The Best Shopping on the French Riviera

Visit the French town synonymous with artisan perfumeries, the store that has been making the iconic Côte d’Azur footwear for decades, or one of the many traditional Provençal markets.

28 Rue Henri Seillon, 83990 Saint-Tropez, France
It would be hard to find a fashionable Parisian woman who doesn’t have a pair of Tropéziennes in her wardrobe. Originally created for the local fishermen, this Greek-style sandal has become the iconic footwear of the French Riviera, and since 1934, K. Jacques has been the go-to brand. Recently awarded the status of an EPV, or Living Heritage Company, the family-run business still makes sandals by hand, nailing the leather soles together before stitching. A variety of styles are available, including a myriad of leathers, colors, and finishes. In a decade or so, when you’ve worn out your beloved pair, ship them back to the workshop and the expert cobblers can bring them back to life.
2 Rue du Vieux Collège, 06500 Menton, France
Menton is France’s lemon-growing capital, a fact that the whole town celebrates: The tiles in Menton’s Fontana Rossa gardens are painted with lemons, and local restaurants feature them in lick-your-spoon-clean soufflés. Every winter, the road into town closes for a lemon festival that features huge sculptures made of citrus fruits. It seems fitting, then, that a local shop, Maison Herbin, is dedicated to selling artisanal lemon jam, which is made in small batches to coax the fullest flavor from each fruit. The jam shop has become so famous that tours of the kitchen operations now require advance reservations. The shop offers much more than its citrus jams: Also on sale are strawberries preserved with pineapple, and tomatoes packed with eggplant and ginger, in addition to traditional candies, fruit jellies, local honey, condiments, and pickled onions.
Cours Saleya, 06300 Nice, France
The picture-perfect Provençal market Cours Saleya in Nice is a visual bouquet of regional bounty, with colorful floral displays, golden zucchini blossoms, red tomatoes, and green greens. Camargue sea salt, pressed olive oils, and flower-infused jams make souvenirs to remember (and devour), and there’s also a charming antiques flea market on Mondays for more lasting mementos.
06140 Tourrettes-sur-Loup, France
This company carries the label of EPV, as certified by the French government for its continued work in a trade considered part of the French heritage. The family business began in 1958 when nearly every local village still had an artisan working in olive wood. Today, there are fewer than 20 professionals practicing the art in the region. Second-generation craftsman Guillaume Dubosq starts with tree trunks, drying, cutting, shaping, and sanding his work by hand, turning out the lustrous olive-wood housewares. Some of the region’s finest restaurants have commissioned his pieces for their tables. Each item sold in the shop is unique; purchasing something here not only makes sense for those seeking made-in-France souvenirs, it supports local traditional crafts as well.
Traverse des Lices
Founded in 1955, the owner of La Tarte Tropézienne, Alexandre Micka, invented the eponymous cream-filled brioche that was discovered and named by Brigitte Bardot while shooting And God Created Woman. The Place des Lices location of this storied pâtisserie-boulangerie is the flagship branch (though not its original). This is a pastry lover’s wonderland, with a bewildering and mouthwatering array of breads, croissants, tarts, macarons, and flans on offer. Buy anything, buy everything, just make sure you buy at least one Tarte Tropézienne—whether a slice or whole pie, traditional or containing fruit. You can even purchase multipacks of baby-size pies—you know, as a “gift.”
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