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Cannes' institutions

Restaurants that perpetuate the culinary tradition!

Some of these Cannes institutions have been around for more than half a century, guaranteeing high quality dishes and regional specialities. From father to son, guarantors of know-how and prestige, these emblematic Cannes addresses have passed on the torch of a passion for tradition and quality. From the Croisette, to the epicentre of Cannes, discover these gourmet temples whose fame radiates into the hearts of the Cannes inhabitants.

By AblaCarolyn
Cannes blogger

Author of the blog AblaCarolyn and Riviera City Guide, Côte d'Azur France Ambassador and journalist, I share my fashion, food and lifestyle finds in Cannes.

La Palme d'Or

The soul of the Festival

In the firmament of gastronomy, the Palme d’Or restaurant has been overlooking the Croisette, in the heart of the mythical Hotel Martinez, for over 35 years.
In 1985, the chef at the time, Christian Willer, gave it this name, in reference to the most prestigious award of the Cannes Film Festival. He obtained his first star in 1986, then a second in 1991. Then, this chef, who is closely linked to the gastronomic reputation of Cannes, passed the torch of excellence to Christian Sinicropi in 2007, who retained the double distinction.

This artist at heart instils a true sensory experience in the heart of his dishes, like his gala dinner offered to the Cannes Film Festival jury every year. An exclusive meal, imagined by four hands, with his wife, Catherine, who signs a unique ceramic tableware for a menu in homage to the president of the jury and whose composition is kept secret until the service, the day before the festival.

According to the seasons, the culinary compositions of this chef inspired by philosophy, nature and his artistic encounters, can be enjoyed in this mythical place, facing the bay of Cannes.

Opening of chef Jean Imbert’s new gastronomic project, La Palme d’Or restaurant, in the heart of the Hôtel Martinez on Tuesday, May 14, 2024.

What could be more obvious and natural than for Jean Imbert to explore the magic of Cannes? He’s been a film buff from a very early age, fed on the big screen and anthology films at home, but above all he’s always been linked to the Cannes Film Festival, where he’s been cooking since he was 16, in the hustle and bustle of the back kitchens, while sneaking into the official screenings, discreetly, between two restaurant services on the Croisette?

Maison Ernest

Caterer from generation to generation

Founded in 1936, Ernest has kept alive the heritage of artisanal know-how since four generations. Like a lookout on the Forville market, this Cannes institution distils traditional flavours into its ready-made dishes, charcuterie specialities, starters and desserts.
Originally a Lyonnaise delicatessen, at the entrance to rue Meynadier, the realm of the food trade, Ernest’s house has developed over the years to specialise in events since the 1960s.

Ernest family has been able to preserve the know-how he acquired from the best French craftsmen during his apprenticeship, but also to build a solid reputation in the catering business thanks to the numerous Cannes congresses, the Cannes Film Festival, MIPIM and MIPTV.

From the biggest parties in Cannes to the trays that people take to lunch with their families, Ernest’s house is invited to the most chic tables to the most rustic, but always with the same fervour for the transmission of French cuisine in the rules of the art.

Pizza Cresci

The spirit of a family

A pioneer in the field, Francis Cresci set up the first pizzeria restaurant in France in Nice, before opening the now famous Pizza Cresci opposite the old port of Cannes in the early 1960s. Very quickly, this cinema enthusiast was able to attract celebrities from the world of cinema and music to his theatrical coloured pizzeria, eager to enjoy the festive and convivial spirit. In the wood-fired oven, the gargantuan pizzas come out crispy, and are served in a half-moon by the men, dressed in their black and green suits. Like a snapshot of the dolce vita that played to a full house during the Cannes Film Festival, Cresci’s pizza has kept its original decoration, and the photos of artists on the wall bear witness to its history.

Is it this dedication to past moments or the generous topping of these Italian specialities, which have made Cresci’s pizza an institution in Cannes?
To find out, the best thing to do is to come and taste this colourful spectacle from the wood-fired oven to the plate, with a breathtaking view of the old port.

Astoux et Brun

The sea in your mouth

If you want to taste seafood, no Cannois will forget to mention Astoux et Brun, located at the corner of rue Louis Blanc and rue Félix Faure.
Considered as the seafood specialist on the Côte d’Azur, the Astoux family joined forces with the Brun family to develop the wholesale trade by creating the Astoux et Brun brand in 1953. It was then that their identity was forged and their reputation grew by delivering to all the restaurants on the Côte d’Azur, from Menton to Saint-Tropez. The popularity of the brand reached even individual customers, who came to collect their oyster basket. This is how the idea was born to have the customers eat shellfish on the spot, accompanied by a glass of white wine.

The first restaurant, with its modest terrace, attracts crowds, and every weekend, it is a question of using tactics to have the privilege of sitting down at Astoux et Brun’s after having done its shopping.
Even today, it is not uncommon to wait a little while for a seat to become available, in order to be able to discover, in amazement, these seafood platters, which are shared with friends or family.