©Cote d'Azur France/Aurelien BUTTIN

Five good reasons to discover the Bistrots de Pays of the Côte d'Azur

Like hidden gems nestled in the villages of the Côte d’Azur, the Bistrots de Pays offer an authentic and warm experience, infused with the culture and tradition of this iconic region. Here are a few reasons why you won’t want to miss the chance to discover these real communities during your next getaway to the Côte d’Azur!

1. To explore the Côte d’Azur region

The Bistrots de Pays offer the unique opportunity to explore the Côte d’Azur and its hinterland villages. As soon as you set foot in these establishments, you’ll immediately soak up the local ambiance – especially thanks to the warm welcome of their owners, often the best guides to uncover the region’s hidden treasures. In Aiglun, amid the hills of Grasse, the Auberge de Calendal forms part of these Bistrots de Pays, reflecting the soul of the Côte d’Azur. Michel and his wife Gwen breathe new life into traditional recipes in the heart of the Estéron Valley, with dishes inspired by their travels around the world. The inn also offers several rooms and dormitories, perfect for extending your stay in the Côte d’Azur and visiting Aiglun and its surroundings. There, you’ll discover the Clue d’Aiglun, the most famous canyon in the Alpes-Maritimes, or its cave fortresses. Add to this the unbeatable views over the Cheiron mountains and an atmosphere in which good cheer and enriching exchanges with the locals reign supreme, and you’ll soon understand why the Auberge de Calendal is a destination in its own right!

Still in the Estéron Valley, the Vieux Moulin opens its doors to us on the banks of a magnificent river. This site is also the starting point for various hikes. In a real picture-postcard setting, Laurent and Laurence have made the Vieux Moulin in La Roque-en-Provence an unmissable spot for lovers of good food and relaxation. As the singing of the cicadas blends with the lapping of the water, this is the perfect place to quench your thirst with a locally sourced drink in the shade of the reeds. In summer, several dinner concerts punctuate the bistro’s calendar, offering us unforgettable moments of friendly sharing. Here, time seems to slow down, allowing us to savour each and every moment. In these little authentic villages of the Alpes-Maritimes, the culinary wealth of our valleys take pride of place.

2. To savour generous, delicious cooking

Côte d’Azur cuisine is, quite simply, a delectable mix of Mediterranean flavours and fresh local produce. And our Bistrots de Pays offer up the chance to savour authentic dishes, prepared with love and know-how. Located in the heart of the medieval village of Coursegoules, the Bistrot de Sophie welcomes us for a high-flying culinary experience. For nearly 25 years, Sophie has been treating her guests to homemade, traditional Nice dishes, made exclusively with fresh products. A passion for cooking and the local land have been passed down through the generations in this family, of which several members contribute to the success of their dishes. Here, vegetables come from the family garden, while the meats and cheeses are provided by Sophie’s brother.

Located in Beuil, between the red gorges of Cians and Daluis, the Relais du Mercantour perfectly embodies the spirit of the Bistrots de Pays. Carefully created by Maryse and her son Benoît, dishes such as stuffed veal or swiss-chard trouchia (a kind of omelette) reflect the authenticity and flavours of the Nice terroir, putting seasonal products pride of place. Awarded the Mercantour Ecotourisme label, this Bistrot de Pays embodies a commitment to preserving the environment and promoting local products. This mountain establishment offers an authentic and responsible gourmet experience, where each mouthful transports us to the heart of the Côte d’Azur’s culinary traditions.

3. To enjoy authentic encounters

The charm of our Bistrots de Pays lies, without a doubt, in the unexpected encounters guests can enjoy during their visits. Coming here is a unique opportunity to weave ties with the local community and discover the real essence of the Côte d’Azur. The Auberge du Moulin is one of these unmissable stopovers you simply have to make in the heart of the Mercantour National Park. After climbing the road to the medieval village of Roubion, Marie-France and Manu await you in the heart of a breath-taking setting. Their specialities? Traditional, wood-fired dishes. To get your fill of fresh mountain air, let Daniel guide you along one of the famous “Bistrot Hikes”. This mountain guide will lead you along the trails of Mélézins in search of the traces of wild animals, before enjoying a gourmet break at the Auberge du Moulin, of course! This unique hike also offers the opportunity to meet the craftspeople of the highlands, keen to share their singular know-how.

4. To discover breath-taking landscapes

Often located in hilltop villages, the Bistrots de Pays offer spectacular views over the landscapes of the Côte d’Azur. A magnificent view of the surrounding mountains, traditional food and sweet treats to die for are what it’s all about at the Hotel Restaurant Beauséjour in Berre-les-Alpes! Here, Philippe invites us to enjoy his dishes inspired by traditional recipes and his delicious homemade pastries, all in an exceptional setting. Nestled at an altitude of 700 metres, between the Mediterranean and Mercantour, this Bistrot de Pays promises a real change of scenery in a magnificent stone building overlooking the valleys of the Paillon. Berre-les-Alpes emerges like a citadel taken straight from the Middle Ages, surrounded by olive groves and chestnut forests. This perched village offers a remarkable panoramic view, spanning the Férion mountain range, the sea, Mont Agel, the Authion mountains, Mont Bégo, the Braus mountain pass and the Franco-Italian peaks. A real treat for foodies and nature lovers on holiday in the Alpes-Maritimes!

As for the Auberge du Prieuré, this establishment offers a gourmet stopover in Saint-Blaise, a village perched in the hills of Nice. Located in a building dating back to the 16th century, housed under a 100-year-old plane tree and just next to a restored church first constructed in 1777, the warm atmosphere and authenticity of this location offers up the perfect setting in which to enjoy a glass of local wine or a Nice speciality, while admiring the mountains on the horizon. Whether in the rustic and bright restaurant or on the bucolic terrace, this Bistrot de Pays, managed by Camille and Marine, offers an unbeatable view of the olive groves and lush hills just 30 minutes from Nice.

5. To soak up the lively atmosphere!

Our Bistrots de Pays are always friendly and full of life. As you head towards the coast, 15 minutes from Menton, Hartmonie is a Bistrot de Pays like no other. In the heart of the charming village of Castillon, this establishment is managed by a quartet of enthusiasts from the south of France. This venue houses an ESAT (vocational-rehabilitation centre), offering persons with disabilities access to employment. In a warm and lively setting, you’ll enjoy simple and delicious cooking made from local and seasonal products, cultivated by the team itself on the outskirts of the town.

Whether it’s with friends, alone or with your parter, the Côte d’Azur’s Bistrots de Pays will welcome you with a smile and generosity in a real place of life bringing together a lively atmosphere, authenticity and solidarity. In these villages of the Côte d’Azur – all veritable hidden treasures – we love to explore as the sound of laughter rings out, conversation flows naturally and we come together around these tables, creating a truly warm atmosphere where everyone feels at home.

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