Paris's best bars for winter

Find the best pubs and bars in the capital that are perfect for a warming winter drink

DR
When the winter blues kick in, it's time to make tracks to your local purveyor of fortifying liquors and freindly warmth. We've chosen one bar in every arrondissement that should do the trick.

In the 1st • Le Fumoir

There aren't many places around the Louvre that can compete with this elegant local institution: neo-colonial fans whirr lazily and oil paintings adorn the walls. A sleek crowd sips martinis or reads papers at the long mahogany bar (originally from a Chicago speakeasy), giving way to young professionals in the restaurant and pretty things in the library. It feels a wee bit try-hard and resolutely well behaved, but the cocktails get tongues wagging soon enough, and food is consistently top notch...

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1st arrondissement

In the 2nd • L'Ivress

This wine bar (also a wine shop and delicatessen) hidden in a tiny Sentier side street is a great alternative to the stuffy bars in Place de la Bourse and soulless pubs on the Grands Boulevards. For such a chic area, L'Ivress ('Drunkenness') is warm, friendly and well-priced. No drunken revellers, but an after-work clientele during the week and young middle-class regulars on the weekends. The short wine list features bottles from independent winemakers, like an excellent Lalande-de-Pomeroi or a white Vouvray demi-sec, both at €5 a glass, and the staff are happy to let you taste...

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Bonne nouvelle

In the 3rd • Andy Wahloo

Andy Wahloo is a hip little bar that channels the king of pop art, Andy Warhol, through a Moroccan village (wahloo meaning ‘I have nothing’ in Arabic). In a pretty private building in the Marais owned by the Mazouz brothers, this kitsch alternative bar fits in nicely with its trendy neighbouring restaurants Le Derrière and Le 404. It’s decorated with kitchen supplies from 70s Moroccan homes – paint pots as poufs, washing powder packets papering the walls – and there’s a lovely tree-lined courtyard...

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The Marais

In the 4th • Le Sherry Butt

A welcome compromise between Saint-Germain’s pullulating cocktail bars and the ultra-cool hipster hangouts of Bastille. Behind a discreet façade on a little Marais side street, Sherry Butt (whose young owners Amaury and Cathleen previously worked at Prescription Cocktails Club and Curio Parlour) hides two spacious long rooms filled with studded leather couches, huge mirrors and dim lighting. The space echoes the simultaneously relaxed and classy atmosphere of the best New York bars. Come here for top cocktails mixed by expert hands...

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The Marais

In the 5th • Le Teddy's Bar

Bars often show gregarious instincts, clustering together on one street. Exhibit A, the Rue Mouffetard, which seethes with Sorbonne students, college kids and tourists who pounce on anything beer-shaped after or between classes. Among the many bars strewn around here, we particularly like Teddy’s for its choice of beers and cocktails, its interminable happy hours (from 3.30pm til 8pm) and for its welcoming, low-key atmosphere. It’s good to curl up in the sofas and have one’s back tickled by...

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5th arrondissement

In the 6th • La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels

Forget cheap plonk – both drinks and food here are nothing but the best. Behind the big bar of this dimly-lit dive, staff from the Experimental Cocktail Club, the Curio Parlor and Prescription have abandoned their mixers for straightforward bottles of red, white and pink. The result is a lovely, intimate wine bar, dotted with sofas and cosy corners. The wine list has more than 3,000 bottles listed, and to go with the booze, there are some first class things like burrata, prosciutto al tartufo, truffles and fine cheeses. The service is friendly if occasionally overstretched...

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Odéon

In the 7th • Brasserie Thoumieux

Brasserie Thoumieux is a laid-back destination for cocktails, tapas and big-screen sport. Banquettes snake around the room, and spiky Aztec-pattern lamps light up the faces of the pretty young locals who have made this place their own. The flavoured vodkas are delicious, with unusual flavours including vanilla, caramel and banana; just watch out for the treacherous, extra-high bar stools (the banquettes are definitely the safest option to avoid accidents) and the monstrous, pebble-dashed sink in the toilets...

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South-west Paris

In the 8th • Charlie Birdy – Boétie

A stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysées, this enormous pub is a cross between a New York loft and a colonial gentleman’s club, attracting many a tourist and ex-pat. There’s a regular programme of jazz, blues, folk and funk gigs with reasonable prices for the area, and it has the distinct advantage of staying open until 5am daily. For live concerts, or to follow football and rugby matches on giant screens, you hang out on comfortable Chesterfield sofas...

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Champs-Élysées

In the 9th • Le Brébant

The change that continues to sweep the Grands Boulevards is embodied in this prominent, round-the-clock bar-bistro. There’s a permanently busy terrace below a colourful stripy awning, and the cavernous, split-level interior has a cool neo-industrial feel. Prices are steep, so push the boat out and opt for an expertly made fruit daiquiri, or a Bonne Nouvelle of Bombay Sapphire gin and Pisang Ambon. There are rarer bottled beers too – Monaco, Picon and various brews from Brabant. A board advertises a decent range of proper eats: burger-frites (€15) and so on...

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Les Halles

In the 10th • Comptoir Général

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 huge greenhouse...

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Canal Saint Martin
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