While Paris is famous for its restaurants and café terraces, the city’s bar scene should not be overlooked.
Following our Paris Countdown series, where we explored each district for a full day and night, we’ve compiled a list of excellent bars, one for each of the 20 arrondissements. Everything from hidden speakeasies to bars on boats, fancy cocktail bars to local hangouts… there’s something for everyone here.
The interactive map
First, here’s an interactive map of everything we are about to recommend, to help you find it all easily.
1st: Costes Bar
If you don’t have the patience to wait one hour for the nearby Bar Hemingway, head to the Hotel Costes instead. You’ll certainly get a seat, the interior is grand, and the cocktails are great. @hotelcostes Address: 7 Rue de Castiglione, 75001
2nd: Harry’s New York bar
They claim to have invented the Bloody Mary, and whether it’s true or not, you’re going to enjoy your drink at this American-themed bar. It’s a grittier, cheaper, friendlier, and more accessible version of many other famous bars of similar styles in central Paris. @harrysbar_theoriginal Address: 5 Rue Daunou, 75002
The Cambridge Public House has landed on the Top 50 Bars in the World list and that’s no surprise, it really is an excellent spot for a cocktail. Extra friendly staff members and a wonderful ambience. @thecambridge_paris Address: 8 Rue de Poitou, 75003
4th: Maria Loca
Maria Loca offers unpretentious rum-based cocktails as a specialty, heaven help you if you order anything with vodka. Friendly staff, low key vibe, serious cocktails. @marialocaparis Address: 31 Bd Henri IV, 75004
5th: La Contrescarpe
We had a drink on this terrace and it was perfectly fine. I’d imagine all the restaurants on this square are about the same if you’re just looking for a drink with a view, go for the best seat and you can’t go wrong. Address: 57 Rue Lacépède, 75005
A cool and newly renovated cocktail bar that makes for a welcome contrast to all the classic Parisian bistros and bars. There’s an unusual cosmic/1930s/theatrical vibe, but it works, and the bar describes its cocktail menu as “an invitation to a maiden voyage of creations inspired by the spirit of the otherworldly”. @prescriptioncocktailclubparis Address: 23 Rue Mazarine, 75006
This bar is hidden in the back of a restaurant, behind an unmarked door. It’s cosy, it’s romantic, and the perfect place to escape the rush of the city for an hour or two. @fitzgerald.paris Address: 54 Bd de la Tour-Maubourg, 75007
8th: Buddha Bar
A very happening bar that features a mammoth Buddha statue right in the middle. They say there’s a secret speakeasy on the inside, but we didn’t find it this time… @buddhabarparis Address: 8-12 Rue Boissy d’Anglas, 75008
9th: Maison Souquet
Once a brothel back in the early 1900s, this five-star hotel offers a quiet spot with delicious cocktails, perfect for a quiet date night, perhaps before visiting the Opera. @maisonsouquetteofficial Address: 10 Rue de Bruxelles, 75009
What a beautiful bar. When we visited Divine it was a real party atmoshpere by the bar, with youngsters jumping around and singing along to the blaring music. We opted to sit in the charming room to the side to enjoy some cocktails after a long day. @bar_divineAddress: 61 Rue d’Hauteville, 75010
11th: Mobster Bar
We love a good gimmick and this one was fun. Pick up the phone out the front of this 1920s themed bar and a voice will ask you a prohibition-themed trivia question. You’ll have to type the correct combination into the keypad to get in, where you’ll be met with smartly dressed bartenders serving cocktails to customers in darkened rooms. @mobster_bar Address: 8 Rue de Crussol, 75011
12th: Le Baron Rouge
Excellent place for a glass of wine, to be enjoyed either standing around tables inside or on the outdoor terrace. Oysters at the weekend. Very authentic, charming, and the radish plate was a surprise hit! Address: 1 Rue Théophile Roussel, 75012
13th: Bateau El Alamein
This old boat features a cheap bar downstairs and a lovely botanical display on the deck. On Monday nights it’s amateur hour – where people can change the lyrics to famous French songs and sing to a very patient and friendly crowd. This phenomenon is called a goguette, a kind of playful singing society, popular in France and Belgium. This place is not the Ritz, make no mistake, but it will make for a memorable evening. @bateauelalamein Address: 10 Port de la Gare, 75013
Rosebud This place is oozing with old-school charm and the bartenders know what they’re doing. Do you hear the ghostly whispers of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre? Both used to visit this bar, and incidentally both are buried around the corner in the Montparnasse cemetery. Address: 11 Rue Delambre, 75014
Let’s face it: It’s all about the view. You’d be mad to come here expecting world-class cocktails (and you’d be disappointed). But that view is spectacular.
Just make sure you reserve a spot for dinner – and even just for a drink as it’s quite packed up here. Address: Tour Maine Montparnasse, 56ème, Av. du Maine, 75015
This bar is a real treat: both visually and when it comes to its cocktails. You can find it inside an art nouveau building that dates back to 1911 – the cocktails are modern and equally impressive, read more about it here in our blog post, where we interviewed the owner. Address: 17 Rue Jean de la Fontaine, 75016 @cravanparis
17th: L’Ambre Bar
The owner, Kevin, used to run the bar at the luxury Crillon hotel but took his talents to start this chic cocktail bar in 2012. Classic drinks in a bar with a wild history (ask why there’s a peephole in the front door… or listen to the pod where we discussed it!)
When I asked Kevin which cocktail matches the 17th arrondissement, he said it would be a Bourbon Old Fashioned, made very woody. “Because people know what they like to drink, you have this whole woody old-fashioned way of living in Paris, with these old buildings close to classical things…” he said.
18th: Terrass Rooftop Bar
Very easily the best view from a bar/restaurant in the whole district. So many people don’t seem to know about this place. It’s not just for hotel guests, this is for everyone. Get up there! Remember though, it’s an open-air rooftop bar so dress warm if need be, or make other plans if it’s raining. Address: 12 Rue Joseph de Maistre, 75018
All aboard for a drink on a barge, but this time most people are sitting on the deck. Young crowd, cheap beers from plastic cups, and the perfect gimmick for an unusual night out. Address: 55 Quai de la Seine, 75019 @peniche_antipode
20th: Aux Folies
That’s all for now! Happy bar-hopping !
A big thanks to Augusta Sagnelli for the best of the photos above.
If you liked this blog post, or if you’re planning a Paris trip, you should check out our 2023 PDF guide to the city, which features hundreds of tips just like these ones. You can buy it via the icon below, or you get it free on signup to The Earful Tower’s Patreon member page.