Monaco, The Food Lover’s Destination
Exotic eateries, fine dining on top-class terraces, local oyster shacks, organic cuisine, and Michelin-starred restaurants: Monaco takes its food seriously, offering endless possibilities for unforgettable epicurean experiences. The Principality is often spoken of as a gastronomic bubble of glamour and elegance, with a wealth of different flavours to enjoy. But where should you start? Here we bring you a guide to the food scene in Monaco, in partnership with Visit Monaco.
Eat Like The Locals
To experience the traditional Monaco, start your day at La Condamine Market, an outdoor and covered food market surrounded by shade arcades where Monaco’s population like to gather for a coffee, an aperitif and a bite to eat while reading the paper.
La Condamine Market is open every day, all year round, accommodating a few traders with takeaway restaurants and bars, numerous outdoor market gardeners, florists and small local producers. It retains that warm and friendly Provençal spirit and represents the heart of the Principality. No stay in Monaco is complete without a taste of the local delicacies, starting with the classic barbagiuan: a rissole stuffed with Swiss chard, spinach and ricotta cheese. Do not miss the famous socca (a popular rustic chickpea-flour crepe) and La pissaladiere (a thick bread dough base topped with caramelised onions, anchovies and black olives) at Chez Roger, for the ultimate taste of Provence. For those with a sweet tooth, the Monegasque fougasse is the Principality’s signature dessert.
While you savour the Monégasque delights, look up and you’ll see the Monaco-Ville district, called locally the Rock of Monaco, a short walk away via the Rampe Major. Monaco’s history was partly written on the Rock, and it is the ideal place to take in the Principality’s proverbial pulse and history. Beneath the pine trees on the Place du Palais, the Castelroc serves Mediterranean cuisine inspired by local traditions, including the Monegasque stockfish or Stocafi, a seafood stew of dried cod with olive oil, onion, garlic and black olives.
Head towards Port Fontvieille and discover a rather special oyster shack. In a region where oyster farms are rare, Les Perles de Monte-Carlo offers the chance to appreciate their quite exceptional Monaco-raised oysters, along with all kinds of seafood – from clams to bream. These marine delights can be savoured on-site accompanied by a glass of organic wine.
For dinner, why not try Beefbar Monaco, a true meat lover’s experience offering a concept of sharing-style street food in an elegant restaurant with gorgeous views of Port Fontvieille.
Enjoy The Outdoors
Whether you are looking to enjoy a drink, a relaxed lunch or treat yourself to a romantic dinner, beautiful locations by the sea come in numbers in Monaco – and there is always a terrace for you.
Not to miss is the very stylish Odyssey Restaurant and Lounge at the Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo, which offers light and modern Mediterranean cuisine in one of the most relaxing terraces, with 360-degree views of the world renowned Casino de Monte-Carlo.
Located on the rooftop of the Fairmont Monte Carlo with breath-taking views of the Mediterranean, enjoy the sun at Nikki Beach while lounging poolside with some exclusive cocktails and delicious food. Only a short walk away, at Port Hercule – a place packed with restaurants and bars overlooking the sea – the Brasserie de Monaco invites visitors to taste its selection of beers brewed on-site using organic malts.
Nearby, the Quai des Artistes, a luxury Parisian-style brasserie, features a large terrace on the edge of the port with magnificent views of the Prince’s palace, the yachts and the Principality.
Then, walk alongside the Yacht Club de Monaco iconic building – designed by British architect Lord Norman Foster – where another terrace awaits, the Wine Palace Monte Carlo. Enjoy an impressive selection of 2,300 wines amid a chic setting overlooking the sea.
Also a must-visit is the Larvotto seaside complex, which is the perfect place to continue the evening while listening to the gentle sound of the waves under the Mediterranean sun. Visit one of the various local eateries such as Neptune Monaco Beach, the Marco Rose Des Vents, the Miami Plage or the Note Bleue restaurant.
For an evening adventure, head to COYA Monte-Carlo to experience delicious Peruvian cuisine mixed with delicate Asian gastronomic touches, DJs and live music alongside sweeping views of the Mediterranean. All of this just a short distance away from the legendary nightclub Jimmy’z Monte-Carlo, where you can conclude your evening on the dance floor.
Monaco is home to the Salle des Etoiles (Room of Stars) and its unparalleled shows, featuring some of the world’s best-known artists and performers. In addition, six different restaurants in the Principality share no fewer than nine Michelin stars between them.
There’s the prestigious Louis XV restaurant, Alain Ducasse at the Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo , a culinary experience offering Riviera-inspired cuisine alongside an exclusive wine list. Then, on the top floor of the luxury hotel overlooking the sea is another star, this one held by Le Grill, whose kitchens have been overseen by Chef Frank Cerutti for over 20 years. On sunny days, the roof opens fully for a lunch or a dinner under the stars. It offers Mediterranean cuisine with a focus on charcoal-fired fish and meat, alongside its world-renowned soufflé.
Nearby at the Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, the Pavyllon Monte-Carlo is a restaurant by Chef Yannick Alleno. It serves the finest gastronomic Mediterranean dishes on the restaurant’s terrace with unmatched panoramic views of Port Hercule and the Rock.
On the other side of the Place du Casino, the Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo’s Michelin-starred restaurant hides behind the entrance with its two majestic Roman-style columns. Yoshi is the place to be for lovers of Japanese cuisine, with maki, sashimi, fish and meat prepared teppanyaki-style by chef Takeo Yamazaki, accompanied by the finest sakes, whiskies and Japanese teas.
The constellations continue nearby at La Table d’Antonio Salvatore at the Rampoli, which earned a Michelin star for its combination of classic, original and creative dishes.
Down the famous Fairmont Hairpin bend on the Formula One Circuit, the sea comes into view along the newly refurbished Larvotto beach, at the far end of which stands the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort and the Blue Bay. Drawing on the inspiration that earned him two Michelin stars, chef Marcel Ravin weaves his culinary alchemy to blend Caribbean and Mediterranean flavours. Inside, the atmosphere is warm and lively thanks to the open kitchens, while the tables outside boast beautiful sea views.
Experience the Newcomers
Gastronomy takes pride of place in Monaco. The Principality is constantly on the move and reinventing itself, and there are always new experiences, new dishes and new flavours to exeperience.
Elsa, the 100 per cent organic wild-caught fish restaurant situated in the magnificent setting of the Monte-Carlo Beach hotel, is welcoming a new chef: Melanie Serre, who focuses on championing local vegetables and fish. New flavours are also coming to the Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo, where Em Sherif Monte-Carlo invites you to savour the finest Lebanese Mediterranean-style cuisine created by chef Yasmina Hayek.
There are many new launches to be aware of too. Co-founder of the Big Mamma Group, Tigrane Seydoux, is opening his first seaside restaurant called Giacomo, which features a sprawling terrace for al fresco and seaside dining on the newly redeveloped Larvotto Beach. Elsewhere, La Mome has opened its latest restaurant on the rooftop of the Hotel Port Palace. It invites you to discover Mediterranean seasonal and quality products with its unmissable risottos and pasta dishes.
The iconic McCarthy’s on Rue du Portier has undergone a transformation to become Trinity Irish Bar, serving signature cocktails by Gregory Buda – voted the world’s best bartender twice. And Mauro Colagreco, voted the world’s top chef by his peers, has opened a bakery in the Principality: Mitron Bakery at the Condamine Market.
Those with a sweet tooth, meanwhile, must visit the famous and oldest Italian pasticceria COVA, which has opened on the ground floor of the new Palais de la Plage in the Larvotto district.
A stay in Monaco is the guarantee of a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you are looking to immerse yourself in the local culture, enjoy a romantic break by the sea or travel with family and friends, the Principality is a captivating place to visit on one of the most beautiful parts of the Mediterranean coast.
For more information: visitmonaco.com
Main image: Pavyllon Monte-Carlo © Société des Bains de Mer
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