Local restaurants

These are some of our personal favourites and others that have been recommended but please do check up to date reviews on Trip Advisor as restaurants do sometimes change hands and not always for the better!

We find, as a general rule, that restaurants canal side do not offer quite such good value for money as those that are not catering for “one off” visitors.  Also, we tend to find that you get much better value for money eating out at lunchtime rather than in the evening. 

In peak season please note that restaurants can get very busy so it is always advisable to book and check opening hours /days as many restaurants are closed on one or two days a week. 

Beware, also, that some restaurants don’t take credit cards.

Finally don’t forget the French eat early, especially at lunchtime.  We have seen people turned away for lunch at 1.30!


Les Trois Petits Cochons  - No visit to Mimarmel would be complete without a trip to the “Three Pigs”.  The Pigs serves food at lunchtime and a few evenings and it is very popular with the locals.  There is a set menu with usually about four choices for each of three courses.  At €14.00 including a ¼l of wine per person (weekday lunchtimes) it really does represent excellent value.  French owned and run.

La Table du Casino – This restaurant opened under new French ownership this year and is open all year round.  Excellent French cuisine and friendly and helpful staff.

L’Oncle Jules – More of a wine bar than a restaurant but they do serve excellent tapas.  Limited opening hours (check Facebook) and can get very busy.   

L’Es Pratx – This is first and foremost a wedding venue but if they have any ‘free’ evenings during the summer they will usually be open for dinner and they often have some live music. 

Chez Tantinne – Not a restaurant but a “take away” where you can collect pre prepared meals (often with an Asian twist) for heating up in the oven or microwave.  At weekends they also have a sushi menu.


Le Grillade du Chateau - Ventenac.  Informal restaurant catering for all tastes (we’re told the pizzas are very good).  They do an excellent ‘Menu du Jour’ at lunch time and walking distance from the villa too if you’d rather drink than drive!  Visit the Chateau next door and taste some of the delicious Ventenac wines whilst there and whilst you’re not driving!

L’Escale du Somail – Le Somail.  The newest restaurant in Le Somail.  We’ve only been there a couple of times ourselves but have to say that we were impressed and others have been too!  Not the cheapest by any means but worth it for a special meal.  You can walk to Le Somail too!

L’O a la Bouche - Le Somail. A firm favourite with our guests.  It is canal side so can get busy.  They have a couple of set price menus in the evening at a reasonable price.

Auberge du Somail – Le Somail. Very popular canal side restaurant that has been another firm favourite of our guests over the years.

La Selette – Bize Minervois.  Don’t be put off by the location of this restaurant on a fairly busy road.  The food is excellent and you very quickly don’t notice the passing traffic. 

Le Chat Qui Pêche – Argeliers.  Canal side but a little off the beaten track so not a lot of passing trade except for canal boats and those in the know! Very pretty location and excellent food.  One of our favourites!

O’Neill’s at Les Terraces du Paraza - Chateau du Paraza.  This restaurant serves tapas during the afternoon as well as a lunchtime and evening menu.  Wine is bought separately from the cave at cave prices.  Entrance is through the cave so you can see all the vats on the way through to the terrace.


L’Auberge de la Croisade – Hameau de la Croisade (Cruzy road). Wonderful French restaurant offering a delicious set price lunch menu Monday to Friday and other set price menus for evenings and weekends as well as the a la carte menu.  Essential to book this canal side restaurant in advance as it’s very popular with the French as well as the tourists.

Le Terminus – Cruzy.  Set in an old station this is one of our favourite restaurants.  It is also very popular with locals.  One of the more expensive restaurants on this list but still excellent value for money, particularly if you have their Menu du Jour at lunchtime. 

Le Porquoi Pas – Capestang.  Not the easiest restaurant to find but worth the effort. Small menu but changes regularly.  Friendly and welcoming staff at this lovely little canal side restaurant.

Chateau Les Carrasses – Quarante. This is a stunning chateau set amongst the vineyards with amazing views.  Perfect place to visit for lunch or for an aperitif in the early evening followed by dinner.  Maybe for a special occasion!

La Tour Sarrasine – Poilhes.  What can we say?  Beautiful canal side setting but slightly off the beaten track with only a little passing trade (mainly from boats on the Canal).  Food beautifully presented and service excellent. 

Restaurant de la Tour – Montady.  Another lovely restaurant with modern decor.  Fabulous views out across the vineyards.  Wonderful home cooked Menu du Jour at lunchtime.  Friendly and attentive service. 

L’Asphodèle – Oupia. Lovely little restaurant offering an excellent lunchtime Menu du Jour and also a set price menu a couple of nights a week.

Relais Chantovent – Minerve.  A lovely restaurant with stunning views over the gorge in the historic village of Minerve.

En Bonne Compagnie – Homps.  Another restaurant by the canal that is very popular with locals and you really wouldn’t think it was English run.  Highly recommended if you have an afternoon flight from Carcassonne or want to have a meal before or after a trip on the Canal! 

Chez Modeste – Puicheric.  A small and fairly basic looking restaurant but the food is all beautifully home cooked and is very popular with the locals.  They offer a Menu du Jour on a Saturday too which is not often the case.

Le Moulin de Trebes – Trebes.  Perfect all year round and fabulous food and wine.  If you are travelling to and from Carcassonne airport this is another great place to stop for a meal but also a destination in its own right.  Situated right on the Canal du Midi you can enjoy your meal whilst watching the comings and goings through the locks! 

Restaurant Le Bel Minervois – Olonzac.  A family run restaurant that is typically French and has never disappointed.  They offer a lovely Menu du Jour. 

Aux 2 rivières – Minerve.  This restaurant opened in 2020 and is set right between the conflux of the two rivers in Minerve (hence the name).  The owners previously ran La Bastide de Fauzan (now closed) where we had several lovely meals.  This new restaurant didn’t disappoint and it has been beautifully furnished with both outside and inside seating.  

Le Portanel – Bages. A delightful very French restaurant set high up in Bages with wonderful views over the Etang. They specialise in eel (Anguilles) dishes but there are plenty of other choices on the menu.  

Les Jardins de Bages – Bages.   Lovely setting opposite the Mairie.  A fairly basic restaurant but lovely food and good value.  There is another restaurant just opposite (Les Beaux Arts) which on our last visit to Bages was closed for renovation (June 2019) but it may be open again now!

O Vieux Tonneaux – Peyriac.  We haven’t yet had the chance to eat at this restaurant (we’ve visited for coffee) but we have it on good authority that it should be on this list!

Table de Fontfroide – Abbaye Fontfroide.  We’ve eaten at this restaurant a few times the most recent occasion being as part of a combined ticket including an evening visit to the Abbey along with the Son et Lumiere performance.

Les Grands Buffets – Narbonne.  A famous all you can eat buffet which is very popular with visitors judging by how difficult it is to get a reservation in the summer.  Recently entered the Guiness book of world records for the largest cheese selection in the world!  The chocolate fountain is pretty big too!

Auberge de St Martin – Beaufort.  A restaurant that has been run by the same French family for many years.  You can watch some of the food being cooked on the BBQ whilst sitting at your table.  A visit here always brings back memories of our first summer at Mimarmel, in 2011, when we watched the Tour de France pass by from a spot just outside this restaurant.