner with your feet in the sand.

Guinguette Les Pieds Nus – Le Grau-du-Roi

A beach restaurant serving fresh, local and homemade food deserves a spot on my recommendations list. La Guinguette des Pieds Nus- barefoot in English- is exactly such a place. Situated in a secluded part of the Plage du Boucanet in Le Grau-du-Roi, you’re surrounded by small dunes and sand. A lot of sand. Not in the food, though, only on the floor of the outside space. That’s why it’s best to take off your shoes or flip-flops and feel the sand between your toes. And in winter- yes, the restaurant is open from February till Mid-December! – you can sit inside. Without the sand, that is.

La Guinguette des Pieds Nus

L’Effet Mer – La Grande Motte

Every time I enter Effet Mer in La Grande Motte, I feel right at ease. This beach restauranthas 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.

L'Effet Mer

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.

Le Poisson Rouge

La Ola – Sète

La Ola is ideally located on the Plage du Lido in Sète, the beach strip between the Mediterranean Sea and the Étang de Thau. The interior blends in with the exterior with a no-nonsense casual-chic decoration using white and blue and, as a nice finishing touch, lots of natural materials. The menu offers simple Mediterranean-style dishes with a focus on seafood. La Ola works closely with local fishermen and oyster farmers, not surprising with the Med on your doorstep. However, there are also options for vegetarians and meat lovers.

La Ola

La Parenthèse – Sète

La Parenthèse is the second-to-last beach restaurant as you come from Sète toward Marseillan Plage. It has all the ingredients you need so you can spend a lovely time at the beach. They serve bigplates of comfort food with a smile and a view of the Med. And no pumping beats, just the sound of rolling waves and cheerful babbling. The Mediterranean Sea breeze kisses the interior decorated with scaffolding and driftwood elements, also used for the exterior furniture. Cane hanging lamps complete the nifty vibes.

La Parenthèse

Mango’s Beach Bar – 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 fiesta.

Best Beach Restaurants

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.

Best Beach Restaurants

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!

Best Beach Restaurants

Chiringuito – Vias Plage

If you already live in a vacation destination, you don’t need a lot to get the holiday feeling. And having dinner with Chéri at beach restaurant Chiringuito in Vias Plage adds to that holiday vibe. You can rent out comfy sunbeds where you can order food or eat at the restaurant with its clean boho chic open space with a view of the Med. Chiringuito doesn’t offer a set menu, like many other beach restaurants around, but there are plenty of choices. And afterwards, you can go for a little romantic walk along the beach while the sunset slowly transforms the sky into beautiful colours.

Best Beach Restaurants

Chichoulet Plage – Vendres

Our go-to beach is in Vendres, next to Port Chichoulet. Partly because its restaurant- Chichoulet Plage- is one of our favourites. It has an easy-breezy style, with fishnet barriers held up by driftwood surrounding the terrace. The menu offers tapas-style starters, filling salads, meat classics and, of course, freshly caught fish that daily inspires the chef. You will find this paillote on the left of Vendres’ marina, where the Aude river flows into the Med. Life is simple in this paradisiacal spot!

Best Beach Restaurants

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.

Best Beach Restaurants

Mosquito Coast – Gruissan

Mosquito Coast is my kind of place. It has all the elements needed to while away a couple of hours on the beach in a laid-back setting.From mid-June to Mid-September, this paillote-style restaurant is built up with reused wood. Pallets show up in the construction as well as the furniture. A mix of chairs, yellow canvas and jute cloths finish off the seemingly effortless decoration. The restaurant has such a natural vibe and blends in with the beach almost organically. Here, you’ll only hear the sound of the blowing wind and the gentle murmuring of fellow guests. It’s time to unwind and relax with your feet in the sand and relish the simple and pure dishes.

Best Beach Restaurants

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.

Best Beach Restaurants

Paparazzo – Gruissan

Beach restaurant Paparazzo is a ‘cantine populaire’, or a popular canteen as they call it, but doesn’t take reservations. So, if you want to be sure of a spot, you better come early. Once you’re in, you can sit outside at the barrels surrounded by high stools or under the colourful parasols. Or you can go inside, at one of the industrial-style tables and chairs. And even here, you feel like you are eating outside thanks to the giant awnings that shade you from the sun. Paparazzo serves burgers, tapas, pizzas and other elevated dishes with ingredients from local fishermen, producers and winegrowers.

Best Beach Restaurants

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.

Best Beach Restaurants

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 some of the best seafood from the region. Great vibes, fantastic food and good tunes while looking out over the Mediterranean Sea, what more could you ask for?!

Best Beach Restaurants

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.

Best Beach Restaurants
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