After hopping through digital nomad hotspots for months, the Côte d’Azur was a friendly reminder that not every city offers unlimited coffee shops for working. It was definitely hard to find cafes that offered free wifi, outlets, and a welcoming atmosphere. Although, I have to admit that the cafe staff is generally friendlier than I had expected (for France).
After living in Nice for about three months I found every single coffee shop that allows digital nomads/students/online workers. Enjoy!
1. Cafe Frei
Highlights: Amazing staff, natural lighting, fast wifi, plenty of seating
Downsides: Not the best coffee, few outlets
Cafe Frei is definitely my favorite coffee shop in Nice. Not only is the staff incredibly sweet and welcoming but there is plenty of natural light, interesting decor, fast wifi, lots of seating, and a working atmosphere. It is also in a nice location, close to the Promenade des Anglais, so I often enjoy lunch on the beach after finishing work at Frei.
The only downsides are that there are only a few outlets (and sometimes they don’t work) and the espressos/cappuccinos aren’t my favorite. However, I did try some fancier drinks from their mile-long drink menu and enjoyed the peanut butter latte and cookie drink. So if you’re a fan of sweet drinks you’ll be happy. Also, if you come enough you can get a free rewards card that gives you a 10% discount on drinks!
2. Cafe Fino
Highlights: Best coffee in Nice, fast wifi, aesthetic interior
Downsides: Staff isn’t welcoming, expensive, space is limited
At the beginning of my stay in Nice, Cafe Fino was my favorite coffee shop but as time went on I began to prefer Cafe Frei more. Cafe Fino definitely has the best coffee in Nice, their wifi is fast, they have plenty of outlets, and the interior design is adorable. However, the staff is fairly unwelcoming which eventually made me not want to go at all. Tables also fill up quickly and you’ll probably have to give up your seat between the hours of 12-14:30. If you don’t mind some classic French hospitality and working early in the morning or late in the afternoon, then I would recommend Fino.
3. Starbucks – Rue Massena
Highlights: Can stay for hours, natural lighting
Downsides: Busy, seats fill up fast, it’s Starbucks
Usually, I try to avoid adding Starbucks to my list of coffee shops but since Nice has such few options, I had no other choice. I actually spend quite a lot of time here simply for convenience; there’s free wifi, outlets, and the staff doesn’t care if you stay forever. Also, lots of international students/workers go here so you can possibly meet your new best friend 😉
There is another Starbucks in Nice, on Jean Médecin, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s located inside a mall and is very loud, dark, and has limited seating.
4. Columbus Cafe & Co
Highlights: Great view, good coffee and pastries, and lots of seats
Downsides: Only two outlets and stuffy/sometimes smells bad
Columbus Coffee & Co was the first coffee shop chain in France but is now popular in other parts of Europe as well (the first one I went to was in Braga, Portugal). Their coffee is a step up from Starbucks and they have a wide variety of muffins, bagels, sandwiches, and cookies, at a reasonable price. This location is at the top of FNAC so you can browse the bookstore and read a book while at the cafe. The view is also beautiful, looking over the busy street of Jean Médecin. Some downsides are the lack of outlets and stuffy/smelly atmosphere.
5. Charlies & Co
Highlights: Student atmosphere, good prices, cozy vibes
Downsides: Only one outlet, busy in the afternoons, average coffee
This family coffee shop is another one of my favorites. The interior is very cozy, the owners are friendly, and it’s often filled with students. I would come more often but I feel bad working here for too long since it is a small business and in the afternoon it fills with families and students. If you only have a couple of hours of work, this would be a perfect spot, but it isn’t great for long stretches of time. They also offer plenty of food: cookies, bagels, sandwiches, crêpes, cakes, and other brunch foods.
6. Malongo Atelier Barista
Highlights: Natural lighting, good prices, outdoor seating
Downsides: Only one outlet, wifi lasts one hour, coffee isn’t great
Malongo is a chain coffee shop that attracts lots of online workers and students. The location on Jean Médecin is nice for people-watching and the big windows allow for lots of natural lighting. However, there is only one outlet, the coffee isn’t amazing, and most importantly, the wifi only lasts one hour. I imagine this would be a great place in the summer if you have a hotspot and can work outside in the sunshine.
Hug Cafe Nice
I never worked here but a few people recommended Hug Cafe for working. I just popped my head in and saw that the interior was tiny, with only two small tables. However, I’m always a fan of specialty coffee shops and they offer a fun brunch menu, as well as free wifi. This could be a great spot to work in the summer since they have outdoor seating.
Café du Cycliste
This is another coffee shop I didn’t work at but I did stop by for a cappuccino. Café du Cycliste is a concept cafe with an open design, natural lighting, friendly staff, and great coffee. I don’t think many people work here, it is mostly where cyclers and friends come to chat, but they do have free wifi and I don’t think the staff would mind if you stayed a couple of hours to work.
Brume Coffee Nice
This specialty coffee shop is tucked away in Vieux Nice and might be the cutest coffee shop in the Côte d’Azur. They have free wifi, brunch foods, and delicious pastries. However, tables are very limited and the seats are uncomfortable. This may not be a great place to work but it is a cute spot to chat with friends and enjoy an amazing latte.
Emilie and the Cool Kids Vieux Nice
I was turned off by Emilie and the Cool Kids because I heard it is expensive, the wifi is slow, and there isn’t natural lighting. However, it might be worth checking out if you want a cozy work spot; some people do work here, so there must be a reason why.
Bibliothèque Louis Nucéra
I have a love-hate relationship with this library. On the one hand, it is a free place to work with wifi (although it is very slow) and plenty of outlets. On the other hand it attracts an “interesting” crowd, the hours aren’t ideal, and it feels very dark and honestly, depressing. However, I still come here sometimes so it obviously isn’t that bad. Just bring a hot spot and noise-canceling headphones for when someone inevitably begins to rant very loudly.
Bibliothèque Saint Jean D’Angély
This library is much nicer than Bibliothèque Louis Nucéra and since it is part of the Université Côte d’Azur, the crowd is also better. The only reason I don’t go here often is that it isn’t centrally located but if you live in Riquier or St Roch it would be ideal.
I hope this list was helpful! Check out my other coffee shop recommendations for Lisbon, Porto, San Sebastián, Barcelona, Oaxaca, and Chiang Mai!
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