In this port city of southern France, seafood plays an important role in the food scene, with a wealth of ingredients then being sourced from the surrounding land. Whether dining in the heart of the city or on the rocky shoreline, this culinary identity can be seen in restaurants helmed by world-class chefs. Experience this local flavor by seeking out the five best restaurants in Marseille.
Le Petit Nice
This three Michelin starred restaurant, and five-star Relais & Chateaux hotel, sits on the waterfront of the small coastal enclave Anse de Maldorme, overlooking the sea just outside Marseille. Here you can taste the accomplished cuisine of chef Gerald Passedat who is celebrated for creating dishes that embrace the region’s abundant fish and seafood with influence taken from Marseille’s distinct culinary identity of French and Spanish flavors. The menu encompasses sections for shallow water, deep sea and land based dishes, with options including anemone served three ways—breaded, in custard and as light fritters—with caviar each time, and rock lobster with almond embers, cucumber, pear and horseradish. The ‘Passedat’ tasting menu consists of ten plates.
By coming to this restaurant in the InterContinental hotel, guests can expect Michelin starred gastronomy and an elegant fine dining setting commanding views over the city, Notre-Dame de la Garde and the Vieux Port. Chef Lionel Levy is behind the cuisine here, combining the coast’s produce with traditional recipes incorporating spices and flavors of the Mediterranean. Try the pan-cooked veal chop with calf’s head nuggets and marrow bone sauce or the Daube-style lobster accompanied by chard compression with caviar and burnt cauliflower. Perhaps finish with a rum and chestnut soufflé with celery flavoring.
Une Table au Sud
Established in 2013 when Marseille became the European Capital of Culture, this restaurant by Ludovic and Karine Turac now boasts a Michelin star; when it was awarded in 2015, Ludovic became that year’s youngest starred chef. The port-side restaurant makes the most of the views with floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as embracing the local fish and seafood, along with vegetables from Provence and meat from the Southern Alps. The wine collection, which is curated by Karine, also places the focus on the south. A series of set menus of different lengths include meat dishes such as veal braised with Provencal herbs accompanied by gnocchi Agria with parmesan, and seafood plates such as lightly cooked oysters with Fregola Sarda Parmesan risotto.
On the waterfront of Vallon des Auffes, a short journey from the city, L’Epuisette sits on the rocks overlooking the sea, providing a contemporary dining space to savor the sea views from. The Michelin starred cuisine is created by chef Guillaume Sourrieu. While simultaneously taking inspiration from his travels and using the local and Mediterranean produce, he creates seasonal dishes with modern cooking techniques and contemporary presentation. Sourrieu’s signature dish is his Lobster Tajine in which the lobster is served with a spice broth.
AM par Alexandre Mazzia
This Michelin starred restaurant is run by the esteemed chef Alexandre Mazzia who is especially well known for his innovative style of cooking. In the intimate restaurant distinguished for its minimalist modern décor and counter seating facing into the open kitchen, guests can dine on the chef’s extensive tasting menu, bringing together the region’s ingredients in a series of small creative plates. These are paired with the restaurant’s selection of excellent wines.