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Côte d'Azur restaurants

This area is heavily touristed by families in high season, and the Côte d'Azur's restaurants reflect this. Expect boisterous rooms with plenty of bustle. The stereotype of the French as cold and arrogant does not, for the most part, apply here in the sunny South. The cuisine mixes the flavors of Provence, to the north and west, with Italian influences, resulting in light, fresh dishes bursting with flavor. Many, like L'Ane Rouge in Nice and the Hostellerie Jérôme in the hills above Monte Carlo, place a premium on in-season, locally sourced ingredients. The Mediterranean still gives up its share of delicious fresh fish and seafood, which are often your best bet. This is traditionally a "cuisine of scarcity," which is to say that the land is dry and historically poor. Dishes tend to rely for flavor on the rosemary, fennel, and thyme that grow wild.

For local specialties, wander Nice's old city and eat the street food that reveals the influence of Italy—Nice didn't become part of France until 1860, after all. Don't miss the pissaladiere (a small pizza variation topped with caramelized onions and anchovies) and socca (a lusty-tasting crêpe made of chickpea flour). The fishing village of Villefranche-sur-Mer, on the Corniche Inférieure between Nice and Cannes, offers plenty of low-cost, fresh seafood in the restaurants along its old port. As you head closer to Monaco, the towns move into the hills and the prices gain altitude as well. The pinnacle is Alain Ducasse's Louis XV in Monte Carlo, one of the world's most expensive dinners.

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Zplage, Cannes

Occupying the premier beach real estate in Cannes, this extension of the Hôtel Martinez offers a light seafood menu perfect after a day in the sun....more

Editors' Pick
Restaurant Mirazur, Menton

Argentine chef Mauro Colagreco worked under superstar Alain Passard at L'Arpège in Paris, one of the world's premier places for fresh vegetables, so it's...more

Editors' Pick
Restaurant de Bacon, Antibes

Look at the address—this is nothing to do with pork. It's a delightful casually epicurean tribute to fish that's been run by the Sordello family for...more

Editors' Pick
Restaurant Calypso, Villefranche-sur-Mer

Part of what's been called the "barefoot Riviera," Calypso sits along the port in the (relatively) relaxed fishing village of Villefranche-sur-Mer, with...more

Editors' Pick
Le Safari, Nice

A three-star chef introduced me to the pizza at Le Safari, on the lively Cours Saleya in Nice. Well, Franck Cerutti wasn't a three-star chef yet; he was the...more

Editors' Pick
Le Moulin de Mougins, Mougins

When the chef-god Roger Vergé retired in 2004, Alain Llorca took on the terrifying task of filling his shoes. Lately of the esteemed Le Chantecler in...more

Editors' Pick
Le Louis XV, Monte Carlo

The mystique of Alain Ducasse is explained here at the epicenter of his empire, the spot where he reaped the first three of his constellation of Michelin stars....more

Editors' Pick
Le Cagnard, Cagnes-sur-Mer

The flavors of Provence and the ocean commingle here in dishes like turbot with a light ratatouille and pigeon stuffed with foie gras. The hot tables are on the...more

Editors' Pick
La Mère Besson, Cannes

This lively restaurant serves up classic coastal and Provençal cuisine just south of Cannes's Rue d'Antibes. All the usual regional favorites are here:...more

Editors' Pick
L'Ane Rouge, Nice

There is a sense of faded glory at L'Ane Rouge (Red Donkey), with its thick carpets over uneven floors and plastic chairs on the terrace. But all is forgiven...more

Editors' Pick
Results 1-10 of 12  |   1 2 next
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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