Café culture rules France. But in many places in France, and Toulouse is no different, work and café are two separate things that aren’t mixed. Why ruin your delicious expresso with a laptop and work on your neve rending list of to-do’s? Most often, Toulouse cafés are enjoyed by friends catching up, reading a book or a copy of La Depeche, or smoking a cigarette. No room for work.
For the Western expat with an insatiable appetite to work endlessly, this leads us with few places to camp out and get work done. However, the culture has changed slowly in Toulouse, perhaps influenced by a huge community of students desperate for a place to study outside their cramped habitations.
Here are a few of my favourite, remote-work friendly locations, each with their own perks.
1. Cafe Cerise: This place is my favourite place to install myself for a morning of emails. The two-story, spacious and light-filled coffee shop has gorgeous
views of the Garonne (perfect for some daydreaming in between tasks) and boasts some delicious coffee drinks. My absolute favourite is the chai latte, but all the coffee here is expertly prepared. The huge benefit to Cafe Cerise is offering a delicious food menu available throughout the day. Enjoy a smoothie bowl, the daily salad with some avocado toast or a slice of quiche. The food is always simple, but fresh and delicious.
The Internet speed can sometimes be slow here, but if you find a spot downstairs, it usually runs a little quicker. Or tether your phone for more reliable access.
Quai de la Daurade, 31000 Toulouse
Hours: Open M-F 8:30 AM – 6PM; Saturday 9:30AM – 6PM
2. Cafe Contretemps
This is the most work-friendly coffee shop I have found in Toulouse, precisely because the coffee shop is designed for remote workers. The hours are work friendly (including Sunday hours), and the long tables allow you to spread out work to tackle big projects, or congregate with colleagues or work mates for a study session.
The Cafe works on an hourly rate; you pay XX an hour for unlimited coffee, water, snacks and other small bites to keep you going through the day (though no complete meals). However, this can add up, and sometimes is not the most cost-efficient way of working out of your home.
11 Rue de la bourse, 31000 Toulouse
Hours: Open M-Sat 9AM – 7PM; Sunday 2 PM – 7PM
Snuck inbetween old pink buildings on this unassuming street, L’Anartiste can be easy to miss. But behind its doors is a sweet, intimate coffee shop with a whole host of little treats to keep you plugging through your work. In addition to serving coffee, the café also serves breakfast, lunch and wine (in case it’s one of those days…). There is somewhat limited space, but there is bar space to pull up a stool and plug in your laptop.
Oh, and did I mention they serve wine?
13 Rue des couteliers, 31000 Toulouse
Hours: T-W 8:30AM – 7PM; Th-F 8:30AM – 10:30PM; Closed Sunday, Monday
4. Ras La Tasse
Another location which is easy to walk past but worth a visit, Ras La Tasse is a small but high capacity café, with a second level that has been added to increase its capacity. When I visited, the place was teeming with students, packed all around long tables which certainly added to the ‘getting things done’ vibe. The music choice was brilliant, and it offers some sandwiches and baked goods, just in case you need some additional fuel. The only downside to this place is the wifi; you have to check in on Facebook to access free Internet. Not ideal, but hey, there’s no such thing as ‘free’ Internet, right?
5. La Fiancée
If you’re looking to be hip, this is the place to be. La Fiancée is small but boasts lots of attitude and style. The baristas are friendly and not only offer coffee sur place, but also to take away (emporter). I love their mocha here; the only place I treat myself to a chocolatey hot drink. This is also a great place to grab a snack while you work. I’ve never had a chance to enjoy the food, but it’s always looked delicious.
54 Rue Peyrolières, 31000 Toulouse
Hours: M-F 9:30 AM – 6 PM; Saturday 10AM-6PM; Sunday 11:30AM – 6PM