Best Restaurants in Nice: Top Tier

Michelin-starred or otherwise, they’re considered the very best restaurants in Nice.  Here are the foodies top picks for achieving gastronomic bliss in Nice.

Michelin restaurant guide with knives and forksFlaveurThe Niçoise brother-chef team of Michaël and Gaël Tourteaux helm the only restaurant in Nice with two Michelin stars, one for each brother, so no fighting. 25 rue Gubernatis, tram stop Durandy, +33 4 93 62 53 95, closed Sunday and Monday.

Les Agitateurs – Julie Buseto and Samuel Victori may be the only people on the planet that can say, “It was a verrry good year!” …after being the only restaurant in Nice to be awarded a new Michelin star in 2021!  24 Rue Bonaparte in the trendy Petit Marais district, tram stop Garibaldi, +33 9 87 33 02 03, closed Monday and Tuesday,

Restaurant JAN – Chef Jan Hendrik is the first South Africain chef to win a Michelin star, and he did it right here in Nice, in his tiny 24-seat restaurant in the old Port.  The decor and the cuisine are at once familiar and innovative, with out-of-the-box ideas like ‘MARIA’, a private dining room across the street, where JAN guests are invited to stretch their legs for the cheese course featuring a mind-blowing cheese buffet, before returning to the main restaurant for dessert.  Two choices: a 4-course tasting menu for 85€, or go all out for the 7-course extravaganza for 139€.  12 rue Lascaris, tram stop Port Lympia, +33 4 97 19 32 23, open dinner only; closed Sunday and Monday.

Pure & V –  V is for Vanessa, and Vanessa Masse’s pure passion for wine just won her Michelin’s Best Sommelier, which is a veeery nice accompaniment to go with her other Michelin star, for the restaurant itself, with Danish chef Mads Thomsen. 15 Rue Bottero, tram stop Alsace-Lorraine, +33 6 19 88 68 90, open for dinner only except for Sunday lunch; closed Monday and Tuesday

L’Aromate – Chef Mickael Gracieux and his wife Elise Morselli-Lourtet are living their dream at Michelin-starred L’Aromate.  2 Rue Gustave Deloye (one street east of Jean Médecin), tram stop Massena,  +33 04 93 62 98 24, only open for dinner, closed Sunday and Monday.

Le Chantecler at Le Negresco –  Since 2018, chef Virginie Basselot continues the magic as one of a long line of celebrity chefs that have run this prestigious kitchen, located in the most iconic and eccentric hotels on the Cote d’Azur.  37 Promenade des Anglais, +33 4 93 16 64 10, open dinner only; closed Monday and Tuesday.

These next eateries, mostly former Michelin-inductees, are still be among the top restaurants in Nice…

L’Ane Rouge –  This prestigious port restaurant originally belonged to Chagall’s stubborn red-headed mistress, whom he nicknamed the Red Donkey, hence the name. Intermittently Michelin-starred master chef Michel Devillers does great things here… Ask for their special Summer Menu, a fantastic 3-course menu for the bargain price of 27€ at lunch or dinner.  7 Quai des 2 Emmanuels right on the Nice Port, tram stop Port Lympia, +33 4 93 89 49 63, closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Keisuke Matsushima – Following on the success of his first restaurant Kei’s Passion, this latest incarnation almost immediately won a star, and then promptly lost it.  But that does not stop his loyal followers from flocking to his door, especially for his weekday lunch deal.  22 Ter Rue de France, behind the Hotel Palais de Méditerranée, +33 4 93 82 26 06, closed Sunday and Monday

Le Bistro Gourmand in Old Nice –  Similar story: Chef David Vaqué was awarded a Michelin star in barely a year after opening, but then lost it in 2014.  But Michelin-Smichelin, it’s still a local favorite.  3 Rue Desboutin, Tram stops Massena or Opera, +33 4 92 14 55 55, open 7 days a week

La Petite Maison – No Michelin stars here but lots of other stars, as this legendary Old Nice eatery is a favorite of French Presidents, movie stars and rock stars alike… as evidenced by an awkward situation when a feuding Elton John and Madonna both dined there on the same night…  11 Rue Saint-François de Paule Tram stops Massena or Opera, +33 4 93 92 59 59, closed Sunday

For an overview of top restaurants outside of Nice, check out this terrific article from Lane Nieset at Vogue: How to Navigate the French Riviera Michelin-Starred Dining Scene.  It’s from 2017 but still completely on point.

And don’t miss my  Best Top-End Lunch and Dinner Deals in Nice which features the most notable former Michelin star-holders plus the anti-star darling of the Nice food scene…

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