All in eat

le café throwback

Word of mouth is my favorite way of finding out about a new spot—a personal recommendation beats any guidebook. When said words come from la bouche of Marseille’s oldest, and best, coffee roaster, André Luciani, you know that a fine cup of café is bound to be had. And Monsieur Madame pours it in one of the most delightful settings.

it's an antique family affair

The legendary restaurateur Danny Meyer says, “A great restaurant is one that makes you feel like you’re not sure whether you went out or you came home. If it can do both of those things at the same time, you’re hooked.” At Mademoiselle Fifi, the just-opened spot nestled in the new Puces de Fifi, you feel like you’re dining at your friend’s home…which also happens to be an antique shop.  

oui takoyaki!

In the multicultural melting pot that is Marseille, a Japanese joint feels right at home. When it serves takoyaki, the fried octopus balls that make foodies squeal, and taiyaki, a fish-shaped, waffle-like dessert, Tako-San feels like it was made for this seafaring city. 

catch of the day

Like my former stomping ground, Seattle, Marseille has a surprising lack of decent fish restaurants for a city centered on the fishing industry. There are tourist traps that dish overpriced bouillabaisse and bistros that serve fish drowning in fanciful sauces. Yet, when fish is freshly plucked from the sea, it simply needs a glug of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a dash of salt and pepper. Luckily, there is Boîte á Sardine.

the godfather and good mother of pizza

LeFooding--the indispensable guide to French restaurants--claims that La Bonne Mère boasts  France’s best pizza. I second that emotion. It’s so tasty there's nothing else on the menu to distract you from keeping your eye on the prize, er, pies. 

Everyone is treated like family at La Bonne Mère, whose walls are plastered with pizza-themed drawings by local kids. The cozy 25-seat bar á pizza is a little slice of Italy hidden in the hills of Vauban, with posters from old Italian films, waiters wearing aprons in red, white, and green, and a Faema Legend espresso machine. 

good vibes, great coffee

In French, le café refers to both the drink and the place where you sip it. While the French excel at latter--it is as intrinsic to the country as bread with every meal-- the beverage itself is surprisingly awful for the gastronomically inclined Gauls. Luckily, the third wave of coffee and its small batch, indie goodness has hit France. In Marseille, that wave has crashed with Coogee.