The first time we went to Candelaria, we pulled up a seat the counter and ordered a cocktail. The staff at the tiny eight-seater Mexican restaurant kindly pointing us in the direction of the broom cupboard for cocktails.
And yes, Candelaria is still one of the most popular speakeasies in Paris but don’t panic if you don’t know it yet. Push the little door and go through a thick curtain at the back to find 52 rue Saintonge’s cocktail den. The room is large, the light soft and the golden atmosphere is as cosy as it gets. The aproned bartenders are adept multitaskers; smiling, taking orders, making jokes and occasionally busting dance moves. The Guêpe Verte (tequila, cucumber, coriander, agave, lime and and pepper) is like Mexico in a glass (€12). And the Gimlet is fresh and tangy with a gin base of lemon and ginger (€13). Both go down far too easily. Needless to say, Candelaria is a worthy winner of its consecutive Time Out Award.
TRANSLATION: MEGAN CARNEGIE