Gastronomy

You can eat and drink well just about anywhere in France. But you can enjoy excellent - and, even better, healthy - fare in Provence in some of the most beautiful settings in the world. This section is a guide to the region's fine gastronomy, and to the atmospheric bars, cafes and restaurants, where to linger over even a modest snack is an exquisite pleasure in its own right.

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BouillabaisseeYou can't go to Marseille without eating a bouillabaisse. But first read our ultimate guide to the rich, complex fish stew which the city invented and has made its own.

Michelin man Bibendum logoThis is a complete list of the Michelin-starred restaurants in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (PACA), with links straight to their websites.

A calisson d'AixProvence, with its sun-soaked fruits and nuts, aromatic herbs and perfumed honeys and exotic North African influences, is perfectly poised to produce intensely flavoured, irresistible sweet treats.

Advertisement for Janot pastisEnjoyed on a sun-drenched café terrace by the sea, if possible while watching or playing a game of pétanque, pastis is the essential - indeed stereotypical - apéritif of Provence.

Bottle of Cassis Bodin wineCrisp, floral and flinty, the wines of Cassis are justly famous, though you might know them by reputation only, for the little appellation is often not easy to come by outside the immediate area.

olivesOlive production in Provence goes back a long way - back to the Ancient Greeks, in fact. On this page we explore this long and surprising history.

Les Deux Garcons, Aix en ProvenceNo visit to Aix is complete without a trip to Les Deux Garçons, the city's legendary brasserie known informally as the 2Gs.

Glass of provencal rose wineProvence got its priorities right good and early. Wine has been made here for at least 2,600 years, making it the oldest wine-producing region of France.

Gerard Passedat, chef at Le petit Nice, MarseilleLe petit Nice is the only restaurant in Marseille with three Michelin stars. In fact, it's one of only two three-star dining spots in the whole of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur - with prices to match. Is it worth it?

Cavaillon melonsCavaillon thinks of itself as the world capital of melons. Its speciality is the Charentais: small, round, with blue-green striped rind, deep orange flesh and an irresistible perfume.

Drinking rose wineProvence is the place to drink vin rosé so think pink and sample our ten fun facts. And if you want to plunge in more deeply (and who wouldn't?), read our introduction to Southern France's favourite wine.

Wine label, Chateauneuf-du-PapeThe wines of Northern Provence tend to be rich, spicy, full-bodied, dark reds that can be very high in alcohol - as high as 15% - from the long, arid summers baking in the fierce sun.

La Villa Madie, CassisThe only Michelin-starred restaurant in Cassis, La Villa Madie has been through tough times since it opened in 2006. But it managed to weather the storms and is today one of the town's more desirable - and relatively affordable - places to eat.

The Bar de la Marine, MarseilleThe iconic bar of Marseille, the Bar de la Marine on the Old Port was the setting for Marcel Pagnol's famous trilogy, Marius, Fanny and César.

RatatouilleEveryone has heard of ratatouille, bouillabaisse and even aïoli - even if they can't always pronounce them. But there is much more to provençal cuisine.

Brousse du Rove goat's cheese from ProvenceYou only need to look at the provençal landscape to understand at once why its cheese is so special.

Facade, Fou de Fafa restaurant, AvignonChallenging the French at this game takes nerve but in 2010 a British couple took the plunge and set up their own restaurant. It's now one of the most popular eateries in town.

Seafood feast at Sausset les PinsThroughout the winter, in villages on the beautiful Blue Coast, thousands gather on the harbour-front on Sunday mornings to feast on fresh seafood.

Pastis restaurant, AucklandYou might not think of pastis as a cooking ingredient. But its herby, aniseed kick is a perfect complement to all sorts of dishes, both savoury and sweet.

La Poissonnerie restaurant, CassisLa Poissonnerie is just that: a fish stall once stood here, right on the harbour by the boats that supplied it. Then came a fishmonger's and, more recently, a restaurant, run by the same family for generations. Fish doesn’t come fresher.

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