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nicoise dining recommendations

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My husband and I will be in Nice for 3 nights in May on our way from Avignon to Florence, Italy. We have only day-tripped to Nice in the past, so look forward to having time to discover more of the city and its food. We plan to eat at Keisuke Matsushima the first night, but we would really like to taste more representative regional food the other 2 nights or lunches. Of course we will spend time at the market to taste and see the local and typical food products. I now need some recommendations for 2 dinners and lunches. We were considering taking the train to Villefranche to eat on the harbor at Le Mere Germain. Is there someplace on the water to eat in Nice where we can have bourride or bouillabaisse and the ambience we enjoy at Mere Germain? Where and what else would be representative regional dining ?

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  1. Bouillabaiise isn't really niçoise; it is marseillaise, but you can get a great one by taking the train to Golfe Juan and going to Tétou. (You won't get a reservation if you are there around the Cannes Film Festival.) In Nice I recommend Luc Salsedo and L'Aphrodite for good cuisine in the niçoise tradition. (The latter has an ecelectic menu, but there is at least one niçois dish offered in each course.) Of course, you can get socca, farcis, raviolis etc at many restaurants in Old Nice.

    1. La Petite Maison on St Francois de Paule is very good, lots of regional dishes, make sure to reserve in advance.

      Skip La Mere Germaine, a tourist trap. If you want a casual place that is right on the beach, I recommend Le Cabanon in Cap d'Ail. There is also a hole in the wall with great local food in Old Nice, Chez Palmyre, better for lunch than dinner. Also essential to reserve.

      At the Cours Saleya Market (except Mondays) you can try local specs like a Pan Bagnat (sandwich) and Socca. You can also get the Socca at Lou Pilha Lehva in the Old Town. Good stuff.

      Note: Bouillabaisse is NOT a local nicois dish.

      1. We loved eating at Bistrot d'Antoine. I don't think any dish was over 14E. Le Safari is fun for lunch and the lunch prix fixe is a decent deal for a good amount of food.