Above: Terrace, Carmela, Nice - SIMONA SOMONETTI

Where to Eat in the French Riviera

Terrace, Carmela - Simona Somonetti

The French Riviera is a gourmand’s paradise, where you can enjoy everything from Michelin-starred dining to neighborhood bistros to local street-food specialties, all influenced by the flavors and ingredients of the Mediterranean. Luckily for travelers, some of the region’s best cuisine can be found at high-end hotels scattered from Monaco to Marseille. I especially enjoyed the Michelin-starred restaurant at Le Negresco, Le Chantecler, where we dined on delicate-yet-decadent seafood dishes from chef Virginie Basselot. Of course, not every great meal comes with white tablecloths and a sophisticated wine pairing. Nice in particular is famous for its street food, best sampled at the Cours Saleya market each morning.

Le Relais des Calanques

Our table, Le Relais des Calanques, Saint-Raphaël - Andrew Harper editor
Sea bream with potatoes and zucchini, Le Relais des Calanques - Andrew Harper editor

The coastline between Marseille and Monaco can sometimes feel like one large sprawling metropolis, but there are still quiet and undeveloped sections where the rugged beauty of the Côte d’Azur is on full display. During an early afternoon drive west from Cannes, we snaked along red cliffs that dipped dramatically into tiny fjords, called calanques, sheltering hidden beaches. The stretch from Théoule-sur-Mer to Agay has few buildings save for a shabby-chic seaside inn we stumbled upon. There we discovered a charming restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean, with a menu scribbled on a chalkboard, highlighting local ingredients. The restaurant is best-known for its bouillabaisse, but we opted for a lighter lunch of salade chèvre chaud with fragrant herb-crusted cheese, and a fresh, perfectly cooked sea bream fillet accompanied by sautéed potatoes and roasted zucchini, paired with incredibly quaffable house rosé.

1310 Route des Escalles, Saint-Raphaël. Tel. (33) 4-94-44-14-06

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Above: Terrace, Carmela, Nice - SIMONA SOMONETTI

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