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Drink List 3

The 50 best bars in Paris right now

It may be Europe’s foodie capital – but that’s not all. The best bars in Paris show this city’s very much a drink destination too

By Houssine Bouchama, Tina Meyer and Huw Oliver
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We all know Paris has a decent rep when it comes to food. You might even say it’s Europe’s gastronomic capital – just walk down any road off the Place de la Bastille and that should become quite clear. But it’s only recently that this city’s turned into one of the coolest places to drink, too. Thanks to the dozens of speciality wine bars, craft beer dens and cocktail temples cropping up in nightlife hotspots Pigalle and Strasbourg Saint-Denis, Paris’s drinking scene has quietly become one of the best and most diverse in the world. 

The trouble, as ever, is knowing where to start. So from mixologists reviving old-school French spirits to oenologists equipped to choose a bottle to suit your mood, these are the Paris bars we think should go straight in at the top of your boozy bucket list. Cheers, or as the French say, tchin-tchin!

Drank somewhere on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDrinkList. You can also find out more about how Time Out makes recommendations and reviews bars here.

Best bars in Paris

Le Syndicat
Photograph: Remi Guenaire

1. Le Syndicat

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Strasbourg-Saint-Denis

What’s the deal? World-class mixology with a bleu, blanc, rouge focus in the heart of the coolest neighbourhood in town

What should I drink? You can’t beat the Nevez old fashioned with Breton whiskey and chouchen, a kind of mead.

A cocktail bar like Le Syndicat is hard to come by. It may look scrappy from the outside but once you’re in, you couldn’t imagine anywhere more hospitable. The excellent cocktail list hits the fashionable vintage spot, with little-known French liquors (cognacs, Armagnacs, eaux de vie and more) combined in ace contemporary concoctions by faultlessly attentive staff. Sit back and soak up the casual speakeasy atmosphere and hip-hop soundtrack.

2. Billili

What’s the deal? An understated wine bar run by the same folk as top-rated bistro Les Arlots

What should I drink? A glass of the white Aurièges 2016 (Domaine du Clovallon). 

With its central bar and huge bay windows overlooking the street, Billili certainly looks simple. But from grub to plonk, the menu belies initial impressions. The house terrine is smooth and indulgent yet punchily flavourful, the chocolate mousse gloriously dense and textured. Best of all is the wine list, cannily curated by sommelier Tristan, whose out-there tastes shine through – and quite frequently dazzle. No reservations; it’s first come, first served. 

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Photograph: Combat

3. Combat

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars 19e arrondissement

What’s the deal? Cocktails just metres from the best views in the city (atop the Parc de Belleville). 

What should I drink? A Bérégovoy with 30&40 calvados, Ferrand cognac, Madeira Verdelho, Dry Ferrand curaçao and Scrappy’s orange bitters.

The whitewashed walls and private green alcove make Combat feel super-welcoming and peaceful. Elena Schmitt, Margot Lecarpentier and barmaid Elise Drouet (all of whom are ex-Experimental Cocktail Club) serve mightily fragrant and well-balanced cocktails. Don’t miss the snacks, such as terrine with gherkins and Thierry Breton’s pain de campagne.

Photograph: L’Avant Comptoir du Marché

4. L’Avant Comptoir du Marché

Bars and pubs Tapas bars Odéon

What’s the deal? Yves Camdeborde’s latest opening serves porky small plates paired with local wines. 

What should I drink? A glass of Nord-Aveyron red.

In the kingdom of chefs, pig is king – or so goes the slogan of our favourite southwestern French chef, Yves Camdeborde, who’s just opened this much-hyped bar-restaurant (hot on the heels of L’Avant Comptoir de la Mer and Le Comptoir du Relais). A love letter to pork, the gourmet small plates are best washed down with one of the superb wines from independent producers, such as a 2014 Montrieux from the Loire. 

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Cravan
Photograph: Cravan

5. Cravan

What’s the deal? Whether you’re more in the mood for coffee or a cocktail, you’ll get a good taste of old Paris here.

What should I drink? The Tunnel, the house twist on the negroni. 

The main reason drinkers come here isn’t for the booze, but the surroundings – a listed Art Nouveau building that recalls a bygone age when the city was synonymous with cutting-edge artistry and lots and lots of drinking. There’s a handful of good speakeasies in this city, but to get a real sense of vieux Paris (where, uh, Prohibition wasn’t a thing), this is where to head. 

Lulu White
Photograph: Time Out

6. Lulu White

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Saint-Georges

What’s the deal? A sumptuous art deco bar, named after a New Orleans brothel procuress. 

What should I drink? The speciality here is absinthe-laced cocktails – so go for one of those.

Nestled on Rue Frochot with a discreet windowless façade, Lulu White’s only marker is a small brass engraving of its namesake taken from a 1920s mug shot. Caught between two very different worlds (the sex shops of the Boulevard de Clichy and South Pigalle’s gourmet restaurants), Lulu White belongs to neither; indeed, with its all-English staff and turn-of-the century décor, the bar is truly a world apart. Like its lush interior, Lulu White’s cocktail menu is both extravagant and select. Go for anything with absinthe. 

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Photograph: Septime La Cave

7. Septime La Cave

Bars and pubs Wine bars Roquette

What’s the deal? One for oenophiles (and anyone with time to spare before a meal at Septime next door). 

What should I drink? A glass of Fleur Sauvage Jouret.

A superb selection of wines, delectable smoked meats on toast and a cosy environment: all are yours at Septime’s annex bar. La Cave is just as glamorous as its big sister, but the prices aren’t as prohibitive. Sample the rotating selection of five whites and five reds by the glass (between €4.50 and €8).

Photograph: Clément Leriche

8. Les Trois 8

Bars and pubs Ménilmontant

What’s the deal? Think you know your craft beer? Think again. 

What should I drink? Any of the rotating beers on draught.

Les Trois 8 opened after a renovation in 2013 with a new remit to match its fresh look: instead of cheap lager on tap, its clientele would henceforth sip craft beers and organic wine. Choose between around eight brews, ranging from the moderately bitter Northmaen Blonde (€4.50 a pint) to the dark and stormy Kernel Export India Porter (€9.50). If beer feels like religion at Les Trois 8, heretics are tolerated – a decent range of wines are also available. 

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Photograph: Bisou

9. Bisou

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Le Marais

What’s the deal? Watch a mixology master improv at a bar where sustainability comes first. 

What should I drink? Name your favourite spices, herbs and flavours, and let the bartenders design away. 

A few strides from the bustling Rue Oberkampf, on Boulevard du Temple, sits the eye-catching Bisou. There’s no menu, but behind the sublime marble bar is mixologist Nicolas who, with just a word in the right direction, will shake up a concoction to suit your fancies. The cocktails are high-flying, and even better, Bisou takes a sustainable approach by only using produce that’s locally sourced and 100 percent organic. 

Photograph: La Mezcaleria

10. La Mezcaleria

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Le Marais

What’s the deal? Mexico-sur-Seine. 

What should I drink? A Hot Mexican (mezcal infused with tarragon, spicy Suze, Spanish Bitter and lemon).

Mezcal is slowly becoming the drink du jour in Paris – helped in no small part by La Mezcaleria, a clandestine bar hidden behind the kitchen of Hotel 1K’s Peruvian restaurant. Sneak your way inside and you’ll find a bright, buzzing space with a glass ceiling and Mexican-inspired décor. The drinks menu offers an assortment of heady mezcal shots, cocktails and snacks like homemade guacamole and chips. 

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Cambridge Public House
Photograph: Joris Allardon

11. Cambridge Public House

What’s the deal? A British-themed gastropub thronging with a young Parisian crowd.

What should I drink? The punchy Funk Attack (€13), with fermented milk, lemon and kombu seaweed infused with Citadelle gin.

Its obscure paintings, quaint curtains, green lampshades and the piano in the corner certainly give off a homey atmosphere, and the Cambridge’s friendly staff in workers’ overalls will make you feel even more at ease. Happily, the three Brits behind this ‘London-style’ gastropub only work with local producers and sustainable spirit brands – so you can also feel good while you drink. 

Déviant
Photograph: Jean Picon

12. Déviant

What’s the deal? Eat well, drink well, go away happy. 

What should I drink? A natural wine like the easy-going Hanami de Bobinet (€26 a bottle), or the rare orange Steinert 2016 by Pierre Frick.

They’re only 25 and 30 respectively, but Pierre Touitou and Arnaud Lacombe’s second address (after the brilliant Vivant, two doors down) has already gained a reputation that defies their age and experience. Here, everything is stripped back to basics: there are no chairs, no tables, not even a proper entrance. A bar and kitchen really are all you need when the drinks and dishes are this good. 

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Fréquence
Photograph: Fréquence

13. Fréquence

What’s the deal? Cocktails paired with Motown and reggae. 

What should I drink? The smoky, acidic Fernando Sancho (€12), with mezcal, aquavit, orange syrup and lime.

If you’re a music fan and don’t mind a drink, there are few better places than this. The sound here is excellent, the bar’s lined with perusable soul and reggae vinyls, and come the evening dancing feels almost obligatory. Gregory Isaacs deep cuts and smoky mezcal make for an intoxicating mix. 

Photograph: Martin

14. Martin

What’s the deal? Modish nearby stores Merci and Ami draw a chic crowd. 

What should I drink? The Plymouth (€14), with gin, capers, lemon zest and tonic.

Even if it does skirt the Marais’s chicest shopping areas, Martin has remained grounded. With its exposed beams, stone walls and low-lit main space, the only trend this Boulevard Beaumarchais hangout follows is design comme à la maison – and that makes it all the cosier. It’s run by the exuberant Loïc Martin, formerly a bartender at top restaurant Au Passage.

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Photograph: Rosa Bonheur

15. Rosa Bonheur

Bars and pubs Wine bars Buttes-Chaumont

What’s the deal? Come summer, the terrace is the funnest (and liveliest) in the capital. 

What should I drink? A glass of rosé.

Bucolic delights reign at Rosa Bonheur, a bar set in a former guinguette in the heart of the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. The bar is managed by Michelle Cassaro, aka Mimi, who used to run lesbian club Pulp – and the bar is a popular among the lesbian crowd, especially on Sundays. But the Bonheur is relaxed in every sense, and for Parisians of all persuasions, its terrace is the place to see and be seen in summer.

Cave à Michel
Photograph: La Cave à Michel

16. La Cave à Michel

Bars and pubs Wine bars 10e arrondissement

What’s the deal? An old-school wine cellar with a huge personality. 

What should I drink? A glass of Cheverny (Clé de sol, 2014).

Simple and rustic, the Cave à Michel wine cellar oozes charm. Portuguese azulejos tiles brighten the wooden countertop and tables, and outside you’ll find a small courtyard. Welcoming and chatty, manager Fabrice is a crucial part of the package, inviting passers-by in with gusto.  

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Castor Club
Photograph: Castor Club

17. Castor Club

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Saint-Michel

What’s the deal? Go back in time to Prohibition-era America (and dance to R‘n’B while you’re at it). 

What should I drink? The Turkish Delight (strong Peruvian pisco, acacia gum, pistachio cream, lemon and cardamom).

Castor Club’s discreet frontage, elegant old lampshades and wealth of log-cabin wooden panelling create an aesthetic reminiscent of the speakeasy bars of Prohibition-era America. Often busy, the bar plays a mix of Nashville pop and country from the ’50s and ’60s while customers try out the eclectic range of house cocktails. Downstairs, a funkier R‘n’B playlist gets a cheery crowd writhing in a dance-friendly bar space, while others chat away in the cosy candlelight.

Photograph: Les Cuves de Fauve

18. Les Cuves de Fauve

What’s the deal? A bar and microbrewery that’s ideal for a group drink.

What should I drink? Any of the beers brewed in-house. 

Blending bar, bistro and microbrewery, Les Cuves de Fauve is worth going to simply to sample its 16 draught beers. The setting, too, is light and pleasant, with its brick and concrete walls, neon signs and ample shrubbery. The bartenders are helpful. And just to top it all off, young chef Oscar Verlant (formerly of Frenchie and Apicius) serves up 15 or so exquisite dishes that slip down really rather easily.

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Photograph: Danico

19. Danico

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars 2e arrondissement

What’s the deal? Creative cocktails near the dramatic covered passages in the centre. 

What should I drink? The Kota Ternate, with rum, pineapple, lemon, tea, whey and spices.

Hidden behind the temple to pizza that is Daroco lurks Danico, a trendy Brooklyn-style bar complete with high ceilings, green velvet armchairs, a black-and-white marble bar and ’80s soundtrack. The mixology team, led by Nico de Soto (formerly of Experimental Club, but with training at New York’s Mace too), pushes conventional cocktail boundaries. From matcha to marshmallow to bacon, this menu will leave you totally baffled (but delighted all the same). 

Photograph: Outland

20. Outland

What’s the deal? A site of pilgrimage for self-respecting beer-ficionados.

What should I drink? The house Murica IPA

This collaboration between beer bar Trois 8 (further up this list) and Parisian micro-brewery Outland is a match made in hoppy heaven. The beer is great, of course, but they get bonus points for the appealing décor, too. The immense central bar recalls an old-school American taproom.

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La Fontaine de Belleville
Photograph: La Fontaine de Belleville

21. La Fontaine de Belleville

Restaurants Cafés 10e arrondissement

What’s the deal? Feels like an old-school Parisian café; tastes like the future. 

What should I drink? A Deck & Donohue craft beer.

Going on looks, this could be any old-style Parisian café, but the Fontaine de Belleville’s founders have switched things up. No more crap beer, bitter coffee or sub-par sandwiches; these are ethical, artisanal products at their best. There are craft beers from the surrounding area, including Deck & Donohue in Montreuil and Outland in Fontenay-sous-Bois, and, of course, coffee from the Belleville Brûlerie itself. 

Aux Deux Amis / Emmanuel Chirache
Photograph: Aux Deux Amis

22. Aux Deux Amis

Restaurants French Folie-Méricourt

What’s the deal? Sociable, elbow-to-elbow drinking on Paris’s trendiest drinking drag.

What should I drink? Any of the natural wines chosen by David Vincent-Loyola, formerly of Le Chateaubriand

At this Rue Oberkampf hangout, you can (read: have to) chat with your neighbours while good-naturedly knocking into each other, wine and beers in hand. Food-wise, you can’t miss the melting ‘Tortilla de Janine’, but then again the princely acorn-fed ham with grilled almonds and the brilliant house mozzarella are also tempting. The setting for all this? Tiled walls and floors, ’70s neon lighting, a chic clientele and plenty of wine, all 100 percent natural.

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Photograph: Le Mary Céleste

23. Le Mary Céleste

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Le Marais

What’s the deal? Classy cocktails and decent-value oysters. 

What should I drink? A Rain Dog (Amaro, bourbon, mint and lemon) with oysters on the side.  

It would be easy to walk straight past the latest venture from the team behind Candelaria and Le Glass – with its nondescript front door and simple neon sign, the Mary Céleste oyster bar looks more like a neighbourhood pizzeria than one of the buzziest destinations in the Marais. If you fancy a slice of class with your aperitifs, this is where to come.

L'Avant Comptoir de la Mer
Photograph: L’Avant Comptoir de la Mer

24. L’Avant Comptoir de la Mer

Restaurants Seafood Odéon

What’s the deal? A gourmet destination that doubles up as a tip-top wine bar. 

What should I drink? A glass of white with a yellow pollock ceviche.

Another hit for Yves Camdeborde, this follows in the footsteps of his extremely popular Avant Comptoir, but this time focuses on seafood. Like its older sibling, here you eat standing up, and everything happens at the bar – from ordering to getting stuck into quality wines and tapas-style dishes. The barman will give you expert wine recommendations.

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Candelaria
Photograph: Candelaria

25. Candelaria

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Le Marais

What’s the deal? A Mexican-themed speakeasy with effortlessly cool staff. 

What should I drink? The Guêpe Verte (tequila, cucumber, coriander, agave, lime and pepper).

Head to 52 Rue Saintonge, push the small door and walk through the taco joint to a thick curtain at the back. Peer behind it and we challenge you not to be drawn in by surely the Marais’s sleekest cocktail den. The room is large, the light soft and the atmosphere as cosy as it gets. The aproned bartenders are adept multitaskers – smiling, taking orders, making jokes and occasionally busting dance moves.

Photograph: Time Out

26. Little Red Door

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Le Marais

What’s the deal? First-rate cocktails admired by those in the know. 

What should I drink? A Modernismo, with Beefeater gin, nutmeg, champagne, lemon and oxalis.

It’s impossible to miss the Little Red Door’s… little red door, located on Rue Charlot and lit up by slightly gaudy lights in Paris’s uber-chic Marais. It came 11th in the 2017 list of the World’s Best Bars and frankly, we can’t argue. Get comfortable in the intoxicating speakeasy atmosphere and browse the cocktail menu themed around architectural trends.

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Le Perchoir © C. Griffoulières - Time Out Paris
Photograph: Le Perchoir

27. Le Perchoir

Bars and pubs Saint-Ambroise

What’s the deal? Quite simply the best rooftop bar in Paris.

What should I drink? The cocktail of the day. 

This enormously popular bar in Ménilmontant has a huge rooftop with a 360-degree view of the capital. It’s a vast space surrounding a handsome bar, with comfortable sofas strewn with cushions, colourful plants and scented herbs planted in pots around the seats or hung from railings. Watching the sun set over the Sacré-Coeur, glass in hand, under garlands of coloured lights, really is something special. 

Photograph: En Vrac

28. En Vrac

Bars and pubs Wine bars La Chapelle

What’s the deal? A temple to wine where you can fill up your carafe yourself. 

What should I drink? Wine, by the litre(s) of course. 

In a room decorated au naturel, several tables face a massive counter, alongside stainless steel tanks filled with delicious drinks. Arbois le Guinguet, Côtes-du-Rhône from Gramenon and wines from the Rochebin area make up a consistently top-quality list. Bring a group of mates, fill your bottle from one of these fountains of joy and settle in for a session.

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Photograph: Ivan Mathie

29. CopperBay

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Strasbourg-Saint-Denis

What’s the deal? A maritime-themed cocktail bar decked out in wood panelling and ropes. 

What should I drink? The classic Tom Collins. 

The nautical-themed Le CopperBay is a sophisticated and elegant cocktail bar hidden down the quiet Rue Bouchardon. Experienced cocktail crafters Elfi, Julien and Aurélie can serve you a sailor-friendly rum on the rocks, or something a little more adventurous from their mixology menu. 

Chez Ahmmad
Photograph: Chez Ammad

30. Chez Ammad

Bars and pubs Abbesses

What’s the deal? An 18th arrondissement local where you’re guaranteed a hearty welcome.

What should I drink? A pint. 

The bar of Le Grand Hôtel de Clermont has become known as ‘Chez Ammad’, after its proprietor, who has run it for more than 50 years. Ammad and his son lavish a warm welcome on the local clientele of cheery, cheeky, eccentric old regulars from the neighbourhood. You never get bored here, as the locals strike up animated conversation, often while dancing to a jazz and Brazilian funk soundtrack. 

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Mabel bar à cocktails
Photograph: Time Out

31. Mabel

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Réaumur

What’s the deal? A speakeasy that’s not insufferably quirky.

What should I drink? The Nutty By Nature, with peanut-infused rum, spiced maple syrup and Japanese Genmaicha tea.

It’s easy to think you’ve made a wrong turn somewhere when you arrive at cocktail bar Mabel – on the outside, all you can see is a ‘grilled cheese’ café. But slink through to the back room and you’ll find a relaxed, pretence-free speakeasy. The drinks menu here is extensive and shrewdly curated, placing an accent on rums like Botran 15 Reserva, Bristol Caribbean, Barbancourt 3 Star and Chairman’s Reserve, while also offering a healthy selection of whiskys, mezcal and cachaça.  

Le Sherry Butt
Photograph: Le Sherry Butt

32. Sherry Butt

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Le Marais

What’s the deal? Cocktail masters whip up dazzling concoctions in unintimidating surrounds. 

What should I drink? A Shimbashi, with Japanese whisky, Fino sherry and bitters. 

This is a welcome compromise between Saint-Germain’s pullulating cocktail bars and the ultra-cool hangouts around Bastille. Behind a discreet façade on a little Marais side street, Sherry Butt (whose young owners Amaury and Cathleen previously have worked at Prescription Cocktail Club and Curio Parlour) contains two spacious rooms filled with studded leather couches, huge mirrors and dim lighting. Come here for top cocktails mixed by experts, and a distinguished selection of whiskies from all over the world. 

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La Fine Mousse
Photograph: La Fine Mousse

33. La Fine Mousse

Bars and pubs Saint-Ambroise

What’s the deal? Basically a jazz club – but with craft beer. 

What should I drink? A Saison Dupont beer. 

La Fine Mousse is run by a team of ‘bièreologues’ who man the 20 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 staff to help choose from the range that stretches from 5 to 10 percent strength. A major plus is the quality jazz programme: double bass/guitar and piano duos provide an unobtrusive backdrop to the hum of the eclectic clientele.

Photograph: La Commune

34. La Commune

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Belleville

What’s the deal? The sister address of our favourite bar in Paris, Le Syndicat. Enough said. 

What should I drink? The giant bowl of easy-drinking punch.

Slap bang in the heart of Belleville, La Commune is always bursting with punters clamouring for a taste of their amber rum. The famed team behind Le Syndicat have kept to their winning formula: a clandestine shopfront and a hip-hop soundtrack. For about €11 per person, you get your share of a giant silver punch bowl, filled with dangerously drinkable concoctions.

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Photograph: Philippe Levy

35. Serpent à Plume

What’s the deal? Think the Grand Budapest Hotel. 

What should I drink? The Separate But Together, an extravagant mix that’s best sipped in the jacuzzi. 

If Wes Anderson ever passed through Paris – hi Wes, if you’re reading – we’d recommend he go straight to Serpent à Plume. Tucked away beneath the Place des Vosges arcades, this hybrid cocktail bar, book shop, art gallery and pyjama shop (don’t ask) is a winning combination of quirky, kitsch and elegant, just like Anderson’s films. The bar’s downstairs. 

 

Photograph: Le Mansart

36. Le Mansart

Bars and pubs Saint-Georges

What’s the deal? If showy SoPi (South Pigalle) were a bar. 

What should I drink? A pint (but it could cost as much as €8). 

With its large terrace and the small army of young, mustachioed men wearing lumberjack shirts that fill it, Le Mansart wears its hipster credentials proudly – not surprising given its location in the heart of trendy SoPi. Inside it’s packed, with people elbowing each other to get to the bar, and the table football is always a hit. Come early to enjoy the beautiful décor over a quiet glass of wine before it gets busy.

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Photograph: Moonshiner

37. Moonshiner

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Roquette

What’s the deal? A speakeasy with an exemplary drinks selection. 

What should I drink? The Smokey Island, comprising three-year-old Havana rum, vodka, Beefeater gin and a host of heady aromas. 

Make your way through the Pizza Da Vito restaurant and push the metal door of the walk-in fridge. Once inside, peruse Moonshiner’s list of cocktails and whiskies (there are only 83, so shouldn’t take long), as well as the ace selection of bottled and draught beers. Then sit back and settle in for the night. 

Photograph: La Cave de Belleville

38. La Cave de Belleville

Bars and pubs Wine bars 19e arrondissement

What’s the deal? The swish wine bar that, for better or worse, kickstarted the gentrification of the Rue de Belleville. 

What should I drink? A bottle of white shared between friends. 

With its midnight blue façade, smiling service, elegant windows, hams and sausages suspended from the ceiling and well-ordered shelves of bottles, wine bar and deli La Cave de Belleville is a seriously classy outfit. The staff will help with pairings, and while not a cut-price dégustation, the experience is well worth it.

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Photograph: L’Entrée des Artistes Pigalle

39. L'Entrée des Artistes Pigalle

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Saint-Georges

What’s the deal? Part New York loft, part jazz club. 

What should I drink? A Psilo with tequila, mezcal, salt and lemon, garnished with wild coriander.

Look through the façade of greenery and you’ll see a discreet sign that reads, ‘L’Entree des Artistes’. Inside is an art deco duplex that’s somewhere between a loft and jazz club. Cocktails are all mixed with homemade syrups and infusions and wines are well chosen from small natural producers. On weekends, you can dance to American pop until almost sunrise as the bar stays open until 5am.

L'Ours Bar
Photograph: Tom Sanslaville

40. L’Ours Bar

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Poissonnière

What’s the deal? An elegant bar with unusually low prices. 

What should I drink? The Grand Ours, with Chartreuse, rosehip vodka, rosehip syrup and ginger beer.

Of the many venues between Strasbourg Saint-Denis and the Gare de l’Est currently pulling in stylish young drinkers, L’Ours Bar is a standout. If nothing else, it’s good enough to keep its prices down – pints are €5 all day and cocktails €6 at happy hour (5pm-9pm). As well as all the classic mixes you’d expect, there are excellent original cocktails that are worth splashing out for.  

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Bonne Aventure
Photograph: Bonne Aventure

41. Bonne Aventure

What’s the deal? Tip-top tapas and natural wine just beyond the ringroad.

What should I drink? A Cheveau beaujolais that’s fruity, well-rounded and only €6 a glass. 

Sure, we’ve got a decent handful of bars within the boulevard périphérique, but Bonne Aventure shows that sometimes it’s worth venturing 300 metres en banlieue for your aperitifs. Top-quality charcuterie, cheese and other tapas-like dishes are served from 5pm, while Mathias Tenret’s wine list tends towards the natural and biodynamic. Try and bag a spot on the terrace. 

Photograph: Dirty Dick

42. Dirty Dick

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Saint-Georges

What’s the deal? A hostess bar-turned-kitsch ‘tiki’ joint. 

What should I drink? A cocktail featuring one of 55 different rums.

Once a hostess bar (they’ve kept the name, evidently), the Dirty Dick’s only phallic elements these days are the Polynesian totems scattered throughout the bar, which has a kitsch ‘tiki’ vibe. Think luxuriant plants, bamboo furniture, coloured lights, a fumoir full of stuffed animal heads – and lots of free-flowing rum.

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Photograph: Le Lavomatic

43. Le Lavomatic

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars République

What’s the deal? The funnest launderette you’ve ever been to. 

What should I drink? A Drunk in Love, with fruit purée, Maras des Bois strawberries and coriander.

Hidden at the back of a real-life launderette, Le Lavomatic is a classic American-style speakeasy. But there’s no need to hide your drinks here – just kick back with a cocktail and enjoy the cosy, one-of-a-kind setting near République.  

Photograph: Le Très Particulier

44. Le Très Particulier

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Montmartre

What’s the deal? This exclusive bar garden is where to go if you want to feel like a VIP. 

What should I drink? The Égoïste, with thyme and lemon-infused gin, homemade chamomile syrup, pineapple, lemon bitters and smoked tea.

Tucked away behind Montmartre, with rooms priced at €400 a night, the luxurious Hôtel Particulier Montmartre bar is a favourite with in-the-know Parisians. Drinks at this intimate lounge are fresh, handmade and daring without being faddy. In this exclusive garden, it’s hard to believe you’re drinking in central Paris. 

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Sunset
Photograph: Sunset

45. Sunset

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Mairie du 18e

What’s the deal? Excellent French microbrews and cocktails to enjoy en couple or en groupe

What should I drink? A Red Sunset with vodka, brut champagne, peach and grapefruit bitters, peach liqueur, lime and fresh mint.

A large heated terrace, an immense, sociable bar space and a cosy backroom make Sunset a buzzing and versatile hangout, perfect for a date or birthday party. Behind the bar, friendly staff put together a wide range of original cocktails and a short, carefully curated wine list. Beers mostly come from up-and-coming Italian, German and French micro-breweries, like the Myrha Pale Ale from the nearby Goutte d’Or.

Photograph: Fred Jagueneau

46. Le Bar de Biondi

Bars and pubs Tapas bars Folie-Méricourt

What’s the deal? First-rate Argentinian tapas and cocktails. 

What should I drink? An olé pisco with lemon and coriander.

After Pulperia and Biondi, ebullient French-Argentinian chef Fernando de Tommaso has a new address in his arsenal: Bar de Biondi, right next to the eponymous restaurant. There’s stellar seafood tapas like ceviche and marinated sardines, plus French and Argentinian natural wines and South American cocktails mixed by expert bartender Alexandre (formerly of 1K). 

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Bar Hemingway
Photograph: Vincent Leroux

47. Bar Hemingway

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars 1er arrondissement

What’s the deal? An eccentric drinking den and shrine to honorary Parisian Hem. 

What should I drink? The Picasso Martini (a badass dry martini with a frozen cube of vermouth).

Tucked away at the back of the world-famous Hotel Ritz, is Bar Hemingway, opened by British bartender Colin Field in 1994. This wood-panelled watering hole is a shrine to the author – walls are adorned with photos of authors he admired, boxes of fly-tying paraphernalia and a framed pack of his Lucky Strike cigarettes. Even the menu is printed like a newspaper, the aptly named Hemingway Star, which lists more than 20 original cocktails. 

Aux Folies
Photograph: Aux Folies

48. Aux Folies

Bars and pubs Wine bars 19e arrondissement

What’s the deal? A Belleville institution where Edith Piaf is thought to have performed as a youngster. 

What should I drink? Who’d say no to a €2.50 pint?

A Belleville staple, never empty of local youth imbibing black coffee after college or kicking off the evening with an aperitif or five. The packed terrace is the place to be in both summer and winter, as it’s heated until the last rays of sun have died away. Finding a chair and a spot to wedge it in is a challenge, but the satisfaction is worth it – and at €2.50 for a beer and €4.50 for a cocktail, it’s no trial to settle down and get in several rounds before closing time.

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Photograph: L’Express Bar

49. L’Express Bar

Restaurants French Les Halles

What’s the deal? No-frills southwestern French food and good-value wines (in the 1st arrondissement!)

What should I drink? Rouge, naturally. 

Covet this address and avoid recommending it to everyone you know. Be warned, they don’t take reservations, but diners are always ready to shuffle up and fit you in. Rue du Roule’s L’Express bar has a southwestern French feel and does a stunningly good-value €15 three-course menu, both at lunchtime and dinner. Don’t expect anything fussy – fresh, homemade egg mayonnaise, delicious steak tartare and, to finish, a faultless mousse au chocolat. It goes without saying the whole affair should be washed down with some red. 

Photograph: Le Sans Souci

50. Le Sans Souci

Bars and pubs

What’s the deal? A cool but unpretentious spot on your way up to Montmartre. 

What should I drink? Go straight in for a pint.

This old-school Pigalle watering hole is always packed, and sits somewhere between a run-down PMU (old-fashioned zinc bar) and the sort of trendy spot you’d see written about on this here website (the DJs spin rock and electro until late). It’s often still going at 2am when the bouncer has to kick everyone out.

And if it’s top-notch food you’re after?

L'Astrance
Photograph: L’Astrance

The 100 best restaurants in Paris

Restaurants

The search for a good restaurant is never over in a city like Paris. Whether it’s a gourmet bistro for a memorable night with friends, a grab-and-go lunch spot, a legendary junk food fix or a one-off treat for your taste buds, the possibilities are endless.

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