Here are our restaurant recommendations for the Alpes Maritimes, the département with Nice, Cannes, Antibes, Menton, Villefranche, Cap Ferrat, Mougins, St.Paul de Vence, the perched villages around Tourettes sur Loup and many other highlights. The area is densely populated, very busy and studded with Michelin star restaurants - a few are listed here. The real fun are the numerous no star restaurants which offer excellent price/quality.
De Bacon, Cap d'Antibes: In our opinion one of the best seafood restaurants in Antibes if not on the Côte d'Azur. Chic and relaxed surroundings with superb views. We like it more than the widely acclaimed Tetou. You find a better price/quality here and you can eat in peace without the Brangelina hype. Wide choice of seafood prepared in a variety of ways including the region's classic, the bouillabaisse - a superb bouillabaisse! Service is gracious, prices are steep but it's worth the money. Prices: €60-90. 688 Boulevard de Bacon, Cap d'Antibes, Antibes, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 61 50 02
Les Vieux Murs, Antibes: In the old ramparts of Antibes with panoramic views of the Baie des Anges this restaurant serves refined, trendy Provençal cuisine. Beautiful setting, diligent at times over motivated service. Prices: €29-45. 25, Promenade Amiral de Grasse, Antibes, Tel: +33 (0)04 93 34 06 73
Oscar's, Antibes: A gastro-trattoria in the heart of Vieux Antibes. Italo-Provençal cuisine expertly prepared by Oscar Ianacone, a transplanted Neapolitan firmly routed on the Côte d'Azur. Closed 2 weeks in June! We suspect Oscar does his annual pilgrimage to la "Mama" in Napoli. Prices: €30-56. 8 Rue du Docteur Rostand, Antibes. Tel: +33 (0)4 93 34 90 14
Cannes and Environs
Le Restaurant Arménien: Probably one of the top Armenian restaurants around. Lucie and Christian offer tasty Armenian food in a convivial atmosphere. A great alternative if you are looking for more spice in your dinner. Lots of celebrities have checked it out. Prices: €42. 82 Boulevard de la Croisette, Cannes, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 94 00 58
Il Girasole (Chez Franco), Cannes: Genova born Franco Pilise's knowledge about pasta is legendary around Cannes. Regulars come from afar to enjoy his cooking. Simple, but deliciously made dishes. Prices do not make your wallet pinch. Prices: €25. 14 rue de Constantine, Cannes, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 99 14 17
L'Ardoise, Cannes: This tiny bistro - literllay the "blackboard" - close to the Hotel de Ville (town hall) is a success! Proper and clever Provençal cooking. Prices are just and guests are happy. Prices: €20-40. 5 Rue Rouguière, Cannes, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 39 09 02
Le Café Lenôtre, Cannes: Known for its fabulous cakes and sinful treats this contemporary café also offers its famous salads and light Mediterranean dishes for lunch. Located on elegant Rue d'Antibes it is part of the Café Lenôtre chain (owned by the Accor hotel group). Attentive service. Prices: €30. 63 Rue d'Antibes, Cannes, Tel: +33 (0)4 97 06 67 67
Caffé Roma, Cannes: The No.1 celebrity spotting place just in front "le bunker", that's how the locals call the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès. Well chosen Italian and Mediterranean dishes served either on the café's terrace or inside the more upscale dining room. Despite its celebrity status a good price/quality. Prices: €15-30. 1, Square Mérimée, Cannes, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 38 05 04
Restaurant Côté Jardin, Cannes: A few minutes from busy la Croisette behind the Palais de Justice is this country house style restaurant with unpretentious ambiance. Refined Provençal cuisine with generous portions, reasonable prices and courteous service. Very popular with the local foodies - always a good sign. Prices: €23-30. 12, Avenue Saint-Louis, Cannes, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 38 60 28
Gaston et Gastonette, Cannes: A rare find between the many eateries overlooking the old port of Cannes. Uncomplicated Provençal seafood dishes including a great bouillabaise. Prices: €30-55. 6 Quai St.Pierre, Cannes, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 39 49 44
Jilali B., Théoule sur Mer The former Auberge du Père Pascal has been bought by young Chef Jilali Berrekama, who offers elegant mediterranean cuisine at an excellent price/quality. Wonderful setting, we loved sitting on the terrace overlooking the blue Mediterranean, friendly service. A realxing dining atmosphere. Prices: €28-49. 16 Avenue du Trayas, Théoule sur Mer. Tel: +33 (0)4 93 75 19 03
Le 20 sur Vin: A wine bar and gourmet bistro with great cooking and great wines. Decor has been kept down to earth, service and prices are affordable and best of all, the sommelier will not coerce you in buying the most expensive brand - honest!. Prices: €15-45. 18 bis Rue Biscarra, Nice, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 92 93 20
Le 22 de Septembre, Nice: An unpretentious place in Vieux Nice named after a famous George Brassens song. This family run place offers dishes from the Normandie and Provence. Mainly frequented by locals, nothing spectacular, easy on the wallet - no surprise that reservations are a must. Prices: €14-20. 3 Rue Centrale, Nice, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 80 87 90
Amada, Nice: A Japanese restaurant with zen decor - a price/quality winner! The €12 Bento boxes for lunch vary every day. For dinner there are Japanese delicacies gently cooked and flavored. Prices: €12-28. 17 Rue Tonduti de l'Escarène, Nice. Tel: +33 (0)4 93 62 00 81
Bistro d'Antoine, Nice: A definite favorite of ours - traditional Niçoise cuisine at decent prices. This bistro in Vieux Nice with outside terrace and upstairs dining room is very popular for a reason. Prices: €15-30. 27 Rue de la Prefecture, Nice, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 85 29 57
Bistro du Port, Nice: Try to get a table on the terrace on busy Quai de Lunel in Nice's Vieux Port - the place for people watching. Tasty Niçoise cuisine with flavors meticulously matched. Great sense for quality and good prices. 28 Quai Lunel, Nice, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 55 21 70
La Cantine de Lulu, Nice: Lucien Brych is of Czech origin, a self taught, passionate chef offering wonderful home cooking. Specialties of Nice, his adopted city, are his forte. A popular place and friendly to your wallet, so better arrive early. Prices: €25. 26 Rue Alberti, Nice, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 62 15 33
CôtéSud, Nice (Cimiez): A neighborhood place offering savory Provençal dishes at reasonable prices. Modern decor inside, a shaded terrace across the street outside. Regulars are greeted by name. Cimiez, an upscale neigborhood, is a must for visitors (Matisse Museum, Chagall Museum, Cimiez Monastery and the Roman amphi-theatre). Prices: €25. 2, Rue du Professeur Maurice Sureau, Nice. Tel: +33 (0)4 93 01 36 40
La Maison de Marie: A bit difficult to find on elegant Rue Masséna. Pass through a porch and you find the restaurant in a lovely vine covered courtyard. Smart Niçoise dishes, pleasant atmosphere albeit service can be erratic at times. Prices: €18-45. 5 Rue Masséna, Nice, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 82 15 93
La Nissarda, Nice: This no frills place 3 blocks northwest of Vieux Nice offers traditional Niçoise cuisine: Daube, Secca d'Entrevaux, Morue a la Nicoise, Tripes à la Niçoise, Boudin and Stockfish are all on the menu next to more conventional dishes. Everything here is home made and prices are still affordable. Prices: €25. 17 Rue Gubernatis, Nice, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 53 61 45
Oliviera, Nice: An olive oil shop and a restaurant. Nadim left his job in finance and followed his passion: olives and olive oil. You can taste different varities of olive oil here. His advice: Never buy olive oil in fancy bottles! The restaurant serves light dishes, well prepared, a delight! Prices: €25-30. 8 bis Rue du Collet, Nice , Tel: +33 (0)4 93 13 06 45
Sapore, Nice: Cool, comtemporary design and a unique atmosphere - Nice's chic version of a tapas restaurant. An 8 course menu of perfectly blended French and Spanish falvors created by Anthony Riou, a former chef at Negresco, who loves to mix textures and colors. Menu changes regularly. A relaxed dining experience. Only 1 seating - opens late (8PM). Book in advance. Cash only. Prices: €28. 19 Rue Bonaparte, Nice. Tel: +33 (0)4 92 04 22 09
Sur La Pouce, Nice: The Nicoise version of a fast food restaurant. Sample Provence favorites like stuffed veggies, sardines and beignettes, all freshly done - the address for a savory bite if you are on the run, which by way is the name of this eatery in Vieux Nice. Prices: €15-20. 2 Rue St.François, Nice, Tel: +33 04 93 13 98 23
L'Univers: Christian Plumail's focus on quality is perfectionistic as is his mastery in the kitchen. Southern cuisine with bravura and attentive service. No doubt one of the best tables in Nice. Prices: €22-70. 54 Boulevard Jean Jaurès, Nice, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 62 32 32
Les Viviers, Nice offers the freshest seafood in town, harmony in flavor, bespoke and efficient service without the formality. One part of the restaurant offers an elegant restaurant atmosphere while the bistro with dark furniture and blackboard menus has a late 19th century deco ambiance. Prices: €60-90 (restaurant), €20-35 (bistro). 22, Rue Alphonse Karr, Nice, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 16 00 48
La Voglia, Nice: Modern Italian restaurant in cool brasserie ambiance on Rue St. François de Paule, the continuation of Cours Saleya next to Vieux Nice. Great pizzas and updated Italian classics served in generous portions. Decent prices, friendly service, no need to travel across the border! Very popular, no reservations taken, so get there early. Prices: €30-55. 2 Rue St. François de Paule, Nice, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 80 99 16
A tough place to find restaurants with decent price/quality. Nevertheless, let's give it a try!
La Petite Fontaine, Collobrières A village restaurant, a gem in the Massive des Maures, 36 km west of St.Tropez. Nicole Fontana and Etienne Bouquet offer local cuisine without any pretensions and of excellent quality. Friendly staff. Reservations are a must, the place is packed every day. Prices: €30-55. 6 Place Rèpublique, 83610 Collobrières. Tel: +33 (0)4 94 48 00 12.
Bistrot Canaille, St.Tropez is a good place for tapas, salads and other small dishes. Trendy decor, friendly service. Great to find a spot far from the usual tourist trappings. Prices: around €25. 14 Rue des Remparts, 83990 Saint Tropez Tel: +33 (0)4 94 97 40 96
Petrus, St.Tropez is a rare find in pricey St.Tropez. Small but comfortable with outdoor seating in the summer. When it opened in May 2010 it became an instant hit with the locals. Carefully prepared dishes with a dash of innovation. A whole dining experience: good food, friendly service and for St.Tropez relatively reasonable prices. Prices: around €45. 13 Quai de l'Épi, Saint Tropez. Tel: +33 (0)4 94 43 12 94.
Villefranche sur Mer
Colin Coquillage Poissonnerie, Villefranche sur Mer: A fish monger turned restaurateur. This hole in the wall is open for dinner only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. No lunch - George and Karine have to tend to their fish store. They serve a terrific bouillabaisse. Reservations are an absolute must. Prices: €30. 90 Corniche André de Joly, Col de Villefranche, Villefranche sur Mer, Tel: +33 (0)4 93 01 96 10.
Le Cosmo, Villefranche sur Mer A well known restaurant with a large terrace overlooking the waterfront. They offer delicious brasserie style cuisine. Famous for their creative drinks and ice-cream cups. Prices: around €30. 11 Place Amélie Pollonais, 06230 Villefranche sur Mer Tel: +33 (0)4 93 01 84 05.
La Grignotiere, Villefranche sur Mer One of those rare finds in iconic Villefranche sur Mer, a family run place, which has been around for years. It does not compete with the many gourmet temples in the region but offers solid cooking, decent prices and friendly service. No wonder it's always full. Prices: around €16. 3 Rue du Poilu, 06230 Villefranche sur Mer Tel: +33 (0)4 93 76 79 83.