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Apr 3, 2008 08:09 AM

Nice, France

We are going to Nice for a long weekend. Which will be nice :)
However, where should we go? Where should we eat for lunch, dinner, shop for food? We are dedicated foodies and would love to hear your advice on the best way to spend our long weekend in Nice.

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  1. get socca in the old city - kind of a chickpea pancake with pepper. for a sit down kind of meal, the Koudou on the Promenade des Anglais is pretty tasty - I'd highly recommend their napoleon (called a millefeuille) if you've got room for dessert - it's very different from the american version, lighter.
    have fun, it's a great city.

    1. Andreea77- have you visited or stayed in Nice before? Trying to figure out best recommendations...

      The first recommendation is always the Cours Saleya- it's where the largest open air market is held. Everyday except Monday, it has flowers, plants and food. If my memory is correct, some of the vendors change between morning and afternoon. I am not a morning person, but the selection is best the earlier you go. On Mondays, it is a brocante, and well-worth visiting if your long weekend includes a Monday.
      On one of the streets leading to the Cours Saleys, rue Saint-Francoise-de-Paule is a beautiful olive oil shop, Alziari, They have been producing olive oils with the same mill since 1868. I like the flavor of their most intense olive oil.

      Surrounding the Cours Saleya are any number of cafes and restaurants. Do a search on La Merenda to read various opinions about it. If you haven't been before, I think it is worth a visit and forming your own opinion. In addition to all the socca options, I also love to eat midday at a small cafe that is pretty exclusively crepes or galettes, and I am spacing on the name. I'll add another post when I think of it...

      What part of Nice will you be staying in, and will you have a car?

      1 Reply
      1. re: souvenir

        <On one of the streets leading to the Cours Saleys, rue Saint-Francoise-de-Paule is a beautiful olive oil shop, Alziari, They have been producing olive oils with the same mill since 1868. I like the flavor of their most intense olive oil.>
        Some of their oils are brought into US, but not the one Souvenir mentioned. I like to get it packed to travel on the plane with me.(in the hold, these days!) 15 years ago, I shipped 5 liters home, and the shipping cost twice as much as the oil!

        Second La Merenda, and also recommend L'Ane Rouge on the harbor for Bourride (altho recently had great reports on the Bouillabaisse, as well).

      2. everyone thank you for the recommendations. first time in nice :)
        we'll make sure to visit the open market. i love that idea. and the olive oill shop. hmmm ...
        any restaurants you can recommend? we're ready to spend more for a really nice/ memorable lunch or dinner.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Andreea77

          We had a great lunch at Le Chanticleer about 7 years ago. It has a Michelin star and is not cheap (currently 55 euros) but includes unlimited wine, and the red wine they poured was a wonderful Bandol. I thought it was very good value for fine food in a very elegant atmosphere.

        2. I completely agree with the Alziari olive oil rec--it's my favorite!
          For a special meal try Jouni La Reserve. It's in a beautiful spot on the water and the food and service are top notch.
          La Tire Bouchon in the old town is a good dinner choice. It has an interesting menu and very pleasant atmosphere.
          Bistro Antoine also in the old town has a lively atmosphere and very good food for both lunch and dinner.
          Le Pot d'Etain on rue Meyerbeer is a favorite of ours for a nice meal that won't break the bank.
          For local flavor I'd suggest La Merenda about which much has been written. It's a tiny place with no phone and they don't take credit cards nor are they open on weekends. The food is very well-prepared authentic nicoise cuisine. Another local cuisine favorite is Acchiardo which a family-run spot in the old town. It too does not take credit cards and is closed on weekends.

          1. I second the socca stop - it is somewhat of an acquired taste, both salty and slightly sour, which takes all of five minutes to acquire! The Nicois eat it for breakfast or mid-morning break. It costs all of 2 euros, and is sliced off in a large, thin, slightly burnt triangle, which you roll up to eat. Best places to get it are at Teresa's stall halfway down the Cours Saleya market (the huge pans are constantly replenished by a man on a motorcycle) or at Lou Pilha Leva (13 Rue Collet), an over-the-counter in the Old Town at a trianglar junction. (This place also serves other yummy Nice specialities - Petits Nicoises (meat-stuffed vegetbales), sweet blette tart, stuffed sardines, etc. You have to eat at outside tables at both, and probably have to stand in line to order. Try getting there between breakfast and lunch (around 10am?) for less of a wait.
            For more substantial fare try L'Ovale for lunch (29 Rue Pastorelli), a 10 minute walk inland from the port and the Old Town. It's a cheap and cheerful local, popular during the week for workers (both suits and blue collar), and with rugbymen. The lunch menu is generous, lots of choice, and only 15 euros (w/o wine) or you can have the dish of the day (11 euros) or the carte. All are great quality/price. And it will give you a flavour (literally) of what everyday life in Nice is like - not every meal should be starred!
            Three grander options for a leisurely lunch or a dinner include Don Camillo Creations (5 Rue des Ponchettes) - their 40 euro menu includes 5 inventive but locally inspired choices for each of three courses; La Petite Maison (11 Rue St Francois de Paule) for their signature foie-gras stuffed chicken (as main course split between two, 55 euros. One drawback is their famously off-hand front-of-house Madame (but take heart from the fact that she is that way with almost everyone, except the mayor and the likes of Johnny Halliday). The food is worth it. Finally, around the corner on the left-hand side of the Vieux Port (50 Blvd Franck Pilatte) is the newish, lauded La Reserve de Nice (Michelin *). It is in a 1930s Art Deco building with marvellous views over the Med and west to the Baie des Anges. * restaurant upstairs, less costly bistro on the ground floor. I haven't been there myself, but have heard good reports, and the situation is lovely. If you are staying in downtown Nice, this is the only one you would need a taxi to.
            Bon appetit!!

            3 Replies
            1. re: Piggyinthemiddle

              Isn't Bar Rene Socca stand still there???? That was the best when I was there. I must've tried everyone's socca1

              1. re: ChefJune

                I think Bar Rene Socca's stand and Teresa's must be one and the same. She's black-haired, gypsy-like, and the only socca seller in the market. She's in the middle of the market, facing inland toward the Old Town; been there yearssssssssssss.

                1. re: Piggyinthemiddle

                  They are not the same. Teresa has a separate shop in old town and you can see them hauling things to the market sometimes. Rene Socca is still going strong.