Who are the chefs behind the best restaurants in the world? What are the secrets that have made Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer the most starred resort in the Michelin Guide? Is it the ingredients they use, or the special touch they bring to every meal? Which restaurants should you visit to find the best of Monegasque cuisine? Read on for a quick rundown on the most famous chefs in Monaco—including their specialties and favourite recipes—as well as the restaurants that have made the country famous among gourmets the world over!
Since cooking is all about sharing, our chefs have provided a few recipes that will help you create some tasty, original dishes from home. Go ahead and try your hand at a few of these recipes before visiting our restaurants yourself.
A “culture of fine dining”, with an “art de vivre” and “superb culinary compositions” orchestrated by “virtuosos in the kitchen”: many are the complements that have been bestowed upon Monegasque cuisine over the years. With its numerous Michelin-starred restaurants, its local recipes and its tradition of hospitality, the Principality as a whole (and Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer in particular) represents the height of fine cuisine. Its elegant, creative dishes frequently dominate the pages of the best cooking guides, and prominently feature regional products.
While the country was famously home to one of the greatest gourmets of all time—Auguste Escoffier, the inventor of the “kitchen brigade” concept and the author of seminal cookbooks, spent his final years in Monaco—it was not until 1987 that it would revive its culinary tradition and establish its reputation on the international scene. That year, Chef Alain Ducasse joined the kitchens of the Louis XV. In little more than three years, the restaurant was awarded three Michelin stars, and became the top hotel restaurant in this category.
Alain Ducasse’s contribution to Monegasque cuisine owes much to his use of local products. Between its Mediterranean flavours and fresh products from the Riviera (including fish and produce), the region is a natural source of exceptional, deluxe ingredients for chefs to mix and match in their recipes. Lambs from the Alpilles mountains, chards from the city of Nice, olives, turbots, citrus fruits from Menton, and honey from Mercantour are among the treasures that each chef has at their disposal when developing their menus.
With a destination as luxurious as this one, our gourmet institutions expect nothing but the best. Monegasque restaurants attract gourmets from around the world, who know they’ll find the best chefs in our kitchens, with an air of refinement that can only come from a deep respect for French culinary tradition.
A long-standing icon of culinary excellence the world over, Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris uses local fish and regional herbs, and matches them with an exceptional talent for cooking. The menu boasts an assortment of unique flavours, and an extraordinary selection of food and wine pairings from Head Sommelier Noël Bajor.
Located in the same hotel, the Grill* features wood-fired cooking, as hinted in the name. Gourmets flock to this restaurant as much for its grilled turbots, lobster, and fillet of beef as they do for its signature black truffles from Provence.
In summertime, food lovers can also be found at Elsa*, a 100% organic restaurant at the Monte-Carlo Beach. The first of its kind to receive a Michelin star, the restaurant features local, organic products with a refreshing Tuscan influence, to be enjoyed from spring to autumn.
For a taste of the Antilles, look no further than the Blue Bay*, whose vibrant, colourful menu fuses Mediterranean cuisine with Caribbean influences and world cooking techniques. Diners will enjoy its signature hen’s egg topped with cassava, truffles and passion fruit, green papaya spaghetti with carbonara sauce, or an array of globetrotting dishes from the aptly named Escapade Set Menu.
In the peaceful confines of the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, the Vistamar* offers a refined, healthy menu of seafood recipes (bouillabaisse, Ossetra caviar, riso au vert), along with a selection of local, classic dishes, such as European lobster or a rack of lamb from the Alpine foothills.
On a per-capita basis, the Principality of Monaco is home to the largest population of Michelin-starred chefs in the world, ahead of the Spanish city of San Sebastian. And the establishments that have yet to earn that honour are not too far behind, as some of their restaurateurs have the makings of a starred chef.
One of the big names in local cuisine is Franck Cerutti, a native of the Alpes-Maritimes region and a longtime employee of Alain Ducasse at the Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à l'Hôtel de Paris. Today he runs the Grill* at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, where his Alpes-Maritimes roots and his appreciation for high-quality products stand him in good stead.
At the Louis XV-Alain Ducasse à l'Hôtel de Paris***, the signature Ducasse brand has been proudly held aloft by Executive Chef Dominique Lory, who offers top-tier gourmet cuisine. With its three Michelin stars held for thirty years, the restaurant is undoubtedly one of the best in the world.
A rising figure on the Monegasque scene, Chef Marcel Ravin runs the Blue Bay restaurant, where he fuses Caribbean flavours with a local, gourmet touch, stamped with the creativity and imagination that are the hallmarks of his cuisine.
A longtime chef at Vistamar*, Benoît Witz just recently moved to Elsa*. Having previously worked at the Paul Bocuse restaurant in Lyon, Benoît was involved in the opening of the Louis XV-Alain Ducasse à l'Hôtel de Paris*** alongside Alain Ducasse himself. Today he carries on the proud tradition of French cuisine—along with the contemporary art of 100% organic cooking.
After Benoît Witz’s departure, Jean-Philippe Borro became the new chef at Vistamar*. Having previously worked at the Grill*, he has now begun a promising tenure at an establishment where fine products and a love of good food go hand in hand.
Good times and good food, set against one of the most beautiful and impressive views in all of Monaco: that is the guiding philosophy of Chef Jean-Laurent Basile, who runs the Hirondelle restaurant at Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo. At the table, diners will enjoy the best of Mediterranean cuisine, infused with a healthy touch. Three daily menus are offered here, including a selection of balanced meals and sustainable fish. For lunch, the menu offers a number of light, healthy and affordable options that are no less refined—all with a breathtaking view of Port Hercules.
In the heart of the Place du Casino lies a charming, traditional restaurant reminiscent of the old Parisian bistros of yesteryear. The Café de Paris Monte-Carlo, as it is known, boasts a warm and inviting space and a rich culinary tradition shepherded by Franck Lafon, a specialist in local cuisine. The menu includes terrine of foie gras confit with seasonal fruit, along with rockfish soup and a number of bistro staples, including beef tartar with fries. And if you're looking for something sweet, look no further than Chef Joannès, winner of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France award, whose pastries and ice cream are simply to do for.
During the summer months, fans of Mediterranean and exotic cuisine will find something to slake their appetites at Las Brisas, a seasonal restaurant with a full range of festive and refreshing dishes created by Chef Marcel Ravin. Poke bowls, fish souskai, lobster, poultry on a spit...la dolce vita is on full display here, with a panoply of seasonal dishes to enjoy, alongside a panoramic view of the azure coastline.
Some of the best dining establishments have the look of a holiday destination, with a number of exotic influences that fit perfectly with a city known for its art de vivre. In summertime, food lovers eager for a festive ambiance converge on COYA Monte-Carlo, where Chef Fabrizio Fossati whips up a slate of Peruvian dishes. Latin-American classics like tacos, tiraditos and guacamole are all the rage here.
For a more Mediterranean vibe, you can't go wrong with ÔMER, Alain Ducasse’s second restaurant in the Principality. Here, Greek and Middle Eastern aromas intermingle with culinary delicacies prepared by the imminently talented Chef Patrick Laine. The menu includes mezze, manti tadbilé (lamb ravioli), citrus fruits paired with their best seasonings, and a selection of recipes provided by Dina Nikolaou, an ambassador of Greek cuisine. A wonderful establishment where cultures come together and gourmets can have their fill.
Whether you're looking for a roaring good time or a simple place to chill, Buddha-Bar Monte-Carlo will take you on a journey with its delicious Asian cuisine. The menu embraces a certain “Pacific Rim” style, which blends western traditions with Chinese, Japanese and Southeast Asian cooking. Like in the Far East, meals are served in the middle of the table for everyone to enjoy. This means that guests can dine on the best sushi, samosas, Peking duck, and fish à la chinoise in just one meal, providing the ultimate exotic experience.