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Nice is a city that honours it's gastronomic heritage - it's one of only two cities in France to do so. Lyon often called the gastronomic capital of France, is the other one. Lyon had better look out though because Nice is catching up and if you ask a Nicois they will of course assure you they haven't just equalled but overtaken their gastronomic rival. Fruit, vegetables, cheese, fish and a strong Italian influence - after all the border is just 20 minutes by car - make the sunny cuisine of Nice full of flavour. "People here are in love with good food - it's in their DNA" says Italian born Caterina who's now a Nice local, what they call a ‘Nicoise de coeur’. "In Nice there is respect for the landscape, the geography, the season...we learn how to cook with fresh produce when it's available". There are two big markets in Nice, the famous Cours Saleya, a stone’s throw from the Mediterranean Sea and the”local’s market” at Liberation. The market at Cours Saleya Colourful stands of local Socca and Pissaladière will tempt you to stop for a nibble. Homemade jams, exotic spices, local fish, organic honeys, juicy fruits, olive oil, sea salt and lush vegetables will have you inhaling the scents and flavours of Nice. And all in the most perfect setting, lined with gorgeous pastel coloured buildings, thriving cafés and, glimpsed through the arched entries to this square of paradise, the blue waters of the sea. Open Tuesday to Saturday 07.30 – 18.00; Mondays are about antiques and Sundays are reserved for the flower market. Marche Liberation The indoor market is a hub of activity as locals throng to buy the freshest fish, fabulous produce and just baked bread. A couple of kilometres inland, it tends to be a little cheaper here and much more homely with a friendly little café where people stop for a seriously wake-me-up coffee or a Pastis before pushing on to complete their shopping or take it home. Opening hours Tuesday – Sunday 06.00- 12.30
Cuisine Nissarde Taking advantage of the wonderful array of produce, a number of restaurants which specialise in the Nicois gastronomy have been recognised for their special contribution. It’s a way of creating flavours and tastes that has taken centuries to define and refine and no visit to the city is complete without a taste. You’ll find the ‘cuisine Nissarde' label at around 16 restaurants and you can get details from the tourist office. Eat yourself to a standstill Now I know what you expect of me so, of course I’ve tried several restaurants on your behalf in Nice and here are some of my favourites: A Buteghinna - lush lunch venue Sophie, Marcelle and Evelyn have a deep love of tradition and food. This led the three friends to open a tiny restaurant in old Nice back in 1992. They had no kitchen, just a couple of electric hobs. They made traditional foods and the locals loved it. Over the years they've upgraded to a tiny restaurant that seats 10 maximum indoors and outdoor seating for about 20. They also have a take-away counter and locals stop by to pick up a snack like "maman used to make". Marcelle makes the desserts and believe me, you want to leave room for something sweet. Sophie makes the savoury food and Evelyne serves and keeps everyone happy with her beaming smile.
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