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Jan 5, 2009 07:33 PM

Advice for first time traveler to Cannes/ Cote d'Azur

Hi, I am traveling for the first time to France in a few weeks and I am starting to research the Cote d'Azur. We are staying in Cannes, and would like to see and eat in Nice, Monaco, Antibes, St-Paul-de-Vence, and anywhere else you may recommend?

We would like to stick with fairly inexpensive lunches and planned on expensive dinners. Please help, as any recommendation would be greatly appreciated- restaurants, places to see and things to do! Thank you!

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  1. FUN!! so, staying in cannes, you'll be able to quickly get to Nice and Monoco, but Antibes is a bit father away. you may consider a night or two there as well. back in the nice/cannes area don't miss the hilltop city of Eze. its gorgeous, and the view of the riviera can't be beat. are you going to paris? if not, go to joel rubochon at monte carlo. yummy. and of course hotel de paris is very fancy resty near the casino in monte carlo. there is no shortage of michelin starred dining establishments in the french riviera. but, here is a great NY times article on other eating to be done.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rachelskid

      Lunch-Socca at Cours Saleya in Nice. Chick pea 'pizza' that is my favorite lunch of all time. One stand on the center area and one on side away from Corniche, as good as it gets.
      Dinner-Bouilliabaise at Bacon in Cap D'Antibes, best l have ever had.
      As above poster said, Eze is a must.

      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        Ditto the Bouillabaisse at Bacon!

        Bourride at L'Ane Rouge in Nice (on the harbor) you will need to reserve and order 24 hours in advance for this amazing fish stew that is more popular with the Nicoise than Bouillabaisse.

        Be sure to visit the Alziari Olive Store in the Nice Old Town. It is unique, and they have my favorite olive oil ever.

        You may want to depart from your routine with lunch at La Colombe d'Or in St. Paul de Vence. You will likely be up there in the daytime to visit the Fondation Maeght, and the restaurant should not be missed. More for the fabulous paintings by Picasso, Chagall, the Fauvists, etc. that were traded for meals over the years, than for the food. but you've got to go, and you cannot walk in and just look around.

    2. How long is your stay, and do you plan to cook as well? Cannes is my favorite town to stay in during the off season. It is really easy to walk around; there is a daily covered market, Marché Forville, and on the streets around it, there is a wonderful collection of food-related shops.

      In addition to the other towns that you and others have listed, I would add Mougins and Vence for you to consider. It sounds as if you will have a car, though another easy option for daytrips is to take the train from Cannes to some of these other towns. If you use the search feature, you'll find a number of posts and suggestions from 2008 that may help you to prioritize.

      1. I would highly recommend in Eze, the Chateau Chevre D'or, superb meal and the view of the Rivera is to die for. The best restaurant in the Cote D'azur is Louis XV. I had 7 sublime meals there in May and I am already looking forward to my meals there this coming May. Another superb dining experience is Restaurant Mirazur, a one star restaurant in Menton. The chef is superb, the view terrific, and the service extraordinary. However, I would stay away from Robuchon's restaurant in the Metropole in Monte Carlo. In my opinion, his restaurants are too formulastic: there is not much difference from his restaurants in paris, or new york to the one in Monaco. My meal there in May was characterized by some of the worst service I have ever received in a michelin starred restaurant.

        3 Replies
        1. re: sethd

          This is excellent feedback, thank you! We are there a week, so I am trying to prioritize what I must see, sounds like Eze is a must do!

          We will not have a car, and I am hoping the train and bus routes are easy to figure out?
          What is a typical meal like at places like Chateau Chevre D/Or and Louis XV?

          1. re: birdie09

            Dinners away from Cannes without a car may prove to be a bit of a challenge logistically. You'll need to check train and bus schedules to see how late they run, and if you would be able to complete a leisurely multi-course dinner and still make the last scheduled return.
            You might want to consider switching to a few nice lunches so that you can easily take the train to a town, and explore a bit before and after lunch. Also, for places where folks have mentioned the view, you won't see much at this time of year if you book for dinner.
            The Chateau Chevre D'or in Eze is definitely one place where I'd recommend lunch over dinner at this time of year. Check out their website for some visuals on the kind of meals served, the various price options, and the setting:

            1. re: birdie09

              You can view the menu of Louis XV at I also second having lunch rather than dinner at Chevre D'or. The view is superb and adds to a memorable meal. Unfortunately, the restaurant at Chevre D'or is closed til mid March.

          2. 3 places:

            colombe D'or in St Paul De Vence
            Moulin de Mougins in Mougins
            Bastide De St Antoine in Grasse

            All are highly recommended

            funnily enough i'll be there around that time too...

            1 Reply
            1. re: foreignmuck

              What about Chateau Eza's restaurant? It appears to be open this time of year, quality experience?

            2. My parents started taking me and my sister to this region for two weeks during the summers when I was 12 (she was 3.) I am now 29 and have been 7 times. The last time we were there my husband came with us and it was August 2008. We always stay in a villa in this private community called Castellaras. The French Riviera is my favorite place to be in the world other than my hometown NYC! The following are some of our favorite places to eat and things to do. Hope this helps. Sorry some of the sites are in French only.
              Have fun!

              For food:

              TETOU in Golfe Juan for bouillabaisse. Note:they don't accept credit cards.

              MOULIN DE MOUGINS.

              LE FEU FOLLET in Mougins.

              DANIEL DESAVIE in Valbonne.

              THE BEACH CLUB at the CARLTON (INTERCONTINENTAL) in Cannes is fun for people watching and has an ok buffet.

              To do/see:
              Go to the FORVILLE MARKET in Cannes for fresh local produce. Note: Mondays it is a flea market.

              FONDATION MAEGHT in St. Paul de Vence.

              FRAGONARD perfumery/factory in Grasse.

              PICASSO MUSEUM in Antibes.

              FERNAND LEGER MUSEUM in Villeneuve Loubet.