After living in Nancy, Rome, Paris, and Brussels, Lydia returned home five years ago to settle in Toulouse. Obsessed with antiquing and all things vintage, she decided to open a shop in la Bourse neighborhood six months ago called Favoris by Lydia Destarac. She offers collections for women, men, children, and the home – all unique pieces she’s found in second hand shops throughout Europe. As a music lover and overall epicurean, Lydia shares her favorite daytime and nighttime spots with us below.
Record Store: Le Laboratoire
“For almost twenty years these two bald guys from Toulouse have been running one of the most eclectic music shops in the Southwest. They offer smart, pertinent, sometimes surprising but always personalized recommendations. The customer service is out of this world. Don’t miss it.
Heads up: Skip this place if you’re not interested in record recommendations because you think you already have good taste in music!”
9 rue de la Bourse
Café: Le café de la Concorde
“This café is fantastic. Art nouveau inspiration, untouched by time. Great for an early morning coffee or a night cap, they also host shows a couple times a month and have good snacks as well.
Heads up: Skip it if a multi-generational bar isn’t your thing!”
17 rue de la Concorde
Lunch Spot: Le Rendez-vous
“You’ll immediately feel at home in this little restaurant, located near the central station. The French-Italian owner strikes a balance between the cuisines from both of her home countries. Guaranteed 100% freshly prepared, there’s a vegetarian option every day, and it’s the perfect balance between quality and price. The lasagna is to die for.
Heads up: Skip it if you’re not a big eater!”
11 rue Agathoise
(call for reservation, it’s often full)
Dinner Spot: L’Esquinade
“A soft Spanish breeze whispers through this little restaurant. With tables packed together, tapas and sangria, and a large summer terrace, it’s great for a quick dinner or to spend part of the evening. The owner, Laetitia, has imbued the place with a rockabilly touch, a pleasure for both your taste buds and your ears!
Heads up: Skip it if you don’t like to dine shoulder to shoulder with strangers!”
28 rue de la Chaîne
Concert Venue: Les Pavillons Sauvages
“This place is a non-profit organization and concert venue with an eclectic and comprehensive lineup. Author & Punisher, Buriers, Clara Clara, and The Wave Pictures have played here – it’s a little out of the way, but it’s definitely my favorite concert venue in Toulouse.
Heads up: If you’re afraid of encountering punks, transgender people, or goths, this place is not for you!”
45 rue de Chaussas
Bar: Le Champagne Chez Bovy
“Fair warning, you might fall in love at first sight! This little bar reminds me of those down to earth places you can find tucked away off the beaten path in Brussels. Dare to open the door, and find everyone inside mingling freely, with rock pumping from the speakers, concerts every weekend, and DJs spinning vinyl.
Heads up: Skip it if you don’t like chatting with your neighbor at the bar!”
A Little Bit of Everything: The Petit London
“Street Food & Rock ‘n Roll.” If you’re a little lazy, this spot was made for you. Have an excellent IPA on the terrace to get the evening started, followed by fish and chips inside, and finish with wild dancing to 60s rock, cold wave, or even metal on the dancefloor every weekend.
Heads up: Don’t go if you’re not interested in seeing metal heads frantically dancing to Blondie!”
7 bis rue Pierre Paul Riquet
Photos: Courtesy of the places mentioned
Article translated by Andrea Perdue
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