Best cocktail bars in Paris

Sup on classic cocktails at one of Paris's best cocktail bars



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Experimental Cocktail Club

  • Price band: 3/4

You can kiss the bog standard bar scene’s endless stream of mojitos and caipirinhas goodbye. After the Experimental Cocktail Club’s mixes, you’ll never go back to the boring drinks that are to cocktail bars what McDonald’s is to Michelin stars. Paris has been slow to host the type of venues that are so fashionable in New York – ‘mixology’ bars that re-invent cocktails with strange spirits, fresh fruit juices and subtle spices – but now we have, for example, the

  1. 37 rue Saint-Sauveur, 2e
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La Famille

  • Price band: 2/4

This little Montmartre restaurant-bar is a well-concealed gem at the head of Rue Trois Frères. With not more than a dozen tables, a relaxed and friendly team and quality background music and a bar always ready to burst, La Famille also offers top-notch fusion cuisine, with innovative flavours and presentation at reasonable prices. Try the marinated salmon rolled in sunflower and poppy seeds with a piperade ice cream on the side, followed by an exceptional sweet and sour boeuf

  1. 41 rue des Trois Frères, 18e
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L'Entrée des Artistes

  • Price band: 3/4

Having travelled through the cities where the cocktail is king – London, Berlin and New York ­­– and having mixed drinks at Murano and the Experimental Cocktail Club, two well-lubricated friends decided to open l’Entrée des Artistes. The relaxed hybrid venue offers sophisticated cocktails as well as a more straightforward wine list, and top-end snacks like foie gras, Italian cheese or a classy plat du jour. Warm and intimate, the small space has an old-world feel, both

  1. 8 rue de Crussol, 11e
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  • Price band: 3/4

The China is a chic Asian bar-restaurant and gig venue whose exotic décor seems inspired by a 1930s Shanghai colonial club. With padded leather Chesterfield sofas, red walls, dark wood panelling and a black and white checkerboard floor, the shadowy warmth of this lounge is in the best tradition of a British gentleman’s club. Behind a splendid chrome counter, discreet staff prepare distinguished cocktails, like the Hemingway (a visionary alchemy of brown Cuban rum, Cointreau,

  1. 50 rue de Charenton, 12e
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Harry's New York Bar

  • Price band: 3/4

In 1911, a New Yorker dismantled his Manhattan bar, only to rebuild it stone for stone on Paris’s Rue Daunou. Writers like Hemingway, Sartre and Blondin drank signature cocktails here, Bloody Marys and White Ladies. This landmark for Americans has everything that you would expect from an authentic pub from across the pond – a classic décor, a menu of almost 300 whiskies, and oceans of different beers. A century later, it owes its success to its reputation and to the deep

  1. 5 rue Daunou, 2e
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Le Crocodile

  • Price band: 1/4

Prepare yourselves to hesitate at the moment of ordering your cocktail: the menu offers nearly 300, each odder than the last: Galéjade [The Tall Story], Tartempion [The What’s-His-Name], Va nu pied [The Go Barefoot], Traîne-savate [The At A Loose End], Rond de cuir [The Pencil Pusher]… how to choose? We’d advise you to check out the happy hour (6pm-8pm) so as to not break the bank – you’ll still have to rub shoulders with your neighbour to get hold of your glass (the

  1. 6 rue Royer-Collard, 5e
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L'Orange Mécanique

  • Price band: 1/4

Along the Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud in Paris, where the cheap and cheerful bars are clustered, no two the same, we advise the thirsty to patronise l’Orange Mécanique, a venue dedicated to 60s/70s rock, and to quality cinema. On film nights, we go there mostly for the brilliant psychedelic ambience, the good prices on beer and cocktails, and the music selected by DJs specialising in pop, soul, funk, or garage rock. Taking its name from Kubrick’s The Clockwork Orange, the bar

  1. 72 bis rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 11e
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Les Taulières

  • Price band: 1/4

“Welcome to Toto’s! A bar where life pisses you off less” is how you are greeted by ‘Les Taulieres’ [the management], Catherine and Nathalie, a lesbian couple who manage this trendy micro-bar on the north face of the Montmartre mound. The regular clientele, straight and gay, are as rock ‘n’ roll as the cocktail menu: dive into the The Femme Fontaine [Juicy Lucy] (vodka-cranberry-strawberry-cointreau), and don’t be afraid to announce the “Raymonde de Saint-Véran

  1. 10 rue de la Fontaine du But, 18e
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Café Bonnie

  • Price band: 2/4

A café as sweet as a cupcake, whose walls also pay homage to cult films from the golden age of Hollywood and their femmes fatales, those ageless sex symbols. The décor is kitsch and colourful, but done with good humour: baby blue walls, bright pink neon lights, pop art paintings, princess armchairs and portraits of imaginary clients like Audrey Hepburn, Ursula Andress, Brigitte Bardot and… Snow White? A real little girl’s fantasy, Bonnie also manages to attract the male of

  1. 9 rue Récollets, 10e
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Ave Maria

  • Price band: 2/4

You go to the Ave Maria to have a good nosh with your mates, squeezed between your neighbours at the table. As you enter, you’ll blink first of all at the psychedelic décor, featuring Latina Virgin Marys and Hindu goddesses. Next, you’ll be made rapt by the copious menu. Ave Maria’s speciality is to take you taste buds around the world – try out the original Himalaya Dream (delicious grilled chicken with turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, red lentils, split peas, coconut milk,

  1. 1 rue Jacquard, 11e
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