Why not try some of Nice’s specialities? Many restaurants offer typical dishes originating in Nice, and for some, very successfully… But which ones combine the quality of the food with the essential rule of our regional cuisine – seasonal produce. Here are six recommendations for restaurants in Nice that have been selected for their authenticity.
RESTAURANT CHEZ DAVIA – NICE
A chef who has chosen a family adventure over the world of Michelin stars…
Pierre Altobelli headed Michelin starred kitchens of the very top French chefs before going to Osaka and obtaining his first star in the famous red Michelin guide book. The love of his Nice roots took over when his mother, in charge of the restaurant created by his grandmother Davia, decided to stop work. There was no way he could let go of this family story! Back to basics for this prodigal son who with talent and simplicity, offers an exquisite menu with Ligurian-Nice accents: marinated anchovies, ratatouille and his perfect slow cooked egg, stockfish, little stuffed vegetables à la niçois (with shoulder of lamb and sweetbreads, if you please!), barbajuans… Everything is perfectly mastered in this Nice restaurant! And what about desserts, like Menton lemon tart or torta de blea?
11, bis rue Grimaldi
Tél. 04 93 87 91 39
RESTAURANT LOU PISTOU – NICE
Even better than seasonal cuisine, here the menu is written for the week or even just for the day!
Chef Dominique Dumas first worked in the kitchens of the family auberge in Provence before expanding his experience in Michelin starred brigades. Thanks to the proximity of the Cours Saleya market, he can fill his basket every morning with the day’s ingredients sourced from local and preferably organic producers. He offers traditional Provençal and Nice dishes, cooked with elegance: ratatouille, pissaladière, courgette flower fritters, artichokes “à la barigoule”, truccia, Nice-style red mullet fillets, pasta with pesto, etc. And the desserts: just wonderful! A good place to try!
RESTAURANT LA MERENDA – NICE
A former Michelin starred chef serving traditional Nice cuisine…
Dominique Lestanc, Negresco’s two-star chef came to sit down at this charmingly simple restaurant before … buying it! A decision to leave the world of Michelin stars, 22 years ago, that surprised the entire profession. Since then, he has been happily wandering the alleys of Cours Saleya to find the best local produce. It is his close relationship with these ingredients that motivates him in the kitchen where he takes his time and lovingly produces a “feminine cuisine” as he calls it: pesto, stockfish, stuffed sardines, stew or tripe à la niçoise, tart de Menton (pissaladière without the anchovies), torta de blea…
4, rue Raoul Bosio
LA CAVE DE LA TOUR – NICE
An emblematic place in Old Nice, where the “nissart” spirit still lingers…
Jean-Philippe Gazan took over the winery created by his grandfather in 1947. One of the last places where “la Merenda”, the local morning snack is made. A place filled with charm with its old counter and stainless steel vats, where regulars tease each other as is the custom in Nice… As for the food – preferably organic and most definitely local produce! You can savour the stockfish, the tripe à la niçoise, the pissaladière and the genuine little stuffed vegetables à la niçois… Not to mention the trulle (boudin niçois) or the truccia (chard omelette). And in the wine cellar the greatest offer of local Nice wines. A good place to go and 100% nissart!
La Cave de la Tour
3, rue de la Tour
RESTAURANT A BUTHEGINN’A – NICE
The temple of Nice family cooking…
“Chez les Filles”, as many call this little restaurant that serves good honest food. Sophie, the chef, was introduced to Nice cuisine by her mother, a real purist! Here, seasonality is a religion. Every morning from local producers on the Cours Saleya “the girls” source their ingredients to make into authentic dishes: chickpea soup, couaieta (thin slices of beef stuffed with chard), capouns (stuffed cabbage), little stuffed vegetables, barbajuan, truccia, trull, savoury or sweet chard tart. The entire arsenal of Nice’s cuisine is represented in this restaurant!
11, rue du Marché
RESTAURANT LA SOCCA D’OR – NICE
A socca in the pure tradition of Nice: soft, crisp and golden!
It is queen! Here Frederic Parola makes probably the best socca on the Côte d’Azur. Try his original “Croqu’socc”, a revisited croque-monsieur… And don’t stop there because the Socca d’Or is a neighbourhood restaurant that over the years has become a top place for good food in Nice: pistou soup, peppers in oil, pissaladière, pan bagnat (with homemade bread), etc. And as he is a former pastry chef, the meal has to finish with something sweet – delicious desserts including a chard tart that is among the best in Nice.
La Socca d’Or
45, rue Bonaparte
WHERE TO EAT NICE STYLE
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EATING OUT IN NICE!
Photographer, magazine editor, communication consultant, TV commentator, but first and foremost someone from Nice who loves the region and wants to show you more than just the usual places which can sometimes reduce it to a cliché. Contrary to popular belief the Côte d’Azur is a land of authenticity – and that’s where I get my inspiration!
By Jean-Marc NOBILE