Where to eat and drink in Marseille

Marseille's speciality: Bouillabaisse with seafood, salmon fillet, shrimp. Photo: Shutterstock
Marseille's speciality: Bouillabaisse with seafood, salmon fillet, shrimp. Photo: Shutterstock

France’s oldest and second-largest city is a gloriously gutsy multicultural port, where tower blocks jostle with historic monuments. Much transformed after its stint as European Capital of Culture in 2013, Marseille has redeveloped its docklands and opened some world-class museums. It's now all spruced up, ready to welcome Euro 2016 football fans who will, no doubt, be wondering where are the best places to eat and drink! 

Where to eat in Marseille

Birthplace of the famous bouillabaise (fish stew), Marseille is a fantastic city for foodies. Here are a few of our favourites:

Les Arcenaulx 

25 cours d’Estienne d’Orves

This stylish restaurant-cum-tearoom-cum-bookshop and deli is located within the renovated arsenal buildings behind the Vieux-Port. Draws a dressy crowd for upmarket Provençal fare.

Le Café des Epices

4 rue Lacydon

The well-travelled young chef turns out exquisite dishes based on local cuisine imbued with an international touch. The best place to sit in summer is on the olive-lined terrace.

La Cantinetta

24 cours Julien

Buzzy Italian restaurant in Marseille’s hippest area. The wine list is small but perfectly formed and includes organic local and Italian wines. A good place to start a night on the tiles. Reservations advised.

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Fish Market in the Old Port of Marseille. Photo: APA Publications

Chez Fonfon

140 vallon des Auffes

A good fish restaurant and classic address for bouillabaisse, in a picturesque little harbour just off the Corniche.

Le Péron

56 corniche J.-F.-Kennedy

Stylish contemporary restaurant with stunning sea views. Cooking is accomplished and inventive. A Marseille hotspot.

Le Petit Nice Passédat

Anse de Maldormé, corniche J.-F.-Kennedy

Gérald Passédat, the third generation of Passédats to run this elegant seaside hotel restaurant, is considered by some the best fish chef in southern France, revisiting bouillabaisse and little-known fish.

Pizzeria Etienne

43 rue de Lorette

This ever-busy Le Panier restaurant is renowned for the best pizza in town.

Une Table au Sud

2 quai du Port

Young chef Ludovic Turac makes inventive use of southern produce in a room overlooking the Vieux-Port. Try the 3-, 5- or 7-course tasting menu; the ‘deconstructed’ strawberry dessert is delicious.

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Selection of French sweets in store Macarons. Photo: Shutterstock

Where to drink in Marseille

Naturally the Vieux-Port is first port of call if you’re pausing for a drink or a snack.

La Samaritaine

2 quai du Port

Elegant with its corner vantage point, La Samaritaine is a favourite meeting place for locals. 

OM Café

3 quai des Belges

The rallying point for supporters of Olympique de Marseille football team.

La Caravelle

34 quai du Port

Located on the first floor of the Hôtel Bellevue, La Caravelle is a cocktail hotspot and a great place to watch the sunset. 

Bar de la Marine

15 quai de Rive Neuve

Across the harbour, this place is a local classic and has even featured in a few films.

Up the hill east of the Canebière, place Jean Jaurès and the bars and music venues around cours Julien draw a younger, bohemian set: try Au Petit Nice (place Jean Jaurès) or E-Wine (94 cours Julien).

If it's a choice of Pastis – the local aniseed tipple – you're after then look no further than Mama Shelter's Philippe-Starck-designed Bar à Pastis.

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