We often travel to destinations for their food and we are often asked by our guests at Chalet Cannelle for recommendations on places to eat.
Our Where to Eat series includes our top picks of road side stalls to Michelin star spots of luxury and everything in between.
Where is Marseille?
Marseille is the 2nd largest city in France, situated on the south coast right on the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. This port city dates back to its founding by the Greeks in 600BC and has been a important trade and immigration post for centuries. It is pretty much the polar opposite to Paris in all aspects to the degree that at times, you forget you are in France. Londoners – you can now get the Eurostar to Marseille, how cool is that?
Le Mercerie – Close to the Vieux Porte on the edge of the slightly edgy Noailles district, this neo-bistro offers a 5 course ‘surprise’ menu for 45€. All courses were delicious as well as interesting and the open kitchen was worth a watch from the bar seating. You can definitely feel a Frenchie vibe and possibility the only disappointment was the wine wasn’t all great but perhaps we didn’t pick wisely…although should it be possible to pick a disappointing wine…? Oh and the coffee was terrible! But we’ll forgive them for the food 🙂
Toinou – Before our arrival, we had read that the fishermen still bring their fresh catch to the Vieux Port. We loved this; so many original fishmarkets have been pushed out of the cities due to the value of land for development (Billingsgate, London.. Tsukiji Market in Tokyo). It’s very basic and authentic, no glitz and glamour just a pile of today’s catch.
Toinou is bang in the centre of Marseille – a fishmonger and restaurant with a vast selection of shellfish and fish. If a plate of Fruits de Mer is your thing, this is the place for you. What we loved is you didn’t have to just pick their platters, you can make your own, with one of this, 2 of that. A completely custom fruits de mer platter at incredibly good prices with super fresh seafood.
Bouillabaisse – a note on the famous Bouillabaisse. Going to Marseille and eating Bouillabaisse was a rite of passage for both of us that we couldn’t miss. We chose Chez Fon Fon located on a tiny harbour not too far out of the city centre and part of the Marseille Bouillabaisse Charter defining the rules of this iconic dish. The location is lovely and we had that little skip when you get to a restaurant and realise you have been given table A. The soup was undeniably good and we loved the experience. Would we tell you that this was a must eat dish? Probably not.. but it has such history and tradition to Marseille, that it would be like going to the UK seaside and not eating fish and chips.