Looking for some restaurant recommendations for your trip to Nice? Well, look no further! As someone who loves to cook but hates to clean up, I dined out quite a bit during my time in Nice. Here are some of my top dinner recommendations in the city. A note on pricing- while none of these restaurants are exceedingly expensive, but I felt that one $ was only worthy of a place fast casual food, or a boulangerie.
La Lupita ($$)
Craving Mexican food while in Nice? Be sure to hit up this authentic Mexican restaurant in the heart of the vielle ville (old town). France isn’t exactly known for having stellar Mexican food (especially outside of Paris), but this place really hits the spot. For “Taco Tuesday”, all tacos are half off, which made the tacos an even better deal. Monday boasts half price margaritas, including the margarita of the week. I enjoyed many, many margaritas of the week, including coconut, cinnamon, and passionfruit. Come Friday and Saturday night for great live music, and maybe grab a happy hour drink (3-8PM) before the music starts at 8! I recommend sitting outside if you aren’t there for the music, it’s a fun street for people watching. A fun bonus: see if you can catch a glimpse of this cute French bulldog if you come at a slow time during the day!
Address: 9 Rue de la Préfecture, 06300 Nice, France
La Voglia ($$)
Introduced to me by my teachers during our first week in Nice, I admit that I was both concerned and not very interested in what was described to me as “American portions of Italian food”. I wondered why I would come to France only to eat oversized plates of mediocre pasta, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Situated just down the street from the famous Opera in Nice, La Voglia is fairly easy to get a table at early in the evening (it opens at 7, which is early for the French!), but as the night goes on, you should make a reservation, especially if you have a large group or are coming on an opera night, the weekend, etc. La Voglia’s menu has a great selection of pizza, pasta, meat, local seafood, and the portions are quite large, but affordable. Pasta that lasted me 2-3 meals was $18 Euro, and the chocolate mousse served in a quart sized glass jar was enough for 3 of us to share after our meal. The house wines are also a great deal at 2 or 3 E a glass (I’ve never been served a bad house wine in France), and the ambiance is a good mix of locals, groups (we were a group of 12 for my first time there), and a few tourists too. The staff speaks excellent English, and some staff members speak Italian too. My favorite dishes here were the burrata salad, the pasta with tomatoes and burrata (shown below), and the pizza Caprese (are you sensing a trend in my eating habits?) My dining companions (I brought every person who visited me in Nice here) loved the Rigatoni la Voglia, and the Macaroni, both served for you from a huge (personal) frying pan- the restaurant is one of the only I’ve ever seen in France that gives doggy bags. Don’t forget that like in much of France, the bread is free and unlimited, but don’t forget to save room for dessert!
Address: 2 Rue Saint-François de Paule, 06300 Nice, France
A restaurant we were lucky enough to stumble upon while wandering around the vielle ville, which almost ended in disaster. We showed up right as they opened at 7PM, and asked if they had a table for 2. They said they weren’t ready to open yet, and to come back in 15 minutes. We came back in 10, and they were quite horrified that we didn’t have a reservation, since they weren’t sure they could fit us in. We were told to come back and try again at 8, so we went off to enjoy apéro elsewhere. When we returned, we were brought into the basement, which was actually a beautiful stone room, filled with just a few tables. Upon heading up two floors to the restaurant about an hour into the meal, every single seat (on 3 floors) of the restaurant was full, with everyone from American business people, a French family celebrating a birthday, and a few other tourists, like us. The food was outstanding- I started with a burrata and local tomato salad (shown below), my dining companion enjoyed some French onion soup. For our plats (the main dish), I had the summer truffle pasta (it was creamy, the perfect size, and decadent), and my dad had the boeuf bourguignon, which he said was the best he ever had. The beef was tender, and the gnocchi it was served over was a delicious surprise. We also split a half bottle of a local white wine, which was kept in a wine bucket filled with ice at our table-the server topped off our glasses whenever we were running low. Although I was running out room in my stomach, I knew this was not the restaurant to skip dessert at, and I was right. I enjoyed a moelleux au chocolat (similar to chocolate lava cake), and my dad had the salted caramel cheesecake. We left, full, happy, and with a promise to our server that we would call for a reservation next time, so that we could eat on the main level of the restaurant. Truly an outstanding meal in a country known for food.
Address: 11 Rue de l'Abbaye, 06300 Nice, France
Copper Branch ($)
This Canadian based vegan chain restaurant was a surprise to find in Nice, but I had to include it on this list, as the food was honestly very good. With smoothies, burgers, salad, and vegan ice cream, this was a great place to grab some takeout, or to enjoy an affordable dinner while doing some work or catching up on email. The Einstein smoothie was my favorite, but their Kombucha was a close second (relatively difficult to find in smaller cities in France outside of health food stores.) Be sure to get a download the Copper Branch app if you plan on eating here often, so you can earn rewards!
Address: 26 Rue Massena, 06000 Nice, France
Ma Nolan’s ($$)
The first place I ate in Nice after we moved there (something about an Irish pub just makes me feel at home), this pub and restaurant offers a big selection on their menu, and a full bar with some Irish favorites. Happy hour is from 5-8pm, and all drinks are discounted! They also host trivia on Monday nights in both English in French, with a gift cards prizes for the winners. Missing your local English TV? Come watch the game here while you enjoy a burger, bangers and mash, or the popular fries with melted cheese. Ma Nolan’s also serves brunch, and a special roast (vegetarian option available) on Sundays, so be sure not to miss it! There is another location in Nice (I always ate at the vielle ville location), and one in Cannes too (all locations have trivia). If you’re in need of a break from practicing your French, enjoy a fun evening out at Ma Nolan’s!
Address (Old Town): 2 Rue Saint-François de Paule, 06300 Nice, France
Next week's post about Nice will feature brunch and boulangerie recommendations,so bring your appetite!
Bisous xx Meaghan