This gourmet restaurant on the very edge of Marseille’s Old Port is as famous for its delicious Michelin-star awarded dishes as it is for its incredible panoramic views over the Mediterranean. The exquisitely designed, nouvelle cuisine-inspired dishes are crafted with only the finest ingredients by top chefs. They are best enjoyed alongside one of the many complementary wines from l’Épuisette’s extensive selection. Try to sit by the window for the best views. Take in the Old Port on one side and the Mediterranean on the other.
If you’re looking for creative Mediterranean cuisine with a menu that is altered according to the season, head to Une Table Au Sud. It is on the corner of the Old Port where the Quai des Belges meets the Quai du Port. This award-winning restaurant isn’t cheap. However, the gourmet French cuisine made using only the finest and freshest ingredients means the steep prices are justifiable and worth splashing out on. The floor-to-ceiling windows granting stunning views of the port and the Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica in the distance are also not to be missed.
This Marseille institution always draws a crowd thanks to its great location, warm and friendly welcome and the sumptuous gourmet dishes. Restaurant Chez Michel’s decor is simple but effective. The quality of the meals speak for themselves. The local dishes in particular, including Chez Michel’s bourride, a seafood dish which originated in the Provence and Languedoc regions of France, warrant the (sometimes high) price tag. The warm welcome by the always-friendly owner is the icing on top of the cake.
Le Souk offers an exotic taste of the Maghreb right in the middle of Marseille’s Old Port. The Moroccan-themed restaurant is a reflection of the large Maghreb population that call Marseille their home. Here you can sample traditional North African couscous dishes, kebabs and the ‘tagine of the day’, which can be sweet or savory. There are many vegetarian options too so you don’t have to be a meat-eater to enjoy what Le Souk has to offer. As well as the delicious food, the decor, furniture and even the uniform of the servers is reminiscent of an authentic Moroccan restaurant.
Le Bouchon Provençal dishes | Courtesy of Le Bouchon Provençal
Le Bouchon Provençal
This traditional Provincial bistro in the heart of Marseille’s Old Port is the locals’ favorite. It is situated just 10 meters from the Old Port water’s edge. Le Bouchon Provençal‘s menu is completely revamped with each new season and the wine list is just as comprehensive. There are more than 60 wines to choose from, ranging in price from relatively modest to the very extravagant bottle of Château Pape Clément red wine. The meat, seafood and regional specialty dishes are popular. The plates of charcuterie meats and cheeses for starters are firm favorites.
Just behind the Marie de Marseille, the city’s town hall, you’ll find this charming French bistro in the Old Port area of Marseille. The small but carefully chosen lunch and dinner menus are made from fresh, seasonal ingredients which please even the pickiest of tastebuds. If you can’t decide, opt for the chef’s menu which changes from night to night. The urban decor is chic and stylish. The outdoor seating on the terrace is particularly pleasant on those balmy Mediterranean evenings.
Just a couple of streets south from the Old Port of Marseille proper is Le Grain de Sel. The emphasis here lies in using fresh, organic, locally sourced ingredients to make tasty, wholesome food. The open-plan kitchen is visible from every corner of the small bistro so you know that your meal will be made to order and prepared fresh in front of your eyes. The husband and wife duo who own and run Le Grain de Sel do their utmost to ensure that every customer leaves happy. With such a high-quality menu at reasonable prices, you probably will.
Overlooking Marseille’s Old Port, Chez Fonfon is the regional and seafood restaurant with a view. Here, you can expect some of the finest seafood in the area. Given its close proximity to both the port and the Quai des Belges fish market, shouldn’t be too surprising. Of note is the bouillabaisse – the local seafood delicacy made up of a fish soup starter. This is followed by a main course of the fish itself – which is particularly good at Chez Fonfon. To top it off, Chez Fonfon has a warm, relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy your generously sized portions.
Another of Marseille’s superb seafood establishments, Restaurant Miramar can be found wedged in the north-eastern corner of the Old Port. Views over the port and of the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde in the distance are spectacular. These are complemented by the mainly seafood-inspired menu whose good sized portions are made of fresh, seasonal produce. Restaurant Miramar is particularly popular for its signature Bouillabaisse. Its other main courses, as well as its starters and the dessert selection, are worth a try.
Les Arcenaulx, a few streets back from the main Old Port area of Marseille, is part restaurant, part bookshop. Here you can enjoy a great meal surrounded by shelves upon shelves of great literature. The restaurant first opened its doors in 1980 and has since become something of a Marseille institution. The chefs have crafted an impressive menu using flavors and cooking techniques typical of this region of France. The menu is updated with the seasons. The wine list, made up of 250 wines, is equally impressive.