Paris, je t’aime! The best bars in Paris
Paris, je t’aime! The best bars in Paris
The French capital is by no means lacking in places to enjoy a beverage and, more recently, Paris has developed a serious cocktail culture. But where to start on a list of the best bars in Paris this is so long, while avoiding the tourist traps?
The best bars in Paris
We’ve investigated the choices and divided them to suit various moods: rooftops for cocktails during sultry evenings; hidden nooks for a bit of a thrill; places where you can eat, drink and take your time; bars to mingle with a cool local crowd; establishments with a creative twist; and last but not least, wine bars to savour some of the best drops, and tapas, available. Santé!
Set up among the crawling vines of this charming bar and try a trademark Coulibri (iced strawberry sherry).
17 Boulevard Poissonnière, 75002
After exploring romantic Montmartre, enjoy an Aperol Spritz at this Art Deco hotel.
12-14 Rue Joseph de Maistre, 75018
HÔtel Nationale Des Arts et Métiers
Unwind with a gin and tonic and a 360-degree view over the rooftops at the intimate bar of the gorgeous Hôtel Nationale. Afterwards, pop downstairs to the swish cocktail bar, Herbarium.
243 Rue Saint-Martin, 75003
With the cocktail menu in the hands of the reputed Nico de Soto, this enormous ‘pool house’ styled rooftop bar/restaurant, with hanging garden and sensational view, is a must.
2 Rue du Havre, 75009
Le Perchoir is a delightful bar gazing romantically over the Hôtel de Ville, Notre-Dame, the Seine and the Eiffel Tower. Try a weeknight to avoid a wait.
33 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004
Mezcaleria & Malicia
Hidden in the 1K Paris hotel, Mezcaleria is a fabulous secret bar with Mexico at its heart. If you’re lucky, cocktail connoisseur Ben Tyler may sneak you into Malicia, the secret bar behind the secret bar!
13 Boulevard du Temple, 75003
Jules & Jim
In the heart of the Marais, the boutique Hôtel Jules & Jim offers a lovely and calm inner courtyard bar with changing artworks. Winter visits call for champagne by the fireplace.
11 Rue des Gravilliers, 75003
Tucked behind residences on Canal Saint-Martin, this converted barn is now a shabby-chic establishment with two huge rooms and a garden for cocktails, Asian/African snacks and dancing.
80 Quai de Jemmapes, 75010
Step back in time with a visit to the bar inside the historic L’Hôtel in Saint-Germain. It’s romantic, old-worldly and intimate, and a memorable experience.
13 Rue des Beaux Arts, 75006
Eat, drink, relax
The modern Mediterranean menu at Bonhomie is designed for sharing, making this a perfect spot for long meals with great wines and inventive, seasonal cocktails.
22 Rue d’Enghien, 75010
Les Grands Verres
Check out the contemporary art exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo then stay for a meal or drinks, created with local produce, at the well-to-do Grands Verres. You’ll be rubbing shoulders with the art world’s elite.
13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75016
Sip rosé on the terrace of this lively establishment while diving into some delicious Provençal cuisine. Think mussels or rabbit with seasonal vegetables and irresistible French desserts.
2 Rue Roger Verlomme, 75003
Take in the stunning views over the capital while tasting the fine Asian-European fusion menu and the cocktails among the beautiful, festive crowd at this flamboyant Philippe Starck-designed restaurant and bar in central Paris.
1 Rue du Pont Neuf, 75001
This vegan café is low-key but charming with its black and white tiled floors and relaxed terrace on the avenue. Sip and munch over your notebook, or get among the theatre/film crowd that often gathers here. Try the freshly squeezed ginger juice (or homemade ginger rum) for a zesty boost.
23 Avenue Simon Bolivar, 75019
Where the locals go
This renovated industrial/chic brasserie opposite Métro Barbès is a hipster hotspot in this otherwise gritty (yet colourful) corner of town. The upstairs atrium presents a seriously fabulous cocktail menu and winter demands a red wine by the fire.
2 Boulevard Barbès, 75018
A hub for the art crowd, the Palette terrace is the spot to unwind and people watch, wine and cheese platters on hand, after spending the afternoon visiting Saint-Germain’s galleries.
43 Rue de Seine, 75006 cafelapaletteparis.com
Get back to nature while keeping cool with the trendy crowd at Rosa Bonheur, situated inside the Buttes-Chaumont park, with tasty pizza and often an outdoor DJ. Alternatively, take to the water to sip and mingle at Rosa Bonheur sur Seine, a barge moored near the Pont Alexandre III bridge.
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont,
2 Allée de la Cascade, 75019
Rosa Bonheur sur Seine,
Port des Invalides, 75007
This four-storey complex is a Paris staple for bands, swing dance balls, musical brunches, festivals and clubbing. The pretty terrace area is a good spot for getting among the local crowd while gazing across the rooftops of Ménilmontant.
19-21 Rue Boyer, 75020
This arty hotel, near the iconic Père Lachaise cemetery and opposite the iconic pop-rock venue La Flèche d’Or, draws both a local and international crowd. Choose from several colourful bar and restaurant spaces where you’ll find snacks, pizzas, beers, games and, as this city does so well, cocktails on the rooftop.
109 Rue de Bagnolet, 75020
A La Mode
Step off Paris’s dark lower Montmartre streets and into festive 1920s New Orleans at this intimate late-night cocktail bar where (often live) jazz music is peppered with crisp American accents from an inspired crowd from the other side of the Atlantic. Absinthe-laced cocktails and dancing are the specialties at this speakeasy.
12 Rue Frochot, 75009
Serpent à Plume
Browse for art, buy a book, shop for pyjamas and enjoy a cocktail – it’s all possible in this fun, retro cave located under the arches at the Place des Vosges, the oldest square in Paris. Oh, and there’s also an option to enjoy a jacuzzi.
24 Place des Vosges, 75003
Designed like an elegant yacht club with leather and wooden surfaces, and ropes and oars as artwork, Copper Bay offers creative menus, inventive cocktails, local beers, natural wines and delicious share plates with fresh seasonal produce.
5 Rue Bouchardon, 75010
Try a rhubarb spritz before digging into a hearty woodfired meal at this cheerful venue in the Marais, then trot downstairs to La Mina cocktail bar.
14 Rue Charlot, 75003
Frenchie bar à vins
Brought to you by chef Greg Marchand and wife Marie, this bar won the 2017 Gault & Millau prize for its wine selection. There is also have a restaurant, a gourmet takeaway and a cellar.
6 Rue du Nil, 75002 frenchie-restaurant.com
Septime La Cave
Sister to Septime, a restaurant famous for its weeks-long reservation list, this small no-bookings wine bar invites you to nibble on anchovies, artichokes, foie gras and cured hams while enjoying a huge selection of French and international wines.
3 Rue Basfroi, 75011
Le Cave de Belleville
Pull up a pew in the large back room of this Belleville wine boutique and let the waiters help you pick the perfect drop to match the sumptuous share plates of cured hams, cheeses, seafood and salads.
51 Rue de Belleville, 75019
This 17th-century hotel bar was once the stomping ground of the likes of Voltaire and Rousseau. Today it remains a classic meeting place to enjoy wine and cheese in the piano bar, or slip into the back room for an organic Indian tea by the fireplace.
33 Rue Dauphine, 75006
Take a break from discovering the beautiful backstreets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and grab a stool at this cute tapas bar, brought to you by the owners of neighbouring restaurant, Semilla.
54 Rue de Seine, 75006
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