France is famous for its fine food, and its a well-deserved reputation. Nice is home to hundreds of top-quality restaurants from some of the best chefs. The local cuisine, as with all of Nice’s culture, is a combination of influences from Provence and Italy. Local specialities include Socca, a pancake made from chick-pea flour and olive oil, and the classic Nicoise salad, which comprises lettuce, tuna, olives, onions, tomatoes and eggs. Unlike bars, good restaurants are widely dispersed in Nice, so be prepared to walk a little. All of these restaurants are less then 10 minutes from Old Nice. Here are our recommendations:
For Nicois: Le Fran-Calin
1 Rue Colonna d’Istria – telephone +33 (0)4 93 80 81 81
One of the best kept secrets in Nice, this family-run restaurant specialises in traditional Nicois cuisine. The “assiette degustation” gives you a tapas-style assortiment of local specialities, and for the main meal try the hand-made fresh ravioli, gnochi or gratins.
For Pizza: Bar de Coin
2 rue Droite – telephone +33 (0)4 93 62 32 59
The huge thin-crust pizza must have some magical ingredient, as the locals are always coming back for more. So popular in fact that the Bar de Coin does not even accept reservations.
For Italian: Le Voglia
2 rue St Francois de Paule – telephone +33 (0)4 93 80 99 16
This new Italian restaurant near the Cours Saleya is always busy and does not accept reservations and so it is best to turn up early. Expect generous portions of pizza and pasta to follow your anti-pasta. If the queue is too long then the Favola opposite has the same owner and menu.
For Romance: Le Tire Bouchon
19 rue de la Prefecture – telephone +33 (0)4 93 92 63 64
A romantic candle-lit French restaurant, this is the perfect place to take your partner.
For Traditional French: Maison de la Marie
5 rue Massena – telephone +33 (0)4 93 82 15 93
This classy restaurant is tucked away under an arch on the Zone Piettone. Surprisingly good value for such fine dining.
For Seafood: Boccaccio
7 rue Massena – telephone +33 (0)4 93 87 71 76
Reputedly the best seafood restaurant in Nice. Located on the Zone Piettone, you can see the menu by looking at the seafood shelved outside the restaurant.
For Haut Cuisine: Chantecler
Negresco Hotel – telephone +33 (0)4 93 16 64 00
The prestigious reputation of the Chantecler is well deserved, and it is the only restaurant in Nice to have two Michelin stars. The chef Alain Llorca serves exquisite French cuisine and offers seasonal menus. The decor follows the palatial hotel it resides in, and the service impeccable.
For Art-lovers: Le Grand Cafe des Arts
Place Yves Klein – telephone +33 (0)4 93 80 58 58
If you know who Yves Klein is, then you must visit this exceptionally stylish restaurant. Located in the grounds of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, you can dine outside with views of the marble-cladded museum and theatre whilst surrounded by the sculptures by artists such as Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle.
For Sushi: Kamogawa
18 rue Buffa – telephone +33 (0)4 93 88 75 88
The best sushi bar in town, where the chef prepares the food in front of the diners sitting around.
For Indian: Nooris
1 Place Grimaldi4 93 82 28 33
The best Indian restaurant in Nice, located just off the Zone Pietonne. Hot buffet every Sunday lunch and dinner outside of summer. Though the presentation may be average, the food is consistently good. There is also a large well placed terrace outside.