Provence has some great places to get a cup of coffee or grab a bite to eat. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to get some work done, a trendy café to people-watch, or a classy bistro to indulge in locals delights, we’ve got your covered. Here are our top ten cafés and coffee shops in Provence where you can enjoy the best of coffee culture.
All the locals think that Mana Espresso does the best coffee in Aix en Provence. It can get busy as it’s not a very large café, but you can book a table for lunch if you call in advance. There’s free WiFi and a decent selection of cakes and cookies, while it’s also vegan- and vegetarian-friendly. They don’t have a hot kitchen so offerings include open sandwiches, salads and more – all of it simply delicious.
There are three outlets of Green Bear Coffee in Marseille. They’re great places to get a spot of work done, thanks to the free WiFi and sofa-type comfort of the decor. The food is vegan and vegetarian, with freshly made salads and cakes. The quality teas and coffees are wide-ranging and, most significantly, the service is friendly.
It would be an understatement to call Les Deux Garçons an institution of Aix. With an unrivaled heritage, it is the must-visit café in Biarritz – Cézanne and Zola would spend their after-school hours here, while it was also frequented by Churchill and Picasso. You can eat in the fancy restaurant inside, or out on the terrace in the back, but the front terrace is the place to hang out. Order some fries from the bar and people-watch on one of Aix’s most beautiful and famous streets, the Cours Mirabeau.
Locals love Pain at Cie in Nice. It’s a friendly place with an international vibe, where you can actually find eggs for breakfast (a rarity in the South of France). This is an ideal place to come with friends, or to hang out and read the paper. They have a tasty menu selection (including local delights like open sandwiches) along with hot breads and delicious pastries.
Le Pain Quotidien literally means “the daily bread” and it’s too good not to mention. It’s a Belgian chain and is internationally located, but it gets on this list as it’s one of the few places that does a great brunch and full breakfast. It’s also in a great spot, just by the daily market in Aix, so it’s a perfect meeting place after you’re done shopping. The hot and cold tartines (open sandwiches) are amazing. It can be a wait for a table, but it’s worth it.
Papilles by Laurane, is a very popular place in Aix but it is possible to find a table. It’s on a main boulevard near the centre, so it sometimes gets overlooked, but offers an interesting lunch idea – it does small rolls of different fillings, such as meats and cheeses, with about 50 items to choose from. You write the ones you want on an order sheet and hand it in at the counter, then they’ll call your name when your order is ready. They also do cakes and salads. A real treat.
Coffee and a paper: superb way to start the day | Pixabay
Cup of Tea is a little bookstore selling old and new books in Marseille. It’s a cute coffee shop with a nice vibe, where you can sit on the patio or curl up in a chair. It’s a perfect place to read a book with some tasty food and a hot cup of tea.
The Factory Café in Cannes is in the Gray d’Albion Hotel on the Croisette and has a lovely terrace. It’s very chic and stylish, and you can enjoy your lunch with a nice cup of tea or coffee. It’s wonderfully central and a great place to watch the world go by.
Book in Bar is an English-language bookshop in Aix that has a great selection of books and magazines. They speak English well and seem happy for you to work or read while tucking into a chocolate muffin and a cappuccino. It has upstairs and downstairs seating.