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To scoff as many as possible, look out for the 21 restaurants displaying the Cuisine Nissarde label in their window. Running the gamut of eateries from family restaurants to fancy fine dining, these establishments proudly dish up authentic Nice specialities.
One option is Lou Balico (Avenue St-Jean-Baptiste), a Nice institution set just across from the MAMAC modern-art museum. Try its fried courgette flowers or head uphill to Cimiez and family-run La Gaité Nallino (Avenue Cap-de-Croix). Despite its Italian association, gnocchi was invented in Nice and is served here amid date jus and porcini.
Establishments in Vieux Nice (the Old Town) are your best bet for other authentic Nissarde dishes.
Old-school estocaficada – salted cod soaked for four-five days, then stewed with onions, tomatoes and wine – is available at Le Bistrot d'Antoine (Rue de la Préfecture).
Moules frites – steaming bowls of mussels with crisp French fries – is a better-known Côte d’Azur classic. At Lou Pilha Leva (Rue du Collet), the molluscs come with a delectable saffron cream sauce, and can be enjoyed on picnic benches with glasses of local vin de Bellet.
Fellow Old Towner L’Abbaye (Rue du Pont Vieux) is another dependable bet, and offers good-value all-you-can-eat moules frites.
Nice’s street food is socca, pizza-like chickpea pancakes cooked in open, wood-fired ovens. Conduct a poll and most locals would probably choose to devour one in busy Chez Pipo (Rue Bavastro), a specialist, homely bistro in the port area.
At the other end of the spectrum is the two-Michelin-star Le Chantecler at the Negresco Hotel (Promenade des Anglais), a seafront time warp where diamond-heavy chandeliers overhang period furniture. Dining here is a form of theatre, not least when the chorizo-stuffed veal sweetbread makes its bold arrival.
On a much tighter budget? Easy – being a truly cosmopolitan city, Nice has a bit of everything, and that includes low-cost dining gems.
The most precious of all is Voyageur Nissart (Rue Alsace Lorraine), whose location near the train station ensures it stays a secret. Cheerful waiters will bring three courses of local classics such as lamb with thyme or red mullet for as little as €15.90.
Back in Vieux Nice, Chez Palmyre (Rue Droite) is one of the city’s elder-statesmen restaurants, and seems to have forgotten to raise its prices for three decades. Family-run since 1926, it offers a country-village ambience and three courses of local cooking for €17, lunch or dinner. Try the ground pork wrapped in sliced beef, and try to reserve ahead.
Looking for a place to party after your evening meal? Discover the hotspots on our Nice nightlife page.