Stroll around and sample Cannes specialities at the Forville market

The Forville Provencal market, behind the old port of Cannes, attracts crowds of tourists and locals all year round, who happily mingle in the streets of the old town. Open every day during the summer months, the market is filled with typical Provençal foodstuffs, as well as objects and furniture collected by antique dealers.

It's an ideal place to discover or rediscover the typical products of Cannes and Provence, including calissons from Aix, lavender from the Haut Var, melons from Cavaillon and truffles from Carpentras, if they're in season.

In the Halles de Forville, good humour and joie de vivre reign supreme. Come and browse the colourful stalls, taste the seasonal produce and chat to the local producers.

© maudanros / Shutterstock

The history of Provence's markets: an age-old tradition

Provençal markets have existed ever since people began settling the land in the south of France. A real event in the life of a commune, the market is a place for people to meet and share, and is part of Provençal tradition.

Originally, it was the only way for local people to obtain supplies of fruit, vegetables, bread, meat and fish; the inhabitants of the Haut Var, for example, relied on fishermen from the coast to come up and sell their wares at the market. Some markets date back to the Middle Ages. In those days, these places were the only way to keep abreast of the latest news.

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You'll find local, seasonal produce at the Forville market in Cannes.

- © Flegere / Shutterstock

You'll find local, seasonal produce at the Forville market in Cannes.

Today, although sales channels have evolved, markets have remained a tradition in Provence. In some towns like Cannes, the market is so large and diverse that locals hardly need to go to the supermarket.

Markets are part of a local and circular economy. They enable farmers to sell their produce directly, and consumers to find out where their food comes from.

Local producers sell their products.

- © Irina Wilhauk / Shutterstock

Tourism on the Côte d'Azur and the markets of Provence

In the 20th century, Provence experienced a wave of intense tourism. Today, in the south of France, some markets are only alive during the summer season, thanks to the tourists.

© Antonio Gravante / Shutterstock

What can you find at the Forville market?

The market in the centre of Cannes is full of traditional dishes that you absolutely must try during your stay in Cannes, some of which are typical of the area, while others come from the surrounding communes.

Fishing of the day

Cannes was originally a Mediterranean fishing village. Every morning at dawn, the fishermen of Cannes set off along the coast. They then return to sell their fish at the Forville market.

The most popular fish are what are known as rock fish, more specifically fish such as scorpion fish, capons, bass, sea bream, dentex, swordfish and red mullet.

The best-known fish in Cannes is the pelamide. It is found precisely between the Lérins Islands and the coastline, in the Bay of Cannes. Simply delicious.

The chefs rework the menu according to the local catch.

- © barmalini / Shutterstock

The best fish restaurants in Cannes

To sample the catch of the day, we recommend you find a table in one of these restaurants.

Lucky you

Excellent seafood and fish restaurant that also serves fine cuts of meat.

Practical information

📍 Address: 5 Rue du Dr Pierre Gazagnaire, 06400 Cannes

Opening times: Monday and Tuesday, 7pm to 10.30pm; Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 2pm, then 7pm to 10.30pm.

🍴 Fred l'Ecailler

On the Pointe de la Croisette, Fred l'Ecailler offers a rich and colourful menu that evolves with the local catch.

📍 Address: 12 Pl. de l'Étang, 06400 Cannes

Hours: midday to 2.30pm and 7pm to 10.30pm, every day except Monday.

🍴 L'ostrea

On the road to Fréjus, this must-visit fish restaurant offers excellent fisherman's baskets.

Practical information

📍 Address: 971 Av. de Fréjus, 06210 Mandelieu-la-Napoule

Opening times: 9am to 8pm, every day.

Anti-pasti: Provençal tapas

Seasoned olives, sun-dried tomatoes, lupins or even anchoïade, this is the most traditional stall in Provence. You'll find it at every market in the south of France. Antipastis can be shared as an aperitif or as part of a picnic, with your feet in the Mediterranean Sea or on a hike in the hinterland.

© Isabella Pfenninger / Shutterstock

Socca: chickpeas and a wood fire

Here, it's known as "socca'nnes". Typically Provençal, this is a chickpea flour cake baked on a copper plate in a roller oven. The vendor goes from market to market selling the socca, which he sprinkles with cumin as it comes out of the oven – a delicious treat!

Socca has been renamed "socca'nnes".

- © Francesco Bonino / Shutterstock

Lerina: the religious liqueur

This liqueur, a speciality of the monks of the Abbey of Lérins on the island of Saint-Honorat, is made from 44 plants. A tradition for centuries, this liqueur sublimates the flavours of the herbs of the Var region.

The monks of Lérins Abbey produce wine and liqueurs.

- © Giovanni callea / Shutterstock

Practical information

⏰ O pening times and days:

From 1 September to 30 June: Tue - Fri: 7.30am - 12.30pm Sat and Sun: 7.30am - 1pm

1 July to 31 August: Mon - Sun: 7.30am - 1.30pm

A flea market takes place every Monday from 7am to 5.30pm.

👉 Why go to Forville market?

As well as being one of the major symbols of Provençal culture, the market is a wonderful place to find souvenirs to bring back from your holiday or to pack yourself a picnic for the day.

Provence's markets are colorful.

- © Nikolay Dimitrov - ecobo / Shutterstock

How long should I stay?

We recommend that you stay between 30 minutes and 1 hour at the market.

Price level

Compared with the cost of the city, the Forville market is very reasonable, and you'll find better-quality products than in the supermarkets.

by Editorial Team
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