A Foodie’s Guide to Provence

From picturesque vineyards and bustling local markets in Aix to fresh fish from the waters of the Mediterranean in Marseilles, the cities of Provence are a foodie’s paradise. Here’s seven great places to grab a bite in Provence. 

1. Les Baratineurs – 41 Place Forum des Cardeurs, Aix-en-Provence

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Sitting on the outskirts of the idyllic Place Forum des Cardeurs, this family friendly spot has one of the most versatile menus in the city. Whether you fancy a juicy burger or a more traditional plate of cheese, Les Baratineurs will satisfy your eyes as much as it will your taste buds. At night relax under the stars at one of the outdoor tables and take in the atmosphere of the lively square bustling around you. 

2. Les Halles de la Major – 12 Quai de la Tourette, Marseille

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Part of the rejuvenation of the city’s old docklands, this trendy food hall is a local favourite and it’s not difficult to see why. Open for lunch, grab a plate and pick out courses from pretty much any world cuisine you can think of. A stone’s throw from the shores of the Med, tuck into some fresh seafood and finish off your feed with cakes that look almost too good to eat. Treat yourself to a glass of chilled rosé and bask in the midday sun at one of the best lunchtime restaurants in Marseille.  

3. Café Caumont – 3 Rue Joseph Cabassol, Aix-en-Provence

Located inside the historic surroundings of a renovated XVII century Provencal manor, Café Caumont serves its dishes with a side of sophistication. Alongside its gourmet menu, the café attached to the Caumont Centre d’Art is as much a feast for the eyes as it is a fest for the belly. Replicating different historical eras in the wallpaper of each dining room, transport yourself to the time of Marie Antoinette and settle in to the pale pink and lilac decor. A complete indulgence for the senses, this hidden gem will leave more than just your appetite feeling full.   

4. Brasserie Le Capucin – 48 La Canebiere, Marseille

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A newcomer to the restaurant scene in Marseille, find this next one attached to the ultra chic Hotel Mercure Canebiere. Ideally located on Marseille’s main thoroughfare, fuel your appetite here after a long day of exploring the nearby Vieux Port. Sleek, modern interiors, friendly staff coupled with a welcoming atmosphere make this authentic spot your go to for an evening of local produce cooked to perfection. Wash dinner down with a glass of red from their extensive wine list and tuck into some gourmet desserts before hitting the hay ahead of another jam-packed day of sightseeing. 

5. La Fromagerie du Passage – 55 Cours Mirabeau, Aix-en-Provence

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Hidden down Passage Agard, you don’t get more typically French than this next place.  Take a breather from the bustling streets below and find a spot on the cosy upstairs terrace for nibbles and a well-deserved glass of wine. Offering a menu of main dishes or immaculately presented cheese platters, if you’re after a taste of the region, you’ll find it and then some at La Fromagerie. After your meal, browse the counters in the ground floor wine, cheese and meat shop and pick up something for the ones left at home. Priding themselves on authentic food and a rustic, warm atmosphere, this little spot perfectly emulates the ambiance of the city of a thousand fountains. 

6. Paul et Kopa – 42 Place aux Huiles, Marseille

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Mingle with the locals and sit down for dinner at one of the best restaurants in Marseille. Tucked away in Cours d’Estienne d’Orves, this authentically Marseillaise spot boasts an impressive food menu with a wine list to match. Order a fresh cut of Med fish or curb your cravings with a delicious pizza made from regionally sourced produce. After eating, take an evening stroll through the quaint, picturesque back streets of the busy city and watch the lights twinkle over the waters of Vieux Port. A timeless classic, this restaurant is definitely one to add to the list of where to eat when visiting Provence. 

7. Live like a Local

Both cities are renowned for their foodie scenes and what better place to get a real authentic taste of the native cuisine than to shop around at one of the many markets that dominate the main streets at least once weekly. In Aix-en-Provence find fruit and veg stalls in Place des Precheurs and in Marseille catch the iconic fish market on the edge of the Vieux Port or wander round the local produce market in the hipster Cours Julien neighbourhood. For authentic local flavours, book a table at Miramar in Marseille and try the traditional bouillabaisse, a Provencal fish stew.


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- Lucy Norris