See and be seen – that’s the ordre du jour in the South of France.Yet, it is a fabulous place for a summer long weekend away or a full blown holiday, with azur blue waters and golden beaches. Hire a car if you can as then you will have access to the best beaches, which are all off the beaten track. Read on for details of these hidden gems and the gluten free treats that can be found in the South of France. Below I cover Nice and the beaches to the East (towards Monaco). For Antibes, Mougins (both wonderful places to stay) and Villefranche, see my earlier gluten free guide.
A lovely cosmopolitan seaside town, Nice can be a great place to base yourselves when visiting the Cote d’Azur. Its old town streets buzz with life and you won’t be short of restaurants and bars to visit. Nevertheless, of all the places I have spent time in in the South of France, Nice is for some reason is a rather tricky place to feel comfortable as a coeliac. There are plenty of supposedly gluten free dishes around, but coeliac needs are not taken into consideration. People just assume you are following the latest fad diet and it can be frustrating to have to explain your coeliac status over and over. Nevertheless, persist with those rude restauranteurs and you will be okay.
GiGi Tavola Autentica (added Dec 2017) – I haven’t tried this place myself but I just read that this 100% gluten free Italian restaurant has open in Nice! I will definitely be checking it out next time I visit.
Les Gourmandises d’Angéa – very nice people running this Macaron paradise on Rue de La Poissonerie in the Old Town. All their macarons are gluten free and homemade by the shop themselves.
La Storia – not a huge range of gluten free here but the owner was incredibly helpful at working out what dishes would be safe for me and she checked everything direct with the kitchen. I had a delicious fillet of sea bream with ratatouille and rice.
Le Petit Lascaris – a cute side street restaurant with some gluten free choices available here in the Old Town. We had small dishes of lentils and chorizo, marinated anchoivies with chickpeas, and burrata with tomato and basil. I had quite a discussing preordering about ingredients in the dishes, with a waiter who definitely thought I was trying to be “chic” with my gluten free choice, but it all worked out well after a bit of back and forth. However, please do take a French language card if you don’t speak French.
Boon – in the Old Town. Gluten free salads to take away for lunch, just tell them you don’t want bread with it.
Monoprix supermarket – there is a big gluten free selection…tonnes of schar produts and I even spotten geniis gf bread too, The genius was upstairs in the fresh bread section, the rest of the gf was downstaira.s
Plage Cap d’Ail
La Reserve de la Mala – roasted monkfish in pancetta with spiralised vegetables at the tres chic restaurant here, located on the beautiful Cap d’Ail beach. There are a number of gluten free dishes here (mainly carb-free ones), just brace yourself for the bill!
Plage La Point de l’Aiguille
Aiguille – fantastic beach food at this restaurant on the beach near Cannes. Wonderful staff who discussed options with me and there was plenty of gluten free choice. I had sea bream with artichoke, caramelized onions and other tasty bits. The chips were gluten free when we visited too, hoorah! Their house rose wine was excellent and this beach is a fabuolous hidden gem on the Cote d;Azur.
Saint Jean Cap Ferrat
We stocked up on picnic supplies from the Casino supermarket by the port in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat – they have various gluten free supplier (Gerble branded goods and mini magnums!).
Nice Airport (T1)
Lots of gluten free bits to be found here (much better than T2, which was a nightmare last time). There is a La Duree where you can get your mitts on gluten free macarons, gluten free meals and gluten free socca chips and hot socca chickpea pancakes to be had in the main restaurant Chez Pipo, regional gluten free specialities in the Savuers de Provence shop (cakes, macrons, savoury biscuits).