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Comestible Survival in Cannes

Where I go in Cannes after film festival screenings is dictated by two forces: my exact whereabouts and whether I can secure free grub at a seaside soiree. If A view of the waterfront in Cannescomplimentary cold rosé and hors d'oeuvres aren't in the offing, then it's time for my old reliables.

La Pizza (3 Quai Saint-Pierre) gets the publicity for attracting journos, but Xavier Pizza (10 Rue Marceau) gets my heart. French-style thin crust, stronger-than-usual cheeses and a fresh-catch bounty on its seafood pizza make it the best around. I've gotten film writers from all over the world to try this place. If it weren't for the hike, they'd eat here all the time. It sounds crazy to pour spicy olive oil over all that grease, right? You just do it and you love it.

My drinking hangout is a nondescript two-dollar-a-glass joint catty-cornered from the train station. It's called Bar Splendide, but it's not to be confused with the bar at the Hotel Splendide (4-6 rue Felix-Faure) -- a decent two-star place (or as one guide describes: "an old-style hotel that rises above the Allees de la Liberte, just a hop from the Palais des Festivals (where the annual film fest is held) and facing the Cote D'Azur; this hotel's turn-of-the-century charm goes hand in hand with modern comforts"). Hotel Splendide

You will find reporters, flacks and marketers tipping back le vin as the night creeps on. By-the-carafe brings the tally to about a buck a glass. The more you drink, the more you ignore the shady characters emerging from the station. I sometimes bring outside food -- ham and cheese and tuna sandwiches are everywhere -- to the sidewalk tables, and I've never been hassled by the staff.

In the morning, I like to wolf down a croissant or two as I hustle to the 8:30 a.m. screening.

There is only one option as far as I'm concerned. Pains de Provence (24 Boulevard de la République), a slight climb into the foothills, serves 'em up a buttery golden brown for about a buck apiece. These could make the Pillsbury Dough Boy seek a new line of work. I get my espresso and juice for free in the Palais press bar. Hey, I'm on a budget.

For dessert, I don't want patisserie in Cannes. I want ice cream. Local stalwart Vilfeu closed its prized location on Rue des Etats Unis and now has two spots (14 Rue Bivouac Napoléon and 9 Rue Montaigne). Try the pear sorbet and the pistachio ice cream. And... You're welcome.

La Pizza

3 Quai Saint-Pierre 
06400 Cannes, France 

04 93 39 22 56

Xavier Pizza
10 Rue Marceau
06400 Cannes, France

14 Rue Bivouac Napoléon
06400 Cannes, France
9 Rue Montaigne
06400 Cannes, France
Pains de Provence
24 Boulevard de la République
06400 Cannes, France

Hotel Splendide

4-6 rue Felix-Faure

06400 Cannes, France

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