The Top Fine Dining Restaurants in the French Riviera

Enjoy artfully presented Provençal dishes with a focus on local ingredients at Le Figuier de Saint-Esprit
Enjoy artfully presented Provençal dishes with a focus on local ingredients at Le Figuier de Saint-Esprit | Courtesy of Le Figuier de Saint-Esprit
Alex Ledsom

France has the highest number of Michelin-star restaurants in the world – with a heavy proportion dotted along the glorious Côte d’Azur. From locally sourced Provençal dishes in Antibes to super fresh seafood in Marseille, we’ve hand-selected a few of our favourite fine dining hotspots among South of France restaurants. Don your finest evening wear and book one of these fancy restaurants in France for a meal you’ll never forget.

Admire the French Riviera from the water by chartering a yacht for the day through SamBoat, or book a week-long sailing holiday with Dream Yacht Charter.

1. Hostellerie Jérôme, for world-class cuisine in La Turbie

Hotel

Formal dining room at Hostellerie Jérôme with vaulted ceilings painted with floral motifs, red velvet antique chairs and cream tablecloths
Courtesy of Hostellerie Jérôme

For special occasions, book Hostellerie Jérôme, a two-Michelin-star restaurant in La Turbie overlooking Monte Carlo. Chef Bruno Cirino does haute cuisine with a local, market twist. Tuck into simple classy dishes, such as steamed langoustines with lemongrass and roasted lobster with wild plums, soaked in brandy. Make sure you order a bottle of wine from the collection of 30,000 in the cellar.

2. Restaurant Le Park 45, for innovative dishes in Cannes

Restaurant, French, Mediterranean, European, Vegetarian, Vegan

Stylish dining room with modern velvet chairs, pendant lights on the outdoor tables and sunset sea views at Le Park 45, Le Grand Hôtel
Courtesy of Le Grand Hôtel / Expedia

You’ll find this one-Michelin-star restaurant inside the 1960s Grand Hôtel on the famous Croisette boulevard in Cannes. Sip an apéritif in Le Cercle bar before the main event. Under the chef Sébastien Broda, this is a place for inventive dining. Come for the food and stay for the sea views on the terrace.

3. La Vague d'Or, for unparalleled dining in Saint-Tropez

Restaurant, Bar, French, Mediterranean, European, Vegetarian

Stylish dining room with beige wingback chairs, white tablecloths, wood-panel dividers and plush striped carpet at La Vague dOr
Courtesy of La Vague d'Or

Book ahead for a table at this three-Michelin-star restaurant in the heart of Saint-Tropez. The chef, Arnaud Donckele, was one of the youngest to be awarded this accolade. With a name that translates as “the golden wave”, it’s fitting that La Vague d’Or sits right on the water’s edge above one of the few beaches in this chic village. Expect hyper-local Mediterranean fare, such as turbot in a Camargue sea-salt crust with shellfish and rock samphire. It’ll certainly be a meal to remember.

4. Chez Fonfon, for fresh-off-the-boat seafood in Marseille

Restaurant, Market, French, European

The exterior of Chez Fonfon Restaurant on the Port Vallon des Auffes in Marseille, with fishing boats crowding the harbour
© Peter Horree / Alamy Stock Photo

Chez Fonfon is an institution in Marseille. It’s tucked away in Vallon des Auffes, a little harbour that was founded by Italian fishing families in the 18th century, just minutes from the city centre. You only need to spot the fishing boats outside to know that this restaurant specialises in seafood. Try a wide range of poisson dishes, including the local specialty, bouillabaisse (fish stew) – but do note, you’ll have to order it 24 to 48 hours in advance.

5. Le Petit Nice, for incredible vistas in Marseille

Hotel, Villa

Airy dining room with white tablecloth-clad tables, white chairs, wood floors and wraparound seafront views at Le Petit Nice Restaurant
Courtesy of Le Petit Nice / Expedia.com

You’ll remember Le Petit Nice as much for the views as for the food. This hotel sits on an outcrop facing the Mediterranean Sea on the Corniche Kennedy, the road that runs along Marseille’s seafront. It’s been in the same family since 1917, gaining its first Michelin star in 1977, its second in 1981 and its third in 2008. Expect an intimate, elegant atmosphere with a lunch menu similar to the one that would have been eaten here 100 years ago – such as fresh Mediterranean fish and the mysteriously named evanescent nougat.

6. Restaurant Daniel Desavie, for Provençal delights in Valbonne

Restaurant, French, Mediterranean, European

Chic dining room with designer copper light fixtures, grey chairs, wood floors and garden views at Restaurant Daniel Desavie
Courtesy of Restaurant Daniel Desavie

Daniel Desavie trained for 23 years at the famed French restaurant Moulins de Mougins, before branching out on his own, near the village of Mougins. The restaurant is full of Provençal touches, from the decor to the food. Try the refined menu of lobster with tabbouleh and orange-mango vinaigrette. If you want to add a special touch to the very reasonably priced menu, ask the sommelier for a good wine recommendation.

7. La Table du Mareyeur, for affordable luxury in Grimaud

Restaurant, Seafood, French, Mediterranean, European

View across canal to La Table du Mareyeurs red-awning-covered terrace under a bridge in Port Grimaud
© France travel photos / Alamy Stock Photo

Ewan and Caroline Scutcher got married in Port Grimaud (just outside Saint-Tropez) over 30 years ago and set up their restaurant on the waterfront in 1989. This is unstuffy fine dining, noted as one of the best restaurants in the South of France by its clientele, which include Leonardo Di Caprio and Paris Hilton. The lunch menu is very reasonably priced, offering simple plateaux de fruits de mer (seafood platters), washed down with a glass of ice cold sauvignon blanc.

8. Restaurant Mirazur, for stand-out fusion food in Menton

Restaurant, French, Argentina, Mediterranean, European, Vegetarian

Chic table for two with designer glass plates on terrace of Restaurant Mirazur with clifftop views of the sea and Côte dAzur coastline
© Image Professionals GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

Restaurant Mirazur regularly finds a spot on the lists of the World’s Best Restaurants. At this South of France restaurant just over the border from Italy, the Argentinian-Italian chef, Mauro Colagreco, makes avant-garde food that consistently wows both critics and loyal clients (it’s easy to see why it has two Michelin stars). Dig into confit duck leg sandwich and salt-crusted beetroot with caviar cream. Ask for a table with views over the sea and tropical gardens below.

9. La Villa Archange, for an unlikely location in Le Cannet

Restaurant, French, Mediterranean, European, Vegetarian

Outdoor dining table with white tablecloth and orchid plant next to outdoor seating on lawn in front of Provençal-style La Villa Archange
Courtesy of La Villa Archange

You’ll find this two-Michelin-star restaurant in an unassuming residential area in Cannes. However, once inside, you’re surrounded by a lush garden. It’s the perfect setting for sumptuous local cuisine; think veal shank slow-cooked for 24 hours, served with potatoes, or sea bass with lemongrass, king prawn tartare and coriander. If the prices are beyond your budget, eat next door at Le Bistrot des Anges for a much more reasonable menu, run by the same team.

10. Le Figuier de Saint-Esprit, for local flavours in Antibes

Restaurant, French, European, Gluten-free

Indoor and outdoor dining areas at Le Figuier de Saint-Esprit, set in a rustic Provençal-style house with exposed beams and tile floors
Courtesy of Le Figuier de Saint-Esprit

Dine under a 40-year-old fig tree (hence the name) in the quaint courtyard of this Michelin-star restaurant, nestled in the old town of Antibes and helmed by chef Christian Morisset. Here, you can anticipate artfully presented Provençal dishes with a focus on local ingredients, like Alpilles lamb with gnocchi and truffles. Travelling on a budget? Opt for the set lunch menu, rather than the pricier dinner option.

Hop between these fancy French restaurants by hiring a boat for the day with SamBoat. Alternatively, Dream Yacht Charter organises multi-day sailing vacations along the Côte d’Azur.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

close-ad
Edit article