The Cuisine of Nice

How the history and landscape shaped this unique French cuisine

Like in so many other places, the best way to understand Niçoise cuisine is to look at the special history of the city and its unique landscape.

The caves alongside these pebble beaches were inhabited nearly 400,000 years ago and this region has been witness to so many great civilizations throughout the ages. For much of its history Nice was not affiliated just with France but also Italy. After the fall of Rome, Nice was taken in as part of French Provence until the 13th Century when the Italian House of Savoy took it over. This near constant shift between these two enemy nations ended just after the fall of Napoleon. With the Treaty of Turin in 1860, the King of Sardinia agreed to finally give the county over to France. Nice had grown closer to France in language and culture and the vast majority of residents were happy to join. Years later Nice became the playground of the English elite. They came to vacation, brought their great fortunes, and built up the city of Nice to what we know it as today. Torn between these past identities that have all left their mark, Nice is an ancient city whose unique history and influences are all present in this relaxed Mediterranean dream destination.

The landscape of Nice made its traditional foods unique to the area. With a mediterranean climate there were certain foods that came to make up the Niçoise cuisine. The rocky sea's edge does not allow for the pastures needed to house dairy cows and so the keystone of French culture, cheese, is slightly different here. In order to get cheese the local animals needed enough room to graze and so the solution was fairly simple. The local cheeses heavily feature goat's milk instead of cow's and are very creamy in texture. The beaches do allow for plenty of access to the ocean and the land is not wholly barren and so fresh ingredients and fresh seafood make up the majority of Niçoise cuisine. While there are some larger fish on the markets, historically the Niçoise people liked to stay a little closer to the shore. This means that small fish and shellfish are ever present on their menus. A strong connection with Italy lies in the fact that olives and olive oil are the heart of Niçoise food instead of a more typical French butter. These cook nicely with their local produce which heavily features swiss chard, lemons, garlic, aubergines, tomatoes, but is not limited to them due to their well suited growing climate. The Niçoise cuisine is not heavy but light, refreshing, and flavorful.

Open air markets are the preferred shopping method and baskets are frequently sold all around Nice to carry your groceries. When you feel the need to shop or to explore you can head to the Provencal markets that sell anything ranging from antiques to local crafts, go to the flea markets located in Old Nice which generally appear once a month on a Sunday, explore the farmers' markets which offer every type of food and all of the local specialities, and the breathtaking flower market which is open all day should never be missed. You can buy ingredients or full meals with the many sellers, restaurants, and bars both located inside and just outside the markets. Picnics are a favorite and you'll never be eating alone in the many parks or along the beach. Consider buying Herbs de Provence from the many herb sellers and take time to smell the locally sourced lavender products.

The Local Specialties

Don't miss out on the food that is special to Nice. There is a perfect fusion between French and Mediterranean cuisine that is hard to find anywhere else.

Salade Niçoise

The classic and world renowned speciality! The basic salad is made up with a mesclun salad mix base with a dijon vinaigrette and can feature additions like tomatoes, anchovies, tuna, radish, onions, hard boiled eggs, and many other additions.

Pan Bagat

A portable salade Niçoise, most everything you'd find in the salad put in between two pieces of bread to make a delicious on the go sandwich.


A hearty and savory pancake made out of chickpea flour. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside it is the quintessential street food. It can be enjoyed on its own or enjoyed as a side.


A kind of onion tart not dissimilar from pizza that can be topped with olives and anchovies. It is salty, flavorful, and a little tart and shows the flawless merging of French and Italian influences. It is common all over Nice and can be bought very cheaply.


Before it was made famous, Ratatouille originated in Provence and Nice. The mixture of eggplants, tomatoes, zucchini, and herbs is a popular side dish.

Tourte de Blettes

This dish is very specific to Nice, can be bought at every bakery incredibly cheap, and should not be missed. Similar to Baklava but instead of a honey sweet base there is swiss chard and pine nuts. Swiss chard grows in abundance in Nice and this dessert is a surprisingly delicious way to eat your vegetables. Recipes were passed down for generations and has resulted in a not well known and yet truly delicious dessert.

Beignets de fleurs de courgettes

The light yellow flowers of courgettes (zucchini) are fried in batter to make fritters.

Les Petits Farcis

The "little stuffed ones" are a dish of baked vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, courgettes (zucchinis) and their yellow flowers, and onions that are stuffed with breadcrumbs, meat, and vegetables. The stuffed vegetables can be an appetizer, meal, or side dish and come in a lot of varieties.

Soupe au Pistou

A cold soup heavily influenced by Italian pesto this is a bean stew made up with basil, garlic, and olive oil. All it's missing is pine nuts to be real pesto but it is also very similar to minestrone soup with the common addition of vegetables.


Rosé wine is everywhere in Nice and can in fact be cheaper than water, I've tested the theory. The accompaniment to Niçoise cuisine it is the perfect partner to the lighter Provencal cuisine.

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Tequila Herradura

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La Rojeña

Producer of Jose Cuervo, La Rojeña has a train of its own called the Jose Cuervo Express (currently on hiatus due to COVID-19) to bring visitors to the oldest distillery in the town of Tequila. Jose Cuervo offers distillery tours, tastings, and tours of the agave fields. Mundo Cuervo (Cuervo world) also has its own hotel, Solar de las Animas. Check for COVID-19 hours and restrictions before booking.

Casa Sauza

Founded in 1873, Casa Sauza offers four levels of tours including a visit to the La Perseverancia distillery, a visit to the Quinta Sauza estate, and for those willing to spend more, barrel tastings and a barbeque or a three-course meal. Casa Sauza is on hiatus until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, but should go on the distillery tour bucket list.

La Cofradia

The only tequila distillery with a hotel inside, La Cofradia offers many experiences in addition to distillery tours. Choose a hike through natural trails, biking, or horseback riding through the agave fields. Rooms made of giant tequila barrels sit among the agave plants for a unique stay. Visiting La Cofradia is sure to be a tour that thrills tequila lovers. Contact the hotel directly for information about lockdown closures.

A distillery tour offers education about tequila's history and manufacture. Bone up on your tequila terms and tips for choosing quality tequila before you go, so you'll understand what you're tasting.

We don't know how to feel about winter this year. Sure, nobody likes the cold and dreary months, but there's something special about the Holiday season that just seems to be missing. Maybe the thought of staying inside and cozying up to a nice book isn't very enticing given the last few months. The joyful winter wonderland that we usually associate with winter seems to be missing.

That's why our editors decided to take it upon themselves and spread some delight with seasonal meals, courtesy of HelloFresh. For those who don't know what HelloFresh is, it's a meal-kit delivery service with dozens of easy-to-prepare recipes to choose from. Simply select which meals you want as well as how many servings and a neatly organized cardboard box will arrive at your doorstep within the week. Nobody wants to go out in the Winter anyway, and with HelloFresh, you don't have to!

To celebrate the arrival of the coldest season, we decided to highlight some of our favorite (and heartiest) recipes from HelloFresh that are perfect for the Holiday season. Here are five wholesome and balanced meals that will warm you up in no time.

Veggie Loaded Kale & Risoni Soup

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Cheesy Red Pesto Chicken Melts

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Winter Risotto

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Travel Tips

8 of the Best Donut Spots In the United States

Celebrate National Donut Day with our favorite treats across the country.

November 5th marks one of 2020's two National Donut Days.

Occurring in both June and November, National Donut Day allows fans of those delectable yeasty treats to embrace their sweet tooth. But like any niche food group, people often take their donuts very, very seriously, and there are countless places to get your fix.

Below, we've rounded up some of the best donut spots across the country. From coast to coast, these bakeries are sure to impress even the pickiest donut-heads.

Mr. T.'s Delicate Donut Shop – Modesto, CA

Mr. T.'s Delicate Donut Shop

If you ever find yourself in the San Francisco Bay Area, it's worth taking a short trek out east towards Modesto for some of California's best donuts. Mr. T.'s Delicate Donut Shop has remained family owned since its opening over 30 years ago, providing both tried-and-true classic donuts as well as experimental flavors and holiday specials. Even their 24-hour service doesn't diminish the line that trails out the door most mornings.

Dough — New York, NY

Dough \u2014 New York, NY

Donuts might not be the first circular, doughy treat you think of when it comes to New York City. If you've had your fair share of bagels, the Big Apple also boasts some spectacular donuts at Dough, a go-to spot for both tourists and locals alike. Here, you'll find a host of Latin American-inspired flavors that are hard to come by anywhere else; their Dulce de Leche flavor is a customer favorite, while the tangy Hibiscus donut is just as good for Instagramming as it is for eating.

Blackbird Doughnuts — Boston, MA

Blackbird Doughnuts \u2014 Boston, MA

Boston's Blackbird Doughnuts is a no-frills donut spot specializing in both brioche "raised" donuts and old-fashioned cake donuts. With a small menu of year-round donuts and a rotating cast of seasonal flavors, Blackbird keeps it simple and classic. Why mess around?

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop — Brooklyn, NY

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop \u2014 Brooklyn, NY

For over 60 years, Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop has been calling the quaint Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint home. Since then, the bakery has remained a popular spot for both regulars and new visitors passing through the area. Here, you won't find uber-trendy decor or gimmicky recipes, just damn good donuts that prove the power of long-standing local businesses.

Pip’s Original — Portland, OR

Pip\u2019s Original \u2014 Portland, OR

In both their mobile catering van and brick-and-mortar locations, Pip's Original is a staple for small, sweet treats in Portland. They're known for their tiny donuts that come in inventive seasonal flavors like marionberry-lavender and mango ghost pepper. But even if you opt for one of the more traditional flavors, Pip's Original proves good things can come in small packages.

Round Rock Donuts — Round Rock, TX

Round Rock Donuts \u2014 Round Rock, TX

Founded in 1926, Round Rock Donuts—located just north of Austin—are impossible to miss. These donuts' distinct yellow-orange color, caused by fresh eggs in the original recipe, make them stand out among the crowd. While this classic outpost can easily churn out hundreds of dozens of donuts a day, they also offer Texas-Sized Donuts, which are just as ginormous as you'd imagine. Round Rock Donuts are not only delicious and easily recognizable, but they're a slice of Lone Star history.

The Holy Donut — Portland, ME

The Holy Donut \u2014 Portland, ME

In Maine's Portland, you might not find tiny donuts or a decked-out catering van, but you will find a slightly healthier alternative. The Holy Donut was founded on the premise of creating tasty donuts that used all-natural ingredients to make a treat you could feel good about eating. The secret ingredient is fresh, mashed Maine potatoes, which make these donuts delectably moist without sacrificing flavor.

Donut Friend — Los Angeles, CA

Donut Friend \u2014 Los Angeles, CA

As expected of a city so focused on entertainment, Los Angeles' Donut Friend puts an edgy spin on their inventive donut flavors. Their year-round menu features donut flavors with names like Green Teagan and Sara, Fudgegazi, and Bacon-182 that are sure to delight the rock music nerds. For everyone else, the delicious donuts speak for themselves.