The best Nice foods are often healthy dishes made with fresh Provencal vegetables, herbs, and olive oil. You’ll be able to taste Ratatouille and Niçoise salad, the world-famous dishes originating from Nice

    The local cuisine has many other treats to surprise you, too. Simple and authentic dishes you should try while visiting Nice include pan bagnat from street kiosks, yummy chickpea socca pancakes available at the city’s markets, and Provencal stuffed vegetables in local restaurants. Check out our guide to French dishes locals love in Nice. 



    A crispy chickpea pancake

    Socca is more than a famous Nice food – it’s a local culinary and cultural tradition. This tender chickpea pancake became a popular street food in the early 1990s when it was distributed to fishermen and workers by portable cookers.

    Made of chickpea flour, olive oil, and water, socca is cooked in a large pan in an oven. It’s served piping hot, either in a paper cone or on a plate. Grab a crispy galette as an aperitif or a morning snack. Some of the best-known places for socca in Nice include Chez Térésa on Rue Droite and the Cours Saleya Market.



    A famous mix of cooked vegetables

    Ratatouille appeared in the region of Nice in the 18th century, but became a world-famous dish after the success of the 2007 Disney-Pixar movie of the same name. It is an excellent vegetable stew that blends fresh Provencal vegetables, such as eggplants, onions, tomatoes, zucchini and green peppers, with garlic, olive oil, and local herbs.

    This simple and healthy dish can be enjoyed as a main or side dish with fish, meat, and rice. It can be served cold as an appetiser with crusty bread – pair it with a glass of rosé wine during summer.



    Caramelised onions tart

    Pissaladière is a bread dough tart topped with black olives, caramelised onions, anchovies, and pissalat (salted fish paste). It resembles a thick pizza, though its dough is much thicker. 

    You’ll find pissaladière on the menu of almost every local restaurant in Nice. This delicious tart is an excellent choice for your aperitif, best enjoyed on an open terrace or a picnic with friends.


    Salade niçoise

    One of the healthiest salads in France

    Niçoise salad is famous all around the world for its great combination of ingredients. This healthy and refreshing dish contains cucumbers, tuna, sliced hard-boiled eggs, and local olives, mixed with vinaigrette dressing.

    You can find many versions of the Niçoise salad, some have steamed young green beans, boiled baby potatoes, as well as other types of fish. It’s usually served on a big, flat plate on a bed of lettuce leaves. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy the real Niçoise salad in its home city. 


    Petits farcis

    Provençal stuffed vegetables

    Petits farcis are Provençal stuffed vegetables. This true Nice speciality originated centuries ago when local peasants stuffed garden vegetables with leftover meat. You’ll find many different versions of petits farcis. Typically, these are zucchinis, tomatoes, eggplant, and mushroom tops stuffed with meat.

    The stuffing is sometimes made with sausage, ham, salted snacks, anchovies, and breadcrumbs. You can enjoy petits farcis warm or at room temperature, accompanied by crusty bread, a green salad, and red wine.


    Pan bagnat

    A tasty Provencal sandwich

    Pan bagnat is a local round-shaped sandwich filled with ingredients you'd find in a Niçoise salad. The name is actually ‘wet bread’ in French, as the poor used to soften day-old bread with water to make it more palatable. Today, the bread is no longer soaked in water but drizzled with olive oil. 

    The typical ingredients of pan bagnat are wholewheat bread, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, radishes, peppers, and onions. The sandwich can also be served with vinegar, olives, artichokes, and other Provençal vegetables. You can find pan bagnat in many Nice bakeries and markets. 


    Daube niçoise

    A hearty beef stew

    Daube niçoise is a beef stew containing different cuts of beef, bacon, carrots, onions, tomatoes, celery, local herbs, and spices. The beef is marinated overnight in red wine – this makes the stew different from another famous French dish, called beef bourguignon.

    Another unique feature of Nice’s beef stew is that it includes porcini mushrooms and branda, a type of local brandy. The dish is usually cooked slowly in large quantities, so it's great for group dinners or special occasions. It’s often served with polenta, tagliatelle, or gnocchi, along with a good-quality French red wine.


    Beignets de fleurs de courgettes

    Flowers can be surprisingly tasty

    Beignets de fleurs de courgettes are battered zucchini flowers deep-fried in oil. The speciality demonstrates Nice’s close culinary links to Italy, which has a similar dish. The flower fritters are one of the most popular snacks for locals in Nice. 

    You can try beignets de fleurs de courgettes as a snack or with a salad. Sometimes the zucchini flowers are stuffed with cream cheese and served with parsley and garlic. It’s best to eat them as soon as they're cooked. 


    Tourte aux blettes

    A unique chard pie typically enjoyed as a starter or dessert

    Tourte aux blettes is a pie made with chard, which is a popular ingredient in the Niçoise cuisine. The pie can be savoury or sweet. You can try it as a starter if the pie is stuffed with a mixture of chard, beaten eggs, cheese, and rice. You can also enjoy the pie as a dessert when served with apple, pears, grapes, and pine nuts.

    You’ll find plenty of varieties of the tourte aux blettes in Nice but the chopped chard leaves are always the main ingredient. The pie can be eaten cold or warm. It goes well with a glass of regional white wine.

    photo by Assassas77 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified



    Enjoy these deep-fried sweet pastries during Carnival

    Ganses are sweet deep-fried pastries traditionally consumed during the Nice Carnival in February. They have a diamond shape and a delicate texture that melts in the mouth. While made of traditional cake ingredients (flour, eggs, and sugar), ganses differentiate themselves from similar treats with the additional flavour of orange blossom water.

    You can find ganses in many bakeries in the city or on the table during family celebrations. These thin and pastries are especially delicious when served warm and powdered with confectioners’ sugar.

    Elmira Alieva | Contributing Writer

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