Marseille doesn’t have a specialty coffee culture (yet) like the one we’re familiar with in Australia. There’s very little chance you’ll be able to walk into a cafe, order a flat white and get exactly what you expected.
Café is what almost everyone orders and that’s an espresso served with a glass of water on the side. No one cares where the beans are from or who roasts them. The point is to sit down, have a café, read a newspaper and go on with life.
Absolutely not what we’re used to. Finding flat whites proved to be a classic hit and miss case but after a month in Marseille, we were able to find some gems. Here’s our list (and a handy map at the end of the article) of places that are worth visiting and keeping an eye on.
Ginger Art & Coffee
Beautiful interior with a combo of black and raw walls complemented by neon signs and art. There’s also a comfy yellow couch that makes the place look very inviting.
We had our coffees for take away both times. They were decent, not too hot and with frothed milk although we’d like to see more velvety smooth microfoam instead of big bubbles.
Notes: They have a good looking breakfast menu and speak good English.
Lovely coffee shop with its own roastery serving great coffee and good vibes. We had no problems ordering flat whites even though they’re not on the cool mirror menu on the wall.
While the coffee was one of the best we had in Marseille and the milk was done properly, we had the same thought each time, that maybe the beans used or the roast are not suitable for flat whites. Something didn’t seem to be right but as coffee lovers, not coffee professionals, we couldn’t really tell exactly.
Notes: You can also buy bags of freshly roasted coffee as well as coffee equipment. Staff speak perfect English.
Name sounds familiar? This adorable hipster-furnished coffee shop is named after an Australian beach. Apparently, the owner spent some time in Australia and knows what he’s doing when it comes to flat whites.
Their flat whites were the best we’ve had in Marseille but also the most expensive. It’s yet another case of flat whites not on the menu but you can order them.
We stumbled upon this cute as a button coffee shop while walking aimlessly around on our first day in Marseille. To our surprise flat white was on the menu so we ordered one to test it out. The coffee itself was great but milk looked like it was just poured on top without any froth whatsoever. I really wanted to come back for another one to compare but unfortunately ran out of time.
Notes: The interior and furnishings are gorgeous – very instagrammable cafe.
Loustic Marseille [update November 2019: Cafe Loustic has closed down]
The second outpost of an established Paris cafe, Loustic was the one we went back to the most. It’s a new kid on the block but they already are doing great. Each time we went for our flat white fix they had a lot of people dining in and drinking coffees.
The service was very friendly, card payment not a problem at all and our coffees constantly good (the first ones were slightly too hot but if it wasn’t for my notes I wouldn’t remember that).
Notes: When we were in Marseille (October) we wished they would open earlier in the morning when we really needed coffees.
Spacious cafe with eclectic, cosy decor, tonnes of plants and heaps of natural light. Seemed like a nice place to hang out, read a book, work on a laptop and chill. Most customers around us spoke English so it’s either a popular spot among tourists or expats.
The service was friendly and coffee pretty good (but let’s not talk about frothing milk – this seems to be a common problem in Marseille).
Cafe x Cafe
A tiny cafe that on one of my last days in Marseille provided me with an excellent cup of cappuccino. We also ventured there some other time and wanted to get a coffee but despite being there well after the opening hour listed on Google, the cafe was closed.
Price: €2.50 (for a cappuccino)
Notes: With all the street art surrounding the cafe, I felt almost like I was transported back to Melbourne.