Best restaurants on Cote d'Azur - France
Famous for its designer fashion brands, rolling vineyards, and historic monuments, France is a country with a lot to offer but it’s the nation’s gourmet cuisine that draws millions of visitors year after year. French dishes, which are usually full of flavor, made using simple ingredients, and boasting great finesse, have been replicated around the globe by passionate chefs aiming to try their hand at traditional dishes and haute cuisine. Below we’ve looked at some of the best restaurants in the south of France. Whether you’re looking for fine dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant (France is home to the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world) or hearty French cuisine at an authentic bistro, we’ve covered all dining options to suit every taste in this restaurant guide.
Restaurants in Nice
As one of the most popular destinations on the Cote d’Azur, Nice has got its fair share of must-visit restaurants serving authentic French food. Keep reading to find out our top three recommended restaurants in the Nice area.
Oliviera is a charming restaurant located in Nice’s Old Town with a focus on homemade food and hand-picked olives. Traditional French cooking techniques are used to create dishes made with love and the simple menu boasts delights including Pesto Tagliatelle and Tartare Mediterranean.
Jan is a Michelin-starred restaurant known for its bold creations and refined decorations. Choose between the four or seven-course taster menu and enjoy how the head chef blends his South African heritage with local French cuisine.
Chez Acchiardo is a hidden gem of the French Rivera. Located in a quiet neighborhood of Nice, this French Riviera restaurant serves several dishes that offer an authentic taste of the south including Beef Stew with Ravioli and Escalope Maison (a delicate dish of veal wrapped with cheese and ham).
Restaurants in Monaco
Monaco is a city that boasts a cuisine of its own! Head out for dinner in this glamorous coastal city and you’ll be dining on a refreshing fusion of southern French cuisine mixed with Italian influences, with a strong emphasis on Mediterranean seafood.
II Terrazzion is the best Italian restaurant in Monaco and offers visitors a break from traditional French food found in the central region. With strong Neapolitan and Mediterranean influences, expect a romantic evening dining on lavish pasta dishes including Casarecce Carbonara and traditional Sicilian Cannoli.
Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse à l'Hôtel de Paris
As one of the most expensive restaurants in Monaco, Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse à l'Hôtel de Paris does not disappoint. Featured in a list of the world’s top restaurants, and offering an elegant evening of fine dining, this hotel restaurant provides the ultimate French dining experience. Get ready to embark on a unique culinary experience suitable for the finest of palettes.
For an informal dining experience, and to break from traditional French cuisine, consider dining at the Buddha-Bar Monte-Carlo. Serving a rich array of pan-Asian cuisine, including dishes from India, Thailand, and Japan, this lounge-like restaurant is one of the coolest eateries in Monaco. Step inside the dimly lit restaurant (you’ll think you’re in a nightclub) and enjoy a hip dining experience headed up by head chef Eric Guillemaud.
Restaurants in Cannes
The resort town of Cannes sits on the French Riviera and is home to an abundance of restaurants ranging from small family-run bistros to Michelin-star restaurants.
Lucky You Beef & Seafood
The best seafood restaurant in Cannes must be Lucky You Beef and Seafood. Serving outstanding dishes made using only the highest quality ingredients, the restaurant offers an intimate dining experience amidst elegant decor. Beef Carpaccio, Burrata with Summer Truffles, and Lobster Surf and Turf are just some of the menu highlights.
La Brouette de Grand Mère
Seasonal produce cooked to perfection and served in a quaint and cozy environment is the backbone of La Brouette de Grand Mère. Guests enjoy dining from a fixed menu which features innovative dishes that are both unique and good value for money.
At L’Affable, head chef Jean-Paul Battaglia serves the best lunch in Cannes. The limited menu features the likes of Tartar of Tuna with Guacamole, Duck Breast in Pepper Sauce, and Snails in Garlic Cream and is the perfect place to enjoy fine French cuisine in an upmarket setting.
Restaurants in Saint Tropez
Food and gastronomy in Saint Tropez, and the region of Provence as a whole, play a large part in the daily life and culture of local people and when it comes to dining out the wealth of options is tremendous. Get ready to dine on local dishes including traditional Provencal Fish Stew, Caramelized Onion & Anchovy Flatbread, and Vegetarian Ratatouille.
La Vague d'Or
With three Michelin stars under their belt, La Vague d'Or knows a thing or two about fine dining and offers to take guests on a ‘magical journey between land and sea’ every night of the week. Enjoy dining on the flavors of Provence as Chef Arnaud Donckele prepares unique dishes with a mixture of textures and tastes. Choose between the Set Menu (starting with five dishes at €305) or A La Carte Menu.
Restaurant Auberge des Maures
At Restaurant Auberge des Maures, guests choose between dining outside on the terraces amidst the flowers, or inside by the fireplace in winter. As the town’s oldest restaurant, Auberge des Maures has been setting the bar high for decades and is a popular hangout with locals who enjoy copious portions of heartwarming Provencal cooking. The restaurant is worth visiting for the funky floral decor alone!
Beach Restaurants in St Tropez
Pearl Beach Saint-Tropez
Serving exotic Mediterranean cuisine in a modern setting by the beach, Pearl Beach Saint-Tropez is one of the best beach restaurants in Saint Tropez. As you dine on the likes of Beef Tenderloin, Seared Tuna, and Braised Gambas in a Red-Coconut Curry Sauce, enjoy the views out to sea (opt for a table on the upper roof terrace) or admire the chef’s handy-work in the open kitchen.
Dine with your feet in the sand at Les Graniers as you enjoy remarkable views over the Mediterranean. This rustic beach club sits close to central Saint Tropez and is the perfect place to enjoy a chilled afternoon lunch of traditional Provencal and Mediterranean dishes. Grilled meat and fresh fish are the restaurant’s specialties, and all are cooked on a woodfire barbeque.
Wherever you choose to stay on the Cote d’Azur, and whichever time of year you plan to visit, you’re bound to enjoy a gastronomy journey like no other as you taste your way through the cuisine of the French Riviera. Real Provencal cuisine, which focuses on preserving the taste and texture of fresh seasonal ingredients, can be hard to find but follow our restaurant guide above and you won’t be disappointed.
Shopping on Cote d’Azur
It’s no secret that the South of France is an area well known for its acquired taste in luxury living, and when it comes to shopping this affluent region has a real flair for fashion and a lot to offer for shopaholics. Dare to drag yourself away from the alluring arrondissements of Paris’s fashion district and you’ll be rewarded with a sunsoaked shopping haven on Cote d’Azur and when it comes to shopping, the French Riviera does not disappoint. From upmarket department stores like Galeries Lafayette (whose flagship store you’ll find in Paris) to independent art galleries including the Sheun Gallery in Nice, the array of shopping available on Cote d’Azur covers a variety of tastes and, believe it or not, can be tailored to suit all budgets.
South of France by car
With 71 miles of winding corniche roads, numerous quaint Provincial villages to visit, and endless soft sand beaches to stop at and enjoy some sun-soaking, France’s Cote d’Azur is one of Europe’s dreamiest road trip destinations. Rent a car on the French Riviera and the Mediterranean Sea and the charm of southern France is at your fingertips! On your Riviera road trip, you’ll wind your way around a variety of landscapes, soak up a diverse range of cultures, and enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding coastline. After all, there’s no better way to navigate the coast than to do so with the comfort and freedom of your own vehicle.
Nightlife on the French Riviera - Cote d'Azur
The French Riviera is renowned for its glitz and glam appeal, hedonistic summers, and over the top attitude to partying, all of which make it a popular destination with those looking for a lively social scene. Jazz cafes, trendy bars, and glamorous night clubs line the sparkling coast and visitors can choose between splashing the cash at an invite-only beach party or rubbing shoulders with A-listers at one of the best clubs in the world. Whatever your entertainment taste may be, the Cote d’Azur has a little something for everyone.
Boat activities on Cote d'Azur - France
The French Riviera, also known as the Cote d'Azur, is found on France's south-east coast and overlooks the glistening Mediterranean Sea. Known for its dazzling sand beaches, upmarket resort towns, and glamorous casinos, the Cote d'Azur has been a popular holiday destination with some of the world's wealthiest travelers since the 18th century. While boutique shops and Michelin-starred restaurants are certainly points of interest on the coast, one of the biggest draws is the array of water-based activities available. From yacht rentals, private boat tours, parasailing excursions, water sport rentals, and jet ski hire, the list of aqua-excursions is endless! Our simple guide to boat rental on the French Riviera takes a look at the different watersports available along the coast and the range of yacht and boat rentals available. After all, no visit to the Cote d'Azur can pass by without a day at sea.
Events and festivals on French Riviera
The Cote d’Azur is abuzz with glitz and glamour all year round but it’s the summer months that really get the party started on France’s sought-after south coast. Events and festivals are held every month and range from theatre performances and music festivals to cinematography celebrations and yacht races. A-listers, millionaires, and outright party people flock to the shores of the Mediterranean for a summer to remember as seaside towns and secluded beaches become the stomping ground for a summer of fun. Below we take a look at some of the best events and festivals on the Côte d’Azur and provide a handy event guide to help you plan your dream trip.
Top activities on Cote d'Azur
The scenic stretch of coastline known as the Cote d’Azur winds its way along France’s south coast from Saint Tropez to Menton, encompassing the chic towns of Cannes, Nice, and Monaco along the way. The area is known as a playground for the rich and famous, and a glamorous holiday destination for those looking to soak up the very best of the French Riviera. When it comes to Cote d’Azur attractions, there are plenty of things to do and places to visit along the coast to keep all character types entertained. Whether you’re exploring Nice’s charming Old Town on a free walking tour, people-watching at Monte Carlo Harbor, or admiring 19th-century art in Cannes, the Cote d’Azur doesn’t disappoint.