Corsican Ballads & Warm Mussels at Le Caribou, Marseille

Corsican ballads played on the speakers of the Le Caribou’s brightly colored dining room as we sat down for a six or seven course meal (I lost count after a few glasses of vin blanc).  Our host, a somewhat portly gentleman (read: six or seven courses…), proudly sported a bright-pink dress shirt and a welcoming smile.

Le Caribou

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it mille times, I love the French.  All jokes aside, isn’t it fantastic that French men feel confident enough to wear pink? and more importantly, isn’t it wonderful to be treated like kings & queens for a meal out?  That’s not just the service we got at Le Caribou… that’s finding a good restaurant in France.

Corsican mix
Mix of Corsican “salads”.

Admittedly, I got a little lost along the way.  Actually, it was more like at the very beginning when trying to decifer the menu options.  We stuck with the classic, all-encompassing favorite: le Menu Traditional… which, among other things, promised a Tian au fenouil de l’Imam-Bayaldi.


This of course was fantastic, like all of the other small plates that mysteriously appeared from points west, north, & east, but besides fennel, I had an awfully hard time explaining the l’Imam-Bayaldi part.

Caribou fish
…And more fish – fillet with hazelnut goat cheese.

So, if the pink-shirt part didn’t grab ya, let’s just say that the folks at Le Caribou have a way of cooking that’s left up to the whims of the season and the fresh fish on offer along the Vieux Port.   They also operate another hotel/restaurant in Corsica and the Marseille “branch” has been around since 1945.  Well, it looks like no one’s complaining – Imam-Bayaldi and all.

You could have pushed me over with a toothpick (or at least a very thick bookmark) by the time the dessert arrived, but, luckily, I rallied around this gorgeous piece of Vacherin – chantilly cream, vanilla ice cream, and meringue topped with chocolate & nuts.  Umm chantilly & chocolate?  I’m easy.

Le Caribou, Marseille

38 Place Thiars, 13001 Marseille

(+33) 04 91 33 23 94


14 thoughts on “Corsican Ballads & Warm Mussels at Le Caribou, Marseille”

  1. Wow, Le Caribou looks like a wonderful place to dine near the the vieux port in Marseille. The vacherin looks good enough to get me to go there for that alone. What was parking like for Le Caribou? I have dined just one time in Marseille and then at lunch at Fonfon along the Corniche and my car was broken into and emptied out (I just arrived from the US and didn’t go home to stow my luggage before going out to eat). So I am always nervous about Marseille.


    1. Too true, you have to be very careful in Marseille. I remember reading your blog post for Fonfon (and still on my list of restos to try by the way) and I felt terrible for your loss – no way to start a vacation! For Le Caribou, there’s a large (city-owned) underground parking structure about 500 metres or so from the restaurant. We felt safe to park there & it seemed quite secure. Bon weekend Michel!


  2. What a great meal! …. and it sound like you guys had a lot of fun and what a nice birthday celebration. Can’t wait to try Le Caribou.


    1. Many thanks Marianne & I hope you get to try Le Caribou one day. I wasn’t too hot on Marseille before, but there’s actually lots to do and see there – especially around the Vieux Port. It’s a very pretty part of town!


  3. Oh my that dessert looks amazing! Lucky you guys! I love going out for long meals but must say I’ve never done a 6 or 7 course one!
    Hope you’re having a lovely weekend Tuula!


    1. Thanks Sam! Luckily we don’t go out to eat like that all the time, I don’t think my waistline would survive 🙂 But France is surely the place to do it in! Hope all is well and that you’re enjoying the beginning of this holiday season – merci bien for your kind comment!


  4. Food, yes, looks delicious….but, oh, that dreamy sky in your opening photo was my favorite view. And it doesn’t cost a centime…how lucky are you? xo, d


    1. Hi Dali, I share your sentiments about the photo – this was supposed to be a “food-only” post but I loved the color of that sky so much, I had to add it to the top – such a pretty day in Marseille. Many thanks for your comment 🙂


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