Back in June of 2019, Rick and I didn't waste any time sampling our fair share of restaurants in Antibes; the food choices were limitless. So much seafood and fresh produce is available in this part of the country and creativity abounds when it comes to the dining scene.
Lately, we've been flipping through my travel journal, reminiscing, and asking each other What was your favorite restaurant in Antibes?
#1: Lilian Bonnefoi
For breakfast you could grab a quick pastry or croissant pretty much anywhere, but if time is not an issue, indulging in the three course brunch at Lilian Bonnefoi is an absolute must.
Clara, the owner of the apartment we rented, turned us onto this spot, and we checked it out our first morning in Antibes. Fortunately for us, the restaurant/pâtisserie was just around the corner; a quick five minute walk to deliciousness.
In addition to offering breakfast and brunch service, beautiful pastries that look like works of art are available. Several mornings we'd pick up fresh croissants before heading to the train station and starting our day's adventures exploring different towns. My favorite pastry? A flaky croissant filled with pistachio cream.
#2: Le Bistrot du Coin
We didn't stay around Antibes too many days for lunch; opting instead to catch the train and explore other towns up and down the coast, but, luck for us, we happened upon Le Bistrot du Coin , one of the days we stayed in town.
This place may look nondescript at first glance, but take one step inside and you'll find locals and a few in-the-know tourists eats some seriously great food.
The Saturday we came across Le Bistrot du Coin we also discovered what is known as The Grand Aoili. Basically, it is copious amounts of cod, calamari, sea snails, hard boiled eggs and loads of seasonal veggies served up on a huge platter with homemade aoili and fresh bread.
Come prepared to stuff your face! In fact, we met a couple who skipped breakfast and dinner the night before so they could take on the Grand Aoili. Smart move.
In Provence, you can find restaurants serving up the Grand Aoili on Fridays; at Le Bistrot du Coin, it's available Friday through Sunday.
#3: Les Vieux Murs
This elegant restaurant is found by the ramparts and just a short walk from Le Marché Provençal. We loved this spot for its incredible sea view. We were able to book a table here during Les Voiles d'Antibes festival and indulged in a three hour, three course lunch, sipping wine and watching a sailboat regatta. Let's just say, this did not suck.
Les Vieux Murs prepares beautiful authentic French dishes and offers a great prix fix lunch menu and dinner menu.
Great atmosphere, unusual presentation, and unbelievably good food set the following restaurants apart and made them our top favorites.
I love French food, but after a while, I'm going to need a pizza. We found the perfect pizza to take care of my craving at a place called Pomodoro. Here's the review I left on Yelp.
Loved this place -- from the moment we walked in the door and were greeted with the aroma of pizza and the genuine kindness of the owner. The walls are filled with happy comments and signatures from a plethora of past customers and the small dining room is both colorful and inviting.
The menu listed several creative pizza choices, but we started simple, with a margarita pizza. The crust was super thin and cracker crisp with just the right amount of sauce, cheese, and basil. Perfect! We also enjoyed the salad special-a variety of fresh heirloom tomatoes in olive oil topped with Barrata cheese.
One pizza, one salad, and one carafe (well, really it was one and a half carafes) of their house wine (and one love note written on the wall) later, we left knowing we had just had a perfect meal.
This restaurant is located by the Marché Provençal, a main hub in the town. Mamalu, a beautiful place that is both inviting and intimate, offers indoor and outdoor seating.
The menu, though Italian, uses local, seasonal fresh veggies and seafood, and includes daily specials such as truffle ravioli in a cream sauce, pastas filled with ricotta and artichokes, noodles tossed with spicy sausage, zucchini and tomato sauce, and grilled summer squash salad with fresh burrata cheese.
Antibes is located close to the border between France and Italy, so it's not totally surprising to find great Italian restaurants such as Mamalu in this town.
#6: Le P'tit Cageot
We found this sweet restaurant listed in the Rick Steves's France 2019 travel book and wanted to give it a try. Le P'tit Cageot is located on a side street in the Old Town; it's a tiny place and you will probably need reservations to get a table. The restaurant really showcases the chef's creativity with French cuisine in such dishes as the appetizer of toast with charcuterie served under a glass dome with smoking thyme sprigs and the sublime fresh spring pea soup. Delicious.
#7: Le Comptoir de la Tourraque
Oh, this place has it all! The atmosphere is quintessential French; elegant lighting, menus hand-written on little blackboards, tables squeezed into nooks and crannies (we literally sat in the doorway between the dining area and the bar), and food that is exceptional.
All the dishes we sampled were stellar, but the stand out for me was the fresh tuna. Served still pink in the center, the fish was wrapped in a crispy shell, served with a sweet and slightly sour sauce, and a beautiful salad on the side. The hazelnut dessert was pretty damn amazing, too. Though it looks non-descript on the plate, if you are a lover of hazelnut, you're going to be happy -- very happy.
When I am lucky enough to return to Antibes (and I will), you'll find me at Le Comptoir de la Tourraque.
Tips for Finding the Perfect Restaurant
* Restaurants post their menus outside their doors. Take a look at what the restaurant has to offer and decide if you want to make reservations.
* Find out where the locals dine; look for a crowd and ask around. The owner of the apartment we rented gave us some great suggestions.
* Check out dining apps such as YELP and FORK to read reviews and possibly make online reservations.
* If you can't make a reservation online and if language is barrier to calling, stop by a restaurant earlier in the day to try to book a table for dinner.