Leave your fancy tourist ideals behind. Parisian dive bars are where conversations with your bartender are meant to be yelled over loud, thumping music, and if a mysterious liquid doesn’t drip down your back, you might be doing it wrong. These are the places where you’ll want to dive into the middle of the dance floor and shake le booty until last call.
Good morning, Ma’am… Welcome to the feminist part of town. This bar is a completely safe space for ladies of all shape and sizes to have a drink, grab something to eat or play a board game or two. They also host frequent (and very queer friendly) events, like meetings with authors, expos, drag/burlesque concerts or clothing swap. Whether you’re looking for a quiet night out, a smart casual meeting or a place to wear that glitter stilettos,Bonjour Madame is your gal.
ADDRESS: 40 Rue de Montreuil(11th arr.)
MÉTRO: Faidherbe — Chaligny (line 8) or Rue des Boulets (line 9)
DEETS: dive bar, queer-friendly, expos, drag nights, feminist, safe space
Le Gourbi Palace
Le Gourbi is a place for homemade, modern French cuisine dishes, inexpensive drinks, and hot straight men (you’re welcome). It’s the place where all the other dive bar owners tend to gather. The bright green exterior is inviting, and there’s space for outdoor or indoor dining.
DEETS: Brunch, Bistronomique, French, Modern French Cuisine, cocktail bar, dive bar
Also nicknamed le Booty Shaker, this is the place to get your groove on. It’s a great bar to either start or end your night of fun and on the weekends, you can dance your heart out to a live DJ. During the warmer months, it’s a place to sip a beer outside, chat with comrades, and watch the people go by.
ADDRESS: 44 boulevard de la Villette (19th arr.)
MÉTRO: Goncourt (line 11) or Belleville (lines 2, 11)
Known for its cheap drinks and relaxed vibe, this eastern Parisian café-bar is a local favorite. It’s unpretentious and inviting with quirky furniture options, such as old sofas, making it perfect for a friendly evening gathering for drinks or mid-day coffee.
ADDRESS: 8 Rue Alibert (10th arr.)
MÉTRO: Colonel Fabien (line 2) or Goncourt (line 11)
Two words: rustic and cozy. In this Parisian bistro highlighting authentic southwestern cuisine of the Basque country, they take traditional recipes and curate dishes to utilize local products. It’s the perfect place for a friendly rendez-vous with its warm atmosphere and eclectic decor.
ADDRESS: 70 boulevard de Grenelle (15th arr.)
MÉTRO: Grenelle (lines 6, 8, 10) or Dupleix (line 6)
DEETS: dive bar, late-night food, old-fashion bistro
Le9b is recognized in the scene of electronic music and partying in Paris. On the ground floor it’s a bistro by day, but in the soundproof basement (aka la cave), it is a place to dance and let loose with your friends. They host many events including musical brunches, DJs, and performances.
ADDRESS: 68 Boulevard de la Villette (19th arr.)
MÉTRO: Colonel Fabien (line 2) or Belleville (lines 2, 11)
Inspired by the Coen brothers movie, The Big Lebowski, this dive bar is decorated with bowling pins hanging from the ceiling, exposed white brick walls, and the impossible to miss face of Le Dude. Happy hour here is a delight with prices as low as 1.5€ for a glass of wine and 4€ cocktails. Happy drinking most definitely happens here.
DEETS: dive bar, happy hour, closed Sundays, outdoor seating, themed bar
Bar Le 17
Settled in the 11th arrondissement, Bar Le 17 is a former tabac turned more-gay-than-straight bar. It is packed, lively, and a place to dance until your clothes fall off (literally). The bartenders tend to get down just as often as the patrons, so you may have to wait a hot second for that refill (but it’s 100% worth it to boogie with your mixologist).
ADDRESS: 17 Rue de la Folie Méricourt (11th arr.)
DEETS: dive bar, queer-friendly, tapac, dancing, cocktail bar
From glam 80’s metal to western saloon, this quirky dive bar hosts themed soirées to escape reality for even just a night. It’s what one would consider a micro-bar but good things come in small packages, especially when the drinks are cheap. That means that it’s time to get over your claustrophobia and embrace slightly sweaty cowboys standing an inch away from you.
ADDRESS: 70 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud (11th arr.)
MÉTRO: Goncourt (line 11) or Parmentier (line 3)
Located in the 10th arrondissement, La Sardine offers indoor and outdoor seating as well as a wide variety of hand-selected wines and cheeses to fulfill any charcuterie board dream. Every day they offer a fresh small “dish of the day” because variety is the spice of life.
After 20 years of service, Ave Maria knows how to please everyone. They bring the world together with food influenced by every culture and they top it all off by offering cocktails by the litre (it’s up to you whether to share that or not). With a bright blue exterior draped in swim wear and floaties, it’s hard to miss this place in the 11th arrondissement.
With a cute red exterior, Chez Prune is located in the 10th arrondissement with plenty of outdoor terrace seating. It’s near the water and makes a great stop for lunch or start the evening with modestly priced baguettes, meat and cheese platters, and of course, drinks.
Aux Folies is a mecca for the Parisian youth due to its cheap drinks. With a large (and somewhat crowded) terrace, gatherers can sit outdoors day or night, warm or cold, as it is heated. It’s only open until midnight, so either get the drinks in before the night continues onto the streets or before it ends with bed.