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May 14, 2011 01:38 PM

Lunch in Nice

Is there a spot somebody can recommend for a family (including teenagers). We are only there for a few hours. Something casual but delicious and typical for Nice. Preferably with a nice shady outdoor dining area. Thanks!

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  1. I would suggest Safari, or another of the restaurants on the Cours Saleya.

    1. I just spent a weekend in Nice - so lovely. My favorite meal was at Oliviera, which doubles as an olive oil store. Other good options might be Restaurant du Gésù, which is sort of Nicois-Italian -- lovely ravioli. Or Chez René Socca, where I tasted the best socca (though it's more of a snack food shop). I would avoid Lou Pilha Leva -- it looked so charming and I had high hopes but the food was decidedly mediocre.
      Here are some photos on my blog:

      1. Second Le Safari, easy to find, right on the Cours, good for teens, fun, and pretty hassle-free. Good shade under the awnings. Fits your criteria to a "T".

        Where are you rushing off to after Nice?

        5 Replies
        1. re: menton1

          Thanks everyone! Menton1 - we will be on a cruise stop. Arriving in Monte Carlo and renting a car. Planning to hit Eze, Nice and the Rothschild mansion all in about 5-6 hours..... Wish us luck :)

          1. re: torontobelly

            You will probably have to park in a parking lot in Nice. Your best bet is the above-ground little lot at Corvesy, on the corner of Rue de l'Hotel de Ville and Rue A. Mari. The lot under the Cours Saleya is usually "complet". Corvesy is just a couple of blocks from the Cours. Le Safari is at the Eastern end of the Cours...

            That's why the best way to see the Riviera is to take a flight to Nice-Cote d'Azur, and be independent! Doing this 6 hour whirlwind might prove not only impossible, but a memory blur after it's over. Have you considered the train from Monaco to Nice? It's a 10 min ride. (Compared to 40+ min by car) Then It's a quick tram ride from Nice-Thiers to Old Nice and the Cours. Might be easier, and you can spend the time leisurely touring Old Nice after lunch.

            Another reason why cruising is not for me... But, bon chance!

            1. re: menton1

              I agree with menton1 - you might want to narrow down your itinerary a bit and if you are there in the high season count on traffic. The train from Monaco to Nice is definitely easier than a car but that being said, a drive along the coast and up to Eze is very beautiful (when not stuck in bumper to bumper traffic).

              Another place that might fit the bill is the Le Cabanon on the Cap d'ail. Very casual, amazing views and fantastic, fun service. Reservations are a must. Simple food, but a very good representation of what is best on the Med.

              Have fun!

              1. re: marsprincess

                We'll be there Saturday, June 25th. I suppose that's the busiest time possible we could have picked?

                1. re: torontobelly

                  No, the Monaco Grand Prix is busier! :)

                  But it's always busy in the summer on the Riviera. I recommend you take the train to Nice, get the sparkling new tram to Vieux Nice, lunch at Le Safari, and spend the rest of the time wandering the old City and strolling on the Promenade. Lots to see, a bit of shopping, and you can take away some unique Nicois snacks for the boat-- Pan Bagnat, Pissaladiere, Socca. (Stop at a boulangerie) I think this will be much less stressful for you and you will actually see something!

                  Then, next year, you can return on your own and see all the other sights on the Riviera. I love the Villa Kerylos in Beaulieu, for example, as well as the Musee Jean Cocteau in Menton . You could spend many weeks just seeing interesting things on the Cote d'Azur!

                  Bon voyage!

        2. Would any of these places recommended above by appropriate for a toddler? Is Nice particularly toddler friendly?

          1. Dining anywhere in France with children means keeping a couple of factors in mind:

            Meals are serious in France, and they take a long time. Be prepared for the service to last 90-120 minutes, which is a long time for kids.

            The menus are usually very short, and that means limited choices. So if your kid is fussy, this may prove daunting.

            5 Replies
            1. re: menton1

              We ended up at Safari on a hot June day and it was perfect! It is right on the Cours and we were able to check out the flower market first, and then have a delicious meal outdoors. The food was really good and my teenagers loved the entire experience. It was busy, the tables were very close together and the waiters were hustling. It was a lot of fun.

                1. re: menton1

                  OMG I can't even think about this question without cringing!!! We couldn't find a bus or taxi from Monaco to Eze, so had to beg a concierge at an apartment to call a cab - 50 euros for a 15 minute ride. Just missed the bus from Eze to Nice, and waited for the next one, which according to the schedule was supposed to come in 15 minutes. Waited OVER AN HOUR and finally hailed a cab to Nice - another 50 euros for another 15 minute ride! On the way back, we couldn't find the #1 bus from Nice to Monte Carlo after walking for an hour and having the French locals, including a cop, give us (purposely?) wrong directions so again - begged a bar owner to call us a cab which took us to Nice Gare. Took train to Monte Carlo with no difficulty.

                  1. re: torontobelly

                    Oh I would have never recommended public transportation to Eze. In my above post, I just advised to train it to Nice, and there's certainly enough to do in Old Nice for a few hours! Eze needs a car and a full afternoon.

                    BTW, next time (hope there is one) there is a new,very fast 1 Euro tram from Old Nice right to the train station...

                    Bonne chance!

                2. re: torontobelly

                  I went to Safari in the end. The waiter was WONDERFUL. Our child was welcome. Overall, it was a great experience. However, I did find the food to be extremely greasy and overly buttery.

                  Loved the cod fritters though. Oddly, they were the only things that weren't greasy!