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Jul 30, 2009 06:26 AM

Restaurant Recos for French Riviera?

Flying into Nice middle of August, then driving along the coast up into Italy. Any must-visit restaurants? Would also love recommendations for other foodie things i.e. artisan food makers, farms, wineries we could visit.

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  1. You should definitely consider dining at Mirazur in Menton. It currently has one Michelin star and was in the Top 50 of the World's Best Restaurant's in the most recent Restaurant magazine listing. The chef there has an impeccable background and serves some amazing dishes. The food is very creative, but has a solid foundation in the ingredients of the area- they have two gardens that supply much of the produce and obviously obtain very fresh seafood from the area. My wife and I dined there while on our honeymoon and it was a perfect experience. The dining room is modern and overlooks the Mediterranean. It's also a relatively good value compared to the restaurants of similiar quality in Monte Carlo.

    2 Replies
    1. re: michaelstl

      WOW. That looks like just the kind of place we're seeking. Thanks. Any other recos along the route?

      1. re: Barbiedoll

        I'm afraid I don't have any other places to recommend as strongly as Mirazur as we were only in Monte Carlo for 3 nights. I did enjoy my meal at Mandarine in Monte Carlo. It is a new 1* and sits atop the Port Palace Hotel right by the main port of Monte Carlo. It offers gorgeous views and was a very pleasant meal. However, it does not seem to strive as much to be a dining destination and is not as creative as Mirazur.

        Just to provide a little more context and support for how awesome Mirazur is, we dined at six 1* during our honeymoon (mix between Paris, the Riviera, Italy, and London) and Mirazur destroyed all of them in every way. I've never been to a 2* or 3*, but the service and polish of the whole experience definitely was head and shoulders above the other 1* we dined at and from what I've read on other blogs, the consensus seems to be the Mirazur could progress to a higher rating if it continues operating as well as it has been.

    2. In Nice, the restaurant, Chantecler, in the Negresco Hotel is excellent, though expensive.

      1. There are over 1000 restaurants in this area. Could you narrow down the possibilities by stating some of your criteria, do you want M-star, high end, casual, bistro, etc. "Must visit" means something different to everyone.

        That being said, one of our faves in Nice is La Petite Maison, run with a firm hand by Mme. Nicole Rubi. A lovely place, there are virtually no tourists here. Ask them to make you the Roasted Chicken, it's not on the menu. They will bring out appropriate sides, and everything is wonderful.

        Across the street is the much-touted Alziari, selling his olive oil and olives in bulk. It's good, but not fabulous IMHO.

        Try Magiarge in Bordighera when you get to Italy. It's in the Centro Storico. The web site is It's hard to get much info on this part of Italy, but there are some great restos here.

        Finally, Jacques Gantie has a terrific restaurant guide to the Riviera from Marseille to Menton. Go to You'll find artisinal food shops in this Guide as well as restaurants.

        Bonnes vacances!

        2 Replies
        1. re: menton1

          I disagree with Menton1 on Alziari. I think the olive oil is delicious.

          In Nice, two musts for us are La Merenda, and L'Ane Rouge for Bourride. (Another poster waxes poetic about their Bouillabaisse, which you must order at least 24 hours in advance.)

          1. re: ChefJune

            CJ, I said Alziari was good. It's just over-touted, there's better oil at less renowned procurers. As far as La Merenda, I recommend skipping it. It's become something like the Folies Bergere in Paris, a place in every guide ever written about Nice, no respecting Nicois would come within miles of La Merenda. Sure, it's quirky, no reservations, no phone, but it's past its prime. The food is mediocre, La M was good 10 years ago. Skip bouillabaisse in this part of the Riviera, it's much much better where it really comes from and is indigenous to, Marseille and environs.

        2. In NIce I recommend Mill├ęsime 82, Flaveur and Luc Salsedo.

          2 Replies
          1. re: beaulieu

            Second Luc Salsedo. I responded on your Bay Area post, but it got deleted. by the moderators i assume. Don't have time to retype the entire thing here, but do look at my trip reports for the Riveria (we spend 6 weeks here in late spring. I really miss it!) Other locals will have more experience of course.

            I would recommend Arlequin for gelato, and Patisserie Lac in Nice. Les Bacchanales in Vence was our hands down best meal of the trip - all courses. Here is another take on the place (

            we didn't hit a lot of the fishy places recommended above because my husband doesn't do seafood. I mainly ate fish at other restaurants, and never did get to try the bouillibaisse. however, locals suggested CocoBeach and La Bourride (Cagnes sur Mer) for fish/bourride.

            1. re: jsaimd

              Coco Beach is very expensive and not that great.