As you would expect from one of the wealthiest and most glamourous places on the planet, fine dining is not difficult to come by in Monaco. But with such a large selection of upscale eateries, deciding where to book a table is not quite so easy.
This is where our guide to the top places to dine during the Monaco Grand Prix comes in handy. From Michelin starred old-timers dishing up Mediterranean delights to the newest names on the scene creating cutting-edge culinary fusions, there's something to whet every appetite.
Le Louis XV Alain Ducasse, Hôtel de Paris
With three Michelin stars under its belt, Le Louis XV Alain Ducasse is undeniably one of the top culinary experiences Monaco has to offer. Adding to the restaurant’s prestige is its position in the palatial Hôtel de Paris, which is located next to the Place du Casino in the heart of the principality.
Together chefs Alain Ducasse and Dominique Lory have created the ultimate in Mediterranean haute cuisine. Inspired by the Riviera, the modern menu gives pride of place to products, flavours and colours of the region, and dishes such as blue lobster with myrtle berries and ginger, pigeon breast, quince and cime di rapa and sea scallops with chestnuts and white truffle triumph service after service.
Complementing the food is the expert wine pairings from chief sommelier Noel Bajor, the incredibly meticulous service and the immaculate décor. Located in the hotel's Salle Empire, the restaurant still exudes its Versailles-style grandeur after having its golden decorations, hangings and frescoes restored in early 2019.
Joel Robuchon Monte-Carlo, Hotel Metropole
Big things are expected at Joel Robuchon’s Monte-Carlo outpost in five-star Hotel Metropole. With a staggering 26 Michelin awards to his name the Frenchman is, after all, the most ‘starred’ chef in the world and fortunately the food here never fails to do anything but surpass expectations.
The Mediterranean-inspired menu is a masterclass in sophisticated fare that remains authentic to the region in which it was grown. Freshly baked petite baguettes paired with foie grass mousse and parmesan foam sets the precedence of what is to come, with mains such as langoustine ravioli with truffles and quail caramelised with apple puree and truffles delighting upscale diners.
A feast for all senses, the restaurant is also renowned for its visual spectacle. Guests can watch their next course being created in the open kitchen by the team of expert chefs led by Christophe Cussac. The décor is modern and plush, with the most popular tables spread across the panoramic terrace.
Yoshi, Hotel Metropole
Joel Robuchon’s culinary genius can also be experienced in Yoshi, a one Michelin-starred restaurant majoring in contemporary Japanese cuisine in Hotel Metropole. Among a sea of Mediterranean-themed eateries in Monaco, this venue stands out for its Asian-inspired menu as well as its excellently executed fare.
Adding innovative twists to traditional ingredients, Japanese chef Takeo Yamazaki brings out the subtle flavours of his native country. Maki, sushi, sashimi and ‘a la carte’ dishes are all on the menu, with ise ebi no (spiny lobster and Kombu) soup and wakame (seafood jelly) being particular favourites.
Making a dinner here even more appealing is the Didier Gomez-designed interior, which blends ebony, stone and silk with soft lighting in hues of green, white and ivory. Diners can sit at the sushi bar, in the main dining room or in the Japanese-inspired garden on the terrace.
Blue Bay, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel
Bold flavours, diverse influences and exotic ingredients are all on the cards at Michelin-starred Blue Bay in the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel. Inspired by his Martinican roots, chef Marcel Ravin has created a wholly original menu which fuses Caribbean and Mediterranean flavours to spectacular effect.
His daring repertoire of dishes include green papaya spaghetti carbonara, saddle of lamb roasted with Voatsiperifery pepper, lobster flambé with rum and, for dessert, hot avocado and chocolate soufflé served with almond, coconut and cinnamon ice cream.
In line with the innovative menu is the cutting-edge, modern dining room which overlooks an open kitchen while panoramic sea views are to be had outside on the terrace.
Buddha-Bar, Place du Casino
For a night out in Monaco that ticks all the boxes, Buddha-Bar is a no-brainer. An innovative restaurant-bar-lounge concept, the establishment draws in the trendiest crowds around to feast on Asian culinary delights before it morphs into one of the hottest nightspots in the principality.
The extensive menu headed up by award-winning chef Eric Guillemaud features sashimi, maki and sushi as well as other delicacies from China, Thailand and Vietnam. All bear the hallmark of French gastronomic excellence and are made to be enjoyed while sipping sake or a signature cocktail.
Impossible not to notice is the lavish décor. Deep red upholstery, rich woods, elaborate gold gilding and a larger-than-life Buddha statue transport patrons to a faraway eastern land. Dinner is enjoyed on the mezzanine while those in the lounge bar on the level below are kept entertained by resident DJ Papa spinning a subtle blend of chill-out music with delicately embellished electro beats.
Le Grill, Hôtel de Paris
No other rooftop restaurant can quite measure up to Le Grill. Spanning across the eighth floor of Hotel de Paris, it has a sliding roof which reveals the Riviera skies as well as panoramas of the principality. And on a par with the views is the exceptional food, as proved by the eatery’s Michelin star.
Grilled meats have, unsurprisingly, been a mainstay of Le Grill since 1898 and classics such as its legendary soufflé never cease to be popular. Locally sourced fish such as John Dory, bream and sea bass, and various pasta options are also big hitters on the menu as Franck Cerutti creates Mediterranean dishes par excellence using ingredients brought that day at local markets.
Le Grill has even more swagger than before thanks to a recent upgrade. Alongside its outdoor terrace, there is a fresh 18-seater salon named after Winston Churchill and aquatic-themed décor. And contrary to the new look are the 700 vintages available from the hotel’s vaults – a bonus for wine lovers.
Nobu, Fairmont Monte Carlo
The Monte Carlo outpost of renowned Japanese restaurant brand Nobu has been making a name for itself in the luxurious Fairmont Hotel since 2014 and fans of the franchise will certainly not be disappointed by renowned chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa’s award-winning fusion food served here.
Drawing on his classical training as a sushi chef in Tokyo and his travels in Peru and Argentina, the chef mixes traditional Japanese cooking with South American spices to concoct signature dishes such as black cod yuzu miso, Chilean sea bass with jalapeno dressing and king crab tempura with amazu ponzu.
Matching Nobu’s east meets west philosophy is the clean and contemporary décor enlivened by subtle Japanese detailing. Not so understated are the sensational views seen while dining on the terrace.
Restaurant des Rois, La Réserve de Beaulieu, Beaulieu Sur Mer
Anybody who wants to swap grand prix festivities for an evening of fine dining should head westwards along the coast to Beaulieu Sur Mer where one Michelin-starred Restaurant des Rois awaits inside the upscale hotel, La Réserve de Beaulieu.
Chef Yannick Franques utilises his unique skillset to create some of the most upscale dishes in the region, which prioritise high-quality ingredients, distinct flavours and impeccable presentation. Feast on a starter of duck foie gras with seaweed confit, follow with an olive wood-smoked guinea fowl with foamy basil sauce and finish with figs roasted in almond butter accompanied by wild blackberry sorbet.
Another highlight is the restaurant’s palatial styling and gorgeous seaside setting. Large bay windows and a sprawling terrace ensure unrivalled vistas for all and there’s an expert sommelier on hand to help pick from the 30,000-odd bottles stored in hotel’s expansive wine cellar.
For innovative Latin-American fusion and spectacular views over Monaco, book a table at Monte-Carlo's trendy restaurant COYA. While the menu is centered around Peruvian cuisine, a refreshing blend of Japanese, Spanish and Chinese twists create inspired infusions, all of which can be washed down with home-brewed Pisco- a Peruvian brandy that lends itself beautifully to cocktails.
Set away from the centre of Monaco, COYA can be reached easily via tender, making it a must-visit for those on a Monaco Grand Prix luxury yacht charter. The establishment is buzzing during the day, but live music brings the signature beats of Latin America to the venue in the evening. What's more, electrifying DJ sets are on hand to enliven the atmosphere throughout the night.
Boasting refined interiors that perfectly balance upscale luxury with gentle warmth, COYA provides a setting that is both relaxed and elegant. With drinking, dining and partying all on the cards, everyone who visits this restaurant-nightclub hybrid will find something to enjoy.