Marseille: where you can have your culture and eat it too.
Marseille has a proud, cosmopolitan air; a city defined by contrast and intense passion. Developed as the main port of colonial France, it has been home to many different populations over the centuries, from the Greeks to the Romans, Turks and Spaniards. The influence that history has had on Marseille’s culture and cuisine are still quite visible today.
To get a feel for it, just cross the stately main street known as the Canebière, where you’ll be surrounded by the city’s thriving kaleidoscope of cultures.
Head down it instead to get to the Vieux Port (old port) the ideal departure point for a sampling of Marseille cuisine, from traditional Mediterranean recipes like bouillabaisse (a rich soup made from local fish) to Greek recipes like dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), a sauce made from carp eggs and even Turkish delight, covered in powdered sugar. From here you can get to the Panier, the city’s oldest quarter, instantly recognisable thanks to its narrow streets and working-class character.
The specialties offered in Belsunce, the area between the station and the old port that’s now home to Marseille’s north African community, are multicultural and never short on spices.