Food in France is generally an adventure. If there’s something the French do well it’s food. Nice was a place for many firsts and wonderful experiences for the palate (if you could in fact taste anything with your palate…). It’s been a while since we were there, but I had to write this down. If we ever go back there are places I’d revisit, and if you’re going to Nice, you should check these out.
There’s only one place you need to go for ice-cream in Nice and that’s Fenocchio. Being so close to the Italian border the French in this area do ice-cream just as well as the Italians. And the man to go to is Fenocchio, a company that’s been around now for some time. Fenocchio boasts a number, and a LARGE number at that, of different flavours. You’ll find anything you can think of and the repertoire is changed every year, some flavours fall out new ones are tried. I had a go at rose and tomato/basil. Tomato/basil was refreshing and surprisingly good, but not quite like the traditional, sweet, desert-like type of ice-cream. Rose became a bit too much after only a few bites. Daughter on the other hand ate them both as if it was the best she ever had (but then she’s like that with everything she eats…). Anyway, Fenocchio, recommended!
We lived near the Saleya market and thus this is the market we visited. I’ve been told there are larger and more impressive food markets around Nice, with fewer tourists, but we didn’t venture too far from our base. The market was still great. Except for the fruits and vegs and everyday-food I would recommend you to buy home fruit vinegars (I have mango and passion-fruit), lavender honey (no less that two large jars, it, is, that, good) and the flower (rose, lavender, etc) syrups.
We had already been out walking all day when we decided to go try some Socca. We did not know what Socca was, except that it was a specialty from Nice. We hit the streets and took to walking to a restaurant that I had been recommended, Chez Pipo. We were starving when we got there. And that was a mistake. They served socca, which was very good, with different pastes and sauces. It was good, quite different to anything I’ve had before. But for six hungry vikings it was not very filling. I’ve seen hints that Pipo also serves other dishes, but for some reason there was not much else while we were there. But while in Nice you have to try the socca, and to try the socca, you have to go to Pipo.
The real gem in Nice is the cosy, warm and intimate restaurant Lou Pistou. The restaurant is run by a couple who serve homemade, traditional dishes from the Nice area. We had to visit multiple times, there was so much deliciousness and such a perfect little place. In September we had no trouble getting a table. In summer, I’ve been told, the line is long. But no matter how long the line is the food is worth it. We tried almost all local specialties on the menu, and I would recommend them all. What I remember best are the filled vegetables and the deep-fried courgette flowers, surprisingly delicious.