Barbajuans and other Monaco specialities to enjoy during a getaway

Stéphane Danna

In Monaco, cuisine is king. Dishes from all over the world can be found in the top restaurants, but a few simple and delicious local specialities hold their own.

There is no shortage of culinary specialities on the Côte d'Azur, and each town lays claim to its own dish. Barbajuan or barbagiuan is no exception. The origin of the Monegasque speciality is also disputed by the town of Menton. This is unsurprising when you consider that Menton was once part of the Principality.

In any case, as a local speciality, the small stuffed and fried ravioli can be found almost everywhere in the Principality. The recipe can differ. Sometimes with spinach, sometimes with chard, the filling is a mixture of vegetables with ricotta, emmental or parmesan cheese and occasionally onion. The ingredients may change, but the taste remains consistently delicious.

To sample THE Monegasque speciality, you can stop off at one of the many A Rocca shops, which are dedicated to cooking local specialities at a reasonable price. Otherwise, many restaurants offer Barbajuan on their menus. This is the case, for example, at the Castelroc restaurant located just opposite the Prince's Palace.

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Surprisingly, Monaco has its own oysters: Les Perles de Monaco. They are grown in the port of Fontvieille and can be tasted here in the restaurant Les Perles de Monte-Carlo, on the Quai Jean-Charles Rey. They don't get any fresher than this.

More regional dishes

Other specialities, which are more generally associated with the Nice region, are waiting to be tasted in the Principality. These include estocafic, more commonly known as stockfish, chard pie, pissaladière with tomato and the dessert galapian.

Estocafic is not the most appetising dish, but it is still very good. It's simply a dried cod stew rehydrated in olive oil. Onions, garlic, olives, wine and herbs are added to produce an authentic estocafic.

Chard pie can be eaten either savoury or sweet. The savoury version is made with rice, chard and parmesan cheese. The sweet version includes chard, sultanas, pine nuts, almond powder and icing sugar.

Galapian actually comes from Apt but the Monegasques have reinvented this dessert as a sweet tart with almonds and cherries flavoured with vanilla.

There are so many different and varied dishes that will delight the taste buds of young and old alike during your stay in Monaco.