The most typical dish in Marseille!
Its name comes from the provençal word « bolhabaissa », a mix of two verbs « bolhir » (to boil) and abaissar (to reduce heat).
Originally, it was a poor fishermen’s dish which they made out of the bony rockfish not good enough to be sold to restaurants or markets.
There must be at leat 3 kind of fish between:
Red Sascasse, Sea robin, European conger, Gilt-head bream, Turbot, Monkfish, Mullet or European hake. It can also includes shellfish and other seafood.
Vegetables (specially leeks, onions, tomatoes, celery, and potatoes) are also part of the receipt. The broth is traditionally served with a rouille (very common in south France and mostly in Marseille) made of olive oil, garlic, saffron, and cayenne pepper, and always served on garlic bread.
So far you may be saying to yourself: « this is just a fish soup », right? Well, the special touch you’ll find in the « bouillabaisse » are the provençal herbs used to flavor up the broth and the way the whole dish is cooked and served: fish are boiled one at a time adding them to the receipt « au fur et à mesure » and the broth is served before the fish… letting you enjoy this plasure in two times.
Important thing to know! be ready to pay for it, because the real « bouillabaisse » cost between 45 and 70€ the dish.
Wanna know the best places where to taste it?
- Chez Michel. Authentic place right in front of the beach.
- Le Rhul. An institution in Marseille.
- Chez Fonfon. Located in a very nice small port, le « Vallon des Auffes ».
- Le Miramar. Right on the old port (Vieux Port), at the city center.
- Le Grand Bar des Goudes. At the very south of Marseille in the amazing fishermen village called « Les Goudes ».
Another typical dish in Marseille – and much cheaper than the « bouillabaisse »
Its name comes from the provençal language and it is a mixture of two words meaning « oil » and « garlic »
What is it?
It is a sauce made of garlic, olive oil, salt and egg (only the yellow part).
It is made and consummed all around the mediterranean sea, so the receipt may vary slightly depending on the city or region where it is made. In Marseille, apart from the basic ingredients, we also incorporate lemon juice (and mustard sometimes).
How is it served in Marseille?
You’ll find a large plate with the aïoli in the middle and plenty of things around which you are supposed to eat with the sauce, such as fish, seafood, eggs, potatoes, carrots and green beans, among others and depending on the restaurant.
Our selection of restaurants where to find the best Aïoli:
Both of them are situated in « Le Panier » neighborhood! Make the free walking tour with us and we’ll pass by them.
Oh les Panisses de l’Estaque!
Famous food from the north of Marseille (a port called « L’Estaque »). If you do not have much time to eat or if you prefer to have something « on the go » while visiting the city (maybe during our free walking tour!), this is the best option 🙂
You can find them almost everywhere in the city.
What is it? Could not be easiest:
Get chickpea flour, mix it with water in order to make a paste and fry it, or cook it in the oven.
The most typical froms are: rolls 20 cm long and 7 cm in diameter or discs 10 cm in diameter and about 2 cm thick.
Please, eat them while they are hot, they are much luch better that way.
Normally sold by the dozen or half dozen, it will make the deal if you are not very hungry or even is you are starving. Try it with a salad or the start of a meal.
Is there a most representative drink for Marseille? No!
Pastis is what we drink here all the time, specially in summer during bbq’s, at the moment of the « apéro » when you get together with your friends before having dinner or playing Marseille’s favourite sport « La Pétanque ».
But also in winter because you never get tired of Pastis here. Inside an old and typical bar but also in Irish pubs (yes, you can find pastis in Irish pubs) or un modern and trendy places.
Introduced by Paul Ricard at the beginning of the 30’s, the Pastis has a huge popularity in south of France and all around the mediterranean sea. However, it is not the exact same drink depending on the coutry. The clearest example is the Ouzo in Greece which might get close to the pastis flavor.
It is as an anise-flavored drink, bottled at a minimum of 40% ABV (pastis) or 45% ABV (pastis de marseille). It obtains its anise flavor from a distillation of star anise, a herb of Asian origin.
Feeling like watching how it is made? Check out this artisanal factory located in the city:
To consume with moderation!