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The best restaurants in Provence we never miss while on holiday

Whether you're craving fresh seafood and perfectly grilled fish or you're in the mood for a 12-course tasting menu, the best restaurants in Provence have something for you.

From bouillabaisse to ratatouille to daube, there is no shortage of delicious things to eat in the South-East of France. In fact, the gastronomy of Provence is one of its greatest features. And the best restaurants in the region never disappoint us.

Whether they are casual seafood bistros or Michelin three-stars, the best restaurants in Provence share a commitment to the freshest possible ingredients and the finest cooking techniques. Some are tightly rooted in their sense of place, while others welcome international influences. All of them give us reasons to look forward to our holidays in the South of France.

The Best Restaurants in Provence for Casual Dining

Not every meal of your holiday needs to be an elaborate degustation menu extravaganza. When we want to keep things simple, here is where we go to savor the essence of Provence.

Le Pont de l’Orme, Malaucène

This is a simple, charming restaurant that is run by the Gerard family in their home. There are no tablecloths, neither inside nor out, and no fussiness anywhere. Rather, there is a soulful, understated-chic aesthetic and pretty terrace with metal chairs overlooking a garden. The cuisine is provençal, of course, with what they call “a tick of tradition with a dose of innovation.” There are Mediterranean influences, and always, top produce in its freshest form.

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Chez Thomé, Aix-en-Provence

Every day is a garden party at Chez Thomé, where white wrought-iron chairs sit around the tables in the shade of the trees. The menu leans toward simple and luxuriant classics, such as a salad with foie gras and smoked duck breast, chèvre with onions and confit peppers, entrecôte, and a simply prepared fish of the day. For dessert, get a taste of Provence with lavender crème brûlée.

L’Agape, Avignon

Expect chalkboard menus and Edison lightblubs at this bustling gastropub in the center of Avignon. (Note that its popularity makes advance booking essential.) Chef Julien Gleize has some fun with his approach to French traditional gastronomy, while his wife, Anne, welcomes you warmly into the dining room. Along with the ever-changing a la carte menu, there are several short and gently priced degustation menus, including one where all seven courses are a surprise.

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La Boîte à Sardine, Marseille

One of the best restaurants in Provence to eat a casual seafood lunch or dinner is La Boîte à Sardine. It’s not only the namesake little fish—although vintage tins of it line the walls—but also impeccably fresh fish and shellfish. Owner Fabien Rugi and his longtime chef Célinne Bonnieu have no patience for subpar products (among other things). The best dishes are the simplest, such as the catch of the day—choose your own from a selection of whole fish presented on ice—and grilled shrimp dressed only with lemon.

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The Best Restaurants in Provence for Fine Dining

Of course, for food-loving travelers, no trip to one of the world’s best gastronomic regions is complete without a big deal of a meal. Here are some of our favorites that never disappoint.

Chez Bruno, Lougues 

You come to Chez Bruno for one reason, and one reason alone: to eat truffles. The larger-than-life Mr. Bruno is the king of them, and his is considered to be the best restaurant in Provence to eat truffles, and likely the best in all of France. There is some white or black truffle on almost every dish, and in many cases, the earthy indulgences are the star ingredient. His signature dish is a just cooked potato with two types of truffles, but the ever-changing menus might include creations like “truffle caviar with truffle whipped cream, blini, sweet tomatoes, and truffles.” Bonus points for being one of the still-rare French fine dining restaurants to offer a vegetarian menu.

restaurant provence chez bruno

La Chassagnette, Arles

This is the only organic restaurant in all of Europe to hold a Michelin star. It also holds a sustainability distinction from that same organization. That’s because virtually all the vegetables and herbs come from La Chassagnette’s own garden, in the heart of the Camargue. Chef Armand Arnal’s Discovery menu is vegetarian, and even his Flora & Fauna menu is deeply connected with the garden, the Rhône terroir, and the seasons. The animal products come from local farmers and fishermen who have committed to sustainable practices. It includes combinations like tonnato tuna, beetroots, and shiso vinaigrette; and grilled pigeon squab from Costières, vegetable escabèche, and grape-apple molasses.

This is the only organic restaurant in all of Europe to hold a Michelin star. It also holds a sustainability distinction from that same organization. That’s because virtually all the vegetables and herbs come from La Chassagnette’s own garden, in the heart of the Camargue. Chef Armand Arnal’s Discovery menu is vegetarian, and even his Flora & Fauna menu is deeply connected with the garden, the Rhône terroir, and the seasons. The animal products come from local farmers and fishermen who have committed to sustainable practices. It includes combinations like tonnato tuna, beetroots, and shiso vinaigrette; and grilled pigeon squab from Costières, vegetable escabèche, and grape-apple molasses.

Le Vivier, L’Isle Sur-la-Sorge

Modern French gastronomy is the star of the show at this spacious and contemporary-style restaurant. Restaurateur and chef Patrick Fischnaller describes his cuisine as “honest and creative” and “complex without being fussy.” Who are we to argue? There are a la carte options, as well as three-, six, and eight-course tasting menus. (For more ideas about things to do in L’Isle Sur-la-Sorge, check out our guide to Provence holidays in the Luberon.)

AM par Alexandre Mazzia, Marseille

Chef Alexandre Mazzia’s obsession with engaging the five senses led him to earn a Michelin star less than one year after he opened his namesake restaurant, and to be named chef of the year for 2019 by Gault Millau. His food is artistic and virtuosic, and never boring. Now with two stars, he offers menus of varying lengths and styles (“grand voyage,” “degustation,” or “signature”) that include a great variety of dishes inspired by his time working in French, African, and Asian kitchens. Everything is as beautiful as it delicious.

restaurant provence alexandre mazzia

L’Oustau de Baumanière, Les Baux de Provence

A legend among the best restaurants of Provence, L’Oustau de Baumanière can trace its history back to 1945. It has left its impression on generations of royalty, celebrities, and everyday gourmands. The current third Michelin star was won in 2000 and now retained by chef Glenn Viel, who has a deep commitment to authenticity. (He makes his own butter and had tomato driers installed on the terraces to enhance seasonings.) But equally important is the star of the front of the house, Jean-André Charial, the grandson of the original owner, Raymond Thuilier.

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Where to stay to be near the best restaurants in Provence?

With Le Collectionist, renting luxury Provence villas has never been easier. Whether you prefer homes by the seaside, traditional Provençal homes, or homes for families, the choices are endless. Explore our collection to discover other luxury houses for rent in Provence.