Overview of Villefranche Shops & Markets
Our clients love Villefranche’s shops and markets! There are three basic shopping areas of Villefranche: the Old Town, Octroi (Basse Corniche level) and the Col of Villefranche. They all offer a variety of excellent and useful shops. Plus, Beaulieu sur Mer, St. Jean Cap Ferrat and Nice are a short walk or bus or train ride away.
There are four grocery shops in Villefranche: one in the Old Town on rue du Poilu, one at Octroi on the Basse Corniche and one at the Col of Villefranche. They are all operated by Casino and they will have most everything that you will likely need. There is another one along the Moyenne Corniche called the Intermarche but you will need a car to go to this one. You can purchase wine and liquor at the grocery shops.
There are two green grocers in Villefranche: One in the Old Town, which is run by a sweet but very deaf older man. If you don’t see what you are looking for, ask him as he has a cool room that he stores things in. The second one is at Octroi called Primeurs, next to one of the boulangeries, and they have a wide selection of items.
There are two butchers, one in the Old Town and one at the Col of Villefranche. They are both very good but the butcher at the Col has a larger selection and is also a traitteur (has some foods they prepare). It is worth a trip to visit this butcher as he is excellent. If you want to shop at the Col, you can take the minibus up (see transport) or walk up (a good stair master or aerobic workout). It is an easy walk down.
There are four boulangeries in Villefranche, one on rue du Poilu just down from the grocery shop Casino, one at Place de la Paix, one at Octroi and one at the Col of Villefranche. They are all good and you can decide which one you prefer for croissants, pain au chocolate, baguette, etc. They are all different and it is fun to try and figure out which one you prefer for this or that.
There is an excellent Italian traitteur on rue du Poilu where you can purchase delicious charcuterie, parmesan, mozzarella, foccacia, many other specialty food items and homemade dishes his mother prepares that you can take home and just heat up. The food is very fresh and excellent quality.
We have a lovely fresh market on Wednesday and Saturdays. It is located at the Octroi level of town in the park next to the tourist office. There is a small market at Place de la Paix on Fridays. Markets are only in the morning. Our fish monger sells at Place de la Paix on Fridays and Saturdays at Octroi market. There is another fish monger that sells on the waterfront quai most mornings of the week. The Saturday and Wednesday markets have some of the same stalls and some that are different. We highly recommend the young cheese man at the Saturday market named Arnaud. He is quite an expert in cheese and has his main shop and cave for aging cheese in the charming village of St. Jeannet. There is also a lovely olive, tapanade, nut, etc. vendor named Jacqueline with her husband Joelle just next to Arnaud. They have wonderful items with which you can enjoy an aperitif or light supper on your balcony.
Clothing, Souvenir & Miscellaneous Shops
All along rue du Poilu and up some of the village streets you will find some interesting shops for clothing, jewelry, handbags, and souvenirs. In addition, you’ll find a newspaper / magazine tabac shop where you can purchase foreign newspapers and magazines.
We also recommend our wonderful soap store called Terres Dorees. To get there, walk to the end of rue du Poilu where it joins the road where cars can drive, turn right and walk up the road just a few meters and just on your left you will see their shop which is known around the world. It is a family run operation and they hand make wonderful, natural soaps and lotions on the premises. We use those soaps in our apartments. Jean-Louis and Nathalie own the shop and now their charming sons work there too.