You’ll eat well in Marseille. There have always been good restaurants here, but since Marseille became European Capital of Culture in 2013, the restaurant scene has improved hugely both in the quality of cooking and the quantity or restaurants, particularly with young chefs moving to the city. While you're here, try some of the local delicacies: Pastis as an aperitif; the famous bouillabaisse fish stew; and maybe pieds et parquets, which is tripe and pigs’ trotters, more delicious than you'd think.
Le Petit Nice
Le Petit Nice is Marseille’s top restaurant, and pricey with it but worth every euro. Eat on the terrace overlooking the sea for a superb view.
Gérald Passédat has 3 Michelin stars gained through thoroughly inventive dishes that you won’t find anywhere else. This is the place for fish you probably haven’t heard of, brought in daily from traditional fishermen and cooked immediately in sublime style. Le Bar 1917 (1917 was the date when the Passédat family arrived in Marseille) serves slightly less expensive dishes. The hotel in villa style, has been recently renovated.
Anse de Maldormé
Corniche JF Kennedy
Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 91 59 25 92
Une Table, au Sud
Overlooking the Vieux Port, Une Table, au Sud is a favorite with locals and visitors. Come here for Michelin-starred dishes. Provençale classics are given a modern twist by the young chef Ludovic Turac who trained with Guy Savoy at Le Bristol. Another place to try bouillabaisse (€58 per person); other dishes might be roast monkfish with a girolle jus or pigeon.
Lunch menus €37 & €54
Dinner menus €105
2 quai du Port
Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 91 90 63 43
Overlooking a delightful small fishing harbor, Chez Fonfon is one of the places guarding the true and genuine bouillabaisse with its five fishes (€53 per person). Other dishes include bourride (another type of fish stew) and fish like mullet and seabass cooked different ways. Try one cooked in salt and one flambéed with Pastis. Family-run, it opened in 1952 and is a Marseille institution.
If you fall in love with his recipes, step into the gourmet shop next door selling Fonfon-made products like fabulous fish soup.
Menus from €45.
140, Vallon des Auffes
Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 91 52 14 38
It may not look chic from the outside, but Le Miramar is the place locals in search of some of the best bouillabaisse make for. And it attracts visitors in the know; the actor Nigel Havers recently popped in for dinner. Or try the superb shellfish plateau (€118 for the dish for a minimum of 2 people though it can feed more). Meat eaters go for the likes of duck in orange or superb steaks.
12 quai du Port
Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 91 91 10 40
AM par Alexandre Mazzia
You wouldn’t expect to find such a good restaurant in this small backstreet but you’re in for a great surprise at AM par Alexandre Mazzia. Just awarded a Michelin star, the chef, who was originally at Le Ventre de l’Architecte, has really come into his own. The setting is simple with an open kitchen; dishes like mackerel with satay and other inventive, successful pairings provide the fireworks.
Lunch menus: 69, 92, 115 and 140 euros.
Dinner menus: 140, 170, 210 and 240 euros.
9 rue François Rocca
Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 91 24 83 63
Le Rowing Club de Marseille
The restaurant, open to the public daily, is on the roof of the famous Marseille Rowing Club. Walk past a serious gym and all the trophies the club has won before emerging to one of the best views in Marseille. The club is set on the hill and looks out onto the Fort Saint-Jean and MuCEM. The decor on the terrace is delightful, with plants growing beside the tables, cheerfully colored tables and chairs and wood throughout. Good menus with a mix of fish and meat; tapas and a barbecue. It's great in the evening when Marseille lights up.
34 Boulevard Livon
Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 91 90 07 78
Le Ventre de l'Architecte
If you’re a Le Corbusier and 50s fan, Le Ventre de l'Architecte is the place for a meal after you've toured the vast complex. It’s on the 3rd floor of Le Corbusier’s Radiant City and comes complete with 1950s iconic furniture from the likes of Jacobsen. It's a good setting for modern, inventive cooking. It’s in the hotel, which is worth looking at as a place to stay.
La Cite Radieuse
280 Boulevard Michelet
Tel.: 00 33 (0) 4 91 16 78 23
Website of the hotel and restaurant
Chez Madie – Les Galinettes
Chez Madie – Les Galinette is my favorite restaurant in Marseille. It has an inside dining room with modern art on the walls, and a comfortable outside terrace. The present owner took over the restaurant 20 years ago, so she’s celebrating her birthday this year. The service is charming and the food top value. Specialising in Provençale dishes, choose either fish or meat; both are equally good.
Lunch menus from €15; dinner menus from €22.
138, quai du Port
Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 91 90 40 87
La Boite a Sardines
This jolly looking restaurant is, not surprisingly from the name (La Boite a Sardines, or The Sardine Tin) known for its seafood and shellfish, all of which is served flappingly fresh and certainly not out of a tin. It’s fun and good value with menus from €15 to €25. If you visit the Palais de Longchamp and its two museums, this is the place to make for.
2 Boulevard de la Libèration
Tel.: 00 33 (0)4 91 50 95 95