Petite critique culinaire pour Riviera Buzz. Little culinary review for Riviera Buzz.
Considered to be among the best in the Arab world and the Mediterranean, Lebanese food is all about flavours, freshness and sharing.
If we are to believe TripAdvisor, Nice has made it in to third place in France for the quality of its Lebanese restaurants … just behind Paris and Grenoble.
So, to celebrate this great news for all the region’s food lovers, we have decided to share with you our five favorite Lebanese addresses in Nice.
DI YAR – 9, rue de la Préfecture
Right by the always busy Cours Saleya, Di Yar is nothing short of an institution. For nearly 20 years, this quaint and popular restaurant has been offering authentic Lebanese cuisine, including a large selection of oriental dishes and plenty of complimentary snacks, as well as a good amount of vegetarian and vegan choices.
The portions are generous, the prices reasonable and the staff very friendly. And the icing on the cake, it is open 24/7.
With its long dining room and its great outdoor seating area, Di Yar is definitely the perfect place to relax and enjoy all the hustle and bustle of the old town.
LE SOCRATE – 2, rue de Suisse
Much more than just a restaurant, Le Socrate is an experience. Located on a pedestrian street just a stone’s throw from avenue Jean Médecin, this Lebanese eatery perfectly blends tradition and modernity .
Every day, for both lunch and dinner, Le Socrate offers a long list of hot and cold mezze to share with your table, such as moutabal (eggplant mashed with olive oil) and fatayers (pastry stuffed with spinach), as well as Lebanese specialties such as Kefta kebabs, tasty desserts, a large selection of French and Lebanese wine, and of course, mint tea.
And with belly dancing performances every Friday and Saturday evening, there is a real One Thousand and One Nights atmosphere about this place.
YA HABIBI – 6, rue du Congrès
This wildly popular Lebanese canteen, takeaway, and deli has been offering Lebanese food for nearly 30 years. Just a few steps away from the Promenade des Anglais, you will find yourself transported miles away from the French Riviera thanks to its glitzy design.
The owner will welcome you with a smile, and while there is plenty of choice on the extended menu that includes hummus, falafels, mezzes and grillades, you will also be able to enjoy a nice selection of great wines from the Bekaa valley.
And if that was not enough, there is also a resident singer to accompany you on your culinary travels!
BEYROUTH CAFÉ – 12, rue de la Buffa
Despite its relatively small size, this restaurant located on rue de la Buffa in the centre of Nice manages to turn out a sizeable menu of mezze, grilled dishes, and delicious desserts, freshly made to eat on site or to take away.
With only limited dining space available on the small terrace, the interior of the Beyrouth Café more than makes up for it, decorated in an oriental style that will make you feel like you are in Lebanon. Baked pitas, kebbe (a mix of minced lamb, onions, and cracked wheat), falafel, hummus, shish taouk (grilled chicken), kafta (beef kebabs) … everything that makes Lebanese food so popular is on offer, with adequate portions and reasonable prices.
For affordable and consistent Lebanese fare, the Beyrouth Café is not to be missed.
AU PETIT LIBANAIS – 2, rue Vernier
Located on rue Vernier away from the touristy districts, Au Petit Libanais could easily be overlooked, but what it lacks in atmosphere, it more than makes up for with the scrumptious dishes on offer at this family restaurant.
Inside, you will immediately feel at home. The mother cooks, her children wait the tables, and the food does all the talking. From the extensive mezze selection and grills to delightful desserts and catering options, everything is made using the freshest ingredients. And while the prices are very reasonable, the portion sizes are more than ample, and full of flavour.
Sometimes, simplicity is just the way to go!
Lead and first image courtesy Di Yar Facebook page; interior of Le Socrate via their Facebook page; interior shot of Ya Habibi © Mike Colquhoun; photo of Beyrouth Café from their website; photo of Au Petit Libanais via Yelp!