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Dining is one of the great pleasures of Nice, whether it be at a Michelin-starred restaurant, an atmospheric place in the old town or a simple snack, such as socca and although the restaurants are predominantly French and Nicois / Provenacal, there is also a strong international influence that can be enjoyed. Even if you are on a budget you can eat well in Nice. Many restaurants in the old town and city centre have three course evening menus of simple but delicious local dishes. Pasta and Pizza are on most menus. Many of the ethnic restaurants, especially the North African and Turkish, are also good value.
Among the many dishes to try are gnocchi, which was invented in Nice, not Italy, boeuf en daube (beef cooked in a savoury sauce with red wine, onions and herbs, mesclun (a salad of mixed greens gathered from the hills), farci (stuffed vegetables), beignets (vegetables deep fried in batter), courgette flowers (batter-fried, a local favourite), and, of course, salade nicoise with tuna, egg, anchovies, olives and vegetables.
You can dress casually in all but the top restaurants. Service is usually included (service compris) so you don’t need to tip unless you want to.
Read more on this destination in The AA Citypack Guide to Nice.
Recommended Restaurants in Nice
Aphrodite, 10 boulevard Dubouchage - Some of the best food in Nice is to be had on the flower-filled terrace of Aphrodite, or amid the cool modern lines of its dining room. Sea bass steamed with mushrooms is a signature dish.
Keisuke Matsushima, 22 ter rue de France - This is where a young Japanese chef, who trained in French cuisine in Tokyo, has come to France to cook and has quickly earned himself a Michelin star. He takes Provencal food and gives it a subtle Japanese touch in dishes such as butternut squash in a creamy risotto with truffle and dried Parma ham.
La Feniera, 5 rue Mascoinat - La Feniera has rustic Provencal décor, occasional music evenings and one of the best boeuf en daube a la Nicoise, you’re ever likely to taste.
Lou Nissart, 1 rue de l’Opera - In a side street off Place Massena and in sight of the fountain, Lou Nissart has outdoor tables under a canopy and more seating inside. Gnocchi, ravioli and other pasta is made on the premises and the fish soup makes a marvellous starter.
Restaurant du Gesu, 1 place du Jesus - One of the best old town dining experiences is in the large courtyard occupied by the Gesu. Waiters run frantically around, while people willingly wait half an hour for a table. The home-made gnocchi is one speciality, and the pizzas are popular too, but you can’t really go wrong here.