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Nightlife in République and Oberkampf

Le Bataclan

Critics' choice

This distinctive venue, fashioned like a Chinese pagoda with a distinctive multi-coloured façade, first opened in 1864 and remains admirably discerning in its booking of rock, world, jazz and hip hop acts.

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11th arrondissement

Le 114

This is one of Time Out's 100 best bars in Paris. Click here to see the full list. Just because there are already 36 rock bars in Oberkampf, you shouldn’t have to restrain your joy when a new one opens up. Opened in partnership with Puma Social and in association with the new magazine Plugged, Le 114 proudly parades its motto on its front window: ‘C’est comme chez toi, mais en mieux’ [It’s just like home, but better].  Squishy armchairs and huge sofas back up this assertion, even if the atmosphere isn’t quite as warm as the sign might like to have you believe. However, the bar’s creators hit on a great concept when they decided to invite groups to play for free on the bar’s small stage. The programme shows a confident good taste in rock and pop, and the door policy is run according to time-honoured principles: first come, first served. Prices creep up slightly beyond the neighbourhood standard, but why make a fuss? It’s up to Le 114 to create a real identity for itself outside of its commercial strategy, and it seems like it’s going to be just a matter of time.

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Oberkampf

L'Alhambra

Lady Gaga played in this Art Déco style music hall before she was famous, and now streams of artists (both up-and-coming and confirmed) grace the stage for concerts that include pop-rock, slam, chanson française and a sprinkling of jazz and heavy metal. The venue holds between 600 and 800 people, so it’s the perfect size for atmospheric, but intimate gigs. It's also in a top spot for a post-concert night out along the Canal St-Martin.

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10th arrondissement

Nouveau Casino

Critics' choice

Bankable, loveable and conveniently surrounded by the numerous bars of rue Oberkampf and tucked behind the legendary Café Charbon, Nouveau Casino is a concert venue that also hosts some of the city's liveliest club nights. Local collectives, international names and record labels, such as Versatile, regularly host nights here; it's well worth checking the website for one-offs and after-parties.

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Oberkampf

Le Coq

Critics' choice

In the hip Château d’Eau area, here’s a cocktail bar that gives its cutting edge neighbours a run for its money. Tony Conigliaro, joint owner with Thierry Daniel and Eric Fossard, knows what he’s doing: he’s also opened 69 Colebrook Row and Zetter Townhouse in London. The hook here is re-introducing France to its old-fashioned spirits, with a mixologist’s expert twist: Chartreuse or liqueur d'ambrette via London, Berlin or New York.Try Lipstick Rose, a girly mix of rose vodka, raspberry and violet syrup and Peychaud’s Bitters (created in 1830 by an apothecary from Saint-Domingue who moved to New Orleans). Or a kir royal enlivened by liqueur d'ambrette, or a Spitfire, a twist on a Boston Sour with Merley cognac, peach extract, lemon, brown sugar and white wine. There are 12 mixes on the menu, at a slightly eye-watering €11 a throw.Black walls, comfy sofas and dim lighting host temporary exhibitions of work by 70s-influenced artists, with a soundtrack of 70s ambient electro that ranges from Serge Gainsbourg to Grace Jones via Fela Kuti. The shelves behind the bar are stocked with vintage bottles of Chartreuse, Vermouth, cognacs and other rare liquors, all enhanced the speakeasy vibe.

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Château d'Eau

La Place Verte

Next to the famous Café Charbon, the big, beautiful terrace of La Place Verte stretches out over a small shady square. It goes without saying that it’s rammed on sunny days, but if you can’t get a table, the inside isn’t bad either. The café was renovated in 2011, and the new '70s-inspired ‘design’ décor is a pleasant background to an evening drink with friends. Armchairs in green velvet, big cantine-style tables, thick orange curtains and a table football set jumble together harmoniously in the enormous space. The menu has influences from around the world, with a Japanese touch in the chirashi and salmon tartare (€14), an Indian one in the green lamb curry (€14) or an American one in the East Side Bagel (€13). Despite the struggle to get onto the terrace and the painfully hip clientele, it is possible to have a good time without emptying your wallet; try the sangria (€4.20) or a pichet of wine to get the best value. A cocktail with a view of the bubbling Rue Oberkampf will set you back €8. The service is cordial and swift.

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Oberkampf

Le Cinquante

Just down from the Canal St-Martin, the bare brick, Formica and framed '50s ads of this funky venue attract an inner circle of regulars. These days it's established enough to produce its own T-shirts and customised bar stools. Reasonable prices - half-litre pitchers of sauvignon, Brouilly and Chablis in the €10 range - attract a mixed bag of tastes and generations. The two rooms behind the main bar are set aside for dining (affordable classics) and music (generally acoustic). Sunday is open-mic night.

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Canal Saint Martin

L'Entrée des Artistes

Critics' choice

This is one of Time Out's 100 best bars in Paris. Click here to see the full list. 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 rough and refined, cluttered with beautiful vintage objects from soda siphons to an old metal cash register. Dandified city slickers and the trendy youth of the Marais have quickly appropriated this fashionable new find, and the tiny handful of tables is packed out from cocktail hour onwards, fuelled by a mix of hip-hop followed by jazz, funk, disco and soul.

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Bastille

La Fine Mousse

Beer offerings in Paris can be distinctly below par, but thanks to the trend for all things organic and artisanal, a few treasures are emerging from the sea of Stella and Kro: La Fine Mousse is one. It’s run by a team of ‘bièreologues’ who man the twenty or so taps, offering a plethora of artisanal beers from France, Belgium, Norway and England. There are tasting notes on the menu, or you can leave yourself in the capable hands of the bar staff to help you choose from the range that stretches from €3.50 to €10 for 25cl, and from 5% to 10% strength. We liked the Saison Dupont, pleasing and affordable, or the Silvanecte for fans of Corsican produce. There are also cheese and charcuterie boards on offer. It’s difficult not to find something here to your taste, unless you’re in search of a happy hour (there isn’t one) or an ‘English pub’; here it’s all clean lines, leather sofas, wood and white stone, smelling gently of hops. A major plus is the quality jazz programme: double bass/guitar (or piano) duos provide an unobtrusive backdrop to the hum of the eclectic clientele.

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Oberkampf

Mizmiz

Critics' choice

Mizmiz is usually a good bet, as entrance is almost always free. It’s a hybrid venue somewhere between a Moroccan restaurant and a music bar, where the entertainment is almost as important as the food. The menu offers generous, flavourful dishes cooked with authentic spices, like ‘saffa’, a delicious sweet and savoury chicken dish with almonds and cinnamon, and the elegantly spiced house couscous for just €7. A big stage is set up in the centre of the tables where from Thursday to Saturday, there are DJs and live reggae soul, folk, hip-hop, RnB and afrobeat. Later in the evening, the sounds moves towards dubstep, drum’n’bass, house and techno. Weekends, MizMiz is open until 4am, an excellent retreat when other bars are closed. The delightful patrons also organise exhibitions and fundraising evenings for humanitarian NGOs – you can follow the programme on their website.

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11th arrondissement
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