Marche Poissons Vieux Port MarseilleMarche Poissons Vieux Port Marseille
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Best places to savour an authentic bouillabaisse in Marseille

Marseille’s must-do speciality, you’ll find the traditional bouillabaisse on offer at various restaurants throughout the city. Here’s out top pick of the best addresses.

On the Vieux-Port (Old Port)

Le Miramar, Chez Loury and Bouillabaisse Turfu

Let’s start our tour with the city centre. A living testimony to the Marseille’s rich fishing and maritime history, the Vieux-Port still boasts several artisan fishermen’s stalls where you can admire the catch of the day. In the olden days, fishermen used to take unsold fish or fish that was unfit for sale home to make a fish soup. Today, this family dish has become a refined and even high-end speciality. You’ll find three bouillabaisse specialists around the Vieux-Port. The first, Le Miramar, is situated on Quai du Port. Respecting tradition is so important here that the restaurant is one of the founding members of the Bouillabaisse Charter, which lays down the essential ingredients of the bona fide Marseille bouillabaisse. For example, the genuine recipe must include several varieties of scorpionfish, plus spider fish and conger eel. It must also be served in two different dishes, one for the broth, the other for the fish. On the other side of the Vieux-Port, just opposite Le Miramar, you’ll find another long-established bouillabaisse specialist: Chez Loury. Here, each ingredient is carefully selected, from the little fish that lend the soup its unique flavour to the noble varieties filleted in front of the customer. In a completely different and less academic vein, inspired by street food codes, Bouillabaisse Turfu is set in a small street next to the Vieux-Port. The concept: a takeaway bouillabaisse that supports sustainable seafood cuisine.

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Along Corniche Kennedy

Chez Michel, Chez Fonfon and Le Rhul

Let’s step out of the city centre and head towards the Corniche Kennedy coast road. Our first stop-off is at Plage des Catalans, home to Chez Michel, a genuine bouillabaisse institution since 1946. As a bouillabaisse benchmark, the restaurant of course respects tradition by serving the bouillabaisse in different dishes and filleting the John Dory, weever or scorpionfish before the avid eyes of hungry pundits. On the walls, you can admire a whole series of photos of celebrity guests come to relish the speciality of Marseille. Further along the corniche, or rather under it, head down into the Vallon des Auffes – a picturesque old fishing village lined with colourful fishermen’s cottages – to take a seat at Chez Fonfon. Bouillabaisse is an age-old speciality here too and the restaurant has been serving it for no less than 70 years, along with the traditional rouille sauce, aioli and croutons rubbed with garlic. Let’s head back up again to reach the third address, set overlooking the coast road: Le Rhul. Located just above Anse de la Fausse Monnaie cove, the restaurant boasts stunning views over the sea, Château d’If and the Frioul islands. Tradition is on the menu here too and it’s no surprise: Le Rhul is the president of the very-strict Bouillabaisse Charter. Depending on the season and if you choose the hour wisely, you can savour your delicious Marseille bouillabaisse while you watch the sun go down. What else?

In the Calanques

Le Grand Bar des Goudes, Auberge du Corsaire (Chez Paul) and Le Cabanon de Jean

Let’s leave the city altogether and venture into the wild and simple setting of the Calanques fjords. Two addresses await you at the little port of Les Goudes, a former fishing village seemingly at the end of the world, yet still part of Marseille. If you’re arriving from Marseille and head into Rue Désiré Pelaprat, you’ll initially come across the Grand Bar des Goudes, opened in 1920. A genuine institution, this eatery has crossed the ages and now offers a magical setting for enjoying one of the best bouillabaisses in the city. Just a few steps away, on the same street, you’ll come to the Auberge du Corsaire, also nicknamed Chez Paul. Bouillabaisse know-how dates back many decades here too – the restaurant has been around for over 70 years. With its terrace overlooking the port and small scattering of tables on the quaysides next to the boats, the Auberge du Corsaire is renowned for its excellent bouillabaisse and particularly friendly local atmosphere. Last but not least, let’s head to Marseille’s best-kept secret at the bottom of Calanque de Sormiou: Le Cabanon de Jean. This timeless little restaurant serves a delicious bouillabaisse made with fresh, local ingredients in an idyllic setting. After lunch, take time to enjoy a casual stroll on the port, a spot of sunbathing on the beach, a walk on the local trails or relaxing game of pétanque on the village square…

To discover