Best Flower and Food Markets of Nice (+Map)

There really are few things that make me as happy as strolling a local food market. No matter where I go in the world, one of my favorite things to do is to spend time walking through grocery stores and markets, seeing what unique fruits and vegetables grow in different areas.

Food shopping isn’t just a shopping expedition; it’s a total immersion into a country’s local culinary culture. Truthfully, I would say a good 30% of my camera roll is dominated by colorful market stalls.

When it comes to the quality of fresh produce, nowhere impressed me as much as the southern parts of Europe. That said, I was surprisingly underwhelmed by the quality and options in many of the grocery stores in Nice. No offence to Carrefour!

Luckily for me, Nice is known not just for its azure coastline and sunkissed beaches but also for its fresh produce markets. The food scene here is out of this world, and it’s no surprise the heart and soul of Nice’s gastronomic scene falls in the fruit, vegetable, and fish markets the city is so famous for.

I’ve laid out a few of the most worthwhile food and flower markets in Nice below. Whether you’re visiting the city for a day or a month, these markets are bound to create a lasting impression on your senses.

In this post, we’ll cover:

Cours Saleya Flower Market

Cours Saleya Flower Market

Starting things off with the most well-known and, in my opinion, easily the best market in the Côte d’Azur, the Cours Saleya Markets stand as a testament to the region’s colorful culinary prowess. On every day other than Monday, this iconic section of Nice Old Town explodes with activity in two distinct markets.

Cours Saleya Flower Market

Cours Saleya Flower Market

The Flower Market, or the Marché aux Fleurs, opens at 6 am and wraps up around 5:30 pm or whenever vendors run out of flowers to sell. Located at the west end of the Cours Saleya, you will find everything from local florists selling their prize bouquets to nurseries selling seedlings to fully grown lemon trees.

Since I wasn’t living in the city permanently, much of this market’s offerings were of no use to me. Regardless, I would visit at least once a week just to soak up the kaleidoscope colors and fragrant smells of the stalls.

Cours Saleya Food Market

Cours Saleya Food Market

Then there’s the food market, where local farmers and producers from near and far show up to showcase their best selection of fresh fruit, vegetables, cheeses, and herbs. Open from 6 am until 1:30 pm; there is even a seafood section where fishermen offer their catch of the day fresh off the boats from the night before.

For holiday-goers who aren’t in the market for fresh sea bass or a flowering bougainvillea, there are plenty of unique gastronomic delicacies to be found here. From sun-dried tomatoes and olives preserved in every way possible to beautifully packaged spice combinations and olive oil from Provence and other regional delicacies.

Mondays at Cours Saleya are dedicated to all things antique. On this day, food and flowers are swapped out for a local antique and flea market, selling everything from old crockery to jewelry to photo books to vintage clothing.

The market also has a change of pace during summer. Called the Marché Artisanal Nocturne and open at night between June and September, Cours Saleya is packed with local artisanal craft stalls.

Tips for Visiting the Cours Saleya Markets

Tips for Visiting

Do yourself a favor and go early. Not only will this mean you’ll be ahead of the crowds (and the heat, if you’re visiting in summer), but it means you’ll get the pick of the freshest – best quality products that are bound to sell off super fast.

Cash is king in this market. While some vendors will accept credit cards or have tapping facilities, the majority of smaller stalls work on a cash-only basis.

Bring a tote bag along to carry your haul. The vendors will have plastic and paper bags as a last resort, but you’ll be much more comfortable carrying your things in a real bag – especially if you plan on combining your visit with other attractions.

And on that note, I recommend you DO combine your visit with nearby attractions. The market is located right in the heart of the city, between the Old Town and the Promenade des Anglais, perfect as a jumping-off point to explore the iconic port, seaside, or old city.

A Quick Stop for Lunch

A Quick Stop for Lunch

While the markets typically sell fresh produce, the street that the market is located in is lined with cafes and restaurants that make it well worth your while to come hungry. Be warned, a few of these spots are tourist traps and will charge you inflated prices for below-average food.

If you’re visiting at the crack of dawn or are craving a sweet snack, there are plenty of places to grab a crêpe on the go. I like to go to Les Delices de l’Opera, which is a permanent crêperie at the western end of the market. With outdoor seating, this is also a great spot to grab a coffee and a pain au chocolat. A coffee costs around euro €4.50, and a crepe around €8.

Your best bet for lunch is to order a local specialty from Chez Theresa. This historic streetside restaurant serves the best socca in town – a savory pancake made with chickpea flour. Flavored with olive oil and black pepper, at their best, these pancakes usually have crispy edges and a soft inside.

The restaurant can get overwhelmingly busy because of its close proximity to the market. Conveniently, they have a take-out stand where you can get soccas-to-go. If you’re lucky (or willing to stand in line), you could grab yourself a seat in the shaded outdoor seating area and do some world-class people-watching.

The Liberation Food Market

The Liberation Food Market

Nice’s other famous market, perhaps more loved by locals for its lower prices (and proximity to local neighborhoods), Marché de la Liberation, became my local grocer while in the city. It’s a vast open-air market sprawled around Place Charles de Gaulle, directly north up Jean Medecin Avenue.

Since it’s just outside the city center, you might want to travel up the Tram Line 1 from any point of Jean Medicine to a stop called Liberation, dropping you off right in the heart of the action. Several bus routes also pass by the market, including the 4, 7, 9, 10, 22, and 37 lines, depending on where you are coming from. Alternatively, I always enjoy a walk up this bustling street!

The market sells all things foodie, from fresh fish and farm dairy to baked goods and cured meats. There is also a covered section of the market on Rue Flaminius Raiberti called the Docks de la Riviera, which houses a cheese shop, bakery, butcher, delicatessen, and other permanent shops.

Halles Gourmandes de la Gare du Sud

Halles Gourmandes

Catching onto the trend of food stall markets that have taken the world by storm, Halles Gourmandes is a new covered marketplace in the old Gare du Sud train station on Avenue Malaussena. Often just called Le Gare du Sud, it’s just around the corner from the Liberation Marketplace, making it a part of the complete marketpackage.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 am until 11 pm and Sundays until 12 pm, the old station buzzes with activity as workers take their lunch breaks at the market, tourists visit for the local vibe, and the Niçoise gather with their friends for a casual meal.

Halles Gourmandes

If I had to compare this market to any others, it would be in line with the Time Out Markets found across the world. With about thirty permanent gourmet food stands, a central bar, and casual shared seating, I highly recommend this to any group who can’t decide on one restaurant to eat at.

The atmosphere is just as good as the food, with the bones of the historic station still intact and exotic plants towering towards the 60-foot-high ceilings; this really was one of my favorite places to eat in Nice.

Where to Eat at Gare du Sud

Where to Eat at Gare du Sud

If you need recommendations of which stalls to eat at, you’ve come to the right place. After a few months in the South of France, I experienced a unique craving for fresh salads and sushi. Safe to say, the Japanese sushi platters and Poke bowls served at Be Sushi did the trick. Ramen lovers will go mad for Ramen ta Faim, a noodle bar with a Japanese influence.

I’m also a huge fan of olives in any and every form. If there is anyone who knows how to do Olives, it’s Nicolas Alziari. His Olive Bar sells fresh olive products like oils, tapenades, and dried olives worth shipping back to your home country.

If you’re a fan of a lobster roll (I don’t blame you), I’ve only heard positive reviews about Super Lobster.

The Italian Trattoria is another favorite. Selling fresh pizza and pasta, cannolis, and coffees, there is a good reason this spot is always busy. Do yourself a favor and order the burrata salad paired with an Aperol Spritz for a summer flavor extravaganza.

Other Notable Markets in Nice

Notable Markets
  • Fish Market – Marché aux Poissons – Place Saint-François – Every day other than Monday, 6 am – 1 pm
  • Art Market – Marché Exposition de Peintures – 1st Saturday of the month, 9 am – 5 pm
  • Arts and Crafts Market – Marché aux Peintures et Artisans d’art – Place du Palais de Justice – 2nd Saturday of the month, 7 am – 5 pm in winter and 7 am – 7 pm in summer
  • Postcard Market – Marché aux Cartes Postales – Place du Palais de Justice – 4th Saturday of the month, 7 am – 5 pm
  • Book Market – Marché aux livres anciens et d’occasion – Place du Palais de Justice – 1st and 3rd Saturdays, 7 am – 5 pm in winter and 7 am – 7 pm in summer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *