The 7 Best Restaurants in Nice, France

Find somewhere to eat in Nice’s old town
Find somewhere to eat in Nice’s old town | © Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Kaitlyn McInnis
3 February 2020

Nice is world-renowned for its Michelin-star restaurants and gastronomic delights. From high-end cuisine to cosy French bistros, here’s our pick of the best spots around.

Nice is home to a number of first-class restaurants | © Mehul Patel / Alamy Stock Photo

Nice is known for its Mediterranean coastlines and Medieval architecture. However, the city’s exquisite culinary scene is also among the delights that keep visitors coming back time and time again.

Jan

Restaurant, South African, $$$
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This Michelin-star restaurant, which is run by South African chef, author and photographer Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, has just 24 seats, making the overall dining experience incredibly intimate and personal. Using fresh Mediterranean ingredients, Van der Westhuizen puts his own twist on South African favourites such as melktert (milk tart) and biltong (dried meat), turning them into delicacies with a touch of French flair.

Restaurant Le Chantecler

Restaurant, French, $$$
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Set within the grand waterfront hotel, Le Negresco, this two-Michelin-star restaurant serves up exquisite Provence-inspired dishes by chef Jean-Denis Rieubland. Wine lovers will be in their element here, with Le Chantecler’s cellar housing around 15,000 bottles ranging from rare reds to refined whites. The dining room is just as elegant – Regency-style decor fills the space while an Aubusson tapestry dating back to 1751 forms the centrepiece. Much-loved classics dominate the menu, with highlights including the pan-roasted langoustines with espelette chilli pepper and the crab and mango cannelloni.

La Merenda

Restaurant, French, $$$
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Known to residents as something of an institution, La Merenda has been serving traditional Nice cuisine since chef Dominique Le Stanc gave up his two stars at the world-renowned Negresco restaurant. “For years I worked in famous gastronomic establishments, which in the end require more a gift for logistics than for cooking,” explains Le Stanc. “Here, in my tiny authentic restaurant, I can once again devote myself to what I care most about, the essence of cuisine: simple dishes made from fresh produce bought daily at the local markets.” Le Stanc’s cosy, rustic dining space whisks guests into a different era, while the ever-changing chalkboard menu focusses on the best ingredients from the French Riviera, including delicious classics such as panisse (fried chickpea cake) and daube de boeuf à la provençale (orange and beef tail).

Le Canon

Bistro, Restaurant, French, $$$
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If you are looking for bistro-style dining, head to Le Canon in Le Carré D’Or. With a 100 per cent natural wine list and seasonal local dishes, expect only the freshest ingredients here. The atmospheric dining room is reminiscent of an ancient wine cave, with empty bottles adorning the walls.

Le Vingt4

Restaurant, French, Mediterranean, European, $$$
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This stylish restaurant and lounge is the ideal spot to enjoy a glass of wine (or two) after a long day of exploring the city. Le Vingt4 offers an extensive selection of innovative French and Italian dishes, including tofu hamburger and foie gras with chutney. Note that each dish comes with a recommended wine pairing, most of which are available by the glass, and the staff are more than happy to walk you through other options if you prefer a different varietal or region.

Keisuke Matsushima

Restaurant, French, Japanese, $$$
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Run by Kei Matsushima, one of the most exciting chefs in the French Riviera, this Michelin-star restaurant brings together classic French cuisine and contemporary Japanese fare. Boasting a seasonal menu packed with dishes such as pistachio foie gras and caramelised pigeon breasts served with wasabi emulsion, Keisuke Matsushima continually delivers the unexpected. Combining French gastronomy with the finesse of Japanese technique, Keisuke Matsushima strikes the perfect balance between the two cuisines.

Le Séjour

Restaurant, French, $$$
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The elegant and unpretentious Le Séjour is much loved throughout the city. The family-run restaurant offers traditional and contemporary French plates on a chalkboard menu, including soupe d’agrumes (a citrus fruit salad), home-made duck foie gras and Thai-style beef tongue. Located in a contemporary house, Le Séjour Café is decorated with personal touches such as books, photo frames and flower pots, which is just kitsch enough to make guests feel immediately at home. Note that Le Séjour closes at around 9.45pm, so plan to get here early enough to enjoy a full evening.

These recommendations were updated on February 3, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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