Your Gourmet Guide to Monaco

Publication date: 08/09/2020
Charm your palate in the Principality

The country with the world’s biggest hotel wine cellar, filled with exceptional vintages, is a window on an exclusive world of gourmet cuisine that few ever have the opportunity to taste. And yet, Monaco is the land of the Barbajuan, stock fish or Monegasque fougasse, traditional and historic dishes made using the simplest of ingredients. With our blend of Italian and Mediterranean culture, we are perhaps – indeed especially – the country of convivial gastronomy, around a bowl of pasta or a pizza. And finally, today, we are more than ever a country of responsible, seasonal cuisine created from local, organically grown produce.

Experience the flavours of Monaco’s streets

The iconic Place du Casino – recently renovated and now pedestrianised – is the central hub of Monaco’s tourist appeal. The terrace of La Brasserie at the Café de Paris is the ideal place from which to savour the spectacle. Opposite is the five-star Hotel de Paris, home to the legendary Louis XV (***) and Le Grill (*). A little further up, at the five-star Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo, guests can enjoy two Michelin-starred cuisine in the eponymous restaurant, also the starting point for a wonderfully diverse gastronomical journey.

We begin on the Avenue des Spélugues, where you will find the Gaia restaurant, with its Greek-inspired fare and lounge atmosphere, or the more classic Rampoldi which is sure to be appreciate by those with a taste for luxury cuisine. Heading down towards the sea, you will come across the Buddha Bar, a blend of nightclub, restaurant, and terrace bar, with a lively ambience courtesy of the DJ. The path leads on to the Portier district, where you will find a number of eateries including Mozza (Italian), Cozza (Fish), Cipriani (New-York tradition) and La Table d’Elise with its Provençal-inspired menu. For an authentic Irish atmosphere, Trinity takes the cocktail bar and its pub to a next level. 

As in any seaside destination, the waterfront is a hub of activity and places to eat. The Avenue Princesse Grace, which runs along the edge of the Larvotto beaches, is home to a uniquely diverse selection of restaurants, such as Song Qi, which serves Chinese dishes, the Maya Jah qwith its Indian cuisine, the Maya Bay where guests can savour Thai and Japanese food, and the Michelin-starred Blue Bay (**)  where Chef Marcel Ravin creates stunning Creole-inspired dishes.

If the Place du Casino is its heart, then the soul of Monaco is to be found in Monaco-Ville, more commonly known as “The Rock”. A historic district of Monaco and the symbolic capital of the city state, it is home mainly to more traditional eateries such as La Montgolfière or the Saint-Nicolas. And for those in search of a unique location to go with their fine cuisine, there is the Castelroc, on the Place du Palais, opposite the home of the Prince Himself. If originality is your thing, try Arrow Burger with its home-made fast food offering, and for those with a sweet tooth, a visit to the Chocolaterie deMonaco, the official supplier to the Prince’s Palace, is not to be missed.

At the foot of the “Rock” is the traditional La Condamine market, which is at once a bustling hive of trade and a gastronomical Mecca. The Halle du Marché is a food court where a multitude of sellers offer their products, which you can then relax and savour at one of the tables provided by Monaco City Hall. There, you will discover a veritable medley of Italian cuisine, with traditional local specialities such as Socca, Pissaladière or Barbajuan, along with sushi, pasta, and a hundred and one other things besides. The atmosphere is friendly, in fact it’s almost like being part of a big family. After your meal, head across the street for an original kind of digestive, at L’Orangerie. Although you might be tempted, you won’t need to finish a whole bottle by yourself, as you can settle for a small taster.

Like many Mediterranean cities, the port district is traditionally an important economic heart and an unmissable experience for visitors. Monaco has two ports, Hercule and Fontvieille. The former mainly hosts festivities of various kinds, and is popular with all kinds of people from all over the world. Places to visit include the Brasserie de Monaco, which makes its own beer, La Rascasse, which gave its name to the legendary corner on the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit, and the restaurant Before. There is also the Quai des Artistes, inspired by the traditional Parisian brasserie, and a little further on Stars‘N’Bars, inspired by American sports bars, and which serves local organically-sourced fare, vegetarian dishes, and above all is committed to a sustainable model. On the other side of the port, you can taste the sublime fish dishes of U Luvassu, run by a family of Monegasque fishermen, and the exclusive Wine Palace. This area is constantly evolving, with newly opened eateries such as Crazy Pizza or Steak‘n Shake adding to its attraction.

The other port, in Fontvieille, is home to a wide variety of restaurants. These include Moshi-Moshi, which serves a blend of Pacific and Mediterranean cuisine, the Beef Bar for lovers of top quality meat, and Graziella, an Italian restaurant with something for all budgets, or Les Perles de Monaco which serves local Monaco oysters.

With hundreds of restaurants in a territory of just 2.2 square kilometres, Monegasque gastronomy is, like the country itself, a wonderfully diverse constellation with something to suit every taste and every budget. Most of all, though, Monaco is the perfect place to savour your own personal and unique gastronomical experience. And you’ll enjoy it so much, we just know you’ll be back for another helping…