Marseille Dining

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Like all big international cities, you can find any type of cuisine your heart desires in Marseille. But why come this far for hamburgers and fries? Seek out local delicacies, which include, among other things, bouillabaisse, a fisherman's stew consisting of five kinds of fish simmered in onions, tomatoes and garlic; bouride, poached fish doused in pastis and sprinkled with garlic; sea bass; and seafood dishes that include cigales de mer, a shrimplike crustacean often referred to in these parts as a sea locust. These and other local specialties---tapenade, soupe au pisto, ratatouille---can be found all over Marseilles, but you're likely to find some of the best versions of these classic dishes at the establishments listed here.

La Baie des Singes
On a tiny rock-ringed lagoon, this beautiful spot was once a customs house under Napoleon III. The menu boasts bouillabaisse, of course, but also fresh-grilled sardines, mullet, crabs, lobster, and local cigales de mer. It's all served at terrace tables overlooking the water.

Artfully perched on a rocky cliff surrounded by the sea, this seafood restaurant offers gorgeous views of crashing surf on one side and the port of Vallon des Auffes on the other. The kitchen excels at sophisticated cooking---mullet fillets or sea bass, bouillabaisse, bourade, and more.

Chez Fonfon
Tucked into a picturesque waterside spot in the tiny fishing port Vallon des Auffes, this Marseille landmark has one of the loveliest settings in greater Marseille. Locals indulge in classic bouillabaisse served with all the trimmings---decadently rich broth, hot-chili rouille, and flamboyant table-side filleting. (photo, right)

An institution in these parts, Miramar has been serving up bouillabaisse for decades (it's always on the menu), and the kitchen turns out wonderful variations of the dish. Portside terrace tables take the edge off the interior's red velvet, faded baroque.

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