France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Food and Drink in Nice, France
Nice combines the bounty of the sea with the bounty of fresh vegetables and fruits that grow nearby.





Spending time in Nice gives you opportunities to enjoy many of the delicious local specialties. Whether you find them in a restaurant, a market or a bakery, be sure to try some of these delicious foods.

Perhaps best known is the Salade Niçoise, a wonderful combination of lettuce, potatoes, green beans, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, olives, anchovies, and tuna, all topped with a tangy vinaigrette dressing. You'll find variations on this theme, with some including different kinds of beans or leaving out the potatoes. But to my mind, the classic is the best, and particularly if it is topped with fresh grilled tuna (rather than canned tuna, which is often used). A delicious lunch, particularly in the warmer weather.

Salade Nicoise
Salade Niçoise, with fresh tuna and sprinkled with grated olives.

Pan Bagnat is another local specialty. It is essentially the same ingredients as in a Salade Niçoise, put onto French bread (often a round loaf) and pressed to compress it.

Being next to the sea, you will find a variety of seafood on menus. I enjoyed a delicious grilled daurade (sea bream in English, but it sounds much more attractive in French!) And it was served with another regional specialty, ratatouille. I love the yummy combination of eggplant, zuccini, onions, peppers, and tomatoes.

Grilled daurade, Nice
Grilled daurade, served with mashed potatoes and ratatouille.

You'll also find exotic offerings such as octopus (poulpe), often served grilled or in salads. Be sure to explore the fish markets to see the poulpe fresh from the sea.

Socca is often sold in markets or by street vendors, but you can find it in restaurants too. This flatbread/pancake is made from chick pea flour, olive oil, water, salt and pepper, quickly fried. We had some as a starter and found that it went really well with beautiful roasted red peppers marinated with olive oil, garlilc, and pine nuts.

Nice SoccaRoasted red peppers, Nice
Socca, with roasted red peppers.Yum!

What to drink with your meals in Nice? Of course there is lots of local wine, and in warm weather rosés are particularly popular. You might also want to savor a pastis, an anise flavored spirit that is diluted with ice and/or water. The clear liquid turns cloudy (and sometimes yellowy) when mixed with water, and it is a refreshing drink, particularly on a hot summer day.

Desserts? Certainly. Lemon tarts are popular, and of course there are many patisseries where you can buy all kinds of French pastries. Ice cream stands abound, particulalry in the old town (Vieille Ville) where you may find yourself faced with many mouth-watering choices...

France is well known for its fine cuisine, and certainly Nice and the Côte d'Azur offer many opportunities for delicious eating!

Hotels in Nice

Restaurant Areas

What to See & Do

Transport in Nice



Côte d'Azur



Paris Girls Secret Society, a novel by Tom Brosnahan


Pan Bagnat, Nice

Above, Pan Bagnat all ready for lunch.

Below, Fresh octopus (poulpe) in the market.


Octopus, Nice

Factory donuts, Nice
Perhaps not all the food offerings in Nice are local specialties...


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