Paris may be seen as the city of love, but the French Riviera has a whole coastline that'll have you falling head over heels. In between days spent leisurely lounging à la plage, eat your heart out in spots where the view is as equally stunning as the cuisine. With over 30 Michelin-starred restaurants perched everywhere from the top of medieval towns to tucked-away dining rooms inside Monaco's swankiest hotels, the French Riviera offers a seemingly endless list of dining possibilities, each more romantic than the next. We've narrowed down the haute eateries to five of our gastronomic favorites that'll have you both swooning before the first course even comes out.
Ranking no. 4 on The World's 50 Best Restaurants list, this spot sitting right along the Italian border is a dream for couples, whether they're foodies or not. Each dish coming out from the two Michelin-starred kitchen will be more impressive than the next (and definitely Insta-worthy), from the caviar-topped beetroot to the almond tortellini floating in smoked beef consommé. Pair this picture-perfect cuisine with sweeping views over the bay below and it's hard not to be in love—both with the setting and the person sitting across from you.
For classic French cuisine, you can't get much better than the two Michelin-starred La Chèvre d'Or. Crowning the medieval village of Eze, which sits suspended 1,400 feet above the Mediterranean Sea, this château-turned-eatery is still every bit a fairy tale. Stone statues line bougainvillea- and rose-filled gardens, and former village homes tucked along cobblestone streets are now cleverly disguised hotel rooms. Get lost strolling through the mazelike streets as the sun starts setting, toasting to the night with an apéritif in the château's gardens overlooking the sea. When you're ready for dinner, cozy up in a table by the panoramic windows and feast on flavors from the surrounding countryside. Our favorite part? The French cheese trolley, expertly curated and sliced straight at your table.
Tucked on a side street behind the port in Nice, Jan is one of the Riviera's best-kept secrets. White stone arches frame the intimate dining room, whose candlestick-topped tables are spread out far enough so the conversation can remain between just the two of you. Gold-framed landscape paintings and dark frescoed walls make this scene seem like a set from Beauty and the Beast, with plates so pretty you'll want to instantly snap a pic before messing up these masterpieces with your fork. South Africa's first Michelin-starred chef, Jan Hendrik, recently earned his star for this whimsical style that blend the best of his native flavors with seasonal ingredients from the South of France, for a memorable tasting menu of everything from biltong (South African cured meat) to peppermint crisp tart.
An ideal evening in the French Riviera consists of sitting on a terrace and indulging in a cool glass of rosé wine. Throw in a Michelin-starred meal and views over Monte-Carlo Bay and you have the perfect recipe for a romantic meal on the water. Italian chef Paolo Sari (who cut his teeth at Venice classic Gritti Palace) is so serious about his organic cuisine, he even grows his own produce in a garden in the hills above the restaurant. Start the evening with a Champagne toast (from an organic bottle, of course), before moving on to the freshly caught menu of raw red shrimp from nearby San Remo, Italy, and wild sea bass perfumed with Provence citrus.
It's hard not to feel like you've gone back to the days of Versailles here. Nestled on the edge of Casino Square, caddy-corner from the famous Monte-Carlo Casino, you'll feel just as royal as Marie Antoinette in the decadent gilded dining room. Make this meal a milestone one—if he's going to pop the question, now's the time—getting decked out in your finest duds and ordering the full gourmet menu, with the chef selecting his favorite dishes for the table. As the Riviera's only three-star restaurant, don't expect this meal to be a light one. With haute French chef Alain Ducasse behind the cuisine, you know you're in for a treat of Riviera-influenced classics topped with black truffle and caviar that are only matched by the spectacular wine selection from the Hôtel de Paris' legendary cellar below.