Bouillabaisse is a specialty of Marseille, a symbol of local culinary culture. It is a fishermen’s dish that can be tasted either in the form of a broth, as a starter or as a main dish. It is served in two different forms, one of fish, the other broth, accompanied by croutons (possibly rubbed with garlic), the famous “rouille“ (rust-colored provencal sauce) and sometimes aïoli (garlic mayonnaise). These two dishes can be mixed in a soup plate or served separately, according to the taste of the dinner.
Originally, it is a simple, family dish that over time has been perfected. Some restaurateurs now add other crustaceans. But Bouillabaisse should include at least 4 different species of fish including the essential scorpion fish, spider fish, Fielas (congre fish), white scorpion fish and capon fish. According to the catch of the day, Saint Pierre, slipper lobster, angler fish, lobster and red mullet may be added.
Here are the 5 main restaurants in Marseille guaranteeing a traditional Bouillabaisse:
• Chez Michel
Since 1946, Chez Michel is an establishment recognized as the specialist for fresh fish, bouillabaisse and bourride (a similar dish to bouillabaisse). Located in the 7th district of Marseille, facing the Catalans beach, this restaurant has been a family business for three generations. Starred in the Michelin Guide, the chef offers traditional and authentic French cuisine, from bouillabaisse, to delicious grilled fish.
Since 1952, at the heart of the typical fishing port of Vallon des Auffes, Fonfon is known worldwide for its fish specialties, including clay-baked fish and its famous Bouillabaisse. Fonfon is a real local institution that, at the rhythm of the seasons, offers the freshest and tastiest fish for a cuisine which is rich in perfume, taste and color!
Located on the Vieux Port, the Miramar restaurant offers fine cuisine and the true Bouillabaisse which must include specific ingredients to be authentic and respect the tradition of Marseille. The Miramar follows precisely the Charter of Bouillabaisse. “Golden Key to Gault & Millau”, quoted in the “Champérard Guide” Miramar and his chef, Christian Buffa, are recognized among the elite.
• Le Rhul
At the seaside, perched on its rock on the corniche, overlooking the bay of Marseille, the Rhul is renowned for its bouillabaisse tradition spanning three generations. The Rhul is president of the Bouillabaisse Charter, previously cited above, which was published in the 80s.
For 4 years, a Bouillabaisse takeaway bouillon has been developed. Buy precooked fish fillets, add the bouillon and enjoy!
On the corniche, hanging on the rock, this restaurant is an institution in Marseille and offers a magnificent panoramic view of the bay and its islands (If, Frioul). With a modern and welcoming atmosphere, the cuisine is refined and the Bouillabaisse at the height of its reputation. Marseille chic and relaxing at the same time.