Best eccentric and eclectic bars in Paris

From glam rockers to a bar with a bed in it, sample some of Paris's most unconventional watering holes

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1

Comptoir Général

  • Price band: 2/4

Eclectic, easy-going venues like this are more common in Barcelona than in Paris, but here in an old 600 square-metre barn is this offbeat, shabby chic bar, touched with colonial stylings in its black and white tiled floors, stylish chandeliers, red carpets and African souvenirs piled up in every corner. As you walk in, the size of the space blows you away – two enormous, shadowy rooms connected by a smoking area formed from a tropical garden in an enormous greenhouse that

  1. 80 quai de Jemmapes, 10e
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2

Barbershop

  • Price band: 2/4

The Barbershop is a thirsty art-lovers’ landmark. Recalling Brooklyn’s trendy gallery-bars, it’s always worth the visit. Temporary exhibitions of street art decorate the walls, and canvases by young painters are for sale at affordable prices, offering great opportunities for the hard up but style-conscious looking to re-do their apartments. Visitors can even consult piles of art and design coffee table books, while comfortably installed in padded Chesterfield armchairs or

  1. 68 avenue de la République, 11e
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3

Le Kremlin

  • Price band: 2/4

A Russian outpost in the middle of Pigalle? It’s not, in fact, a hostess bar, but a rather a super cool new venue that’s been heaving from the word go – it’s difficult to clear a path to the bar through the mob to order one of the fantastic imported vodkas or original cocktails (€8 to €11). The young team aren’t afraid to blast out a good selection of music, or to throw together bold mixtures of local and imported booze. Try the Negroni Lenin (honey-flavoured 42

  1. 6 rue André Antoine, 18e
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4

La Féline

  • Price band: 1/4

La Féline is a minuscule rock’n’roll bar near Ménilmontant. Its posters of 50s rock groups and its rockabilly music – much of which is produced by its own eponymous record label – attract the crowd you might expect: punks and their dogs, the pierced and the tattooed, hipsters and ageing rockers. The bar is always being propped up by dangerously sexy glam rock chicks, all leopard skin dresses and leather skirts, peep-toe shoes, slim cigars and the reddest of red

  1. 6 rue Victor Letalle, 20e
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5
Marlusse et Lapin

Marlusse et Lapin

Marlusse et Lapin

  • Price band: 1/4

A stone’s throw from the sex shops of Pigalle and the tourist bars of Montmartre, Marlusse et Lapin seems like a delightful alien. It’s named for the surnames of the couple that run this tiny, completely bonkers bar on the Rue Germain Pilon – they’re always laughing with the elderly Montmartre types who come here to chew the fat with the area’s boho chic habitués. Here, after-hours drinking is a riot, drenched in absinthe and crazy shots that will bring you back again

  1. 14 rue Germain Pilon, 18e
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6

Point Ephémère

  • Price band: 2/4

Housed in a former warehouse for art deco construction materials, Point Ephémère capitilises on its position next to the waters of the Canal Saint-Martin with a great outdoor area. In 2004 it was an artist’s squat of some 1,400 metres squared, which quickly became hugely popular and near permanent – to the chagrin of Paris’s City Council. Today, this breeding ground of all things artistic organises exhibitions, concerts and evenings of independent music specialising

  1. 200 quai de Valmy, 10e
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7

Le Vieux Léon

  • Price band: 1/4

Few of the bars around the Halles market provoke a desperate desire to stop and have a drink. They tend to be cold, unwelcoming dives squeezed between two kebab shops and full of the forum’s shoppers, practically encouraging the passer-by to hurry on past. But that’s not counting Le Vieux Léon, a charming little neighbourhood bar that fills your outstretched arms with well-priced pints, charcuterie boards and free concerts. Even better, it also hosts a weekly quiz with a

  1. 18 rue de la Grande Truanderie, 1er
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8

Delaville Café

  • Price band: 3/4

The Delaville Café in an unmissable stop on the Grands Boulevards, possessed as it is of a vast sunny terrace equipped with atomisers, open from springtime onwards. Frequented by the chic – the children of celebrities, designers and journalists, wannabe fashionistas – the ambiance, like most of the bars in the area, is a little precious. But the décor of the huge venue is a delight, a lively mixture of ancient gilt rococo and post-industrial baroque furniture. If you’re

  1. 34 boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle, 10e
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9

Le Charlus

  • Price band: 1/4

Le Charlus is fast becoming the worst-kept secret in Paris: we almost don’t want to tell you about it, as an increasingly unmanageable crowd crams itself into this little café with irresistible charm, its sign barely visible as you traverse the Rue Albert Thomas near to République. Once inside, you discover a well-presented space with coloured lights on the ceiling, stone walls and red curtains that open on to a pub stage. Here, talented actors take turns every Thursday night

  1. 32 rue Albert Thomas, 10e
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10

Lou Pascalou

  • Price band: 1/4

A café and art space in Ménilmontant, Lou Pascalou has been also been enthusiastically appropriated as a neighbourhood canteen thanks to its endlessly inventive nature. There’s nothing trendy here, but rather a sweetly boho chic hangout and its youthful local clientele. The drinks are at rock bottom prices (€2.50), as is the food (shepherd’s pie from €6.50) and there’s an enormously varied range of entertainment. On the first Wednesday of the month you’ll find

  1. 14 rue des Panoyaux, 20e
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