Le Bistrot de la Rade: Best lasagne we've ever had!I
One of those places that is hard to find until you've found it, and then for the rest of the day wandering around Villefranche you pass it about 6 times! It is worth searching for. We sat outside and enjoyed the bright sunshine and the excellent food. The lasagne with shallots and spinach was amazing! Add this to the reasonable prices and setting on a lovely narrow lane and you have an excellent place to stop for lunch or dinner.
Favorite Dish: Lasagne
- Budget Travel
Mere Germaine: The best fish soup ever! Perfect service
I loved the decor, the ambiance, the location (a jump from the Mediterranean), the service, the owner, the wine list, the menu, the story behing this place
Favorite Dish: Fish soup and the thai salad...Their Rosé is perfect
- Food and Dining
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Carpaccio: Crepes by the harbour
My girlfriend and I visited Carpaccio one afternoon while visiting Villefranche-sur-Mer from Nice in May 2009.
The restaurant offers a wide menu of food, but we were there only for a refreshing drink and a quick snack. There are two parts to Carpaccio; a restaurant side and a tea salon/glacier side next door – we visited the latter.
Carpaccio enjoys a nice harbourside location but, because of this, prices are on the high side (12 Euros for a salad, 12 Euros+ for a pizza, 15 Euros for a pasta dish and 25-30 Euros for a main course containing seafood or meat, especially the beef in which the restaurant specialises).
We sat at an outdoor table beneath a canopy, with great views of the boats in the harbour and the colourful buildings along the edge of the water.
We both opted for:
Crepes with Nutella - Cost: 3.50 Euros
An average sized crepe folded in half, filled with a layer of Nutella chocolate spread and topped with icing sugar.
Other types of sweet and savoury crepes were available, filled, for example, with fruit, ice cream, cheese and ham.
Orange sirop drinks - Cost: 2 Euros
A very refreshing drink of heavily diluted orange flavoured syrup. Other sirop flavours included mint, lemon, aniseed and strawberry.
A nice harbourside café/restaurant, with a reasonable choice of drinks and snacks. Expensive food menu, but great views.
la Mère Germaine: Seafood by the port
Commanding an excellent spot on the quay of Villefranche for decades, la Mère Germaine is part of the fabric of this little port village. The restaurant serves excellent French food with a focus on seafood and is known to receive celebrities who make stop in Villefranche. Many recipes have been passed down from Germaine Halap who opened the restaurant in 1938 with her husband. Nowadays, their grandchildren continue the tradition.
La Baleine Joyeuse: At the waters edge
Perfect location at the edge of the Port Darse, which is "around the corner" from main Villefranche bay via the walkway around the waters edge at the foot of the Citadel. With tables alfresco, this snack bar is open 7/7. The food is uncomplicated - salads omletes and a few specials - but the setting is pure bliss and always packed at lunchtime - with those in the know. Go early for Sunday lunch.
Favorite Dish: Sit and enjoy a demi pichet of Cotes de Provence rose, with a warm goats cheese salad and maybe some frites.
- Budget Travel
Trastevere: Great Thin Crust Pizza!
Trastevere is just by the port and it serves a bit of everything, from fish to pizza. As the weather was sunny and nice, we decide to sit outside (if the car traffic bothers you, you can always sit inside). We started with a goat cheese salad, which was lovely, then we both ordered pizza (Reine). Hubby also ordered a glass of Beaujolais Noveau. Service was fast, except when it was to bring the bill (total: 40 Euros)...
Favorite Dish: Their thin crust pizza! (11 Euros)
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Les Palmiers: Great Lunch Place!
Les Palmiers was a great place to stop for lunch. It (as most of the bars/eateries in Villefranche) was in the town square down by the docks.
We had a leisurely lunch by the water and it was very good - goat cheese salad, fresh lasagna, beer, and gorgonzola ravioli!
Very reasonably priced and it was nice to sit outside. The service was a bit slow, but I just think that is the attitude in the Riviera ---- Easy Going!
Favorite Dish: Great Salad...
Le Cosmo: WONDERFUL Fresh Seafood!
Oh my - what a wonderful meal although it was a very rainy evening!
My father, my husband and I all walked in the pouring rain to le cosmo in the center of Villafrance and it was worth the hassle!
We started with an amazing Cote De Rhones wine (Maison Bonachon Crozes - Hermitage) that I have yet to find in the states, and they offered wonderful freshly baked bread and flavored butter (a rarity in France!).
We then enjoyed a wonderful tomato/mozzerella salad, sauteed prawns w/ parsley adn garlic fettucine (to die for, but with shells on, so they were a bit messy, but HUGE) and creme brulee for dessert.
We sat at a lovely inside table, although they did offer outside seating if not raining. It is in the middle of what I believe to be their town square. There are many nice restaurants, shops, sandwich places, etc that are all in this center right by the sea!
This perfect spot opposite the Jean Cocteau decorated chapelle st pierrre offers excellent vista and casual eating and drinking. Its desserts are suptuous - try the Tarte Tatin or lemon meringue pie ( with fresh lemons!).
The people watching is even better - Bono is an occasional visitor - and the conversations overheard are wilder still, peppered with references to a wealthy bohemian or unusual lifestyles that explains why you happen to be having Sunday lunch out of season with friends in Villefranche!
L'Ousin Bleu: Best in town
Creative tasty dishes, but not tourisy dishes. This restaurant is a favourite of locals and people who take a trip out from Nice. Pleasant friendly service. Only one room, so smoking can be a negative point, but in summer you can eat outside - although indoor tables are more spacious.
Favorite Dish: Everything - all is fresh and cooked to order.
Hotel Welcome restaurant: Lovely place for traditional French breakfast
Intimate restaurant inside the Hotel Welcome (where Jean Cocteau once stayed) where you can sit at one of the tables or a comfy couch. Friendly staff. Tourists come from all over and chances are you'll end up sitting next to a couple from England, Germany, America and yes, even France.
For more on the hotel itself, visit my hotel tips.
Favorite Dish: Had the breakfast buffet which is included in the room or 15 euros otherwise. A bit pricey, but, it's not a skimpy little continental deal. And hey, for a full pot of hot chocolate, I can live a little.
- Arts and Culture
Caffe dell' Arte: Affordable and tasty
There are a few little places along rue du Poilu, but this one caught my eye because I got a table in the street which looked straight down a steep narrow street to catch a glimpse of the harbour from the heart of the old town. There are lots of "formules" available from 10 Euro upwards, serving mostly pastas and pizzas but also local dishes.
I had the formule 12 Euro, "pizza and dessert", even though I really fancied the gnocchi gorgonzola. The pizza I got - fruits de mer - was huge, but dead thin. The enormous quantities of mussels, shrimps, prawns et al more than made up for that though! It was pretty nice, but the best was the dessert - Brownie au chocolat chaud sur un lit de creme anglaise... wow, really good!
LES PALMIERS: Hungry?
Resto-Pizza, Ice creams, cocktails. Funny waiters. Do not choose to eat outside if it's too windy. Tiny but clean toilettes.
- Open all year
- Suggestion of the day at 12 Euro - Non stop service from 12.pm to 11.pm
Favorite Dish: My hubby had a pizza and I had a mozzarella salad plus beverage for 24,20 Euros.
Les Palmiers: Reasonably priced cafe
Pleasant but busy restaurant/cafe in Villefranche. Inexpensive. Eating al fresco and can sometimes be windy in colder months.
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