Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
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Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
What to Eat in Nice
The French Riviera is among the most visited destinations in France. This stretch of coastline is part of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, and it extends from Saint Tropez to Menton, including the Principality of Monaco.
Nice is the French Riviera’s “unofficial capital,” and it is popular for being a luxurious getaway for the rich and famous. Nice boasts a charming Old Town, beautiful beaches, scenic viewpoints, and a vibrant cultural scene.
Among the best things to do in Nice (and on the French Riviera in general) is to try its cuisine, a perfect mix of classic Provençal flavors and original dishes with Mediterranean zest.
Here is the best food from Nice, France, that you need to try during your trip to Nice and the beautiful French Riviera.
Nice & French Riviera Food You Need to Try
What to eat in Nice and French Riviera? Here is the best food in Nice, France (classic dishes of Niçoise cuisine and French Riviera cuisine, starters, and sweets), and the descriptions will help you decide if you want to try them.
TIP: This Nice Food Tour explores the best of Niçoise cuisine with some tastings.
Aïoli is a thick garlic sauce with a consistency similar to mayonnaise. It is made with simple ingredients: garlic cloves, egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, white pepper, and olive oil.
The rich taste makes aïoli perfect to be used as a dipping sauce, and in Provence, it is served mainly alongside seafood dishes.
However, aïoli is such a beloved food in Provence that it is served during parties and feast days in the version called Le Grand Aïoli, where the dipping sauce is put at the center of the plate and paired with boiled artichoke, soaked salt cod, tuna, and simply cooked vegetables.
This crêpe-like deliciousness is not very popular among tourists, but it is a street food you shouldn’t miss while in Nice.
Made with chickpea flour, Socca‘s texture is almost like a crispy cracker. It can be enjoyed plain or with various savory toppings, like herbs, spices, or vegetables.
If you have ever eaten Italian farinata, you might find similarities in taste and consistency with Socca.
Some say that this Nicoise food actually originated in Italy, but it is the ultimate snack food in Nice. Try Socca for the apéritif accompanied by a glass of rosé wine!
Anchoïade is a classic Provençal dip with a sharp taste that will delight your palate. It is a sort of purée made with high-quality ingredients: anchovies, capers, garlic, olive oil, and white wine vinegar.
Technically, Anchoïade is a sauce, although it is eaten on a toasted piece of bread or accompanied with veggies you can dip.
Eat Anchoïade alongside a glass of dry white Cassis wine for the best meal!
Fougasse is a fragrant bread, similar to Italian focaccia, that you must try while on the French Riviera. The traditional recipe wants the dough greased with good-quality olive oil and then baked.
This French Riviera food can be enjoyed plain or laced with olives, fresh herbs, cheeses, and/or anchovies. However you have it, you will love Fougassa!
Try the plain version dipped in hot soup such as pistou, or taste the particular version made in Monaco, where Fougasse is topped with almonds and nuts for a sweet-ish bite.
5. Salade Niçoise
The Salade Niçoise is a typical French salad from the city of Nice. Flavorful and colorful, this famous food from Nice, France, is made using local ingredients: tuna, black olives, tomatoes, anchovies, hard-boiled eggs, and everything mixed with lettuce.
The salad is seasoned with a simple yet delicious traditional Provençal seasoning of olive oil, garlic, and basil. Salade Niçoise can be eaten on its own as a light meal or as an appetizer but is mainly served as a side with both meat and fish mains.
If you are in a hurry and need something on the go, try the Pan Bagnat, another famous food in Nice (cover picture). It is a sandwich composed of pain de campagne (whole wheat bread) enclosing the classic Salade Niçoise.
This fish stew is incredibly creamy and one of the best main dishes in the French Riviera.
Similar to the bouillabaisse from Marseille, Bourride is its humbler version, as it doesn’t contain saffron or expensive shellfish. But the taste of Bourride is rich nonetheless!
Made with white fish, this stew boasts the simple and sharp flavors of the region, thanks to the addition of garlic, lemon, fresh fennel, and white wine. What gives Bourride its distinctive taste is the presence of aïoli.
Served with good quality bread, enjoy Bourride freshly cooked!
Another snack-like food from the French Riviera is Pissaladière. You might think this dish is a Provençal pizza, and you won’t be too wrong! The dough of Pissaladière is rather flaky and more buttery than pizza dough, and the traditional recipe is originally from Nice.
What’s best about Pissaladière is its topping: it is usually served with a generous amount of onion, anchovies, and black olives. Cut in big rectangles and then into squares, this food from Nice, France, is meant to be eaten quickly while strolling around, marveling at the gorgeous landscapes of the French Riviera.
8. Soupe au Pistou
Soupe au Pistou is a very popular food in Provence and French Riviera. It is a fragrant vegetable soup made even more delicious by adding a pesto-like paste made from crushed garlic, basil, and olive oil.
Some people add cheese to the soup, but many locals think it is unnecessary (besides being too Italian). But with or without cheese, the Soupe au Pistou is incredibly tasteful!
This soup is usually enjoyed during the summer to enjoy and benefit from the fresh seasonal vegetables.
9. Tarte Tropézienne
The Tarte Tropézienne is a cake originating from the glamorous town of Saint Tropez. It is a brioche-based cake stuffed with vanilla and lemon creams and topped with crunchy sugar crystals.
This delicious dessert was created by Polish pastry chef Alexandre Micka, who simply split a brioche and filled it with the two creams. When Brigitte Bardot came to Saint Tropez to shoot the movie Et Dieu Créa la Femme (And God Created the Woman, 1956), she tasted Tarte Tropezienne and fell in love with it! The event made this dessert popular and a staple of the local cuisine.
If you don’t visit Saint Tropez, don’t worry! Today, it’s a typical dessert of French Riviera cuisine, so you can taste Tarte Tropézienne in Nice and everywhere on the French Riviera.