It makes sense that a port city known for 2,600 years of cultural diffusion would also be a melting pot of gastronomic goodness. Place that city in France and you’ve got yourself one “enfer” of a culinary contender. It’s a land where fresh Mediterranean and traditional Provencal fare meet influences from north and west Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Intrigued yet?
Bouillabaisse, or Marseille’s traditional fish stew, is the city’s claim to fame. Along with a host of other incredible seafood options, it is the reason for Marseille’s notable culinary reputation. You’ll find plenty of variations in both quality and taste around town, but for those sticklers of the “authentic” goods made by the guys who stand by the Charter of 1980 you’ll want to keep your eyes open for places like Miramar, Chez Fonfon, Peron, etc. Amazing seafood can also be had at the morning market in the Vieux Port (where many of the great Bouillabaisse restaurants are located), as well as at Toinou just off of La Canebiere; but to be honest there’s such a profusion of delicious maritime morsels here you may be hard pressed to find an establishment you don’t like.
For more authentic tastes of the city, head a little north to the old Le Panier district. Freshly made knickknacks like traditional biscuits and Mediterranean olive oil, along with some great bistros/cafes, can be found strewn about the old, hilly side streets here. There are also the eclectic tastes of the myriad restaurants located in the Cours Julien Quarter to explore, which cater to a bohemian crowd and specialize in traditional culinary flavors from many regions of the globe. That said, there really are countless establishments located all throughout the city, so keep a couple things in mind as you decide where to dine: 1.) many places close both on Sundays and during the month of August, and 2.) good restaurants aren’t necessarily located in the most popular districts. Have a look at our links for a little more help, and enjoy the tastes of France’s 2nd city.