Visiting Paris and looking for a good bar near your hotel? Or maybe you live here and you’re looking for something new. Never fear, I’m certain there’s something here for you.
Forest Collins, the brains behind Paris cocktail guide 52 Martinis and the queen of cocktails, has shared with The Earful Tower her new and updated list of the best bars in Paris.
These are what she considers to be the one bar you should definitely visit in each arrondissement (or district). This list was originally presented in an earlier episode of The Earful Tower podcast, but has since been updated to keep with the ever-changing bar scene.
What’s your score? PS: If you really want to have some fun, click the icon on the top left of the map and add restaurants, cafes and much more to the interactive map below. See the full map here.
1st: Hemingway at the Ritz Hotel, 15 Place Vendôme
“A serious classic, tell the head bartender Colin to make you what he thinks you want.”
2nd: Mabel, 58 Rue d’Aboukir
The owner Joseph has a huge selection of rum, and he is one of the best bartenders in Paris. This place is the best rum bar in Paris. Get a grilled cheese to go with it.
3rd: Les Bains, 7 Rue du Bourg l’Abbé
It was Paris’s answer to New York’s studio 54 over the decades. It reopened in 2015. Take a drink upstairs if you can get in then go downstairs and check the swimming pool.
4th: Maria Loca, 31 Boulevard Henri IV
This is a fun and laid back bar with some Cachaça mixes. Try the Woody Wood, a barrel aged cocktail made with Cachaça.
5th: Solera, 283 Rue Saint-Jacques
It’s totally off the beaten path and the bartender is from a high-end background with some seriously creative presentation.
6th: La Robe & La Mousse, 3 Rue Monsieur le Prince
A beer bar, these guys are forerunners on the craft beer movement. They now have spirits and wine with a French focus.
7th: Fitzgerald, 54 Boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg
A hidden bar that’s unmarked behind a restaurant, press the wall and go through. It’s intimate, bring a date.
8th: Minipalais, 3 Avenue Winston Churchill
You’re on the terrace of the grand palais with the huge columns and you’re looking across at the petit palais. What a view.
9th: Lulu White, 12 Rue Frochot
You’re stepping into New Orleans. The bar is like a carousel, it’s unique. Ask Matt for the best absinthe in the house. Say Forest sent you.
10th: Copperbay, 5 Rue Bouchardon
It has a secret menu. Ask for it on a quiet night – discover it on your own, I’m not going to reveal any more.
11th: Le Red House, bis, 1 Rue de la Forge Royale
People might say it’s a dive bar, I just say it’s cool. You can play pinball and dance on the tables. There is a bit of an American feel to it.
12th: Le Calbar, 82 Rue de Charenton
The boys tend the bar in their boxer shorts and the guys behind the bar are no slouches with their cocktails.
13th: Bateau El Alamein, Quai François Mauriac
This is a bit run down, it’s all purple, it’s cheap and fun and out on a boat in the water.
14th: Rosebud, 11 Rue Delambre
It’s an old classic French bar where all the philosophers used to hang out – and it hasn’t changed. Not many people know about it.
15th: Novotel Lounge Bar, 257 Rue de Vaugirard
The only rooftop bar where you can get up without waiting. No one is ever up there – just walk up, no need to reserve.
16th: Hotel Saint James, 43 Avenue Bugeaud
Apparently the only chateau hotel in Paris – their terrace has beautiful hot air balloons out the front and the terrace gardens are beautiful. Check the library bar inside.
17th: Lush Bar, 16 Rue des Dames
This is a small pub, really great neighbourhood place where you can meet the locals.
18th: Très Particulier, 23 Avenue Junot
A hidden garden bar in a hotel particular
19th: Pavillon des Canaux, 39 Quai de la Loire
It’s designed like a house, you can even sit in a bath and have a drink
20th: La Commune, 80 boulevard de Belleville
And lastly… This is a punch bar with a heated terrace, they’ve got a focus on French products and it’s totally off the beaten path.
If you’re wondering what’s so good about all these bars, you’ve gotta listen to Forest explain it all. This is a podcast, after all. Set aside 30 mins and hear our chat here. But note, the bars she recommended in the 5th and 18th arrondissements have since closed, and have been replaced accordingly in the list above.
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If you liked this episode, Forest has come on the podcast again to reveal where all the best hidden bars are. Click here to read the list of speakeasies, or click play below 🙂
And if you like Paris tips like these ones, check out The Earful Tower’s Guide: 150 Things to do in Paris.