Restaurants in Cote d'Azur
Symbolic of French seafood is bouillabaisse, the fish soup spawned in Marseille and a staple all along the coast. It is made with a wide mix of ingredients, principally red mullet, snapper, monkfish, conger eel and scorpion fish, with fresh tomatoes, saffron and olive oil thrown in. It is cooked as a stew, the broth is served first as a soup, and the fish itself is eaten later.
For light lunch fare you can't beat a tasty salade Niçoise with seared tuna, fresh greens, capers, black olives, beans, hard-boiled egg, quartered tomatoes, boiled potatoes and anchovies. If you are craving shellfish, order fruits de mer, a wonderful combo dish comprised of mussels, scallops, the local crawfish known as langouste, and giant prawns. A great fish delicacy is loup grillé au fenouil, a complete sea bass flambéed with pastis then grilled over burning fennel twigs.
The town of Mougins is renowned for its cuisine ~ "more gastronomy per square inch than any place in France," as the Cadogan Guide describes it. At the top of the list of restaurants here is Le Moulin de Mougins, created by celebrity chef Roger Vergé and eminently popular among the Cannes Film Festival cognoscenti. Another exquisite eating encounter can be found at Le Mas Candille, where Vendôme Guide staff recently sampled a meal of scallops in champagne cream sauce and mussels with mushrooms, followed by roasted figs, spiced mango and praline ice cream–enough to convince us that Mougins rightly deserves its reputation as a dining Mecca. Find nouvelle cuisine at the hotel-restaurant Les Muscadins, and delicious bang for the buck at affordable Feu Follet.
In Cannes, stars are drawn to one of the great restaurants on the Cote d'Azur, La Palme d'Or, specializing in seafood, escargot and agneau. Order a salade de pigeonneau, or succulent lobster rissoles au champignons. For a bistro-style escape from the top tier and a reasonably-priced sampling of simple, authentic Provençal fare try friendly La Mère Besson, recognized for its homemade estouffade. To find affordable marmite du pêcheur and a nautical theme go to Lou Souléou on the water. For people-watching par excellence stop by Planet Hollywood on La Croisette.
Juan-les-Pins is a place unabashedly devoted to nightlife, and if you're at your best when the sun goes down you can't go wrong here. The best restaurant in town is La Terrasse, offering a combination of excellent wines and a menu second to none including cannelloni with clams, and langouste rôtie with risotto and pointes d'asperge. If you go right down to the water you'll find Le Bijou, where bouillabaisse is popular. Should your Euros be running away faster than you can catch them, take a load off the wallet at Le Capitole.
Just down the road in Cap d'Antibes some of the most tastefully-prepared seafood and bouillabaisse in the region is found at De Bacon. Nouvelle cuisine at comparable prices is available nearby at La Bonne Auberge. In Antibes proper, sate your appetite with traditional Provençal food reasonably priced at Les Vieux Murs.
Nice is a world unto itself in many ways, especially when it comes to dining out. With so many dishes tied directly to the city's own cuisine ~ salade Niçoise is but one ~ it is not difficult to imagine the wealth of choice available here in terms of where to go. Exceptional if expensive is Le Chantecler, a gastronomic tour de force where you'll dine out on specialties such as roast fillet of salmon, duck, sea bass prepared with tomatoes and pesto, and truly exotic desserts such as liquorices meringue with raspberry sorbet. Other top Niçois spots include L'Acchiardo, an authentic bar-restaurant in Vieux Nice, and Le Grand Pavois, truly seafood heaven featuring bouillabaisse and langoustines.
And on a less formal scale, stop in for lunch or dinner at any number of seaside spots all the way along the coast for light fare and an atmosphere you'll find nowhere else. In St. Jean Cap Ferrat, for example, the first-floor terrace at Le Saint Jean is just such a find, offering simple dishes such as pasta and fish in a wonderful harbor setting. Nearby, Le Provençal offers light delicacies such as asperge violet au jus de truffes. In the wonderful hilltop village perché Eze, where the three Corniches are linked, the amiable Provençal restaurant La Bergerie specializes in meat dishes such as gigot d'agneau aux fine herbes, and complements these with an exceptional wine list.
Cote d'Azur Restaurants
La place de Mougins
41 place du Commandant Lamy
33 4 93 90 15 78
Lunch and dinner
This place is a lovely spot on a hilltop with a great view of the surrounding area.
Entrees des Artistes
8 Place des Arcades
33 4 93 64 02 72
Lunch and dinner
A cute restaurant where the owners take pride in providing fresh local ingredients.
4, Rue de Bone
33 4 93 99 48 71
Lunch and dinner
The couple that owns the restaurant are worth the visit.
15 Rue Saint Antoine
04 93 39 62 21
You can create your own salads at this cute place where you should make sure to make a reservation.
12 Rue Lascaris
33 4 97 19 32 23
The sommelier knows his stuff and you can order a bottle of wine to take home after a great meal
Chez Papa Fred
25 Boulevard de la Madeleine
33 4 93 86 84 60
Lunch and dinner
Slightly out of the way, but worth the trip for the great menu and wine pairings.