Just a few steps from Opera Plage is La Petite Maison, a very well-known restaurant attracting a long line of dignitaries and stars. It’s known to be Sarkozy’s favourite restaurant, while Elton John and Beyonce have been seen there in recent summers. The food, which has a strong emphasis on seafood, is good although not exceptional; the prices are expensive but not stratospheric. The proprietor has expanded her franchise, opening up restaurants of the same name in Cannes, Paris, London, Beirut and Dubai.
While the beach clubs of Nice aren’t generally as glitzy as those of Cannes or Saint Tropez, they are still lovely places to spend a few sunny hours enjoying a rose lunch and some excellent dining.
For a sophisticated lunch at good prices, visit Castel Plage tucked at the far east end of the Quai des Etats-Unis, where you can enjoy fresh Italian and French cuisine in an elegant beach setting. Taste from the raw bar, enjoy Italian pasta or indulge in fresh caught seafood. Prices are much more reasonable than in other Riviera towns ranging from 18-26 euro.
Plage Beau Rivage is part of the hotel of the same name, and it’s the most luxurious of the beach clubs along this stretch, offering an excellent restaurant set on teak decking with crisp white umbrellas.
Of the restaurants down by the old port, Le Bistrot du Port is the pick of the bunch. It’s a brightly coloured bistro where you can enjoy very good French food and wine at reasonable prices while looking at the superyachts clustered in the docks.
Le Barque Bleu is also very popular and not badly priced considering its port-side location and good fresh seafood.