Pastis and rosé are easy to come by in this lively port city, but if you’re wondering where to drink cocktails in Marseille here are my top three picks:
CopperBay: Elevate your Marseille Cocktails and Pastis Experience
This second bar from the CopperBay Paris team maintains the same high quality as the original with the added bonus of being located in the south – an especially fitting location for a bar with cocktails highlighting Mediterranean flavors and a penchant for pastis. Like its big sister, the decor is chic and nautical with a navy and light blue color scheme accented by shiny wood and copper. Large windows let in lots of light and energy from the terrace bustling with lively locals.
But CopperBay Marseille is more than just a pretty space. The bar really shines when it comes to cocktails. CopperBay has consistently put out cocktail collections made with creativity, concept and attention to detail that offer a little something for everyone. Bar manager Julien Lopez has a lengthy list of established credentials including starting his career at the Montpellier-based Papa Doble (the only non-Paris bar to place in the World’s Best 50 Bars) as well as winning various cocktail awards. But the real proof is in the final product: the cocktails.
The current menu is based on Mediterranean flavours and offers drinks inspired by all parts of a meal. This concept makes it especially interesting to work through the menu in a culinarily chronological order. You can start start with a drink showcasing the flavours of a watermelon and feta salad starter and work your way through to ‘dessert’ with the Tiramisu cocktail. My favorite is the Rosé Pamp, which offers a chic version of the local obsession with mixing rosé and grapefruit.
Prices are pocket-friendly and they also serve beer and wine. In addition, they offer a food menu that works for both small bar snacks or a shared plates meal. We did the latter on our visit and my favorite dish was the tuna rillettes.
The CopperBay team puts heart and soul into their work and that comes through in the drinks and service. So, it’s gratifying to see their empire expanding. In short: when it comes to where to drink cocktails in Marseilles, this should be your first stop!
Tip: Try their CopperBay gin in regular or navy strength.
Carry Nation: Where to drink cocktails in Marseille speakeasy style
Longtime cocktail connoisseurs will be familiar with Marseille’s first speakeasy and serious cocktail bar, Carry Nation. With a name inspired by Carrie Nation, American ax-wielding champion of the temperance movement, it’s no surprise that this Marseille cocktail bar goes all in on the prohibition theme. Part of the fun is finding it, so I won’t spill all on how you access the bar. But, I will say it’s a hidden entrance within a false shopfront that requires a door code. Once you figure it out, get ready to be transported to the age of clandestine drinking and bathtub gin.
The lighting is dim, armchairs are cozy and clients canoodle around low tables perusing the menu with a tiny welcome cocktail in hand. Prohibition signs and memorabilia hang about the place adding to the air of another era. The menu covers classics from decades following the Great Experiment such as the Corpse Reviver, Palamo and Bellini. Props for their Ramoz Gin Fizz, a cocktail for which it’s not always easy to find a bar willing to do the intense work required. Plus they have a few signatures like their Buttered Old Fashioned. They also do cocktail workshops and have a other bars in their group worth a look. Finally, I can also attest to their ability to turn out a nice martini.
Tip: Reserve on their website.
Capian Bar and Terrace at the InterContinental: Luxury Cocktails with a View of Marseille
Want to know where to drink cocktails in Marseille with a bit of swank and a great view? Treat yourself to a visit to the bar and terrace at the InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu. In the luxurious interior bar, smartly dressed staff shake and stir up your cocktails. In nice weather take your drink to the expansive terrace with an even more expansive view. Even the name evokes Mediterranean vibes – “capian” is part of the prow of brightly colored fishing boats typical of the region.
This is the place to either go big with a bottle of champagne or get a standing ice bucket tableside and keep the rosé coming. But, my recent experience taught me that they have a large range of both spirits and cocktail options on the menu – and, of course, I enjoyed a nicely made martini there.
Tip: Monday through Saturday they open from 2pm, so this is a good spot for an afternoon stop.
header image source: Photo by Erin Doering on Unsplash