Looking for bouillabaisse in Marseilles? These are our favorite spots!

Inspiration

ProvenceFood and WineCities

sonyakamoz / AdobeStock
© sonyakamoz / AdobeStock

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 11 March 2024

At the mere mention of the name of this seafood stew, you can picture the bustling ports and scenic shores of Marseille and Provence. Formerly prepared as a way to re-use yesterday's leftovers, bouillabaisse today is a staple on the menu of the world's greatest chefs. Traditional or updated, everyone has their own version of bouillabaisse!

The bouillabaisse charter: guarantee of quality

Hôtel restaurant Le Rhul
© Hôtel restaurant Le Rhul

Originally a fisherman's dish from Marseille and a symbol of a local know-how, bouillabaisse is now a trendy delicacy forever linked with Provence. Faced with this growing popularity, some restaurateurs from Marseille have defined a quality charter, in place since the 1980s, establishing the acceptable composition of this emblematic dish. For one, only locally caught rockfish must be used. Even the bread used for croutons or the sauce that accompanies the soup must meet strict criteria. As you can well imagine, in France, we don't joke about bouillabaisse!

However, the charter does not deprive the cook of artistic freedom. Whether they make the classic version or not, when it comes to bouillabaisse, all chefs seem to agree on one point: the quality of the products and the variety of fish prevail over everything else. To learn about the principles applied by all the restaurateurs mentioned in this article, follow this guide to find out where to get this amazing soup in Provence.

Le Petit Nice: the three-course "ma bouille abaisse" by Gérald Passedat

Le Petit Nice / Passedat.fr
© Le Petit Nice / Passedat.fr

Gérald Passedat has made Mediterranean fish his specialty. At the table of this three-star chef, it is no surprise to discover an innovative bouillabaisse, nurtured by his childhood memories. Structured in three courses instead of the traditional two, the bouillabaisse offered at Le Petit Nicesucceeds in combining technicality and delicacy, serving maritime flavors that are both subtle and full of character.

Le Rhul: Taste this legendary dish, made by the book

Hôtel restaurant Le Rhul
© Hôtel restaurant Le Rhul

Perched on the heights of the stunning Corniche Kennedy, this restaurant has specialized in bouillabaisse since 1948. And because of this, it is one of the founding members of the famous eponymous charter. With an exceptional view, a picturesque decor and respect for tradition, Le Rhul is a must-visit (and taste) for lovers of what some call the "real" bouillabaisse.

Chez Fonfon: A traditional recipe to discover in the heart of the Auffes valley

Clara Sfadj / Lesmarseillaises.fr
© Clara Sfadj / Lesmarseillaises.fr

An institution of the small fishing port of the valley of Auffes, below the Corniche Kennedy, Chez Fonfon has always relied on the fishermen of the valley to fill its kitchen with the goods of the sea. Served as a starter in a soup or as a shareable main course, here the bouillabaisse is traditional and made with five different fish. It's a perfect combination of freshness and authenticity!

L 'Épuisette: A gourmet bouillabaisse with a view of the Frioul Islands

At the end of the Auffes valley, a gourmet restaurant has opened next to the fishermen's huts, as if suspended above the sea: L’Épuisette. The view over the harbor of Marseille is incredible, worthy of the gourmet cuisine by star chef Guillaume Sourrieu. A refined bouillabaisse (with a stunning view) can be found here as part of a full and inventive menu. Bon appétit!

Chez Michel: A true bouillabaisse institution for 60 years

Restaurant Chez Michel
© Restaurant Chez Michel

Insiders have repeated it for generations: if you are looking for the institution of bouillabaisse in Marseille, you must make a reservation at Chez Michel. In this Michelin-star establishment, which has managed to preserve its picturesque decor and made Marseillais authenticity its creed, everything is a matter of protocol and tradition. The famous dish is served with pride in full view of the Catalan beach and the Bonne Mère. A classic!

L'Esplaï at the Grand Bar des Goudes: a picturesque atmosphere surrounded by nature

L’Esplaï du grand bar des Goudes
© L’Esplaï du grand bar des Goudes

If you want to eat a delicious bouillabaisse with your feet in the water and at the end of the world, you have to go to Les Goudes, near the small port, and try the family restaurant L'Esplaï at the Grand Bar des Goudes. Here, affordable prices and fresh products are the priority. It's also the perfect opportunity to get a real feel for the atmosphere of the villages outside Marseille!

Aromat: the deconstructed bouillabaisse of Sylvain Robert

Sylvain Robert knows how to be bold when it comes to tackling the great classics of Provençal cuisine. Very far from the beaten track, the chef of Aromat makes a bouillabaisse in the form of a hamburger! A beautiful, perfectly mastered eccentricity, which allows him to reconnect with the popular origins of bouillabaisse. Give your tastebuds a fresh treat!

By Clara Sfadj

Shake up popular ideas about Marseille and give voice to a trendy and dynamic community! This is the objective that Clara set herself 5 years ago by founding her lifestyle webzine «Les Marseillaises» in which she shares her good addresses and ideas for cultural outings.

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