Between the famous Cours Saleya Brocante and the vast Antique District around the Nice Port, you won’t go home empty handed…
The Antique District in the Port boasts over 100 antique stores: it’s the 3rd largest cluster of antique dealers in France!
Antique hunters have been drawn to this area for over 50 years, where you can wander the endless backstreets and discover a plethora of amazing little antique shops of all prices and quality. Most stores are closed Sunday and Monday, and many close at lunchtime.
If you are pressed for time, just head straight for The Puces de Nice, an amazing open-air collection of 30 antique stalls, each crammed to the brim with attic treasures, unique oddities, and one of a kind finds. This professional flea market is perched right on the Port with amazing views of the yachts on Quai Lunel, while being shaded by the Chateau/Castle Hill, and just steps from one of my favorite port-side restaurants, the Bistrot du Port, with its killer 3-course weekday lunch deal. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday, reservations strongly recommended, especially for a table on the terrace, +33 4 93 55 21 70.
On the third Saturday of each month, the Antiquaires of the Port haul their best bargains out to the nearest town square, taking over beautiful Place Garibaldi to hold an all-day open-air Brocante. While you’re there, the place to lunch is Café de Chineurs (roughly translates to antique-hunters café), just off Garibaldi square at 1 rue Cassini, where you’ll feel right at home because the whole place has been put together with funky finds from the brocantes and antique markets. Best to reserve because they are especially packed on brocante day +33 4 93 89 09 62
The famous weekly Cours Saleya Brocante in Old Nice has gotten so big that it now spills out to take over the nearby Palais du Justice square as well. This Brocante is a Monday magnet: Antique fans come flooding in from Italy, and antique dealers come from all over the coast. It goes from early morning to 4pm, when you can get the best bargains as they start to pack up.
This is the best day to have lunch on Cours Saleya, because during all other days of the week they are tearing down the produce market during lunch, so there are garbage trucks and men in hazmat suits! But brocante day is calm, with the best ambiance, and fantastic people watching. Cours Saleya is mostly filled with tourist-traps, but here are a few that I can recommend, most clustered together on the same side near the top. Le Safari is an venerable institution on Cours Saleya, with a loyal local following for its excellent food. Or try its less expensive little sister next door, La Civette du Cours by the same owner (but only for the daily blackboard specials). La Storia is also good, and in front of the church, the upscale La Cambuse has excellent food and prices to match. At the bottom of Cours Saleya, try La Voglia and La Favola (same owner) for enormous portions of fresh Italian fare.
There are similar but smaller brocantes (often with many of the same sellers) in:
- Cannes on Saturdays and Mondays
- Antibes on Thursdays and Saturdays
- Villefranche on Sundays
- Vence on Wednesdays
- …and in various other villages: click here for a list in English.
While the Port Antique District and the various brocantes present an easy way to cover a lot of ground, there are antique shops all over Nice: If you put Nice + Antiques into Google Maps, it looks like Nice has the measles! Happy hunting!
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