In a few weeks we are going to be driving through Arles for lunch, Aix for dinner, and Nice for lunch the next day on our way to Italy. In Arles we are considering l'Affenage because they have a buffet, in Aix les Bacchanales because they have a good wine list, and in Nice the Cafe de Turin because they have great seafood (plus a trip to the back streets for a slice of socca). Are these authentic, genuine places serving traditional regional cuisine--if not, can you recommend others?
Try Les 2 Freres in Aix.
I'll try to post a review of our meal soon, but this modern restaurant, located just outside, but walking distance, from the hustle and bustle of the Cours Mirabeau in Aix, is a pleasant respite from the tourist-directed joints in downtown Aix. Located in a residential quarter, featuring outdoor and indoor seating, Les Deux Freres presents fresh, largely local food at a reasonable price (menus were 32 and 45 Euros, as I recall). Reservations are a must...the restaurant seats about 40 diners outdoors.
Famdoc, I never wrote back to thank you for your suggestion! In the end, everything turned out a little differently. In Arles on finding l'Affenage closed we ate lunch at an outdoor cafe in one of those leafy squares, touristy maybe but still good; in Aix on finding that we would have to wait for a table at les Bacchanales, the owner suggested chez Feraud, which turned out to be charming, the owner could not have been nicer and the food was genuine; in Nice it was fun to pig out on seafood at the Cafe de Turin (where my newly-wed parents had eaten in 1939). But back to Aix, out for breakfast we bumped into the owner of les Bacchanales, who wanted to know how we had liked chez Feraud, and offered us a champagne cocktail if we ever returned. Charming people, wonderful real food.