The Best Cheap Eats and Street Food in Cannes

A trip to Cannes doesn't need to involve wallet-busting meals
A trip to Cannes doesn't need to involve wallet-busting meals | © Alexandre Rotenberg / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Siobhan Grogan
30 March 2020

While there’s no shortage of upscale hotel restaurants and Michelin-star eateries in Cannes, it’s more difficult to eat on a budget in this glamorous seafront city. From traditional crêpes to three-course feasts, these are the best places to find good food at reasonable prices.

Spectacular sea views, celebrated chefs and visiting glitterati mean eating in Cannes can be quite expensive. There is no shortage of places to experience fine dining, lavish seafood dinners and gourmet French cuisine. But head away from Cannes’ famous seafront boulevard La Croisette and there are surprisingly affordable alternatives where you can eat well without deep pockets. These include excellent bakeries, neighbourhood bistros and bargain pizzerias, thanks to the Italian border being just an hour away. The city’s bustling markets are the best place to sample Riviera-style street food, including beignets de fleurs de courgettes (zucchini flower fritters), influenced by the region’s Italian history, and the popular socca – a pancake made of chickpea flour and olive oil batter, rumoured to have been created in the 16th century to pour over invading Turkish troops when the Nice army ran out of ammunition. However, it’s more likely to have been an affordable, filling dish for fishermen in the seaside towns of the Riviera, and is still the ideal cheap eat in Cannes today.

La Crêperie

Cafe, Creperie, French
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La Creperie, Cannes
© Helmut Corneli / Alamy Stock Photo

Hidden down a narrow cobblestone street near the harbour, the cosy La Crêperie has been a Nice institution for over 50 years. Served as a street-food dish all over France, crêpes are a thin pancake made from flour, egg and milk and served with both savoury and sweet accompaniments. Order the standard ham and cheese crêpe for a satisfying lunch, served traditionally with cider poured from a jug. You won’t regret trying the Nutella version if you have room afterward.

Aux Bons Enfants

Bistro, French
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Rue Meynadier, Cannes, France
James Fenn / | © The Culture Trip

For traditional French food without the typical expensive Cannes price tag, Aux Bon Enfants is a popular, no-fuss stop for foodies heading to the nearby Forville Market. Established in 1935 by the grandmother of current owner Luc Giorsetti, the menu is fresh, seasonal and hearty. “Local and seasonal products are selected every morning nearby, at the Marché Forville, from local producers, butchers, fishmongers or cheesemakers,” says Giorsetti. A three-course meal costs less than €33 (£30) and includes regional favourites such as daube (a Provençal beef stew) and rockfish soup. Just remember to bring cash, as credit cards are not accepted.

La Rôtisserie Christophe

Market, French
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Rotisserie chickens being spit roasted
© Stephen French / Alamy Stock Photo

If you can tear yourself away from the mountains of fresh food in the Forville Market, follow the market traders for lunch at Rôtisserie Christophe on the main market square. There are only a handful of seats, but grab one if you can, and tuck into a perfectly roasted chicken, fat Toulouse sausages or juicy roast beef, all from carefully selected local farms. Everything can be packed up to take away, too, if you’re in the mood for a picnic.

L’Assiette Provençale

Restaurant, French, Mediterranean, European, $$$
Map View
Cannes waterfront
© Picturereflex / Shutterstock

You don’t always have to forgo the sea view to eat cheaply in Cannes. Charming L’Assiette Provençale is perched on the city’s Vieux Port (Old Port) with great views over the harbour and three-course meals starting from around €26 (£23). Ask for a table on the terrace if the weather’s warm and start with the zucchini flower fritters, a dish popular all over Cannes and served here in a rich tomato sauce. Finish with a zingy lemon tart, a dish that originated in the Riviera thanks to its abundance of citrus fruits.

Sylane

Restaurant, Middle Eastern
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It may not be the first dish that springs to mind when visiting France, but kebab shops are all over Cannes, popular with budget-conscious visitors and hungry partygoers. Right next to the train station, Sylane is the tastiest of all, piling kebabs with succulent meat, spicy sauces and a healthy helping of frites. Vegetarians don’t need to miss out on late-night snacking either, as the falafel wraps are filling and flavourful.

Bay Café

Cafe, French
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Worth visiting just for the view across the Mediterranean Sea, the beachside spot Bay Café is ideal for those on a budget. The contemporary restaurant overlooking the water offers a three-course lunchtime menu for around €17 (£15) including dishes such as steak and seafood risotto – plus a moreish tiramisu. It’s €6 (£5) more at weekend lunchtimes, but still far cheaper than anything else in this part of Cannes. The house wine is reasonably priced, too.

Marché Forville

Market, French, $$$
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JCTP0068-Marche Forville-Cannes-France-Fenn--131
James Fenn / | © Culture Trip
Indoor market Marché Forville is the best place to eat on the move and sample Cannes’ most delicious street food. Follow your nose and indulge in a pancake-like socca. This traditional dish is made with chickpea flour and olive oil, and cooked in a cast-iron pan in a wood-fired oven. It’s best eaten steaming hot with plenty of seasoning out of a paper wrapper. Afterward, try a freshly shucked oyster or a slice of pissaladière, a pizza-like dough smothered in tomatoes, olives, anchovies, onions and herbs that originated along the coast in Nice. Avoid Mondays if you’re feeling peckish, as antiques and bric-a-brac replace the food stalls.

Le Troquet à Soupes

Cafe, Restaurant, Contemporary, French, Vegan, Vegetarian
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When you’ve had your fill of steak frites, head to this charming café decorated with colourful cushions and fresh flowers in the heart of the Old Town. Unusually, the seasonal menu includes several vegan and vegetarian options like soups, salads and a vegetarian raclette (a cheese melted and served with bread, potatoes and cornichons). If you fancy something more traditional, owner Sylvie Gérant’s onion soup is irresistible, while her homemade desserts should not be missed. With two courses starting at just €13 (£12), Gérant describes Le Troquet à Soupes as “essential for all those who love home cooking at very low prices.”

La Pizzaiola Chez Xavier

Pizzeria, Restaurant, Italian
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Just an hour from Italy and once part of the Roman Empire, Cannes is dominated by Italian restaurants. Open since 1972 on a quiet street in the heart of the city, La Pizzaiola is a must for authentic wood-fired pizzas, friendly staff and a laid-back atmosphere. At busy times, you may have to queue for a table, or you can join the delivery line and ask for the pizza to be delivered to Le Bar à Vin next door so you can enjoy a glass of wine while you wait.

These recommendations were updated on March 30, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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