A food lover’s guide on Cote d’Azur
Start your morning with a classic croissant and a latte macchiato. As soon as the temperatures are rising, enjoy a special lunch served with fresh grilled lobster and a glass of rose wine on your way to Ile Sain-Honorat.
Apart from lovely beaches, luxury villas and sunny weather, this part of the South of France offers a convivial and colorful cuisine, including the famous Ratatouille, Nicoise Salad, Bouillabaisse, wild boar stew.
To help you on your way, here is a selection of the best restaurants on the French Riviera.
Mirazur, Menton. Hidden on a hilltop high above the sea, Mirazur is a terrace restaurant with its own citrus grove and avocado trees, a vegetable garden and even a patch for wild herbs and edible flowers.
First come the tapas – a tiny lacy crisp of squid-ink rice and finely diced vegetables; a shot of yellow gazpacho – followed by starters such as risotto made with red quinoa and wild cèpes. A basket of fresh bread arrives accompanied by a heavenly pool of Colagreco’s own lemon-ginger olive oil. Mains include coquilles Saint-Jacques with fennel ice cream, and mackerel with an orange and carrot purée.
Le Bistrot d’Antoine, Nice. The decor is stylishly retro and folksy, and a mix of lawyers, judges and young professionals join a local boho crowd around the zinc bar and small wooden tables. The tiny, open-plan kitchen produces a mouthwatering variety of dishes, from a starter of mackerel and potatoes with rocket, horseradish and a mustard sauce to truffle risotto and sardines in a garlicky marinade served in a pastilla crust.
Le Bistrot des Fleurs, Tourrettes-sur-Loup. In his seasonal menu, this bistro includes foie gras ‘bonbons’ (pan-fried duck foie gras drizzled with violet preserves and fresh petals, wrapped in a crunchy filo) and rose-flavoured tagliatelle with prawns. There are also salads topped with velvety pansies and peppery nasturtiums, and desserts such as violet crème brulée and a creamy scoop of hibiscus ice cream.
Cote d’Azur Day Trips
From the Côte d’Azur, you can wind up deep in Provence or in the heart of the Italian Riviera in just a few hours. Some of Europe’s most stunning canyons, Les Gorges du Verdon, are less than two hours away with the ride as scenic as the canyons themselves. Don’t have a car? You can still get around the region with the streamlined public transportation system. Here are some ideas for easier-to-reach day trips.
- Saint-Paul de Vence
Charmingly situated on a hilltop overlooking the Provence countryside, Saint-Paul de Vence is a picturesque ancient village, a typical “village perché” (perched village) of Provence.
Accessible from Nice by a mountainous coastal road, Eze offers a dramatic first impression, with the tower of its church belfry and the ruins of the ancient fortress visible from a great distance.
In a typical French Riviera setting, Cagnes-sur-Mer has a harbor by the sea and a historic village up on a hill. Cagnes-sur-Mer lies about 12 kilometers west of Nice, at the point where the River Var flows into the Mediterranean Sea.
For those who appreciate beauty and fragrances, Grasse is a must-see stop on the itinerary. This beautiful medieval village lies in the foothills of the Maritime Alps near the Loup Valley. The village is surrounded by fields of lavender, mimosa, rose, and jasmine flowers that are used to make perfume.
- Gorges des Alpes-Maritimes Driving Tour
Traveling by car along the Gorges des Alpes-Maritimes route offers a chance to take in the gorgeous scenery of the Mediterranean coast.
Festivities in Cote d’Azur
Festivities like The Mimosa Festival, The Lemon Festival in Menton, the Nice Carnival, all these summer pyrotechnics will leave a festive color on your stay on the Riviera. The Cannes International Film Festival opens the season with a series of prestigious cultural and artistic events, followed by the Nice Jazz Festival and Jazz in Juan. For children, there is Marineland and the Phoenix Floral Park – ideal destinations for family outings. The French Riviera enjoys the exceptionally sunny weather with many treasures: an outstanding cultural heritage, sublime landscapes which served as an inspiration to the greatest artists, munificent and well-preserved countryside, tranquil hilltop villages, sun-soaked Mediterranean cuisine, a generous lifestyle, and many important international events.