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altPay attention! During your stay in Nice, you’ll have to make serious efforts in order to manage eating as probably accustomed – unhealthy food and delicious artificial drinks.

Well, Nice will assault you from all sides with fresh, light products, both healthy and pure. You will have to get used to that, too bad for your “modern” eating habits…

Nice is a small, pretty city that looks well after its visitors, serving them fresh salty breezes the Mediterranean way, French pebbled beaches, festivals with a carnival touch, and really interesting museums – such a corner of paradise should indeed offer special dishes.

Where light and fresh dishes are equally delicious

Therefore, don’t expect large chunks of beef or pork to drop on your plates. The food you will be served in Nice is good for both your health and for your taste buds, and the meat to be found on top might be either mutton, poultry or some small game. It’s the historical and geographical circumstances that have influenced the Nicoise cuisine, like the short intervals of heavy rain not suited for managing pasturelands or large vegetable gardens. As a consequence, the dishes that people around here are used to eat are more or less frugal and as they have done so for such a long time, their cuisine eventually developed a remarkable range of delicious nuances and tastes, always prepared in the same light, easy way. Well, it’s unlikely that you think of all that while enjoying a sandwich filled with a Provençal type of mixture, containing for example, fresh basil, goat cheese, olive oil (used by the Nicois for centuries instead of butter) and mesclun (a local salad mix); or, a Swiss chard tart, or a socca (made of chick-pea flour, water, olive oil and onions). Now that you have some recipes to consider, you should also know that, also due to the geo-culinary considerations mentioned above, the menus equally offer seafood and Italian pasta (the Italian cuisine is quite related to that of Nice).

Where wine is rosé and beer is fruity

Local drinks are the food equivalent in terms of their fine, light nature. Unlike most Nicoise dishes and the many wines you have sipped, the best wines in town are rose. If you are not used to them, you might get a funny feeling at first, but soon you’ll see that they make a wonderful match with the blue Mediterranean sky and with your Nicoise salad. Here’s a little advice: in restaurants, it’s not practical, as far as your budget is concerned, to order an entire bottle at your table – it’s better to order only a glass of wine or a half-pitcher (50 cl). However, if you really want a bottle of wine all for yourself, go to a small wine store and patiently discuss with the trader the merits of each make (note that you’d better not contradict him, nor doubt the superiority of French products). In case you’re not entirely committed to wine, you may always refresh with the help of a “bière pression Monaco”, a rather special beer with grenadine (the contrast of these two tastes is surprisingly delicious).

Dinner just like mother used to make

If you wish to find some good restaurants, it’s enough to go for a little walk on the streets of Old Nice. Of course, you could check out other parts of the city as well, but this corner has become over the years a classic host for the traditional Nicoise cuisine. Don’t worry about your budget having to suffer, even if we’re talking about restaurants in the famous Nice on the Riviera. Quite the opposite. For example, you may try “Chez Palmyre” on Straight Street (la Rue Droite). This may not be a luxury restaurant typically elegant or even a bit snobbish, but the local dishes served here are delicious and according to the traditional cuisine. The somewhat short menu doesn’t seem to offer much choice, but it changes from one day to another. Here is an example of a complete meal: vegetable soup with croutons, Nicoise salad, fish… now that you have an idea about it, you can see how simple and yet so delicious it all is. Servicing is nice and welcoming, and if the fine weather allows it, you may dine in the open (the restaurant’s interior is ok, but not quite dazzling) where the charming atmosphere of this old district will help with your digestion. “Chez Teresa”, in Cours Saleya (Flower Market), is yet another restaurant famous for its excellent traditional dishes, especially for its socca (served to you right from the oven).

Well, it does seem that Nice not only offers relaxation for your overworked body and for your lowered mood; Nice also offers your stomach a well-deserved holiday, away from fat-filled diets, junk food and other food dangers to which you expose yourself all year long. One thing’s for sure, at least your stomach will wish to come back to Nice as soon as possible.


About The Author:

Laurent Fabier is well known as a partner editor for His experience ranges from important contributions in written media to news or online travel magazines


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