Monte Carlo is best for...
Food markets: Head to the Place d'Armes to try the chickpea pancake Socca and the fried pastry Barbaguian
Marina backdrops: Enjoy relaxed lunches and Bavarian beer by the marina, perfect for recharging your batteries
Fine dining: Home to many elegant restaurants and famous chefs, Monte Carlo is perfect for extravagant dining experiences
Language: The language spoken in Monte Carlo is French
Currency: The currency used in Monte Carlo is the Euro
Local time: Monte Carlo is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time
Fly to: Monte Carlo's main airport is Monte Carlo Airport
Once the preserve of the super-rich and celebrities, Monte Carlo is a lively, if still well-heeled, destination for a break away. The Monte Carlo food scene has evolved to meet the demands of the new crowd of visitors here to see the sights. That means alongside the champagne bars and budget-busting fine-dining restaurants, you’ll find innovative bistros, brasseries, and pizzerias bustling with activity.
If you like French and Italian food, you’ll find the local fusion of these two delicious cuisines perfect for you. As the capital of Monaco, the world’s smallest country, there’s relatively little in the way of distinctive, local Monte Carlo food to sample. However, regional specialities do include Barbajuan, a sort of fried ravioli stuffed with cheese, and fougasse Monegasque, a sweet, orange-flavoured pastry. You’ll find variations served in restaurants, cafés and bistros across the city, or head to the market to purchase these goodies straight from a stall. Legend has it that the crepe suzette was invented here in 1896. You can still order them on the sun-drenched terrace at Café de Paris, the site of their original creation.
Condamine Farmer’s Market stands at the heart of the Monaco-Ville area. As well as stalls laden with fresh fruit and vegetables, you’ll find some of the best bars in Monte Carlo and a food hall located inside. This is the ideal spot to grab a coffee or pick up some bits and pieces for a picnic later in the day as you wander around.
As you’d expect, you’ll find plenty of high-end restaurants catering to the demanding tastes of the millionaires who live in Monte Carlo. Some of the best restaurants in Monte Carlo are found by the harbour, an easy stroll from the super yachts. For a real splurge, book a table at Le Louis XV. Top chef Alain Ducasse is the man behind this remarkable restaurant, which holds three Michelin stars and prides itself on offering exceptional service.
However, you don’t have to max out your credit card to eat well. The city has a good choice of affordable Italian restaurants serving pizza and pasta. Try the relaxed but always busy, Pizzeria Monegasque, or VIP (Very Italian Pizza) near the Palace. It’s easy to combine meals out with a spot of people watching. The hillside location means many of the best restaurants in Monte Carlo enjoy fine views of the sea, boats in the harbour, and the thousands of glamorous visitors.
Many of the best bars in Monte Carlo come complete with a stunning view. Horizon Deck Restaurant and Champagne bar is the perfect spot to sit and enjoy a glass of fizz while dreaming of heading out to sea. You can look down onto the sparkling blue of the Mediterranean, and plan which of the yachts motoring past would be the vessel of your choice.