The beautiful city of Nice, located on the French Riviera, is a legendary holiday destination. That's not surprising. With incredible scenery, beautiful sunny weather, and fascinating cultural life, there are tons of reasons to visit this charming town, no matter how you like to spend your time.
Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Nice, and you'll be ready to enjoy everything the city has to offer. Of course, since this is France, that's definitely going to include food. And you can forget about grabbing unhealthy processed foods as quick snacks while you travel here. Nice has some great options for both the best street food in the city and some delicious sit-down meals. Whether you want to explore the best traditional French food, try local delicacies, or sample the best vegetarian restaurants in Nice, you'll be in for some truly tasty treats.
Nice Food: Socca
This is a staple of Niçoise cuisine, and you'll find it all over the city. It's a simple dish made with chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and salt, but don't let that fool you. Socca is incredibly delicious and definitely worth trying.
Socca comes in the form of a flatbread and is one of the best foods to eat on the go in Nice. You'll find it pretty much everywhere in the Old Town, and because it's made with chickpeas, it's a great option if you're trying to limit your intake of meat.
You can sometimes get this classic Nice original recipe served with sauce for dipping, but most locals eat it plain as it is. As a light snack, it's a great option if you're looking for breakfast food or something to eat while you explore the city. Plus, you'll be eating a traditional Nice treat that has been part of the city for centuries.
Nice Food: Pain au Chocolat
This is a classic French pastry that you'll find in pretty much every city in France. But in Nice, they do it a little bit differently.
While pain au chocolat is typically made with croissant dough, the version you'll find in Nice is made with brioche dough instead. This gives it a richer flavor and a fluffy texture that's impossible to resist.
You can find pain au chocolat all over Nice, but one of the best places to get it is at Jean-Charles Rochoux. This local bakery has been around since 1957, and they definitely know their stuff when it comes to pastries. In fact, the hard part will be getting out of this place without destroying your diet completely. Still, it's worth it to try some of the best pastries in the city. As with any French city, that's saying a lot.
Nice Food: Tarte Tatin
This classic French dessert is traditionally made with apples, but you'll also find a version made with cherries in Nice. And it's absolutely delicious. Then again, the classic apple tart is a favorite for a reason, and one of the most popular comfort foods to try while visiting Nice. This is always one of the most popular menu items at any bakery in the city, and if you're wondering where to go, just look for the lines out of the doors to tell you where the locals get their tarts from.
The tarte Tatin at La Merenda is definitely worth trying. This family-run restaurant has been around since 1926, so they know a thing or two about good food. The cherry tarte Tatin is one of their specialties, and it definitely doesn't disappoint.
If you're not in the mood for something sweet, La Merenda also serves some great savory dishes. But we think the tarte Tatin is definitely worth saving room for.
Nice Food: Pissaladiere
Pissaladiere is another traditional Niçoise dish that you'll find all over the city. It's a type of pizza made with a thin, yeasted dough and topped with a caramelized onion and olive tapenade. It's simple but so delicious.
This dish is thought to date back to Roman times, and it's definitely one of the best things to eat in Nice if you're looking for something savory. The combination of sweet onions and salty olives is truly irresistible.
You can find pissaladiere all over Nice, but one of the best places to get it is at Pizzeria Ristorante da Ivo. This family-run restaurant has been serving up traditional Niçoise cuisine since 1930, so they definitely know what they're doing. They specialize in pissaladiere and one bite will tell you why they've been in business so long.
But really, this is one of those foods you can find just about anywhere, and everyone does it slightly differently. The thin pizza dough lets the toppings really shine, so you can see what's so special about the produce of Provence. Pissaladiere can be a light snack while you explore Old Town Nice, or a hearty meal if you enjoy it in one of the city's restaurants. Either way, if you're looking to eat foods that have their origins in this unique region of France, you can't afford to miss this one.
Nice Food: Ratatouille
This classic French dish is a must-try while you're in Nice. It's a stew made with eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions. It's simple, but so flavorful and definitely one of the best things to eat in Nice.
Ratatouille is famous throughout the world, but it was actually invented in Nice. It's still known throughout France as being a Provencal dish, and part of what makes it so good is the quality of the local vegetables and herbs. Get it served with crusty bread or as a side to a pasta dish, and you'll be getting a healthy meal packed with healthy fats and macronutrients that tastes as good as it looks.
You can find ratatouille all over the city, but one of the best places to get it is at Chez Pascal. This family-run restaurant has been serving up traditional Niçoise cuisine since 1988, and ratatouille is one of their specialties.
Nice Food: Nicoise Salad
Salad isn't one of those foods that usually gets people excited. So often, people turn to salad when they're trying to achieve weight loss or reduce the risk of heart disease, treating it like medicine instead of something delicious in its own right. But thanks to the great vegetables grown in Provence, even a salad can be a truly delicious meal in Nice. Forget about wilting iceberg lettuce smothered in ranch dressing and instead try one of the most iconic foods in the city, the Salad Nicoise.
This salad is made with fresh vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, green beans, and hard-boiled eggs. It's then finished with a flavorful dressing made with olive oil, vinegar, and herbs. The result is a light but filling meal that's perfect for a summer day. You'll probably be surprised by just how flavorful a salad can be, but that's a testament to the incredible produce that grows in this part of the world.
If you want a little more substance to your salad, you can get variations on the classic recipe by adding grilled chicken or black beans for protein. But purists insist on the tried and tested old-school recipe, and you can't go wrong with the classics.
Nice Food: Bouillabaisse
Bouillabaisse is a classic French seafood soup made with a variety of different fish and shellfish. It's usually served with crusty bread, and it's one of the best things to eat in Nice if you love seafood.
This soup is packed with flavor, and the different types of seafood all work together to create a truly unique dish. It's believed that bouillabaisse was invented by fishermen in Marseille, but it quickly spread to other coastal cities like Nice. That's no surprise, given that the glittering Mediterranean at the edge of the city provides an incredible wealth of seafood. Although this may not be the most traditional of Nice foods, it is undeniably Provençal, and a great way to enjoy the bounty of the sea while visiting Nice.
Bouillabaisse is a common menu item all over the city, but one of the best places to try it is at Le Chantecler. This Michelin-starred restaurant is known for its incredible seafood, and the bouillabaisse is definitely a dish not to be missed.
Nice Food: Le Pan Bagnat
This is a sandwich that's popular all over the south of France, but it's most associated with Nice. It's made with a baguette filled with tuna, vegetables, and hard-boiled eggs, and it's the perfect meal to enjoy on the go. Think of it almost like a Nicoise salad in sandwich form, and you won't be far off.
The key to a good pan bagnat is in the bread. It needs to be soft and fresh so that it doesn't fall apart when you take a bite. The fillings can vary depending on what you like, but tuna is the most common option. If you want something a little different, you can also find pan bagnats filled with chicken or ham.
No matter what filling you choose, this sandwich is one of the best things to eat in Nice if you're looking for a quick and easy meal. If this appeals to you, head to La Merenda to try one of the best.
Nice Food: Les Petits Farcies
These are small vegetables that are typically stuffed with meat, breadcrumbs, and herbs. They're then baked or grilled, and they make for a delicious side dish or appetizer. Les petits farcies are typical of Provençal cuisine, and they're a great way to try some of the local produce.
The most common vegetables used in les petits farcies are tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and peppers. But really, any vegetable can be used, as long as it's big enough to stuff. The filling is usually a mixture of ground meat and breadcrumbs, but you can also find vegetarian versions with just breadcrumbs and herbs.
No matter what kind of filling you choose, les petits farcies are a delicious way to start your meal. And, since they're usually served as a side dish or appetizer, you won't have to worry about filling up too quickly. Chez Rene should be your stop in Nice for les petits farcies.
Nice Food: La Daube Nicoise
This is a classic Provençal stew made with beef, vegetables, and red wine. It's usually slow-cooked for hours, which allows the flavors to really develop and come together. And, although it's not a traditional Nice food, it's definitely a dish that's popular in the city.
La daube Nicoise is the perfect comfort food for a cold day. The beef is tender and cooked in a rich red wine sauce, and the vegetables add a touch of sweetness to the dish. It's usually served with rice or potatoes, and it's a great way to get your fill of protein and vegetables all in one meal.
You can find la daube Nicoise all over Nice, but one of the best places to try it is at Le Bistrot du Fromager. This restaurant is known for its incredible cheese dishes, and the la daube Nicoise is no exception. The beef is cooked to perfection, and the sauce is rich and flavorful.
Nice Food: Soupe au Pistou
This is a soup made with vegetables, beans, and a pesto-like sauce called pistou. It's a popular dish in Nice, and it's the perfect way to get your fill of veggies.
The soup itself is quite simple, but the pistou gives it a lot of flavor. The sauce is made with garlic, basil, and olive oil, and it really brings the soup to life. The soup is usually served with bread on the side, and it's a great way to soak up all of the flavors.
For the best soupe au pistou in town, La Merenda has you covered on this one too. This restaurant is known for its traditional Provençal cuisine, and the soupe au pistou is a perfect example of that. The soup is hearty and filling, and the pistou is flavorful and fragrant. It's safe to say that you should definitely try this restaurant while in the city.
Food is an inescapable part of French culture, and that's as true in Nice as it is anywhere else. Trying these iconic local foods will bring you closer to the culture of the city while you explore, as well as giving you lots of delicious things to eat.
If you're worried about packing on the pounds on your trip, check out our guide on the best hikes in Nice so you can burn off some calories exploring different areas of this beautiful city. Alternatively, you could just let it all go and stuff your face and worry about your weight when your holiday is over. After all, you're on vacation, and it would be a shame to miss the incredible food you can have in Nice.