This trip to the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera) has been planned for quite a while now and I couldn’t wait to finally visit! Due to exams and stuff we had to choose the month of July which was both a blessing and a curse; summertime is the time of the year when the city thrives, but it is just so incredibly hot. Plus it is tourist season so all the hostels are packed and pricy. Nevertheless, I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to go there. We had an amazing time walking around the city and enjoying the epitome of summer.
The flower market in the Cours de Saleya (one of the most touristy streets in Nice) was just about to close when we got there, so there wasn’t much left. It is at night that the street comes back to life, with restaurants buzzing, dancers showing off their skills and night stands selling ice cream and other sweets. Though it is full of tourists, the atmosphere is just full of energy and life.
Next up we climbed the Colline de Château, a nearby hill overlooking the beach and the harbour.
During summertime, the beach is full with both locals and tourists trying to escape the blazing heat. Just next to it is the famous Promenade des Anglais (English Promenade), built by (you guessed it) the English. Or at least they initiated the project. Apparently this area is still a favorite vacation spot as I’ve never seen so many English tourists in one place. The beach itself is a stony beach with little pebbles and large areas blocked by private restaurants, bars or companies renting out beach chairs.
Aquì, si mangia la socca is the slogan of the restaurant Chez Pipo where we had some really nice socca, a delicious chickpea based pancake. The place was cozy and packed with lots of local. The menu was simple with very few items on it, but like the slogan says, you come here to eat socca. Most of the items on the menu sounded unfamiliar and we struggled a bit with the menu, but a nice French couple jumped in and told us we absolutely had to try the socca! They had ordered about an hour ago and were waiting for their order to come. When locals are willing to wait for an hour for a dish, you better believe it’s good!
We settled on some tapenades (olive pastes) with toasted baguettes as a starter which was really tasty. Meanwhile, the French couple got their plates and even offered to share some with us to try. But with our order up, we did not want to rob any of their food and so we just patiently waited.
After about 30 minutes, our socca arrived and we dug in, I mean, it is supposed to be eaten straight away anyway as it does not taste as good once it gets cold. I really enjoyed this meal as it was simple, cheap and extremely delicious. The socca was crispy on the outside with a first subtle chickpea flavor that gets a bit stronger while eating it.
Just as we left, two guys sat down at the table next to us and ordered the entire menu (except for the salad).