The best sports bars in Paris

Paris bars where you can always watch the game
The Stade de France © Liondartois
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When it comes to watching live football, Paris isn’t the most obliging of cities. Unless you have a subscription to Canal+ or you’re happy to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with rowdy men in suits who’ll unapologetically spill half a pint on your lap every time someone scores, your choices are limited. With this in mind, we’ve branched out beyond your run-of-the-mill faux-British pubs to seek out the best alternative bars that screen sports, and above all football, on a regular basis. So pack your vuvuzelas (or, on second thoughts, don’t), and head on down.

The best sports bars in Paris

Bars and pubs, Sports bars

L'Inconnu

icon-location-pin Grands Boulevards

Here’s a new bar in an area, Strasbourg Saint-Denis, that’s becoming a more and more interesting alternative to Pigalle, Oberkampf and Bastille. The team managing the venue know what they’re doing, and the friendly welcome, comfy sofa, soft lighting and cheap Parisian beer (Gallia) encouraging chat and chance encounters. The downstairs dance floor area stays open until 2am and is a good place to meet the local population of hipsters, artists and musicians...

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Bars and pubs

Les Tontons Bringueurs

icon-location-pin Ménilmontant

This cinema-themed bar has a punchy, irreverent attitude (the name is a play on the film ‘Les Tontons Flingeurs’ and ‘bringeur’, ‘cheeky’). The walls are covered in quotes from the likes of Michel Audiard and Jean Carmet, while at the back of the room films from the ’50s and ’60s are screened on to the wall (without sound). Beers, wines and spirits – we recommend absinthe or rum – are well-priced, and there’s a serviceable menu...

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Bars and pubs, Café bars

Le Café des Sports

icon-location-pin Belleville

Le Café des Sports' fine and eclectic music programme ranges from electro (Saturdays), to pop or chanson (Tuesdays and Thursdays) to world dub. Beer and wine are fabulously cheap (just €2 from 6pm to 8pm) and there's even sometimes free couscous or tapas with your drink on a Monday evening. Unlike its sprawling neighbours, Le Café des Sports has just one room to call home. DJs play in the space around the back...

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Bars and pubs, Café bars

Sof's Bar

icon-location-pin Réaumur

Concealed behind an unmarked shopfront in the midst of this showiest of Parisian neighbourhoods, Sof's Bar doesn't so much stand out from the crowd as hide inside it. The Sof in question is Sofiane, the charismatic young publican responsible for converting this old watering hole (formerly his dad's) into something altogether cosier, replete with pretty curtains and red brick walls...

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Le Hasbeen
Le Hasbeen
Bars and pubs

Le HasBeen

icon-location-pin 10e arrondissement

For the perfect neighbourhood cafe, look no further than the pretty HasBeen bar at the intersection of Rue Saint-Maur and Rue Claude Vellefaux in the 10th arrondissement. The owners Hasan and Benjamin are warm and friendly and welcome you with a range of affordable beers (€3.50 for a pint of Pelforth and €4.50 for a pint of Delirium during happy hour). Drink up as you play board games, hang out with friends, and snack on charcuterie and cheese...

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Bars and pubs

The Lions

icon-location-pin 2e arrondissement

Located at a famous address in the Stock Market quarter, The Lions is a traditional English pub where bankers love to come and de-stress with an after-work drink. But they’re not the only ones who frequent this pub, which welcomes amateur beer lovers, Brits and sports fans with a blue façade and distinguished interior that set it apart from the competition. Once comfortably installed (come early to get a seat!) you’ll be well placed for football matches...

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Bars and pubs

Le Supercoin

icon-location-pin Mairie du 18e

What with Bières Cultes, the Brasserie de La Goutte d’Or and now the very welcoming Supercoin, barley and hops are being celebrated in the 18th arrondissement – a welcome departure for Parisians used to eternal weak demis. Supercoin is all about characterful beers, rock music and having a good time – their motto is ‘artisanal beers and pop culture’...

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Bars and pubs

Le Magellan

icon-location-pin Folie-Méricourt

Le Magellan may be a whole lot less adventurous than its explorer namesake, but what it lacks in originality it makes up for in good-natured cosiness. This is the kind of bar where – weekend evenings excluded – you don't have to queue for your pint or shout to be heard. The clientele is local and relaxed, the red leather sofas large and comfy. The venue’s also inherited the musical good taste of its predecessor, the Baron Samedi...

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Bars and pubs

Le Comptoir

icon-location-pin 15 arrondissement

This sports bar makes a nice change from dingy venues smelling of spilled beer, while keeping prices affordable for locals. The comptoir (bar) itself is impressive, a circular one that takes up three quarters of the room, facing outwards to passers-by and the pleasant terrace on the pavement (it’s a quiet neighbourhood after 8pm). If you’re heading there to watch a match, use the ad breaks to admire the décor...

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Bars and pubs, Café bars

Apérock Café

icon-location-pin Saint-Ambroise

Apérock Café puts a heavy emphasis on rock music, present here in the form of both regular gigs and an extensive menu of “rocktails” (we recommend the John Lemon: white rum, peach liqueur, lemon, pomegranate and coke, no less). The old-school party vibe extends to the vinyl sleeves and sundry gigging paraphernalia that adorn the place. But be warned: when football season comes around, the hipsters clear out and the pigskin aficionados rush in...

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Bars and pubs

The Bombardier Pub

icon-location-pin Quartier latin

Perched the left bank hillock of Montagne Saint-Geneviève, The Bombardier is the place to come to drink stout in peace and to indulge in a bit of nostalgia for the other side of the channel, if you're so inclined. It's a great find for locals and students in search of quality beer, as long as you're OK with the decor that comes with the adjacent libraries – blackboards around the room announcing the latest sports matches, Monday night student deals and Sunday pub quizzes...

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Restaurants, French

Le Parisien

icon-location-pin Arts et Métiers

Its mirrors and neon may stand out in the Saint-Martin area, but once seated with a menu you’ll realise that there’s nothing particularly showy about Le Parisien. There’s something comfortingly unpretentious about its old-school dishes (mussels, scrambled eggs), salt & pepper shakers and little side bowls of ketchup. This is a brasserie that does straightforward dishes well - especially their range of toasted sandwiches: salmon, dill & cucumber, brie...

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Restaurants, French

La Taverne du Croissant

icon-location-pin Sentier

La Taverne du Croissant restaurant on much-loved Rue Montmartre in Paris 2nd has a long history of patronage by big names in media and politics. While famous faces are less frequently spotted these days, a cosy elegance remains in the darkwood furniture, wooden floor and overall minimalist look. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, La Taverne du Croissant is good for a casual, classic French meal any time of the day...

Chez Marie - O'kubi
© DR
Clubs

Chez Marie

icon-location-pin 10e arrondissement

Formerly O'Kubi bar, Chez Marie took on the name of its proprietor in late 2014. Located just off the Place Sainte-Marthe, the venue attracts a steady flow of regulars from Tuesday to Saturday. Its popularity is deserved: the staff are delightful, the prices unbeatable (during happy hour from 6pm-9pm, pints are €2.50, cocktails €5 and glasses of wine €2.50), and there are live events in the evenings from Wednesday to Saturday...

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