Best Top-End Lunch and Dinner Deals

Savoring an amazing meal in a top-end restaurant can be really pricey… and addictive… so true foodies know that the best way to eat well without blasting the budget is to take advantage of the bargain fixed-price lunch and dinner deals offered by former Michelin-starred chefs at some the best restaurants in Nice at a fraction of what you would expect to pay.  They many not be among the current crop of Michelin star holders, but each of these top chefs was awarded their coveted Michelin stars for a time, and continues to deliver a flawless product.

So without further ado, here is our selection of the top deals for the very best meals in Nice by Michelin level chefs ….for under 30€.  

Seafood tartare at L'Ane Rouge restaurant in NiceAnd the winner is… Former Michelin-starred chef Michael Devillers at L’Ane Rouge! His incredible 3-course seasonal Menu for just 27€ wins the coveted Best of Nice award for best lunch deal… and since this menu is available for dinner, too, L’Ane Rouge wins the whole shebang hands down!  It includes an ‘amuse-bouche’, appetizer, main course, dessert, and petit fours, so the bang-for-buck, or shall we say, stars-per-euro ratio here is very high.  And for a little trivia, I bet you didn’t know that the name L’Ane Rouge was Chagall’s play-on-words nickname for the original owner, his stubborn red-haired mistress… while you’re there, ask to see the Chagall red donkey sculpture.  7 Quai des 2 Emmanuels right on the Nice Port, tram stop Port Lympia, +33 4 93 89 49 63  Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

Second prize goes to Le Bistro Gourmand in Old Nice, who won their short-lived star just a year after opening, but they’re still a star in our book. Weekday lunches only, they offer a 3-course blackboard Market Menu for just 25€, or just 21€ if you only want 2 courses. 3 Rue Desboutin, Tram stops Massena or Opera, +33 4 92 14 55 55 Open 7 days a week

Former Michelin-starred chef, Keisuke Matsushima, offers a weekday-only 3-course Market Lunch Menu to tantalize your taste buds for a very palatable 30€.  22 ter Rue de France, behind the Hotel Palais de Méditerranée, +33 4 93 82 26 06, closed Sunday and Monday

Bicycle outside restaurant La MerendaAnd lastly, I have to mention chef Dominique Le Stanc, former two-star (two!) chef of the famed Hotel Negresco, who 25 years ago was the absolute toast of the Riviera culinary scene, until he spectacularly chucked it all to get out of the rat race and back to his roots.  Ever since, he and his wife Danielle have been running La Merenda, a tiny 20-seat hole-in-the-wall, cooking traditional Niçoise cuisine out of a miniscule kitchen …but it is the best Niçoise cuisine you will ever eat, I promise.  The quirky restaurant is full-on anti-star, seeming to make itself as uninviting as possible: customers are packed in tight on tiny tables, perched on small hard backless stools, and the glassware has recently been upgraded but it used to be cartooned jelly jars!  But despite all this, the cuisine is so devine (and the prices so moderate, around 15€ for each menu item) that the foodies absolutely flock to this homey little shack …and you should too.  Open lunch and dinner, closed weekends. Cash only, no credit cards, no phone: the only way to score a precious reservation is to go by in person (or now via Facebook or Instagram message).  4 Rue Raoul Bosio, tram stop Opera.

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