The Insider Guide to Eating Out in Nice, France

Nice’s dining scene is just as impressive as its rich cultural and artistic heritage
Nice’s dining scene is just as impressive as its rich cultural and artistic heritage | © Endless Travel / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Lilian Diarra
15 October 2020

A postcard city situated on the French Riviera, on the Côte d’Azur, Nice is one of the most beautiful cities in France and a luxurious holiday destination. Marked by gorgeous coastlines bordering the Mediterranean, captivating French and Italian-influenced medieval architecture and a rich cultural and artistic heritage, Nice’s dining scene is just as impressive. Find out about the best restaurants in this stunning city.

Restaurant Le Chantecler

Restaurant, French, $$$
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For the ultimate fine dining experience in Nice, visit Le Chantecler at the Hotel Negresco, located along the idyllic beachfront promenade. Specialising in traditional French gastronomy, the two Michelin-star restaurant is run by local chef, Jean-Denis Rieubland. The menu is full of delicious creations, including a discovery option offering samples of signature dishes and daily specials, for diners who want to try it all. Each dish is perfectly matched with a vintage wine from the cellar, which is stocked with around 15,000 bottles. The extravagant interior gives off an 18th-century feel, with its conspicuous pink walls, dazzling chandeliers and beautiful paintings. Although not easy on the budget, a visit to the glamorous Chantecler falls nothing short of spectacular.

Le Vingt4

Restaurant, French, Mediterranean, European, $$$
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A refreshing and stylish restaurant-lounge, le Vingt4 is a great culinary getaway. The day and evening menus are concise, offering a well thought-out selection of tantalising contemporary dishes, with that sought-after French twist. Try the slice of roasted cod with Portuguese-style tomato salsa, duck aiguillette with grape and verjus sauce or the homemade tofu hamburger. Each dish is expertly paired with at least two wine suggestions, most of which are available by the glass. The Vingt4’s modern interior is made up of cosy lilac sofa-benches and chairs, smooth wooden tables and funky artwork, with a strong feminine touch apparent throughout. If you’re lucky, you might catch one of their entertaining soirées of live music, showcasing local artists.

La Roustide

Restaurant, French
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The much-loved La Roustide offers an interesting take on traditional French cuisine. Renowned for its variety of truffle-based dishes, the restaurant uses all six edible varieties of locally grown truffles in many of its recipes – from baked potatoes covered with truffles and sea bream tartare with wasabi and truffles, to puy lentils with whipped creamed truffles. For those not crazy about subterranean fungi, there are other dishes including gnocchi, risotto and foie gras. A quaint restaurant with a natural warm ambiance, La Roustide features earthy tones, lovely wood and stone furnishings, plus bird-nest chandeliers, with dim lighting for those intimate late-night dinners.

Oliviera

Restaurant, French, Mediterranean, $$$
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Located in the historic quarter of Vieux Nice, Oliviera is a fantastic restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine with a focus on bringing out the best local varieties of olive oil. Established in 2000, Oliviera crafts each recipe with hand-picked oils, carefully selected to enhance the flavours and different subtleties of ingredients. Tartare with olive oil from Alpes de Haute Provence, and Aubergine Oliviera, a dish made of eggplant, goat’s cheese, grilled red peppers and copious amounts of Bouteillan olive oil, are just some of the splendid dishes on offer. On arrival, owner Nadim Beyrouti and his staff take time to greet guests with an olive oil tasting. After a meal, choose an oil from the restaurant’s shop, and try out one of the aromatic recipes at home. The oils can also be purchased from the restaurant’s website.

Keisuke Matsushima

Restaurant, French
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Run by chef Kei Matsushima, one of the most well-known and innovative chefs in Nice, this Michelin-clad restaurant is a contemporary gastronomic haven. The inventive menu offers fabulous fusions of French cuisine and Japanese flavours constantly evolving in line with the seasonal availability of ingredients and chef Kei’s remarkable imagination. Previous menus have featured pistachio foie gras, caramelised pigeon breast served with a wasabi emulsion, and Mediterranean sea bream with roasted artichokes and mussels in a vegetable broth. For wine lovers, each meal is paired with an excellent choice of vino. With a bit of everything for everyone, the restaurant is a favourite dining spot in Nice, attracting locals and visitors alike. Within walking distance to the seafront, stop by Keisuke Matsushima for lunch or dinner; you won’t regret it.

Le Séjour Restaurant and Café

Restaurant, French, $$$
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Elegant, relaxed dining at its finest, Le Séjour Café is a much-loved restaurant celebrating the French art of living through quality cuisine. A family-run restaurant, the menu offers varied traditional and contemporary French dishes, all beautifully presented. Located in a charming house, designed to maximise the “at home feeling”, Le Séjour is replete with lampshades, books, random flower pots, photo frames and other homely paraphernalia. After a delectable meal, move out onto the veranda and enjoy a mocha or a refreshing soupe d’agrumes (citrus fruit salad), while basking in the sunlight.

Les Pêcheurs

Restaurant, Seafood, Indian, $$$
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Ideally located at the port of Nice, Les Pêcheurs (the fishermen) is a brilliant seafood restaurant. Offering a range of tantalising dishes based on the fresh catch of the day and seasonally driven, the spring menu includes sea bass fillets cooked with a herbal crust, artichokes and creamy polenta; fish stew flavoured with coconut milk and coriander; and grilled lobster with garlic butter and thyme. A wood-beamed ceiling, pillars, aqua walls, portholes and a large built-in fish tank at the back mark the restaurant’s nautical interior. Outdoor seating on the lovely terrace provides a great view of the bustling harbour with the steep rocky coast as its backdrop.

La Rossettisserie

Restaurant, French, Mediterranean, European, $$$
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If you are a meat fan, La Rossettisserie is the place to go to. With generous portions of red meat and poultry, cooked to perfection using traditional family recipes, be prepared for a carnivore’s feast. From roast pork and beef to duck leg and braised lamb, each dish is accompanied by a helping of baked or mashed potatoes, or fresh vegetable ratatouille. For adventurous diners, there is the option of extraordinary cave-themed seating in the underground part of the restaurant, with stone walls, arched doorways and candelabras providing soft lighting. Situated along a lively street in Vieux Nice, a visit to La Rossettisserie is truly worth it.
These recommendations were updated on October 15, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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