Socca is a local delicacy along the French Riviera, and it’s mostly found in Nice. It’s a little less famous than the other local dish, salade Niçoise, but no less delicious. It’s an oven-baked pizza-style snack made with chickpea flour and here are the best places to sample it.
Lou Pilha Leva
Restaurant, Canteen, Mediterranean
Lou Pilha Leva specialises in socca and is an institution in Nice. Fortunately, the weather is often good because it’s outside-only – sit at one of the long tables and get to know the locals over some socca and a drink. The restaurant is basic but much-loved. The best part is that it’s open all day until late, except Sundays.
If you’re hankering after a takeaway late at night, look no further than Rue Miralheti in Nice. It’s close to Place Masséna, where you’ll also find lots of other take-out options. Head to one of the socca kiosks, then tuck in while strolling around the town or sit overlooking one of the lovely views. A cheap (and reasonably healthy) way to dine with a view.
Chez Pipo was founded in 1923 and the restaurant has not changed at all since the first socca was served here. The stone oven, a central feature of Chez Pipo, continues to turn out scores of socca per day that locals and tourists stop to savour amid the warm, friendly atmosphere of the restaurant’s interior, decked with photos of Nice during the Belle Epoque, or outside in the cool shady terrace.
Theresa began selling socca at her food stall in the 1920s on the Cours Saleya – legend has it that she knew everyone and regaled them all with her wild stories. In the years between, there have been several incarnations of “Theresa”, but someone has always been there to sell socca to the locals and tourists in the same spot. It is cooked five minutes away and arrives in fresh, hot batches by bike. Delicious.
Cannes has some lovely food markets, not least the Marché Forville. It’s open for antiques on a Monday, but every other day, it’s where you can find seasonal fruit and vegetables grown by local farmers. Many sell cooked meats, seafood and other homemade delicacies. The Forville Market is also the best place to find socca served much like a crêpe in a paper wrapper.