The Foodie’s Guide to Monte Carlo on a Budget

Millionaires playground Monte Carlo isn’t somewhere you’d think of as a budget destination. But it’s possible to eat well here even if you don’t have an expense account or a gold card.

Like in France, it’s much cheaper to eat your main meal at lunchtime. Even the city’s best restaurants offer good value set menus in the middle of the day, so you can get a taste of fine dining for a fraction of the normal price. A four course lunch at Joël Robuchon’s restaurant only costs just over a quarter of the £167 dinnertime discovery menu.

Monte Carlo has some restaurants that serve good food at low prices if you know where to look. Head to the old town’s U Cavagnetu for traditional dishes from around the Côte-d’Azur. It’s popular with locals who come for the pissaladière (a pizza-style tart topped with onions, anchovies and olives), socca (a chickpea pancake) and barbajuan (a fritter stuffed with ricotta and Swiss chard). Inside there’s a maze of cosy rooms or you can have an al fresco dinner on the terrace.

Italian restaurants are also good for a less expensive meal out. Rue du Portier’s Lo Sfizio specialises in Roman cooking and serves dishes like veal breast with lemon or spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and chilli. Il Giardino on Boulevard d’Italie meanwhile has friendly service and a good range of thin crust pizzas and antipasti.

If you’re really counting the pennies then Self Catering is the cheapest way to go. The Place d’Armes market is open from 6am to 2pm every day and sells fresh fruit and vegetables. Monte Carlo also has some great bakeries where you can pick up delicious quiches, tarts, breads and cakes. We recommended Pâtisserie Riviera on Boulevard des Moulins and Avenue Albert II’s Maison Mullot.