French in France: 10 Best Places for Francophone Cuisine in Nice

When it comes to eating French food, Nice doesn't disappoint and even delivers its own style of cooking, Nicoise, which includes way more than just the famous salad. As the largest and most vibrant city in the French Riviera, Nice also has a lot of variety when it comes to eating French – from the plethora of food stalls scattered about the cobbled Old Town to modern and classic takes on haute gourmet created by chefs with Michelin stars by their names. One such restaurant is Le Chantecler inside the palatial Hotel Negresco. With two Michelin stars, chef Jean-Denis Rieubland's menu is famous for its take on Provencal and Nicoise fare. For something less formal, check out Les Epicureans, where the food provides a good intro to haute gourmet French fare as the dishes are pretty conventional for the uninitiated palette. The Port of Nice is also home to some excellent French restaurants, like the trendy Jan Restaurant. One of the hottest spots in town, Jan, is named after its South African chef owner Jan Jan Hendrick van der Westhuizen, and focuses on modern French fare that gets an A+ for flavor. 

Le Merenda
Photo courtesy of La Merenda

This petite bistro in Old Town is the work of a former Michelin-starred chef, Dominic Le Stanc, it attracts throngs of hungry locals who come for the dishes chalked up on a board each day – there is no formal menu. Although the offerings...  Read More

Le Safari
Photo courtesy of Le Safari Restaurant

In Vieux Nice (the Old Town), Le Safari serves a mix of French and Italian fare, including some excellent seafood options in a lively heart of Old Town locale right by the Opera. There is al fresco sidewalk seating for sunny days, as well as an...  Read More

Lou Bistrot Nissart
Photo courtesy of Lou Nissart

Near the Port of Nice, this restaurant specializes in local Nicoise fare and is far enough removed from the main tourist areas to feel local and off-the-beaten path (although it is near the flower market, so convenient to reach from the port...  Read More

La Chantecler

Famed for its palatial setting and Chef Jean-Denis Rieubland's menu, Le Chantecler in the grand dame Hotel Negrosco is worthy of the two Michelin stars it has been bestowed. When asked to describe his menu Rieubland says his style is "inspired...  Read More

Jan Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Jan Restaurant

Named for its creator, South African chef Jan Hendrick van der Westhuizen, Jan's is easily one of Nice's hot eats du jour. Despite the fact that the proprietor hails from Africa, and from a former British colony to boot, does nothing to hinder...  Read More

Photo courtesy of L'Escalinada

This restaurant has been popular with tourists and locals alike for the last five decades now – some people love it, others hate it. Yes it is touristy, and often packed, but it also serves consistently good Nicoise fare including some of the...  Read More

Airport - Nce
Photo courtesy of L'Univers

Connoisseurs flock to this restaurant in the heart of town to enjoy timeless classics from the Provence region – think lamb prepared with cream, artichokes roasted with peppers, and fresh fish and shellfish from the sea infused with local...  Read More

Airport - Nce

Sophisticated and posh with curved lines of the Art Deco style, this distinct restaurant serves traditional Nice cuisine of fresh raviolis and seafood that is both delicious and fairly priced. The service is also friendly and efficient and...  Read More

Airport - Nce

A local favorite for years now, Au Petit Gari is located in the center of Old Nice, right on Garibaldi Square, behind the Museum of Modern Art. The dining area is cozy and chef Eric dishes up excellent Provencal home cooking at fare prices. Come...  Read More

Airport - Nce
Les Epicuriens
Photo courtesy of Restaurant Les Epicuriens

The word has slowly spread about this truly epicurean restaurant. Simply decorated, the dishes prepared here use traditional bistro fare like braised beef cheeks, foie gras with mushrooms and cote d'beuf in a sophisticated setting. The food is a...  Read More


Meet Becca Blond

Becca Blond is an award-winning Denver based freelance travel writer. She has authored more than 30 Lonely Planet guides on five continents. She also writes about Colorado and the world for...  More About Becca