In Nice, you won’t find much drinking out of a lid with a hole, but you’ll find some fantastic hangouts with tasty caffeination and free WiFi. The best ones have ample table space, music kept to a reasonable level and, if you’re lucky, an outlet or two to plug in. It’s better than sitting cross-legged on your bed all Carrie Bradshaw, and even if you don’t get any work done, you can still sip expensive cappuccinos and gaze out the window pensively. Here are the best places in Nice to hot desk.
One of the great things about Nice is that it’s not yet full of obnoxious scenestery wankers. The closest thing I’ve found to it is at Comptoir on a weekend when the bar fills up with Shoreditchy hipsters with androgynous hairstyles. But in the daytime, it’s full of multilingual passer-throughs staring inanely at their MacBooks and drinking overpriced coffees, which is also awesome. Add to that some exposed concrete, a smidgen of cow print and some dusty armchairs from your nan’s living room, and you have yourself the perfect shnabby space you will be proud to call your office.
10 rue Bonaparte, 06300
8:30-00.30 Monday to Saturday
When I first walked into this bar I fell in love. It was the Cath Kidston style wall at first, but then it was the reclaimed wood, the armchairs, the Caesar salad, the burger, the fresh glasses of lovely stuff poured by lovely people and their total acceptance of Wi-Fi-using professionals. Yes, they jumped on the vintage bandwagon – but my God, they did it well. I’m positively smitten and I’m sure you will be too.
1 rue Cassini, 06300
8:00-00:00 Monday to Saturday
A more recent addition to the Bonaparte strip, showing no signs of the Bonaparte ego. When I asked for the Wi-Fi code, the charming owner handed me his internet starter manual with a code as long as my forearm. In other words, it’s just like being at home with the family – with big welcoming smiles to match. The bagels are tasty, the salad bar is great and the couscous has people talking. If you’re looking for an uninterrupted workspace, you could do much worse than this.
36 rue Bonaparte, 06300
7:00-22:00 Tuesday to Sunday
If you’re looking for a homely hangout with a heart, head to the eco-conscious little living room that is Nice Life, run by the lovely Sophie. Here you can sip soy lattes and detox juices or snack on RAW bars and home cooked veggie creations. Take out your laptop by all means, but you’re unlikely to get much done since you’ll be chatting to other English speakers from all corners of the world, and leaving smiley post-it messages on the world map wall. **CLOSED**
15 Boulevard Lech Walesa, 06300
12:30-20:00 Wednesday to Sunday
If you want to get serious work done, not just check emails and “like” things, this is the hideaway. On a shady old town side street, steps from the Cours Saleya, Café Marché scores big for its chill factor, its seasonal menu and its mellow, well selected play list. It even has outlets to keep your laptop juiced and laptop friendly tables. Let’s talk more about those tables. They’re the perfect mish mash of granny chic and country kitchen nostalgia thanks to the owner’s husband who owns an antique shop.
2 rue Barillerie, 06300
9:30–16h Monday to Saturday, 10h–17h Sundays
Bonnie indeed. This chilled neighbourhood café just behind the Port has cosy armchairs by the window where you can settle in and write the novel inside you. It also boasts a fresh, bio menu that includes vege bagels, tartes salées with olive oil pastry, brownies sans beurre… not to mention smoothies for the lactose intolerant. If you’re ever back in the 9-5 game without the luxury of café afternoons, you’ll remember the days when your biggest decision was which smoothie to order.
9 rue Fodéré, 06300
8:30–18:30 weekdays, with the exception of 9:30–15.30 on Wednesdays
Oh sweet lord. This is the kind of place you could get very fat very quickly. That’s if you like thick chocolatey milk shakes, soft melty muffins and cupcakes with swirly frosting. You may have trouble finding a seat and you may have to wash the icing sugar out of your hair afterwards, but this Nice meets NYC village café is a good little place to spend an hour or two with your laptop.
1 rue de la Prefecture, 06000
9:00-18:30 Tuesday to Saturday & 10:00-18:30 on Sundays
Don’t expect the cool factor, the personality or the knock-em dead menu – it doesn’t belong to the working café elite. But what it does offer is oodles and oodles of desk space where you can sip tilleuil to your heart’s content in an enormous, cosy dining room right at the back of the place. It was pretty much meant to be your office. If you’re still unsure how to pronounce “tilleuil” clickhere.
18 Place Garibaldi, 06300