Restaurants

Eating out in France is not a special treat but a way of life - and that applies especially in Provence. Families go readily to restaurants, in particular for Sunday lunch, and children are usually welcome.

It's often cheaper to dine at lunchtime during the week, when many restaurants offer a prix fixe (set menu) which is much better value than ordering à la carte. To keep the drinks bill low too, ask for house wine by the pichet (jug or carafe).

Insider tip for eating out in FranceBy French law, a restaurant cannot refuse to offer its cheap prix fixe menu at weekends or outside the lunch period unless the limited days and times when it's available are clearly stated at the entrance.

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This area of the site surveys some of the best gastronomic spots in Provence. But remember: chefs can change and restaurants can rise, fall or even close down altogether. For this reason we have noted at the bottom of each review the date(s) when we dined there.

Reviews of more informal brasseries that also serve food - often very good food - can be found in the bars and cafés section. Click here to read our general overviews of the best places to eat in Aix en Provence, in Avignon and in Marseille.

Check back soon for new additions. And bon appétit -or, as the locals say, "bon app"!

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

Christian EtienneChristian Etienne's Michelin-starred restaurant is unarguably one of the best in Avignon, for its outstanding and inventive food, historic setting, very fair prices and friendly welcome.

Sardine can decor at La Boite a Sardine restaurant, MarseilleThe one thing you won't eat at La Boîte à Sardine (The Sardine Can) is tinned fish. Seafood comes straight from the sea at this colourful neighbourhood fishmonger's shop-restaurant a ten minute walk from the Old Port.

Cochlear Roman spoon at the Taberna Romana, Saint Remy de ProvenceTaberna Romana is an unusual and intriguing place to eat in Saint Rémy de Provence when visiting the Roman ruins at Glanum or Vincent van Gogh's room at Saint Paul de Mausole.

Une Table, au Sud restaurant, MarseilleUne Table, au Sud is right on the Old Port, but it could be a million miles away from the tacky tourist traps lining the harbour.

Seafood platter

If you want to eat shellfish in Marseille, Chez Toinou has been the place to go for over half a century, a cherished local institution just off the Canebière a few steps from the Old Port.

Le Cafe des Epices, MarseilleThe concept behind Le Café des Epices couldn't be simpler: quality, imaginative food at affordable prices right in the centre of town. And the Marseillais, who don't much like pretension, certainly appreciate it.

Thierry Coulmeau of Le Poivre d'Ane, Aix en ProvenceDozens of restaurants of every type and quality line the Forum des Cardeurs, a large open square on the edge of the Old Town. Le Poivre d'Âne looks much like its neighbours. But this is not another fly-by-night tourist trap.

The terrace of 29 Place aux Huiles, MarseilleOn the corner of an attractive pedestrian square just off the Old Port, 29 Place aux Huiles has become a favourite since it opened in 2007. The reasons: affordable gourmet food, friendly service and a fantastic wine cellar.

Le Comte d'Aix restaurant, Aix en ProvThis unassuming neighbourhood restaurant in the Old Town of Aix en Provence is easy to miss, but Le Comté d'Aix offers fantastic value in a city where dining out can be ruinous.

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