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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 28 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

The region’s cuisine is a mix of Provencal and Italian food, using plenty of olive oil, sun-ripened fresh fruit and vegetables, seafood and lamb from the mountains.

Pasta often features – flavoured with pistou (similar to pesto) – and salad is ever-popular; truffles, caviar, lobster, and foie gras commonly feature in fine dining restaurants.

What to try

Although fashionable restaurants may disdain it as ‘common’, a salade Nicoise is a must-try – made with sun-ripened tomatoes, cucumber, onion, tuna, anchovies, hard-boiled eggs, capers and good olive oil. Look out for street stalls selling socca (a chickpea flour pancake), pissaladiere (onion and anchovy tart), pan bagnat (salade Nicoise sandwich) and tourte de blettes, a sweet pie made with Swiss chard.

Also see our round-up of traditional French foods to try in France.

The dining scene

Nice is the Cote d’Azur’s foodie central. It’s the only French city with a real street food culture; the almost-daily Cours Saleya food market has fresh produce food stalls selling all kinds of tasty local specialities. It’s also the only city in France with an AOC wine region right in the city limits: the excellent Vin de Bellet.

Like any big city, Nice offers a range of gourmet and inexpensive restaurants and bistrots; the new trend is bistronomy – creative gourmet food in informal bistro-style setting (these are usually tiny so be sure to book). Top chefs follow the money, so expect excellent restaurants in and around Nice, many of which are connected to five-star hotels.

Recommendations

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Chantecler

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France

Chantecler

Stunning after its recent restoration, the Negresco’s Chantecler restaurant is helmed by one of France’s top female chefs, Michelin-starred Virginie Basselot, whose cuisine deftly combines classic and contemporary. With its superb wines and service, dining here is an unforgettable experience.

Adult price: £70

Best for ages 13+

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Cours Saleya Food and Flower Market

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France

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Bucket List Experience
View looking down from above to the busy market of Cours Saleya in the centre of Nice City

Nice’s food and flower market, held along the pedestrianised Cours Saleya esplanade, is packed with all the vibrant, sensuous colours, flavours and scents of the south: lavender, marzipan, sugared almonds, spices, herbal teas, takeaway socca and pissaladiere snacks. Held Tuesday to Sunday, around 6.30am to 1.30pm.

Best for ages 13+

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Deli Bo

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France

Deli Bo

Nice’s most exquisite pastries are the stars, but Deli Bo (short for Delicatessen Bonaparte) also offer one of the city’s best breakfasts (including scrambled eggs with truffles), light lunches, fancy teas and coffees.

Best for ages 13+

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Fenocchio

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France

Aerial view looking down onto a counter full of colourful home-made gelato

Since 1966, the Fenocchio family has produced Nice’s favourite ice cream and sorbets and sold them from their shop in the historic centre. The only downside is trying to decide which of the 94 flavours to try.

Best for ages 13+

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JAN

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France

JAN

Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen was the first South African chef to receive a Michelin star. Inspired by his grandmother’s cooking, he creates dazzling original dishes, but book early to have a chance to try them: there are only 24 seats.

Adult price: £70

Best for ages 13+

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La Part des Anges

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France

inside of a wine shop with shelves full of wine bottles

Chosen as the best wine cellar in France in 2020,  the ‘Angels’ Share’ specialises in natural wines and organic beers,  with great snacks at the wine bar; the bistro offers ten different wines daily by the glass to go with lunch.

Best for ages 13+

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Les Amoureux

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France

Les Amoureux

Nice was part of Italy until 1860, so perhaps it’s not surprising that friendly, unpretentious spot makes perhaps the best pizza in France. No website, no reservations, no phone; just join the queue at 46 Boulevard Stalingrad.

Adult price: £8

Best for ages 13+

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Les Petits Farcis

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France

Male chef and group of people at cooking classes

This small cooking school runs cooking courses in a pretty kitchen just around the corner from the Cours Saleya market, and offers the option of visiting the market to buy local produce before learning to cook it, Nicois-style.

Adult price: £175

Best for ages 13+

Duration: 2-3 hours

When: All year round

Frequency: daily

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Le Plongeoir

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France

Le Plongeoir

Just under Nice’s Mont Boron, this spectacular restaurant looks like something out of a fantasy, topping a 6m rocky pillar in the sea with remarkable views. It’s pricey, a bit touristy, but unique (and cheaper at lunch).

Adult price: £35

Best for ages 13+

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Nery’s Fromagerie du Carre d’Or

Nice, Cote d'Azur, France

Nery’s Fromagerie du Carre d’Or

Located in the city’s posh ‘Golden Square’ shopping district, cheesemonger Nery’s is a legend in Nice. Go for the finest fresh and perfectly ripened cheeses from across France, along with specialities made on the Cote d’Azur.

Best for ages 13+

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Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 10+
When: All year around
Duration: Any

Getting there & doing it

Excellent restaurants are scattered fairly evenly across Nice, but the biggest concentrations are in Le Vieux Nice and Jean Medecin areas. Find Nice’s Michelin-starred restaurants in the online Michelin guide.

When to do it

In France most restaurants, especially in the evening, only do one ‘sitting.’  In Nice, however, many restaurants open earlier than the norm in France: the tourists dine at 6.30pm–7pm, while the locals don’t usually show up until 8.30pm or 9pm.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Nice Small-Group Walking Food Tour with Local Specialties & Wine Tasting

Nice

Nice Small-Group Walking Food Tour with Local Specialties & Wine Tasting
Eat your way around Vieux Nice – Nice’s old town – on a 3.5-hour food walking tour! Led by a local guide passionate about the region’s rich gastronomic heritage, your tour includes up to 20 samples of deliciously different dishes from Nice. Sip wine from the nearby Provence hills, and try the famous pissaladière onion tart, the chickpea based socca or the succulent petits farcis stuffed vegetables. Learn about the Italian influence on the city’s cuisine, and visit top Nice attractions like the Cours Saleya Flower Market and Castel Hill. This small-group tour is limited to just fifteen people, ensuring you’ll receive personalized attention from your guide.

Price: €81

Min age: 0

Rating 4.74 / 5 [464 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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NO DIET CLUB - Unique Local Food in Nice !

Nice

NO DIET CLUB - Unique Local Food in Nice !
We are Claudia and Anthony, two crazy frenchies passionated about food and carbs. Two years ago we've created the No Diet Club in London and had wayyy too much fun to stop there. A few months later we were running 2 extra tours in Paris and guess what, oops, we are doing it again in Nice where Anthony was born and raised. Food is just too good to be true here, we just had to. Our goal is simple, introduce you to the real cuisine niçoise, full of flavors and colorful. Eat like a real Niçois and get the best recommendations from friendly locals. No tourist traps, only the best !

Price: €63

Min age: 2

Rating 4.91 / 5 [397 ratings]

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Viator Exclusive: Local Cooking Class & Dinner with View of Nice

Nice

Viator Exclusive: Local Cooking Class & Dinner with View of Nice
Join Marie-Christine for a unique culinary experience in her charming home nestled amongst olive trees, offering stunning views of the sea. As a home chef and foodie, she'll guide you through preparing a starter and main course, giving you a glimpse into her daily life and the local cuisine. After cooking up a storm, sit down to enjoy your homemade meal with a glass of wine. Don't forget to snap some photos on Marie-Christine's beautiful terrace, which boasts panoramic views of Nice. This is the perfect opportunity to learn from a passionate cook and soak up the beautiful scenery and sun of the French Riviera.

Price: €98

Min age: 8

Rating 4.52 / 5 [92 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Food & Wine Lovers Tour of Nice Local Markets and Best Shops

Nice

Food & Wine Lovers Tour of Nice Local Markets and Best Shops
In this 4-hour Food Lovers walking tour (small-group, 15 persons max.), discover the best meals, snacks & products from Nice & French Riviera (about 10 specialties & many local produces): our typical dishes mixing Italian, French & more mediterranean influences: olive oils & special fruits vinegars, local wines & truffles, cheeses & dry meats with pairings (honey), breads & pastries, candied fruits & many more surprises. Enjoy the best of Nice's local culture with a local food expert (certified guide).

Price: €84

Min age: 0

Rating 4.58 / 5 [56 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Private French Cooking Class at a Local Home in Nice (Morning)

Nice

Private French Cooking Class at a Local Home in Nice (Morning)
Spend an afternoon in an authentic Nice home cooking and baking with a local. Learn all about the local provençal ingredients, then roll up your sleeves and prepare your own dinner, sweet and/or bread, while chatting away over tea or coffee and fresh juice with your local chef.

Price: €404

Min age: 0

Rating 4.92 / 5 [13 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Nice

Cote d'Azur, France

Long strip of beach and blue sea with city behind

The buzzing, art-filled, foodie capital of the French Riviera, with a charming, Italian-influenced historic centre. The ideal base for a first-time visit to the Cote d’Azur, and home to the world-renowned Nice Carnival.

Monaco

Cote d'Azur, France

Monaco

The Riviera’s Never Never Land for the rich, offering bling, glamour, sights, high-roller casinos and entertainment galore.

Cannes

Cote d'Azur, France

View of the beach and seafront in Cannes

Sister city of Hollywood and host of the famous film festival, Cannes, with its palm-lined La Croisette, golden beach and five star hotels oozes cinematic and pure Riviera glamour.

French Riviera

Cote d'Azur, France

View of boating marina and the town on hills behind

Money, glamour and bombshell looks: this beach-trimmed stretch of French coast offers decadent hotels, lounging in beach clubs, fine restaurants and world-class art.