Some simple rules to follow to ensure you eat well in Nice:
Rule number 1: Never eat in the cafes and restaurants around the market area. They are expensive and serve really mediocre food
Rule number 2: Do you research to find good places to eat – the good places are booked out and rarely accept walk ins, so make reservations.
Rule number 3: Don’t always believe what the hotel staff tell you – they’ll send you to their cousin’s / friend’s place, or somewhere where they will get a kick back.
Rule number 4: for a lighter meal option, buy some local produce – cheeses, salami, parfait, pate, and the like from the supermarkets (MonoPrix is the biggest and best) or the markets.
Also, resign yourself to the fact that the French can make a good espresso, but not a good cappuccino.
Some good places to go for restaurant recommendations in Nice:
- Michelin Guide – filter through Bib Gourmand which is a selection of restaurants serving good food at reasonable prices. Or choose Michelin starred restaurants for more upmarket dining
- Lonely Planet guide book – some might gawk at this suggestion, but the Lonely Planet has often listed the same restaurants as the Michelin Guide. In my experience, they have got it right more often than not.
- Trip Advisor – use this with caution as many people who post reviews have very different ideas to what is gourmet and what is not.
Here are a few places we can highly recommend:
Comptoir Du Marché, 8 r. du Marché 06000 Nice. Tel +33493134501
Delicious classic French bistro food that is reasonably priced with excellent service
You can read my review about it here
Le Bistrot d’Antoine, 27 rue de la Prefecture, 06300 Nice, France (Old Town / Vieux Nice). Tel +33493852957
This well regarded restaurant serves up fantastic French bistro style food. This is the original, and it’s sister restaurant is Comptoir Du Marché. It’s booked out every night so be sure to reserve a table several days in advance.
La Merenda, 4 rue Raoul Bosio 06300 Nice, www.lamerenda.net
No phone, turn up on the day to get a reservation time. Chef Dominique Le Stanc gave up his status as a two-star Michelin chef to open this tiny place that serves classic French and Niçios bistro food. Good value and great food if you don’t mind sitting almost on top of the next table. You can read my review about it here