Wednesday 23 August 2023


There are two very different foodie experiences one can have in Marseille.

There is the pretty basic, mildly overpriced, mainly seafood based tourist culinary experience - mostly consisting of eating €60 a head bouillabaisse in a packed restaurant with a view over the port… and then there is the much more local, young, experimental and dare I say very “hipster friendly” culinary scene (made possible by the relatively low rents) with an emphasis on small plates, natural wine and imaginative menus.

You can hazard a guess which experience I was aiming for, and my god was the food (with a little research and reservation making done beforehand) SO good and inspiring, I would go as far as saying that Marseille easily beats what Paris and London currently have to offer.

It is also very affordable to eat out in Marseille, particularly when considering the standard of wine and food you get, and even more so when compared to London, and overall everywhere we went was also extremely veggie / pescatarian friendly which I really did not expect having faced some rather questionable non meaty on previous visits to Paris.

We only had 7 days in Marseille, which of course meant I barely scratched the surface of the amazing foodie offering there, but I do hope you forgo the tourist experience and try any of the utterly fantastic places to eat featured below - I have been left both inspired and wanting to go back to try more.

One last tip before we get into the food - make sure you RESERVE ahead of your trip. The hippest restaurants in town do not have large covers and are popular with locals and in the know visitors alike…I reserved most dinners two weeks before our arrival and it really paid off.


Limmat was probably my foodie highlight of the entire trip which is quite funny as this was our chosen dinner spot for night 1 in Marseille.

Why was it my favourite? Somehow the combo of unique location, the restaurant is bang in the middle of the steep, graffitied steps running from Cours Julien towards Noailles, a few outside table nestled in the midst of it all from which you get the most wonderful view onto the city, creative, perfectly executed cooking inspired by Marseille’s melting pot of cultures and incredible good value for money just made Limmat feel really special. 

Add to that little touches like antique glassware and mismatching plates, wonderful service and possibly the best pavlova, served with fresh strawberries, of my life as fitting finish to the meal and you truly get an unforgettable dining experience.

Plates are seasonal, to be shared and veggie/fish focused (I adored the smoked mackerel with labne, lentil salad, fennel and coriander and the gorgeous ricotta cake with Parmesan, basil and almond pesto, courgettes and toasted almonds) and I could have honestly eaten my way through the entire menu. 

Make sure to call ahead to secure a table because Limmat is truly what a great dining out experience should be all about and Marseille is very lucky to have this proper gem of a restaurant.


Le Bec Du Coq's only downside (if you can even call it that) is the lack of outside dining space BUT it makes up for that in more than one way and was another favourite dinner spot on the trip. 

There is a fine selection of well priced small plates with a great emphasis on seasonal, veggie + pescatarian friendly options that are bursting with flavours, we had the most incredible homemade taramasalata dip and smoky babaganoush served with a moorish pizza dough crust, and there is also a fantastic natural wine list.

The dining room feels cosy yet understatedly chic, almost like you have had the luck to be invited to the coolest dinner party in town, and our host for the evening only added to this intimate atmosphere with wonderful yet not overbearing service.

I would love to call Le Bec Du Coq my local back in London and the Marseillais who packed the restaurant on a Tuesday night must agree, in fact I would highly recommend reserving (which can be done online) as at least 10 people were turned away when they chanced a walk in spot.

In fact Le Bec Du Coq is all you want from a restaurant, - amazing food, great atmosphere and not an annoying tourist in sight. 

Ciel came highly recommended by a couple of friends who had been in Marseille earlier this year. 

It is a bit more mainstream and “instagrammable” than my other favourites on this trip, but with a wonderful rooftop view over Marseille and a great pizza menu I was more than happy to give it a go and I was not disappointed.

Though it was actually too windy to sit in the outdoor rooftop space (we are talking gale force winds that evening), there is an equally gorgeous glass walled inside space on the roof that gives you amazing views no matter the weather and allowed us to see the most gorgeous sunset whilst we tucked into our pizza. 

And I got to say the food at Ciel was actually surprisingly good and authentic - in fact the truffle pizza I had, with freshly shaved truffle on top and the most stretchy and perfectly airy dough base, was quite possibly the best truffle pizza I have ever had, and I've had my fair share.

Starters were excellent, wine was cheap and service was efficient yet friendly, and despite initial reservations that Ciel could have been style and rooftop access over substance CIEL actually really won me over and I cannot at all fault the food and whole dining experience!

Highly recommended for a dressy Friday dinner as a first carby stop before hitting the town for more drinks, make sure to reserve a table online beforehand though, this place is popular with locals and clued up tourists alike.


Toïa was the only restaurant we sort of stumbled across by chance whilst in Marseille and I am so happy we did! I had originally booked another natural wine bar / restaurant but on a second look realised that their speciality was all things meaty. 

However, as I was scrolling through their tagged pictures on instagram (the best way to get a real sense of what a restaurant is dishing up) I came across a post that also had Toïa tagged in it and I very much liked what I saw!

So on a whim and on our last full day in Marseille I managed to book a table online and we headed to Toïa and I am really rather glad we took that risk because Toïa was undoubtedly the hidden culinary gem of the trip and served us some spectacular food.

It’s located right by the side of the port where the big cruise liners arrive and away from the tourist overrun main promenade. There’s plenty of outside seating as well as indoor space, and though not instantly full when we arrived by the end of our dinner the outside space was packed with big groups of locals celebrating and eating, plus a few fortunate tourists that had stumbled across Toïa on their search for dinner. 

Everything on the menu, more modern European cooking which beautifully managed to encapsulate the melting pot of cuisine in Marseille - A bit French, a bit Mediterranean, a little bit Arabic, sounded AMAZING and as it was our last night we went ALL out.

We shared freshly caught, tiny, deep fried fish with aioli and the most insane creamy burrata with tomato sauce that I have to recreate asap at home.

The mains, divided into a beef, fish and veggie options change seasonally and were simply outstanding on this occasion. I had the most juicy tuna steak, perfectly raw in the middle still, with grilled aubergine and spiced couscous while my mum had the bavette steak with chimchurri sauce and potatoes, which she basically inhaled and has spoken about ever since.

Even better starters were no more than 10 euros and mains all under 28 euros, and we washed it all down with the most stunning bottle of buttery Chardonnay. 

Maybe it felt even more special because it was our last night in Marseilles, but our dinner at Toïa was one that will stay with me fore a long time and showed me that being a little bit spontaneous from time to time does have its benefits.


La Passarelle gets a mention not because it served particularly outstanding food, I had a tasty fish dish that wasn’t exactly cheap, but because it is a decent dining option if you want a really lovely outside space near the port and right by down town central Marseille but away from the masses.

It has a gorgeous covered terrace with ferry lights dotted around and chequered table clothes, and a super calm and tranquil vibe even though it is literally 3 mins from the hustle and bustle of the touristy food mile of Marseille.



We mainly stuck to French style breakfasts of baguette or pastries while in Marseille, but on our last day we were after something a little more substantial, knowing we had our long return journeys ahead of us.

I had come across Deïa on some list of the best brunch spots in Marseille and as it was only 8 minutes walk from our AIRBNB and our suitcases weren’t exactly light off we went.

Deïa is quite reminiscent of the many Antipodean inspired cafes you can find in London, and had ample inside and outside seating but was pretty packed even on a Wednesday morning.

The menu is full of creative and perfectly executed brunch dishes. There is brioche French toast with poached peaches and vanilla cream, toasted croissants with pastrami and creme fraiche, fluffy pancakes with apricots, tonka bean mascarpone creme, and the rather outstanding savoury French toast with cream cheese, poached egg, fresh herb and hazelnut sauce, aubergine mousse, toasted hazelnuts and smoked salmon which is what I went for.

This was top level brunch fare that would hold its own even when compared with some of London’s most popular spots, and left us super full and super satisfied. 

Not exactly a typical French concept or restaurant but absolutely hitting the spot if you are after a delicious brunch that will fuel for a long day of Marseille activities.



Café de l'Abbaye was our absolute favourite spot for an after dinner drink with the most spectacular view of the sun setting over Marseille. 

It is absolutely not fancy - more a tiny hole in the wall sort of bar with locals congregating outside holding  their beverage, discussing their days and taking the last rays of sunshines of the day. 

Drinks are cheap and served in plastic cups  and really I wouldn’t want it any other way. 

A must visit whilst in Marseille to absorb the vibrant energy this city offers first hand.



Right by Corniche Malmousque, LOULOU MONSIEUR GLACE is a super chic and modern ice cream parlour and their gelato was INCRED! Cannot recommend enough and quite sad that I only tried here on my last day.

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