Bar at Bistro A Coté, Provence, France

Bistro A Coté

Chef Jean-Luc Rabanel, who also runs L’Atelier up the street, runs this buzzy, affordable bistro. Come for the ever-changing daily special chalkboard menus, featuring dishes like white garlic gazpacho, duck foie gras, fish à la plancha, whipped up with the finest local products.

Drink at Café de l'Art Center, Provence, FranceCourtesy of Chateau Coste

Café de l'Art Center

Designed by starchitect Tadao Ando, visitors to the Arts Center can dine at this recently opened restaurant that features a stunning choice of homemade dishes. Guests can order Caesar salad, goats' cheese tarts with spinach and pine nuts, pasta and flakey fruit pies before setting on their art walk through the pine-shaded sculpture trail. La Coste’s vineyard’s boutique/ café offers wine-tasting and light lunches with a variety of charcuterie and cheese platters, copious salads and tarts made from fruit and vegetables plucked from the Louis Benech-designed garden.

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Hostellerie Abbaye de la Celle

Located midway between Nice and Aix-en-Provence sits this Alain Ducasse–owned, peaceful country inn and restaurant. Surrounded by vineyards, the eatery is a terrific stopover for lunch, which is served on a chestnut tree-shaded terrace. The ever-changing menu features refined Mediterranean specialties like purple artichokes, John Dory fish steamed in fig leaves or foie gras–stuffed quail with raisins and wild mushrooms. After the local cheese platter, try the divine pear-chocolate pastry. The impressive wine list includes all the top local Côteaux Varois, a blend of 88 rare varieties of grapes. Try the Abbaye de la Celle’s own exceptional varietals.

Interiors at L’Atelier, Provence, France

L’Atelier

Ever since chef Jean-Luc Rabanel (formerly of the organic hotspot La Chassagnette, in the Camargue) opened this tiny, elegant bistro on a quiet side street in Arles, the waiting list for reservations keeps getting longer. Highlights from his all-natural 17-course tapas menu include a tomato marshmallow in gazpacho, polenta and fresh Thai-style tuna, a spectacular Aix-inspired dessert (white chocolate with anis, black olives, fennel confits and nut ice cream), or a strawberry fritter in fresh passion fruit soup.

L’Epicerie

In Place Saint Pierre, an intimate square that is also home to Saint Pierre Church, this small restaurant serves traditional French dishes.

L’Oustau de Baumanière

Part of the Baumanière domain, this two-Michelin-star restaurant is one of the most compelling reasons to visit the tiny town of Les Baux de Provence. Both locals and discerning gourmets come to eat in this legendary restaurant where each dish is carefully crafted by chef Jean André Charial and his team. In the summer months, diners can sit on the outside terrace for an aperitif prior to heading in to the stone-vaulted dining room.

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La Chassagnette

Located just outside of Arles in the Camargue, La Chassagnette offers a true farm-to-fork dining experience from a Michelin-starred chef. The seasonal menu, which features a fresh juice pairing, draws on the delicious bounty harvested in the restaurant’s own vegetable garden and orchard, where approximately 200 varieties of produce are organically farmed year-round. The exceptional food and service are worth the hefty price tag.

Editors' Picks

La Table du Ventoux at Hotel Crillon le Brave

When seated on the terrace of Hotel Crillon le Brave’s La Table du Ventoux, take in the endless countryside views.
Food at La Villa Madie, Provence, France

La Villa Madie

This contemporary seaside restaurant in Cassis faces the Cap Canaille and is headed by a two-Michelin-starred chef. For lunch, order the delicious "A La Petite Cuisine" menu, with a variety of dishes grilled in a wood-burning oven (get a table on the pretty outdoor terrace with a view of the sea and windswept pines). Serious gourmets, meanwhile, should come back for dinner and order the copious tasting menu, with dishes like lobster and tomatoes, duck breast with garden-plucked fruit, and warm apple tarte tatin on gingerbread with caramel sauce.

Le Relais des Moines

This charming country-style restaurant sits in the midst of a peaceful truffle farm, yet is minutes away from the A8 highway. Expect authentic Provencal recipes—from truffles with potato and eggs and foie gras—and more refined dishes including blue lobster with truffle chips, roast pigeon with truffles, spinach and snails, and truffle-studded chocolate creations. The varied menu also includes classics like roasted sea bass with zucchini “spaghetti” and spicy coquilles Saint Jacques with crispy garden vegetables, plus an impressive wine list of local vintages. Don't forget your bathing suit for a refreshing after lunch dip in the pool, just below the dining terrace.

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Les Gorges de Pennafort

Set back at the foot of a canyon, surrounded by green oaks and a dramatic gorge of red cliffs, this elegant restaurant is run by long-established Michelin one-star chef, Philippe da Silva and his wife, Martine. Be forewarned: this is the place for guiltless gorging on da Silva's refined and authentic regional dishes, so expect to linger at the table for a while. (Unsurprisingly, there's a helipad for government officials and sports and film stars to drop in incognito for lunch.) Highlights include homemade chestnut bread, foie gras ravioli in creamy sauce topped with shaved parmesan and truffles, perfectly cooked sea bass with wild girolles mushrooms, and wildly creative desserts, like a dark chocolate cigar-shaped pastry topped with whiskey foam.

Mas du Capoun

Set back on a country road between St.-Rémy-de-Provence and Eygalières, this luminous modern restaurant is always buzzing with well-heeled locals who come for the delicious three-course lunch specials. The Belgian owners, Michèle and Michaël Roumain—who is also the chef—excel in a small, changing menu of market-driven dishes: beef tartare heaped with parmesan shavings and arugula, sea bass à la plancha with stuffed vegetables, free-range roast chicken with rosemary-infused zucchini cannelloni, and local goats' cheese or a mouthwatering baba au Cointreau with vanilla whipped cream for dessert. Diners sit in a pretty, refurbished barn with a white minimalist décor. Book in advance, since the unbeatable prices at this friendly stylish haunt have put Mollèges—an otherwise unremarkable village—on the map.

Editors' Picks
Food at Pierre Reboul,  Provence, France

Pierre Reboul

On a narrow street tucked away behind the Palais de Justice and the Cours Mirabeau, sits this white-on-white modern gastronomic haunt. The Michelin-starred Pierre Reboul is known for his subtly experimental molecular cuisine. Signature tasting portion dishes include a lobster éclair with fresh goats’ cheese, fresh pan-fried foie gras with passion fruit and green apple spaghetti and creative desserts like a raspberry yogurt-filled millefeuille served with a fromage blanc sorbet.

Ideal for the less adventurous, next door is Reboul’s new, brightly-colored and affordable bistro, “Le Petit pr” featuring classic dishes inspired by the chef’s grandfather’s recipes, ranging from Mediterranean sea bass with asparagus risotto to pineapple pain perdu (French toast) for dessert.

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