The gastronomy of Nice is part of its heritage. It’s one of only two cities in France to do so. Lyon, often called the gastronomic capital of France, is the other one.
Lyon had better look out though because Nice is catching up. And, if you ask a Nicois, they will of course assure you they haven’t just equalled, but overtaken their gastronomic rival. Fruit, vegetables, cheese, fish and a strong Italian influence (after all the border is just 20 minutes by car) make the sunny cuisine of Nice full of flavour.
“People here are in love with good food, it’s in their DNA” says Italian born Caterina who’s now a Nice local. “We call it ‘Nicoise de coeur’. In Nice there is respect for the landscape, the geography, the season… We learn how to cook with fresh produce when it’s available”.
There are two big markets in Nice, the famous Cours Saleya, a stone’s throw from the Mediterranean Sea and the ”local’s market” at Liberation.
The market at Cours Saleya
Colourful stands of local specialities such as Socca and aromatic Pissaladière will tempt you to stop for a nibble. Homemade jams, exotic spices, local fish, organic honeys, juicy fruits, olive oil, sea salt and lush vegetables will have you sniffing the scents and drooling over the flavours of Nice. And all in the most perfect setting. Cours Saleya is lined with gorgeous pastel coloured buildings, thriving cafés. Glimpse through the arched entries to this square of paradise, and you’ll spot the backdrop of the blue waters of the Mediterranean sea.
Open Tuesday to Saturday 07.30 – 18.00. Mondays are about antiques and Sundays are reserved for the flower market.
Marche Liberation the locals’ market at Nice
The indoor market is a hub of activity as locals throng to buy the freshest fish, fabulous produce and just baked bread. A couple of kilometres inland, it tends to be a little cheaper here and much more homely with a friendly little café where people stop for a seriously wake-me-up coffee or a Pastis.
Opening hours Tuesday – Sunday 06.00- 12.30
Taking advantage of the wonderful array of produce at restaurants which specialise in the Nicois gastronomy. Many have been recognised for their special contribution. You’ll experience flavours and tastes that have taken centuries to refine and no visit to the city is complete without a taste. You’ll find the ‘cuisine Nissarde’ label at several restaurants; get details from the tourist office). Try A Buteghinna (11 rue du Marché in the old town) , where three mamies (French for nanna) cook up a storm in a tiny kitchen and feed you like your family (above).
Eat yourself to a standstill
It is quite possible to eat yourself to a complete standstill in Nice. There are lots of regional cuisine restaurants to choose from but here are a few of mu favourites: 4 of the best cuisine Nissarde restaurants in Nice
More on Nice
The markets of Nice
How to do Nice on a budget
Authentic delicious and great value places to eat at in Nice
Fabulous food and wine tours of Nice