Lingering over a cup of perfectly brewed coffee is part of the ultra-posh lifestyle on the French Riviera. The game is to look busy and interested without being too busy or interested. Everyone is preoccupied and slightly disaffected. This might be on account of the extremely relaxed ambience, the mesmerizing views of the water, or the distracting task of people-watching.
In any case, drinking coffee or an aperitif al fresco is first on the list of Things To Do on the French Riviera. This is followed closely by sunbathing on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. And once you're in full relaxation mode, take a leisurely stroll from Villefranche-sur-Mer to Beaulieu-sur-Mer for some visually stimulating exercise.
You need very little time here to figure out that the smell of the sea barely outranks the smell of coffee, fresh bread, and provincial cooking. You'll definitely want to partake in certain dishes like the ratatouille, bouillabaisse, and salad Nicoise that are specific to the South of France. While traditional meals are readily available, you'll find that cookies, cupcakes, and muffins have also made their way onto the menu!
There are many wonderful beachy cafés to be found in Antibes, Cannes, Juan-les-Pins, and elsewhere along the coast. Look for Choopy's (Antibes), Coffee & Cookies (Cannes), La Luna (Beaulieu), and Le Haricot Magique (Nice) to get an impression of what's bringing current Cote d'Azur clientele to the cafes. You'll find a good mix of coffees, light regional fare, and American-style desserts being offered.