Nice proved to be one of the most incredible destinations I've ever had the pleasure to visit. I especially loved the amazing food in Nice. Think bakery items, ice cream, delicious seafood and all sort of hearty dishes. In general, people were lovely, relaxed and laid back and the weather was perfect: these were the extra ingredients which sure made Nice food even more appealing.
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Must Eat Food in Nice, France
What I didn't expect to enjoy so much, was the very cool promenade by the seashores. During the evening this was amazing. I must have spent hours walking from one end to another, enjoying the full moon overlooking the ocean. But this is not all. Nice had some of the most amazing French food I got to enjoy. This is because Nice is by the sea, hence locals can source seafood with ease and create myriad of seafood dishes.
It's always exciting to have a food tour around Nice, especially if you are foodie travellers like we are. After spending a week enjoying fine French cuisine, here is what I would recommend you to try whilst spending some time in Nice, in the epic French Riviera.
Alright, this is rather bizarre, I know. How can I recommend Japanese food when I'm telling you to visit a French city? Well, the truth is that I always try a Japanese restaurant in any city I visit. Apart from Tokyo and Kyoto, I found two other cities which sell decent sushi: Nice and Copenhagen.
During my week in Nice, I visited three Japanese restaurants and I can say with a lot of confidence, that they were all delicious and amazing. So try sushi and lots of it.
Nothing beats French cheeses (sorry Italy!). During my first night in Nice, I must admit, I was too tired to find a restaurant, get dressed nicely and dine out. So I did what everyone would do after a long day of travelling: went on a shopping spree in the next door supermarket. I planned to spend 5 minutes to buy some bread, cheese and wine. Classy girl, I know! Well, I ended up spending 45 minutes, choosing five different types of cheese, two types of bread, three varieties of seafood and one bottle of white wine. Yes, it cost me quite a bit, but it was well worth it. So here is my little piece of advice, if you like cheese just as much as I do, visit a large supermarket in Nice (they are called Monoprix). Why not do this every day for lunch?
It's so much more to French bread than just the mighty baguette. Of course, you have to buy a baguette, wear a stripy shirt and walk around the city like this. Yes, I'm partly joking, although it's not weird if I say I did this, right?
Whilst in Nice, I fell in love with Champagne Bread. To this day I couldn't find it anywhere else so I decided to make some at home. There are a lot of French bread you need to try whilst in the French Riviera, so yet again, go over to the local supermarket, ideally first thing in the morning and scout for your favourite dough.
From lobster, through snails, to oysters, you can find all sort of seafood specialities in Nice. This was probably one of the best things for me, as I could eat seafood until I die. There are tons of restaurants dotted all around the city, which serve various seafood dishes. After eating sushi in a Japanese restaurant, I remember going back to the hotel when I stumbled across a supermarket. For some reason, I went in for a late evening shopping stroll. I ended up practising my French by ordering fresh prawns and some incredibly stinky blue cheese. To me, this was nirvana.
There is this great gelato place located right in the heart of Nice's old town (Fenocchio Glacier). It's guaranteed to have a queue. I loved the sheer amount of weird gelato flavours this place was selling, including rosemary and olive. I tried and tested most of them and realised I very much adore Jasmine gelato and REALLY don't like lavender flavoured ice cream. Now the cat's out of the bag...
Nice has a beautiful market called Cours Saleya. This is a great place to buy fresh fruit first thing in the morning. Next door, you will find a few cafes, so you can take a seat and people watch. It's something fun about having a relaxed morning watching the market madness in front of your eyes. If I were a painter, I would have loved to paint something like this.
It comes a time when you will get bored with shopping for bread and cheese and you might want to enjoy a meal out in a French restaurant. The good news is that you will find plenty of French specific restaurants dotted all around Nice. The bad news is that all great restaurants are located relatively far from the city centre. Don't fall for the touristy ones located in the Old Town. They are overpriced and they have poor quality food. I made that mistake and I really regretted it. For a nice French meal, might I suggest the coq au vin? I made this dish for years on end but loved it even more during my stay in Nice. It tasted real, authentic. Alternatively, go for the egg benedict croissant served with orange roast potatoes.
To enjoy a meal in Nice (or anywhere in France for that matter) you must pair your food with the right wine. French wines are great. I expected to have to pay a lot of money for wine whilst in the French Riviera, but in fact, prices were even more reasonable than here in the UK. I guess this is the beauty of drinking local wines, right from the source. I am a gin lover, but from time to time it's great to sit down and enjoy a romantic evening out with a glass of red.
Finally, it's well known that France has some of the world's best patisserie, hence no trip to Nice can be complete without trying out as many French desserts as possible. I love tarts and creme patisserie based desserts, milieu filleu and of course freshly made gateaux. No matter where you end up in Nice, make sure to save a day especially for patisserie shops crawling. The trick is to not count the calories nor the money you are spending on desserts.
French food really is fantastic and Nice turned out to have some of the best dishes I tried in France. The French Rivera was a wonderful place to visit and I can't wait to go back, this time adding Monte Carlo to my itinerary.
What French food do you want to eat in Nice? Would you do it on a budget or would you indulge in a crazy expensive luxury weekend? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.