Le 8 et Demi: Waterfront dining
For lunch in Cassis, you almost have to find a restaurant along the waterfront. All of them have outdoor patios and the menus are similar in price and variety. We picked this one because they had a moule frites (mussels and fries) special on the board
Pizzeria Restaurant: Pizzeria Restaurant - La Fringale
Wood grill pizza. The best I've every had! We found the restaurant by accident and it was kinda of a 1 man show restaurant but the food was AMAZING and the service was tip top. Would recommend this place personally if I don't think they he deserved it. Come visit this restaurant if you have a chance. Cheers!
Favorite Dish: Pizza
El Sol: Seafood and local food
I tried several restaurants in Cassis and it was always good, even for a French. Most of them are on the port.
Provence food mainly (seafood, ...), but please, don't expect this typical restaurants to have always general western food. I had an american coleague, who ABSOLUTLY wants to eat Foie-gras and crème brulée in Cassis and she didn't understand that it's not a local food...
Restaurants rating in Cassis:
http://www.linternaute.com/restaurant/restaurant/22766/ (In french, but the number of stars and comments are good indications)
Favorite Dish: Bouillabaisse
M. Brun: Lunch on the Quai facing the ocean
On the waterfont is a mostly red-deco restaurant that features breakfast and lunches (and ice cream deserts), called M. Brun. The seats are comfortable, the breeze blows their way and they don't mind you sitting for a couple of hours writing in your journal after eating a salad. They mainly have petit dejeuner, salads and drinks and their prices are not as terrible as all the other restaurants which fact the ocean, and the salads I tried were all very good.
Favorite Dish: The view and the decent prices. Salads.
-: General Tip
As a general restaurant tip in Cassis, I will offer this advice. It is my theory that any restaurant/club/bar etc. found on a main tourist strip where there is a good view of something (ie in this case, the sea) will have food that is often only so-so, rather than great. These restaurants with views do not have to work hard for their tourist money, as the views will always sell the restaurant.
You may get lucky and find one with both good food and views but more often you will feel you could have done better after the meal, or the service will be unattentive, treating you as one of the many 'cattle' who herd through their restaurant daily, never to be seen again.
So, unless you know someone who lives there to recommend one of the touristy places as being better than the 15 others on the same strip, I think you will have much better luck trying the smaller restaurants just outside the main tourist strip along the ocean front.
There are a series of restaurants in Cassis tucked into small alley-like streets in the center of town - the view may be of the wall of the next building, or the scooter which the owner's son parked next to the tables. But since these restaurants have to work to get their clients to return, the food is generally much better. We tried a few of the restaurants on the main Quai facing the ocean, and none of them lived up to the prices they charged (some were downright 'mediocre' in quality) and others were so pricey we just thought it would be silly to bother. Every time we tried a restaurant in the 'hidden' area, we were pleased and left feeling we'd just discovered a local treasure.
Favorite Dish: Obviously being in such a beautiful place, you want to see ocean views while eating on occasion - I suggest that if you want to enjoy the view at one of these restaurants, go for a cheaper lunch or cocktail, enjoy the view and then go for a walk. Later, have a superb dinner on one of the amazing restaurants on the side-streets.
Le Calendal: More excellent seafood
Again a great seafood restaurant in Cassis which is not on the main seaside quai area, but rather in the small alley-like streets just bordering to the Quai des Baux. This was the first restaurant we went to in Cassis and was 2nd best after the Bonaparte (we tried a different one each night for 6 nights and went to the Bonaparte twice). The food was delicious at Calandal and there were slightly more complex dishes offered (sauces etc.). Also, priced slightly higher than Bonaparte.
Favorite Dish: The Noix de St. Jacques (scallops) were excellent - cooked perfectly (ie not chewy which happens when they are cooked even a tad too long) in a lovely sauce. Also the appetizers were great, and even the olives they served with aperetifs were excellent (olives in an achois paste sauce). Top rating. In fact, the only thing that made me decide Bonaparte was better was the charming owner of the Bonaparte and the slightly lower prices for the same excellent quality seafood - in both places the food was outstanding.
Restaurant Le Bonaparte: Amazing Bouillabaisse and fresh fish
This small restaurant located on the side streets of Cassis serves some of the best fish dishes in town. It is the only place we went back to twice - once for the fish and the second time for the famous Bouillabaisse, which you must order ahead of time. Their Bouillabaisse is also more reasonably priced than some of the price-gouging touristy places on the Port which have views of the ocean.
It is not located on the picturesque port, but rather in what almost looks like an alley - yet the restaurant is packed nightly, attesting to it's quality food (and good value).
From April - September they are closed on Mondays. Out of season they are closed both Sunday and Monday.
Favorite Dish: Bouillabaisse. The owner of this family run restaurant lords over his kitchen! He is a big part of the charm and success of the restaurant (yes, get reservations - the first time we tried to eat there they were full). He takes care to show you the fresh fish before you eat, and explains everything about the dish. It's clear he loves his restaurant and the food, and that's why this place is not to be missed when in Cassis.
Also as a tradition, the owner comes around and gives out a digestif after dinner (on the house). A very charming place with absolutely delicious seafood.
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