Whether you want to try a Mediterranean concept bar or listen to live music while sipping delicious cocktails, Nice has lots of great spots for a drink.
Nice is a melting pot of locals and travellers all wanting something different from their bar options. The good news is that the city caters to all, from alcohol aficionados to music lovers. Head to the Old Port to find wine bars and pubs the locals frequent and then to the bars and clubs of the Old Town to party into the early hours.
Master Home has a trendy vibe and is a lovely spot for a relaxing drink. It’s a big place with indoor seating as well as tables on the large outdoor terrace, which has patio heaters in winter. Happy hour is very reasonably priced for cocktails and drinks are presented in a fun way, with slices of watermelon adorning the glasses. They have board games so you can even play chess while drinking an Irish coffee and eating tapas-style bar food.
Experience a traditional Niçoise welcome at Cave de la Tour
Bar, French, $$$
Located on the same road as the fascinating 13th-century Saint-François Convent – the beautiful tower from which this bar takes its name – the Cave de la Tour is one of the oldest and most authentic wine bars in Nice. Founded in 1947, the family-run establishment hasn’t changed much in 70 years and serves a wide range of wines from the region. The kitchen is only open at lunchtime when they have homemade Niçois delicacies on the menu. The crowd is made up mostly of locals. They only take cash and they close promptly at 8pm – and there is no WiFi.
Au Fut et à Mesure is an interesting concept bar where you are free to serve yourself from the many beer pumps dotted about the tables using a prepaid card. You pay for the amount of liquid you drink rather than buying beer by the glass, meaning you can try as many local beers as you like without having to buy a whole half-pint. They also have a list of over 45 cocktails and sometimes hold electro-pop concerts.
One of the most animated live music venues in Nice, Shapko Bar is designed with music in mind, with its central stage easily viewable from every seat in the bar, which makes the performances feel more intimate. With live bands every night until 2:30am, the music has a jazz bent but features everything from samba to soul to rock. It has been around for a very long time and has a cult following. The outdoor terrace is a great spot for people watching but the magic mostly happens inside where crowds pack in to dance, drink and sing.
Go to Les Distilleries Idéales for charcuterie and cheese platters
Bar, Charcuterie, French, $$$
Just around the corner from the stunning 17th-century Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate, Les Distilleries Idéales is a buzzing little bar serving a great selection of local and international beer. Detailed frescoes hang on the walls of the Gothic-looking interior where locals drink and chat at the bar, but the outdoor seating is especially pleasant, complete with water sprays to cool guests down in the hot summer months. A highlight is the charcuterie and cheese platters that are great to share with friends.
Take part in an international dance-off at Wayne’s Bar
Bar, Pub, American, $$$
Wayne’s Bar is always the place to go to watch televised sports events in Nice, with every sport shown there from boxing to darts and to football. Later in the evening, there’s also regular live music followed by DJ sets. Visit if you’re after a lively English pub atmosphere with draught beers and a Happy Hour. It has a reputation as the place to meet people who want to let their hair down, share a food platter or two, and become firm friends dancing on the tables late into the night.
Ooh Poo Pah Doo opens at 9pm, attracting a late-night crowd. It’s hidden in the back streets of Nice’s Old Town with different theme nights and music that ranges from northern soul to 1960s rock ’n’ roll. The name was inspired by an Ike and Tina Turner song from the 1960s.
Conveniently located just a few hundred metres from the main train station in Nice, Cave Romagnan is a jazz and blues club boasting one of the oldest wine cellars in the city. Run by Manu, this venue is a veritable celebration of all things creative, holding poetry readings and art and photography exhibitions. The unpretentious, friendly bar is the perfect place to embrace the French culture of the apéro (the pre-dinner drink); enjoy a glass of excellent wine while listening to music before setting off for dinner.
Taste organic, biodynamic and artisanal wine at L’Autre Part
Wine Bar, French, $$$
L’Autre Part is a new wine concept store where the emphasis is on organic and local tipples. The bar is by the Old Port and offers over 300 different types of wine to buy. For a €7 corkage fee, you can choose to drink the wine you’ve just purchased at one of their tables or buy it by the glass for €4.50. If you’re peckish, try a tasting plate of saucisson and pâté from the butcher next door or some goat’s cheese supplied by a local farmer.
Choose the highly-rated chicken burger at Nomad Bar
Bar, French, $$$
Situated in the Old Town in the lovely place Saint-François, the Nomad Bar is consistent in its friendliness, reasonable prices (Happy Hour is 5–7pm) and delicious salads, chicken burgers and beef burgers. Sit on the sheltered and shaded outdoor terrace or inside to listen to live music with the accommodating bar staff.