Last Updated on October 9, 2023 by April Verge
Nice turned out to be among the most amazing places I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. The incredible cuisine Niçoise in Nice was my favorite part. Think about sweet treats, ice cream, mouthwatering seafood, and many hearty entrees. Overall, the atmosphere was great, laid-back, with lovely people, and the weather was ideal; these were the added components that undoubtedly made my Nice meal even more enticing.
Thanks to the amazingly tasting food, France is the first country to have its food classified by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. Whatever the French people touch becomes art. They’ve successfully turned eating into an art. To the French people in Nice, eating is more than satisfying hunger.
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If you are in a hurry, here’s a summary of cuisine Niçoise:
What is Cuisine Niçoise?
Nice’s cuisine is distinctive even though it is a part of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. The French Riviera location of Nice, its long-standing historical links to Italy, and the regional Provence elements are all reflected in the cuisine Niçoise. The French gave the designation “Cuisine Nissarde” in 1998 in order to protect the genuine Niçoise cuisine.
The term “Nissarde” alludes to the region’s historic dialect, which is now only sometimes spoken. The “Cuisine Nissarde” moniker is only given to distinguished restaurants that use authentic Nissarde products and recipes. Even a warm greeting for clients is one of the requirements for receiving the badge. They do, too!
Explore local Niçoise culture with a Nice walking tour with these unique excursions:
Must Try Cuisine Niçoise in Nice France
Rated as the number one street food in Nice, this is a must-try dish for anyone. This crispy chickpea pancake is not an ordinary dish in Nice. It is a local cultural and culinary tradition which became popular early 1990s. It was first made for workers and fishers by portable cookers when it became famous.
From the looks, it is a huge thin pancake. It’s cooked in an oven on a large pan, and it’s best served hot on a plate or a paper cone. It is made from chickpea flour, and the outside edges are crunchy, while the inside is soft and custard-like. The savory snack is available in sit down restaurants and is also sold as street food in Nice.
Where to eat Socca in Nice: Visit the Cours Saleya market in Old Nice for the greatest Socca in Nice. You can still get socca cooked in a wood-burning oven at Chez Theresa, which has a small cart out front. Also try Chez Pipo too.
2. Salade Niçoise
If you’re looking for a healthy salad in Nice, this is the best one. The Niçoise salad is popular all over the world for its impeccable combination of natural ingredients. It is a healthy and refreshing dish that contains tuna, cucumbers, local black olives, sliced hard boiled eggs then mixed with some vinaigrette dressing.
Thanks to the evolving culinary tradition in France, there are different versions of salad Niçoise. Some even have boiled baby potatoes, steamed young greens and other types of fish apart from tuna. A traditional one differs from other versions, which also contain raw tomatoes. This is one of the most famous foods from Nice.
Where to eat Salad Niçoise in Nice: I am convinced that the Vieux Nice restaurant that provides the most exquisite rendition of this classic salad is Lou Balico, at 20 Avenue Saint-Jean-Baptiste.
3. Pan Bagnat
If you’re keen on the looks and taste of this sandwich, one thing stands out. It is a Salade Niçoise made into a really big sandwich. The name in French means’ wet bread’, and it’s filled with the ingredients found in the Salade Niçoise. Before the technique evolved, people used to soften a day-old bread with water to make the le pan bagnat more palatable. Today, the bread isn’t soaked in water, but it’s nicely drizzled with olive oil.
It contains whole wheat bread, tomatoes, tuna, peppers, radishes, hard-boiled eggs and onions. This round sandwich can be served with olives, vinegar, or artichokes.
Where to eat Pan Bagnat in Nice: In Old Town Nice, you may find pre-made sandwiches in bakeries and market stands. However, if you’re able to make it to A Buteghinna, Kiosque Chez Tintin, or Lou Balico you’ll receive a better one that’s freshly made.
This traditional cuisine Nicoise is more like pizza, but it’s not pizza. It is tart topped with olives, onion, and anchovies. Unlike most of the dishes from the south of France, this is an intense dish, but it is worth a try. This is a tart filled with these ingredients. It is the anchovies that make the tart get a rich flavor.
This flatbread from Nice is an amazing recipe idea for summer picnics. It makes a great meal as it can be eaten hot or cold but not lukewarm.
Where to eat Pissaladière in Nice: Before lunch or supper, certain Nice restaurants serving Nissarde cuisine will offer a short sample. The majority of the neighborhood bakeries also provide outstanding versions of this traditional Niçoise dish.
5. Petits Farcis Niçoise
This is a true Nice specialty that has everyone hooked. It consists of Provencal stuffed vegetables. It originated when local farmers stuffed fresh vegetables with some leftover meat. As the name suggests, it’s small and stuffed.
The stuffed vegetables can be served at room temperature or hot but never cold. They are normally very small in size, and each one is simply a bite or two at most. Stuffing can be made with salted snacks, sausage, anchovies, ham, or breadcrumbs. You can also use different vegetables for the filling, such as onions, peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes. If you’re a vegetarian in Nice, you can get one made for you but make sure to specify before you order.
Where to eat Petit Farci in Nice: You’ll find Petit Farci fully prepared at butcher shops, at the market stands at the Cours Saleya, and on Niçoise menus.
6. Daube Niçoise
The Daube Niçoise is a perfect meal in Nice, France for those of us who love meat. This well-cooked beef stew contains cuts of bacon, beef, onions, carrots, local herbs, celery, tomatoes, and spices. The beef is soft and cut into small chunks, then marinated overnight in red wine. This differentiates the stew from beef bourguignon, a famous French dish.
This dish also includes porcini mushrooms and a local brandy called branda. The stew is cooked slowly and in large quantities. It is ideal for special occasions and group dinners. It is served alongside good-quality red wine and with tagliatelle, polenta, or gnocchi.
Where to eat Daube in Nice: The La Merenda restaurant in Nice, which has received a Michelin star, serves a fantastic Daube Niçoise. Le Safari, serves a generous portion of this tasty Nissarde dish as well.
Ever watched the animation, Ratatouille? It is an animation about the dish and a pretty interesting one telling a good story about the food. It is a mix of cooked vegetables that appeared in Nice in the 18th century. The dish became world-famous after the 2007 Disney-Pixar movie Ratatouille. This vegetable stew combines fresh Provencal vegetables like onions, eggplants, onions, tomatoes, green peppers, and zucchini with olive oil, garlic, and other local herbs.
Ratatouille is a simple and healthy dish enjoyed as a side or main dish with meat, fish, and rice. It is served as an appetizer with crusty bread and can be served cold.
Where to eat Ratatouille in Nice: The restaurants in Nice that specialize in the regional traditional Nissarde cuisine are where you may get the most delicious Ratatouille. Try Chez Acchiardo, La Rossettisserie, or Le Bistrot d’Antoine.
8. Ravioli Niçoise
This is a fluffy, dairy-rich bun famous among the French. For people who love ravioli like me, you wouldn’t miss a chance to have it in Nice. It comes with a delicious filling of daube de boeuf or braised beef, dry mountain cow cheese like parmesan, and chopped chard, making it a fantastic dish.
The fillings in the ravioli can be ricotta, ground meat, herbs, spinach, mushrooms or even lobster. Made from scratch, it can come out in different versions. With homemade sauces combinations, you can create flavorful combinations.
9. Soupe au Pistou
Have you ever had a dish enriched with some pistou? If not, then you’re in for a treat. This is a famous Provencal dish that consists of bean soup with pistou. The pistou for the dish is made with fresh basil, garlic cloves, and olive oil. It is in a way similar to pesto but without pine nuts. This is a versatile Nicoise specialty you wouldn’t want to miss.
Of all the food I ate in Nice, this is the one I expected to least like but to my surprise, it was amazing. The pistou balances the taste giving the bean soup a well-deserved flavor.
Where to eat Pistou in Nice: Although it’s difficult to top the Pistou Soup at La Merenda, I’ve observed several locals sharing the large pots at Lou Balico.
10. Rosé Wine
Can you confidently say you’ve been to France without having some good-quality wine? Well, in Nice, rosé wine is a staple, especially if you visit Nice during the summer. The richly flavored wine is a classic accompaniment to all summer meals in Nice. The good thing with rosé wine is you don’t have to go over your budget or overspend to get quality wine. It is a local rosé, and it’s inexpensive. It is best served dry according to my throat and taste, but we all have different ones, right?
Where to drink Rosé in Nice: At the restaurants in Nice, I found I was happy with even the cheapest rosé wine as long as it was local.
If you’re visiting Nice, take a food tour. This list is a guide to help you with some of the best cuisine Niçoise you wouldn’t want to miss here. Try authentic French food in Nice and create memories.