Bars in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Odéon and the Latin Quarter

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Café de Flore

Café de Flore Time Out, Oliver Knight

Café de Flore

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 4/4

Bourgeois locals crowd the terrace tables at lunch, eating club sandwiches with knives and forks as anxious waiters frown at couples with pushchairs or single diners occupying tables for four. This historic café, former HQ of the Lost Generation intelligentsia, attracts tourists and, yes, celebrities from time to time. But a café crème is €4.60, and the omelettes and croque-monsieurs are best eschewed in favour of the better dishes on the menu (€15-€25). There are play readings on Mondays and philosophy debates on the first Wednesday of the month, at 8pm, in English.

  1. 172 boulevard Saint-Germain, 6e
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Café Laurent

Café Laurent Fabrice Rambert

Café Laurent

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 4/4

There are few cafés as deeply anchored in musical and literary history as Café Laurent. Opened by François Laurent in 1690, several generations of influential people have rested their elbows on the counter. Fontenelle, Voltaire and Rousseau all came here to discover 'l’eau de café' or Indian tea. The place is also remarkable for its clientele of distinguished intellectuals from the 20th century, including the musicians and philosophers of the Nouvelle Vague. In the post-WW1 years, where jazz was the order of the day and the avant-gardistes were unleashing existentialism, Café Laurent was rebaptised le Café Tabou and counted amongst its regulars Sartre, Queneau, Camus and Mauriac who used it as their headquarters. These days, the place is frequented by the chic clientele of the quartier. Hidden on the ground floor of the luxury hotel l’Aubusson, the café also puts on jazz concerts on Wednesday and Saturday.With upholstered seats, sumptuous curtain and a grand piano, the menu – and the prices – match the elegance of the décor. Come here to enjoy the most sophisiticated, historic side of Saint-Germain, but only if you're willing to pay for it.

  1. 33 rue Dauphine, 6e
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© Chloé Chester

Café Mabillon

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Open 22 hours out of every 24, Café Mabillon is a lounge bar in the heart of Saint-Germain that's generally populated by well-heeled locals. In the daytime, the large terrace attracts passers-by in search of a rest stop in the sun. A glass of Chablis in hand, sunglasses in place whatever the weather, one is here to see and be seen. When happy hour commences, the golden youth take over the leather banquettes to sip cocktails. For those wanting a light snack, you can get a croque-monsieur or a salade de chèvre chaud or cheeseburger at any time, even if for rather overinflated prices. It is one of the few places still open at 4am in the morning so it’s an excellent refuge for a place to fill up after a big night out.

  1. 164 boulevard Saint-Germain, 6e
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Caveau de la Huchette

Caveau de la Huchette

Caveau de la Huchette

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

This medieval cellar has been a mainstay for over 60 years. Jazz shows are followed by early-hours performances in a swing, rock, soul or disco vein.

  1. 5 rue de la Huchette, 5e
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Caveau des légendes

Caveau des légendes DR

Caveau des Légendes

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Walking down rue Jacob is like stepping back in time. Filled with discreet luxury hotels and charming old-fashioned bookshops, this little historic street is also home to Caveau des Légendes. This hideaway draws impressive names like René Urtreger and Peter King, representing jazz from the 1950s to the present day. When a suit of knight’s armour greets you at the door, you’re already swept up in a thing of legend and fantasy. At the bottom of the stairs, through a heavy oak door, lies a medieval tavern lit by iron lanterns hung from a vaulted ceiling and candelabras on the stone walls. You’d think you were in a medieval castle. It all sets the perfect mood for their clairvoyant nights on Wednesdays, when a glimpse of your future will give you a shiver as your Tarot cards are dealt. Musicians take over the baby grand piano tucked into an alcove for musical and cabaret nights, and the space lends itself equally well to plays. Check out their calendar of events to learn more.

  1. 22 rue Jacob, 6e
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Caveau des Oubliettes

Caveau des Oubliettes

Caveau des Oubliettes

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  • Free

A foot-tapping frenzy echoes in this medieval dungeon, complete with instruments of torture, a guillotine and underground passages. Mondays are Pop Rock Jam nights with the JB Manis Trio, Tuesdays are Jazz Jam Boogaloo nights with Jeff Hoffman, and there are various other jam sessions during the rest of the week.

  1. 52 rue Galande, 5e
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Cavern Club © C. Griffoulières - Time Out Paris

Cavern Club © C. Griffoulières - Time Out Paris © C. Griffoulières - Time Out Paris

Le Cavern Club

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

A good bet near Ile de la Cité and Saint-Germain, the Cavern Club is an easygoing venue without pretensions: in an area where the rents are the most expensive in Paris, €8 cocktails can be had for €3.50 during happy hour – though made with ‘value’ alcohol, they’re mixed with taste and a generous hand, like a Berry Cooler (vodka, amaretto, cranberry juice), the June Bug (white rum, melon liqueur, banana, pineapple juice, lime) or the Chimayo (tequila, crème de cassis, apple juice), plus good renditions of jazz standards like mojitos and piña coladas. If you want to stick with premium booze, those cocktails aren’t counted in the happy hour. There’s a beautiful big old bar in the entrance, exposed beams and trendy patterned wallpaper – what’s more, at the back of the bar and down a staircase is the cavern that gives the place its name: a huge vaulted basement with a second bar and stage where they put on pop, rock, folk and chanson française of an evening, as well as electro house DJs and, every Wednesday at 8.30pm, improv theatre skits from La Muse Hante group. The final sell: it closes at dawn, so is one to choose for evenings you don’t want to end, especially in this area that tends to be dead after dark. The full events programme is available here.

  1. 21 rue Dauphine, 6e
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Chez Castel

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 4/4

'J’aime les filles, de chez Castel...' sang Jacques Dutronc at a time when Jean Castel and Régine were the kings of Parisian nightlife back in the 1960s. Since the days of the Beat generation, this mythical club has seen the cream of the crop of the Parisian cultural scene, who have come to slum it here in this labyrinthine bar set over three floors of free-flowing champagne. Françoise Hardy, Françoise Sagan, Jean-Pierre Cassel and Mick Jagger have all graced the bar, as well as Frédéric Beigbeder, Edouard Baer and ​​Hermine de Clermont-Tonnerre. At the end of 2010, almost ten years after the death of owner Jean Castel, the club-restaurant underwent a major facelift: no more faded red velvet and gilded cherubs above art-deco leather banquettes; the red frontage was repainted black, the dancefloor in the basement was enlarged and the restaurant has a new chef.

  1. 15 rue Princesse, 6e
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© Emmanuel Chirache

© Emmanuel Chirache

Chez Georges

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This is one of Time Out's 100 best bars in Paris. Click here to see the full list. Don’t expect to get out of here without splashes of wine on your shirt. Hidden in the heart of the snooty neighbourhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, evenings in this vaulted stone wine cellar mix hip students with the hoi polloi in a glorious jumble. Everyone dances up close, getting up on the tables when there’s no room on the floor, and they drink, they clink glasses, and they sing at the top of their voices.Chez Georges has been an institution since 1952. Few wine cellars like this are left today – Georges keeps the charm of old with nicotine-stained photos of forgotten celebrities and a promotional Raphaël Quinquina clock, as outmoded as the spirit it advertises, which was in fashion some time in the last century. In the torpor of the afternoon, its ‘tick-tock’ punctuates the silence of the regulars’ chess games. When evening comes, don’t be discouraged by the crowds – sometimes you just have to wait a little to get down into the cellar.

  1. 11 rue des Canettes, 6e
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© Kristen Pelou

La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4

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, but always ready to guide you through the menu. The clientele is varied, but always well turned out.It’s not necessarily the place for a big night out, but perfect for a civilised evening; just beware of running up quite a bill. The menu performs leaps and bounds from €6 to €80 a glass, and from €20 to €4,000 a bottle. But even if you don’t have four months’ rent to spare, the lower end of the selection is worth looking in to. This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.

  1. 7 rue Lobineau, 6e
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Connolly's Corner

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This is one of Time Out's 100 best bars in Paris. Click here to see the full list. The oldest Irish pub on the left bank, and one of the three oldest in Paris. Unlike many of its blander contemporaries, Connolly’s Corner could almost be mistaken for an authentic Dublin tavern. It’s squirrelled away on the Rue Mouffetard, an area that counts plenty of soulless pubs, so happy are those who find it, for it’s said to serve the best Guinness in Paris. There are also innumerable excellent whiskies decorating the shelf behind the bar.No one wears their Sunday best here. It’s just the regulars, a few passing students, and connoisseurs who know that the venue hosts darts tournaments and concerts and, what’s more, a magnificent collection of ties. This is thanks to the tradition (now abandoned) requiring anyone wearing a tie to cut it off and offer it up to the proprietor. Happy hour runs from 4pm to 8pm, which gives you time for multiple pints of Guinness, thoroughly testing that ‘best in town’ claim.

  1. 12 rue de Mirbel, 5e
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Le Crocodile

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

This is one of Time Out's 100 best bars in Paris. Click here to see the full list. 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 bar is always packed), but that’s just part of the rambunctious atmosphere. In this slightly cramped tavern, we like the vintage posters and the crowded tables. And so what if we’re squeezed? The music is good, the service decent and the laughter free. The crowd is very mixed, from students to tourists to bohos – everyone comes to test out the Crocodile’s cocktails.

  1. 6 rue Royer-Collard, 5e
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 © Elsa Pereira

© Elsa Pereira

Le Bar Dix

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This is one of Time Out's 100 best bars in Paris. Click here to see the full list. This local dive has been miraculously preserved (in sangria) since 1955. You’d be hard put to find something more ‘real’ than this tiny venue – more of a musty-smelling cave covered with posters and a patina of nicotine. Its clients occupy their time slipping Euros into the slot of the collector’s jukebox, awakening it to play tunes from the era of Goldman, Brassens and Ferré. The moustachioed barmen are frequently gruff but always charming, mostly there to rein in clients whose carousing threatens to compete with the music, and to mop up spillages of the house sangria as the evening wears on. The menu is much as you’d expect: apart from a few bottled beers and chorizo and cheese sandwiches, you’ll mostly be ordering sangria or sangria. But it’s good and fruity and cheap, and we all keep coming back for more.

  1. 10 rue de l'Odéon, 6e
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J'Go

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

As its name suggests, J'Go (pronounced gigot) is all about lamb - well, meat of various kinds, actually: a buzzing Toulouse-style wine bar in the Marché St-Germain by day, it becomes a rôtisserie at meal times, serving its speciality spit-roasted lamb from Quercy, black pig from Bigorre, and whole roasted chickens. The €36 set menu is well worth the splurge, offering a whole jar of pâté, a giant bowl of salad, and lamb with creamy stewed haricots blancs. If you'd rather stick to wine and tapas, sidle up to one of the great wooden barrels, choose your poison (blindly if necessary - at €4 a glass all wines are good) and share a plate of charcuterie or foie gras tartines (€10).

  1. Rue Clément, 6e
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La Mezzanine de l'Alcazar

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 4/4

The stylish, Conran-owned Mezzanine is the upstairs posher sister of the Wagg, which is intended to be a clubbier venue. Naturally, both have become well-heeled hangouts, but the Mezzanine remains the venue of choice for the suited and booted.

  1. 62 rue Mazarine, 6e
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Le Montana

Le Montana DR

Le Montana

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 4/4

It's hard to believe any place could out-hype Le Baron, and yet this exclusive club manages it. Revamped by über-cool graphic artist André, Le Montana is a VIP magnet - Lenny Kravitz, Vanessa Bruno and Kate Moss have all hit the floor here since the relaunch. The biggest challenge is getting through the door.

  1. 28 rue Saint-Benoît, 6e
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© DR

© DR

Moose Bar & Grill

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

For those bored of overpriced cafés and unfriendly waiters, the Moose is a great alternative. This Canadian sports bar serves a vast selection of beers and even some organic Australian wines. A friendly atmosphere and delicious burgers make the Moose a great place to kick off the evening.

  1. 16 rue des Quatre Vents, 6e
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La Palette

La Palette (c) Olivia Rutherford

La Palette

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

This is one of Time Out's 100 best bars in Paris. Click here to see the full list. La Palette is the café-bar of choice for the beau-est of the Beaux-Arts students who study at the venerable institution around the corner. Don’t be surprised if you stumble across young couples stealing kisses in the wonderfully preserved art deco back room, perhaps overcome by the art on the walls and the sprit of decadence. And perhaps trying to distract themselves from the prices: a glass of Chablis here sets you back €6, a demi €4.50. But you’re paying for the vintage of the place as much as the drinks; these premises were once frequented by Jim Morrison, Picasso and Ernest Hemingway. Grab a spot on the leafy terrace if you can – there's formidable competition for seats.

  1. 43 rue de Seine, 6e
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Le Pantalon

Le Pantalon ©Emmanuel Chirache

Le Pantalon

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

A local café that seems familiar yet is utterly surreal. It has the standard fixtures, including the old soaks at the bar - but the regulars and staff are enough to tip the balance firmly into eccentricity. Friendly and funny French grown-ups and foreign students chat in a variety of languages; drinks are cheap enough to make you tipsy without the worry of a cash hangover.

  1. 7 rue Royer-Collard, 5e
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© Emmanuel Chirache

© Emmanuel Chirache

Le Requin Chagrin

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This is one of Time Out's 100 best bars in Paris. Click here to see the full list. ‘Requin Chagrin’, or the ‘narked shark’, actually comes from Réunion creole slang, meaning ‘old prostitute’. At the Requin Chagrin, broke students laugh with pleasure as, unlike at the other bars in the area, having a few drinks here won’t break the bank. The cosy wooden bar is filled with tall round tables where students sip on pints of Guinness, Hoegaarden or Grimberger from a wide selection – a ‘tasting platter’ of a dozen beers is only €12. One could also opt for a whiskey, house cocktail, or rum punch (another nod to the West Indies?). On game nights, large screens are set up throughout the bar, and the atmosphere instantly changes, hoots and hollers filling the air. A second room in the basement houses a U-shaped bar, which encourages spontaneous conversation and making new friends. The décor is constantly changing based on the night’s festivities, such as sports games, parties, etc. On weekends, the Requin Chagrin welcomes after-hours drinkers with a 4am closing time. In the summer, there’s a small, pleasant terrace that overlooks the charming pedestrian square, Place de la Contrescarpe, and its bubbling fountain.

  1. 10 rue Mouffetard, 5e
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Le Rostand

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Le Rostand has a truly wonderful view of the Jardins du Luxembourg from its classy interior, decked out with Oriental paintings, a long mahogany bar and wall-length mirrors. It's a terribly well-behaved place and you should definitely consider arriving in fur or designer sunglasses if you want to fit in with the regulars. The drinks list is lined with whiskies and cocktails, pricey but not as steep as the brasserie menu. Still, with a heated terrace in winter, it's perfect for a civilised drink after a quick spin round the gardens.

  1. 6 place Edmond Rostand, 6e
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Le Violon Dingue

  • Rated as: 2/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Le Violon Dingue is not recommended for those with a delicate constitution. Numerous plasma screens show American sports championships, the place smells of beer and the clientele is mainly eighteen year olds from the local lycée gyrating madly on the dancefloor at the back, accompanied by a few tipsy Anglo students and the occasional lost tourist. Stick to pints of beer rather than the lethal cocktails (happy hour is 8pm-10pm) and if you’re over 25 to skip it altogether. Still, if you want to relive your Erasmus year or if it’s after 2am you could stop by, as it’s open until 4 or 5am and is always crowded. Entry is free for girls and the bouncer is very selective about the boys, who must pay €10 for the dancefloor, which is always heaving even at 3am.

  1. 46 rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, 5e
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Piano Vache © C. Griffoulières - Time Out Paris

Piano Vache © C. Griffoulières - Time Out Paris © C. Griffoulières - Time Out Paris

Le Piano Vache

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

A useful address in the 5th arrondissement, where the majority of bars sport plasma screens and are filled with tourists, the Piano Vache is a relaxed student bar with a great happy hour from 6pm-9pm. On the walls, thousands of posters have built up over the years, forming a sort of living wallpaper interspersed with student ID photos. Other random collected objects can be found in the gloom, like the old piano overlooked by a stuffed cow’s head that gives the place its name. The enormous venue includes three bars, and everywhere are huge wooden tables of the sort that your elbows stick to. Come here for the relaxed atmosphere and the regular programme of themed nights: Monday is live jazz manouche, Tuesday ’80s night, Wednesday is Goth, Thursday ‘after work’, and Friday and Saturday rock, punk and pop.

  1. 8 rue Laplace, 5e
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Prescription Cocktail club

Prescription Cocktail club SIMONA BELOTTI

Prescription Cocktails Club

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4

This stylish 1930s-style speakeasy has a retro Prohibition feel but remains severely Left Bank, with crowds of well-dressed people sipping on cocktails by candlelight. It's always busy and almost impossible to navigate on weekends. But come at the start of the night for a relaxing vibe.

  1. 23 rue Mazarine, 6e
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© Chloé Chester

La Taverne de Cluny

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Just yards from Saint-Michel, this British pub with a French twist has become a popular hangout for French and international students alike. The cosy bar comes complete with a small stage where a regular programme of jazz manouche, pop and rock keep things interesting. Every Tuesday and Wednesday there are jam sessions, and beer lovers will be delighted by the offerings both on tap (Guinness, Carlsberg, Leffe, Blanche, Desperados) and by the bottle (Gueuze Belle-vue, Kriek, Chimay, Trappiste d'Orval, Trappiste de Rochefort, Duvel). La Taverne also offers sandwiches, croque-monsieurs, cheeseburgers, salads and steaks all day long.

  1. 51 rue de la Harpe, 5e
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© Emmanuel Chirache

© Emmanuel Chirache

Le Teddy's Bar

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This is one of Time Out's 100 best bars in Paris. Click here to see the full list. 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 the leopard-skin-covered walls while sipping the beer of the month, be it a cold Bavaroise or a Trappist Belgian variety.  While you’re doing that, the student regulars will be seeking out the pub cat, René, who’s possessed of his own Facebook page, René Miaou, with 230 friends. René used to hang out at the bar next door, the Descartes, but he moved to Teddy’s and we know why – it’s hard to beat as a venue for being caressed and pampered by pretty girls. You could always try and give him a run for his money.

  1. 3 rue Thouin, 5e
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Wagg

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Refurbished as part of the Conran makeover of the Mezzanine upstairs, Wagg went through a period of attracting big-name DJs, but has settled down as home to a well-to-do Left Bank crowd. Expect funk, house and disco, plus salsa lessons on Sundays.

  1. 62 rue Mazarine, 6e
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