Nicer Than Nice | Family-friendly Restaurants In Villefranche-sur-Mer, Nice, France
A couple of weeks ago we spent a few days with the kids in the stunning area of Villefranche-sur-Mer, just outside of Nice on the French Riviera. In fact the Bay of Villefranche is reputed as one of the five most beautiful bays in the world.
We tried to cram in as many restaurants as we could, time, money and kids permitting. Had it just been us two, we’d also have hopped on a train to Italy and visited Nice too. Dragging them on a half-hour bus journey to Monaco was hard enough, the 11-year-old thought we meant Mexico. Even after showing her on a map how close it was, she was having none of it.
We didn’t eat there as it was so expensive (unless you go to McDonald’s). It worked out that a couple of coffees and two soft drinks at the world famous (aka tourist trap) Café de Paris would have set us back over €50. We did stare across at the party up on the roof terrace at Nobu at the Hotel Fairmont, fantasising and free!
Here’s a few of our family-friendly recommendations from beach cafés to the best restaurant in the area, I’m afraid most of these places don’t have social media or even websites, a crazy concept for us Londoners!
TOP TIP: Controversial, we know but if you’re staying up in the hills like we were, use Uber to get back up at the end of the night (buses stop around 7pm). There is a taxi rank at the bottom but we spent €6 per journey rather than €15, leaving us more money to spend on food and drink. Best not get them to pick you up outside the official taxi rank though (unless you want to see a fight), we’d wait outside the Welcome Hotel whilst dipping our toes in the sea.
Brasserie du Col
90 Corniche André de Joly, 06300 Nice, France
BEST FOR: A cheap breakfast, good priced cocktails and pizza.
WHAT TO ORDER: The Negroni (complete with glow stick) and Le Reine pizza.
3 Rue de l’Église, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer
BEST FOR: Kids and the set menu deal – €19 for three courses.
WHAT TO ORDER: The snails are available in the set menu so an ideal time for kids to give them a try. Watch Charlotte do just that here.
Le Loco Loco
5 Place du Marche, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer
BEST FOR: A cheap no frills lunch
WHAT TO ORDER: Go for the mussels, available in a range of sauces. Avoid the pasta.
Ice cream parlour
Amélie Pollonais 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer
BEST FOR: Ice cream and crepes
WHAT TO ORDER: The passionfruit ice cream
18 Rue du Poilu, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
BEST FOR: A blow out dinner with great homely cooking. Even the fussy eater approved.
WHAT TO ORDER: The lamb shank, slow cooked beef and all the desserts! There’s no English menu, but if you strike it lucky with your waiter, he will happily translate.
Boucherie Du Col Chez Felix
98 Corniche André de Joly, 06200 Nice, France
BEST FOR: Meat and rotisserie chicken. One of the guys that works here apparently loves taking the mick out of Brits trying to order meat in French. Good luck with that.
WHAT TO ORDER: The rotisserie chicken (not cheap at €11 though)
Boulangerie Patisserie Cauchi
96 Corniche André de Joly, 06200 Nice, France
BEST FOR: Pastries, tarts and bread
WHAT TO ORDER: Has to be the Pain au chocolate and the raspberry tart.
3 Place Amélie Pollonais, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
BEST FOR: A great value tasty lunch or dinner. We visited twice, great place.
WHAT TO ORDER: The simple spaghetti with tomato and basil, the chicken, grapefruit, avocado and mint salad. Pizzas are good too.
Lounge Beach bar
Prom. des Marinières, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer France
BEST FOR: A beach-side snack or ice cream
WHAT TO ORDER: The American sandwich and the Speculoos ice cream
Joe & The Juice
Terminal 1, Aéroport de Nice, France
BEST FOR: An airport pit-stop with good tunes, wifi and cheery staff
WHAT TO ORDER: The aptly named Stress Down or Coffee Shake
The following came recommended, but we ran out of time, Funnily enough, my ex colleague Beth at l Aime La Mode was in the area at the same time, so we’ve included her favourites too:
11 Rue du Poilu, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
The bar at the Welcome Hotel
3 Quai de l’Amiral Courbet, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
René Socca (This is actually in Nice, not Villefranche)
2 Rue Miralheti, 06300 Nice, France
La Cave Nature
17 Rue du Poilu, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
La Belle Etoile (they do a £20 set menu)
1 Rue Baron de Brès, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer
Le Mekong (Vietnamese)
668 Avenue Theodore Braun, 69400 Villefranche-sur-Saône