By Lauren Jade Hill
Owing to its French culinary heritage and bountiful local produce, Nice and the coast it lies on abounds with outstanding eateries, with a constellation of Michelin stars between them. Here on the French Riviera, many of the best restaurants overlook the azure water, while others can be found tucked amidst picturesque streets and within verdant gardens. But while each restaurant’s idyllic setting is enough to entice visitors here, it’s the cuisine that gastronomes rate this region so highly for. Here’s our pick of the best restaurants in Nice and its surrounds.
Le Chantecler, Nice
This two Michelin starred fine dining restaurant sits within the grand waterfront hotel, Le Negresco. Here, a menu of Provence-inspired plates by chef Jean-Denis Rieubland are paired with fine wines from the 15,000-bottle strong collection, and served in a grand dining room that displays Regency-style décor of wood-panelling and Aubusson tapestry. Opt for signature dishes such as pan-roasted langoustines with Espelette chili pepper or crab and mango cannelloni.
Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris, Monaco
As the only restaurant in Nice and its surrounds to have been awarded three Michelin stars, Le Louis XV by Alain Ducasse has a steadfast position among the best restaurants here. Within a high-ceilinged opulent space, which is characterized by a seven-meter-diameter chandelier, diners are served accomplished fine dining plates that strive to tell the story of the French Riviera through the produce, flavors and color. Testament to the three stars it holds, Le Louis XV excels in every regard.
La Terrasse, Nice
Positioned high on La Promenade des Anglais, overlooking the water, Le Terrasse provides diners with uninterrupted sea views, which can be savored from the indoor dining space with floor-to-ceiling windows, or on the outdoor terrace. The light-filled space then incorporates warm wooden surfaces and modern décor. And it’s here that international plates are served up, from an Asian-inspired sea bass dish, to organic guinea fowl braised in red wine.
The Restaurant des Rois, Beaulieu-sur-Mer
Another of the French Riviera’s most scenic dining spots and the recipient of one Michelin star, Restaurant des Rois is worth the short trip from the center of Nice. Within a waterfront palace turned luxury hotel, the elegant gallery-style restaurant serves fine food encompassing the best ingredients the region has to offer. Try the olive wood-smoked guinea fowl with foamy basil sauce, or roasted rock red mullet with cuttlefish ink powder, shellfish ravioli with lemon thyme, samphire and pine kernels.
La Chevre d’Or, Eze
Within the five-star Relais & Chateaux hotel Le Chevre d’Or in Eze – a short hop along the coast from Nice – this restaurant boasts a scenic setting with expansive views of the sea and sky. The two Michelin starred eatery showcases the cuisine of the esteemed chef Arnaud Faye who focuses on creating subtle plates that celebrate the local terroir, sourcing produce from the soil, waves and land. And this is how the menu is designed, with plates such as black truffles with polenta gnocchi and lovage juice, and roasted veal sweetbreads with fresh herbs and smoked eel sauce.
For more inspiration on where to eat, take a look at our reader-voted Top 100 Restaurants.