This month, we delve into some of the quirkiest, most atmospheric, and best-hidden cocktail bars in Paris to discover the French capital’s finest apéritifs, nightcaps, and everything in between.
It will come as no surprise that Paris’ nightlife is beyond compare. For drink connoisseurs, areas such as Oberkampf, South Pigalle, and Bastille are brimming with creative bars. But Paris is a city of wine, not liquor – you have to scratch the surface a little to find the city’s finest cocktails.
Here are five of the best tucked-away cocktail haunts in Paris…
L’Entrée des Artistes
Tucked away down a meandering Oberkampf side street, L’Entrée des Artistes lends a whole new glamour to the term ‘hole in the wall’. This spot is truly tiny, with only a couple of tables and a cosy bar, but that only adds to its charm. Sit back (if you manage to nab a chair) and enjoy the rustic melting candle sticks, 1960s posters, and some of the finest cocktails in Paris. Their French tapas-style share plates (twice-cooked lamb with sweet potatoes and spring beets mint salad) are to die for too.
30-32 rue Victor Massé, 75009 Paris
Métro: Filles du Calvaire, Oberkampf
Le Mary Celeste
The Haut Marais is fast becoming one of the finest nightlife destinations in Paris, and Le Mary Celeste is at the forefront of this third arrondissement boom. In a stripped away brick space with a wide, friendly bar and a wall of windows, this place is a tapas, beer, and cocktail haven. Embrace the Iberian theme and order one of their jalapeño cocktails, made with mescal, chilli, and fresh lime. The downstairs section, reached by a tiny spiral staircase, is a charming, intimate space to share a few Spanish tasting plates and a luscious beverage.
1 rue Commines, 75003 Paris
Métro: Filles du Calvaire, Saint-Sébastien-Froissart
Most of the bars on this list are located on the rive droite, as the Right Bank is more of a known haven for bars. Yet the charming, more old-fashioned, rive gauche has its cocktail highlights too. A few leisurely minutes’ walk from the Champ de Mars, on one of my most beloved Paris streets, lies L’Eclair, a cosy bar with some spectacular cocktails. They serve one with fresh passionfruit and raspberries, which is simply divine, but their finest offering is the Navy Tea: gin, ginger, cucumber and honey, garnished with mint. They also offer shared cocktails in generous pitchers for a friends’ night out in the City of Lights. Sublime.
32 rue Cler, 75007 Paris
Métro: Ecole Militaire
Paris is mostly known for its traditional French fare, and rightly so. Yet there are pockets of the city which contain a range of stunning international dining spots. One of those is the Marais, where Candelaria’s miniscule taquería reigns supreme. Get there early if you want to indulge in some of the best Mexican food in the French capital, then head through the unassuming, unmarked door next to the kitchen to enter an elegant, low-lit, secret bar. Candelaria’s bartenders take the art of the cocktail seriously. They have an excellent drinks menu, but I like to ask them to make me something up on the spot – I’ve never been disappointed.
52 rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris
Métro: Filles du Calvaire
Don’t be put off by Glass’ proximity to the many strip clubs and ‘massage parlours’ of Pigalle; this is one of the sleekest, coolest bars in the city. Using ingredients like fresh lavender, honey and burnt lemon, Glass serves up artisanal cocktails like nowhere else. Late in the evening, especially on weekends, the tiny space transforms into a bar-club hybrid, but there’s no pumping rave music here – just indie pop, fancy cocktails, dancing and gourmet hot dogs until the wee hours of the morn.
7 rue Frochot 75009
Have you been to any of these Paris cocktail haunts? What’s your favourite spot for an apéro or nightcap in Paris? Let us know in the comment box below!
1. Via Unsplash.
2. L’Entrée des Artistes.
4. Le Mary Céleste.
5. Candelaria by Gemma King.