20 specialties to taste on the Côte d’Azur

20 specialties to taste on the Côte d’Azur

Although known for the splendor of its landscapes, the diversity of its reliefs and its holiday feel under the sun, the Côte d'Azur is full of treasures that would make the most beautiful French regions pale in comparison.

And among them, there is a gourmet and colorful gastronomy which borrows its codes from an assertive Mediterranean culture. If the South of France evokes with delight olive oil, tapenade and ratatouille, you will be surprised by the plurality of its flavors.


A culinary specialty of the city of Nice, socca is a pancake made from chickpeas, traditionally cooked and browned over a wood fire. Its success is due to its soft inside and crispy outside texture and its comforting flavor. Accompanied by salt and pepper, it can be eaten on the go, at the minute!

Tapenade and anchovy

Whether it is green tapenade or black tapenade, it is probably the most emblematic condiment of Provençal cuisine. However, it is not the same recipe. If the green one comes from the crushing of green olives and pine nuts, the black one plays up the depth of flavors with the addition of capers, anchovy fillets, garlic and pepper.

A variation of tapenade, anchoïade is one of the most typical regional specialties on the tables of the south of France. Composed of anchovies, capers, olive oil and garlic, it is traditionally eaten with bread or an assortment of raw vegetables.

Eggplant caviar

Tapenades, anchovies, eggplant caviars... Delicious artisanal sauces (Provençal specialties) are on the rise in Mediterranean cuisines. This essential recipe, seen as a Provençal specialty, is in reality a mixture of Italian culture and Nice cuisine. However, there are several variations to its composition. Provence likes its caviar in a mixture of oven-roasted eggplants then mixed and accompanied by salt, pepper, garlic and cumin. To be combined with fresh and varied bread rolls for more pleasure!

The aioli

Although aioli is often presented as a dish in itself, it is actually a sauce made from crushed garlic and olive oil. This emulsion goes well with boiled fish, seafood, fish soup and their vegetables. Today many versions exist beyond the traditional recipe.

Beef stew

It’s quite simply Provençal beef bourguignon! Marinated in red wine, the pieces of beef are cooked with carrots, cloves and herbs. This traditional dish from Provence with its delicious flavors is an ancestral recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation.


Pissaladière comes from Italian cuisine, taken up by the beautiful city of Nice (shhh… we didn’t tell you anything). This unique “pizza” uses bread dough to accommodate chopped onions browned in olive oil, anchovies and black olives.

In its traditional version, pissalat sauce is added to the onions. Made from a mixture of crushed anchovies, sardines or poutine, it is a sauce that macerates for several months with salt, olive oil, spices and herbs.

Nicoise salad

A controversial recipe, the Niçoise salad is divided by its composition with multiple versions. However, the real recipe is simple and tasty: tomatoes, anchovies, salad peppers, Niçoise olives, hard-boiled eggs, tuna, broad beans, spring onions, purple artichokes, garlic and olive oil.

Kindly stay away from people claiming the presence of rice, green beans, potatoes or cheese. They are obviously not purists!

Pistou soup

Pistou (basil mixed in olive oil) is the cousin of the famous pesto whose aromas come from a mixture of basil, pine nuts, parmesan and pecorino. It is added at the last moment to a soup of green beans, zucchini, potatoes, tomatoes and pasta.

The focaccia

Very popular in the South, fougasses are Provencal specialties made from soft crust bread. You can add your choice of olives, onions, anchovies, bacon, cheese, tomato sauce, mushrooms or Provence herbs.

Its sweet version, plain or with orange blossom, makes it a popular treat. However, prefer the artisanal products that you will find in bakeries or in a delicatessen offering local products.

The ratatouille

Certainly considered the most famous Provençal specialty in France, ratatouille is an institution on the Côte d'Azur.

Generally composed of cooked summer vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, red peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic cloves, basil and olive oil), it is nevertheless a traditionally complex recipe. It requires individual cooking of vegetables. Served hot or cold, it accompanies meat or fish.

Vegetable tian and stuffed Niçois

Tian is a typical Provençal dish considered to be an oven-baked gratin stew. All kinds of vegetables, fish, meats, cheeses and aromatic herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano) and of course olive oil are included.

As their name suggests, stuffed Niçois are summer vegetables hollowed out and garnished with a stuffing made from meat, white ham, basil and garlic. A tasty Mediterranean specialty, the stuffing is eaten hot or cold using zucchini, tomato, pepper, eggplant or even onion!

The bouillabaisse

Emblem of the city of Marseille, bouillabaisse quickly spread to all of the French Mediterranean coasts. It consists of a fish soup garnished with garlic croutons spread with rouille, pieces of fish and potatoes.

This gastronomic delight can be enjoyed in its artisanal version, with seasoned restaurateurs offering the best products on the market.

The panisse

This dish from culinary tradition is made from chickpea flour and water and is eaten fried like French fries. Close to Nice socca, panisses are a treat for children. They accompany the dishes with all the deliciousness of good local products.

You will have understood, Mediterranean cuisine is rich in flavors and aromas. Vegetables are widely represented there. But it is also thanks to the quality of local products, enhanced by the power of aromatic plants.

La Tropézienne

Famous and appreciated, the Tropézienne is a cake made from a sugar brioche, cut lengthwise and filled with two types of cream: pastry cream and buttercream.

Imported in the 1950s to Saint-Tropez by a Polish pastry chef, it was Brigitte Bardot who suggested the name “Saint-Tropez tart”. Ultimately, it is the name “Tropezienne” that will remain. Today, “la tarte tropézienne” is still a renowned chain of pastries.

Candied fruits

An ancient Provençal specialty, candied fruits are born from an ancient logic of preserving fruits during the long winter period. By dipping them in honey then in sugar, it was possible to preserve the fruits longer. This method gave rise to many traditions such as the addition of candied fruit to king cakes during the epiphany.

Shuttles and calissons

Provençal shuttles are small gourmet biscuits prepared for Candlemas. They are found in different flavors: plain, flavored with orange blossom or lemon zest.

A true confectionery from Aix en Provence, calisson d'Aix is ​​a subtle blend of almond powder, icing sugar and candied melon. Created on the occasion of the marriage of King René to Jeanne de Laval, these little cakes were born in 1454!

The oil pump

It is a Provençal dessert made from wheat flour, sourdough, olive oil, sugar and orange blossom water, made for Christmas Eve. It is in fact one of the 13 desserts presented during Christmas Eve in the Provençal tradition.