After not eating much provencal food in Marseille I was really interested in the best restaurants in Aix en Provence for provencal food- where is all the traditional food?
But Aix (pronounced X) is a bit more complicated. Perhaps it’s because it is considered little Paris complete with its own Champs-Elysées aka Cours Mirabeau.
Here well dressed locals enjoy lots of great shopping and restaurants. It’s a very different vibe from Marseille and more similar to food in Paris.
The focus isn’t so much on eating traditional provencal food but looking forward.
If you’re looking for provencal food you can find it but locals aren’t eating traditional food at all. Here are some of the most popular local picks:
Local Favourites for Shops + Restaurants in Aix en Provence
The morning market at Place Richelme begins at 8am and it’s the best spot to try to get local food and seasonal produce.
Although you can’t take cured meat back to North America, there is local honey and other preserves.
While brunch is generally a North American phenomena it’s becoming more popular around the world.
American style brunch is popping up in Bologna, Italy and it’s also trendy in Aix en Provence. The 32-seat Maison Nosh is in a prime location downtown and locals flock for the 20 Euro brunch.
32 Cours Mirabeau – 13100 Aix en Provence
La Fromagerie Du Passage
An ancient narrow passageway from the Cours Mirabeau to the church is also home to great shops and trendy restaurants like La Fromagerie Du Passage, which offers a set menu with 10 cheese based dishes with wine pairings.
If you fall in love with a cheese you can buy it in the cheese shop on the street level.
Passage Agard 55 Cours Mirabeau – 13100 Aix en Provence
Choose Your Goutez Wisely
Locals choose restaurants in Aix en Provence based on the season. In the summer tourists crowd 2 Garçons as it was once Cezanne’s bar so locals avoid it and head a few doors down on Cours Mirabeau to Le Grillon.
But in the winter you’ll find locals at both for a Goutez – the late afternoon snack in Aix en Provence.
Art + Wine at Hôtel de Caumont
Aix en Provence attracts top exhibitions like the current Marilyn Monroe photography exhibit but the building in itself is a reason to go. Hôtel de Caumont is a beautifully restored 18th century mansion.
So even if you’re not into art I highly recommend a glass a rose in one of the salons.
3 Rue Joseph Cabassol, 13100 Aix-en-Provence
Widely considered to be one of the best restaurants in Aix en Provence, Le môme serves Corsican food.
Great Corsican food. Yes you definitely need a reservation as it’s a tiny space but it’s worth planning to eat here. Bonus: There are English menus and local biodynamic wine.
5 Place Ramus, 13100 Aix-en-Provence
An anise spirit in Provence, pastis is usually served as an apéritif. I love this shop because they are experimenting with different local flavours. It’s worth a trip.
2 Rue Paul Bert, 13100 Aix-en-Provence
How to Get to Aix en Provence
You won’t need a car in Aix en Provence as the city centre is small. It’s an easy 3 hour ride from Gare de Lyon in Paris on the high-speed TGV train.
Where to Stay in Aix en Provence
Staying central is key and Hôtel de France was perfect as everything was 10-15 mins away.
The rooms are not large but they are modern. The hotel has a fantastic breakfast and friendly staff.
Disclosure: This post about local picks for restaurants in Aix en Provence is possible from a recent press trip with Atout France, My Webspot, Rail Europe and Air France. Although I like to write about traditional food around the world it was interesting to see how an ancient city like Aix en Provence also has modern options.