and this gazebo.
There is also Dame Oseille, a tiny cafe with a handful of tables inside or out.
Even though I was in a seafood city, the braised lamb sounded too comforting to pass up. I was very happy with the meat that was literally fork tender, the crisp and creamy polenta cake, and the roasted cherry tomatoes. For just 14.50 Euros or about $16 USD, this was a bountiful plate with lively flavors and quality ingredients. I was also happy to see salt and pepper on the tables and have no desire to use either:)
I had to have fresh fish while in Marseille, so what better place than a restaurant that was also a fish market? La Boite À Sardine is only open from about 11am-3pm, and if you only go to ONE place for fish in Marseille, go here. You can call ahead for a reservation (they only speak French) or wait up to an hour for a table, either way it will be worth the effort. Trust me :)
This is not a touristy place, so don't expect any English spoken (I had to tell a guy looking for the bathroom where it was because the wait staff didn't know what he was asking). They are very friendly and helpful, and will show you the fresh items on the menu if you don't understand the French words:)
This was the most fun place I went to during my entire five days in Marseille. One of the chefs literally wrestled a huge live lobster on the counter, I met two local women at the counter who both said this was their favorite place in Marseille, and the staff joked with me throughout my meal, saying I had to finish my plate by closing time at 3pm, and when I didn't touch the bread basket after seeing the copious plates of food, they asked if I was on a diet:) Even though I never asked for wine (3.5 Euros or about $4 USD), they served me a glass since it was inconceivable that anyone would eat without drinking some wine!
I started with six medium sized Camargues oysters which arrived with their shells on, and my favorite addition, wedges of fresh lemon for 12 Euros or about $14 USD.
They were "medium" to the staff, but large to me; I barely had room to put the shells once I lifted the "lids" off the oysters!
I ordered the mackerel with mustard sauce and sardine croquettes which had a minty tomato sauce side, and when this platter came out I gasped; this was a serving for ONE for 14 Euros or about $16 USD! Now you see why the waiters said I had to finish by closing time:) The mackerel had the most tender sweet flesh I've ever tasted for mackerel and honestly I was satisfied after eating one, but it was so good I slowly finished both. The sardine croquettes were a bit dry without the tomato sauce, and I only ate about one and a half because the fish was so good.
The fun decor of the dining room with scales, nets, and shells is continued in the toilette downstairs.
Thankfully the metro and tram were only a few steps away
with plenty of seats to transport my very full tummy back to my rental for a nap:)