Can food be described as 'nice'?
This food is nice;
This dish is nice.
I always thought it could be, but I was speaking to a few friends and they argued (and strongly may I add) otherwise.
"Nice" is used to describe food ... whenever the food deserves that qualification!
OED (1994 edition)
14.Of food; Dainty, appetizing. spec. of a cup of tea.
and thousands of recent examples on the web :
Since your question is about usage, yes, food can be described as 'nice' to mean that it tastes good.
But it is sometimes unacceptable amongst certain Asians (as I've experienced in the past) whose mother-tongue is not English.
While I used to teach in the Emirates, I had lunch with some Indian and Pakistani colleagues. They asked me how the food was and I said it was 'nice'. In response they choked and laughed while translating 'nice' as 'beautiful' in Hindi or Urdu.
So to them the usage was a little odd. However, it is correct and it is widely used.
Going one level further, a single word can be given new implied meanings depending on a given situation. Thus nice could mean: good, cool, beautiful, pleasant and so on...
In certain situation, the opposite is also suggested. For example, a kid jumping on the bed makes a mess. The father may say 'very nice' to mean that's terrible, what do you think you're doing?
But the bottom line, yes, you can say that food is nice.