These are those bars you can’t quite place, but you wouldn’t want to live without. The hodgepodge of Lucha Libre wrestling, live music disco parties, and ping pong playing make forever memories. The bars you’ll go to and say “Wow, this is weird,” but leave saying “Wow, that was wonderful” (the wild is yours to keep private, but might be paired with “where did that bruise come from?”).
This is one of those places that just *has it all*: it’s a board games bar, it’s an arcade, it’s a karaoke place with private geek-themed rooms, it’s a diner with menu offering waffle burgers and a great dose of sarcasm. Best way to enjoy it? Come by during the weekend for a lazy brunch in one of their private rooms (Are you a « retro games » geek or a « Freinds » geek? The have it both). Just remember to reserve it first, as the place often doubles as a shooting location of some sort.
Are you a solo traveler, looking for some company? A new-comer who wants to make some friends in a foreign city? Or maybe you just need some sort of human palette cleanser from your usual squad? Le Social Bar is the answer to all those questions. They pride themselves in being « not really a place you come with friends, but the one you come to make some new ones ». « Breaking Stupid World Records » nights, a « confessional » (for all kind of stories to whisper in the stranger’s ear), a fake beach or karaoke and concerts — everything in that wild place encourages you to get out of your shell. And while some things in there may sound a bit cringe, ordering a « Britney Spritz » with confidence will only open up a conversation about a second-hand embarrassment with a hot hot guy sipping beer right next to you (promise).
It’s time to bundle up and step into the coolest (think actually like, really cold) place in Paris, for this is an ice bar. If you think you can handle ‑20 degrees (celcius!), then saddle up to the icy bar top and order yourself a cocktail. You’ll need to pull out your Canada Goose (jelly) to down some shots of Grey Goose.
Neighborhood: Canal St. Martin. Mood: Afrocentric abandon. Madness can break out at any moment in just the right way. What you’re getting yourself into: unpretentious dancing to music that varies by the night (most likely a mix of danceable Latin hits and club music) and unique tropical themed cocktails (not like daiquiris, but their own creations using African fruits). Not touristy. Is it worth crossing town for: 10/10, oui. How hard is it to get in? The entry is barely marked, it’s a gate that looks like it goes to a driveway. There, you walk to the end of a darkened path (quietly so as not to disturb the neighbors) and follow the neon.
Sape Bar is located in 25 Hours Hotel where a mix of cultures and design inspired by the flamboyant yet elegant clothing of the Sapeurs create an urban retreat. It’s a place for locals and tourists located in the 10th arrondissement. The large bar top is made of bronze-colored mosaic glass and the dark leather armchairs give a cozy atmosphere perfect for a relaxed night with friends or by yourself.
DEETS: hotel bar, Israeli-Mediterranean cuisine, casual, cocktail bar
Ground Control is a place where people meet and ideas mix; a place of experimentation and expression. They believe in eating and drinking well and all their restaurants and bars are Eco Table labeled. The products offered are mostly organic or from independent and family producers. With eight restaurants, the cuisine includes (but is not limited to) Mediterranean, American, and Italian. Not hungry? Choose one of their four bars instead. Ground Control is also a place of speakers and events; in short, a cultural media space.
With a long happy hour (six hours!), Au Lèche-Vin is a typical Parisian bistro and wine bar. The walls are covered with pious images, but don’t let that fool you. Hip-hop and jazz liven up the evenings and the locals deem the spot pleasant and friendly with a “papa’s bistro” atmosphere. But just a heads up, les toilettes are not a place for the faint of heart.
DEETS: wine bar, happy hour, closed on Sunday, dive bar
Rosa Bonheur sur Seine
Get your sea legs together and head out to this bar(ge) on the water. With a fine selection of tapas, wood-fired pizzas and, of course, drinks, the bar gives a full 365 (maybe more like 290?) view of the Seine. Every Wednesday, the Rosa Bonheur sur Seine hosts a guinguette ball of live music and dancing.
Does the name Douglas Adams ring a bell? Taking its name from the French translation of one of his books, Bar at the end of the universe is a perfect place to geek out. It’s a space designed by (and for) fans of science fiction, fantasy and manga; bar almost, but not quite, entirely unlike you’ve seen before. And even if you’ve put D&D phase behind you, don’t panic! Come sit, read, share a drink or a discussion about fandom of your choice.
DEETS: daily menu during week, holiday and weekend brunch, imaginary bar
La Lucha Libre
Get ready to cheer while double-fisting beer, for this is the only bar in Paris equipped with a wrestling ring. The Mexican-inspired decorations and paintings recall the aesthetics of lucha-libre: a sport born in 19th century Mexico. Not only can you watch wrestling here, but you can wrestle your friends during Open Ring night.
ADDRESS: 10 Rue de la Montagne Sainte Geneviève (5th arr.)
Located in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Le Pavillon du Lac offers splendid views of the greenery in the middle of the busy city. Perched within the trees, the outdoor terrace and bar opens just as soon as the Spring sun peaks through and is an ideal place to have a quick breakfast or sip an original cocktail.
La Mezcaleria is a hidden cocktail bar with the largest selection of Mezcal in France. Located in the 3rd arrondissement, it’s an underground bar at the 1K Paris hotel where they offer an authentic Oaxaca experience.
DEETS: hidden bar, mezcal, Mexican restaurant, cocktail bar, hotel bar
From the outside it may look like a laundromat, but open a door disguised as a washer and find a cocktail bar with a fun and quirky environment. Cocktails are mixed with precise scents and flavors to create drinks with unique harmonies, and they change up the menu every quarter to reflect what’s in season.
Located in the 18th arrondissement, this rehabilitated bar aims to raise public awareness of eco-responsible values with its vegetable garden, farm, and DIY workshops. You will find 100% homemade, local, and seasonal cuisine to enjoy daily on their outdoor terrace. You can also sip drinks from their exterior mobile bar.
DEETS: terrace, eco-friendly, local and organic, vegan, vegetarian, holiday brunch, tapas from 5:30pm
Located down the block from Champs-Élysées, Raspoutine is a trendy and moody night club. Once fashioned as a Russian cabaret, it is classified as a historical monument and now brings the city of Paris live music and dancing. The night club is mostly red with golden accents and boasts red velvet furniture, cozy alcoves and passageways, and low golden lighting. Dress to impress!
A former wine bar turned New York style American bar, Le Calbar doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s bold, bright street art on the walls and bold, pantless bartenders behind the bar top. Yes, you read that right: they are in their skivvies. The vibe might be silly, but the cocktails are quality with premium spirits and fresh ingredients.
Andy Wahloo is a cocktail bar fashioned after a non-existent man whose biography was inspired by Andy Warhol. The tales of the infamous Andy Wahloo continue to spin and take on a life of their own. Their signature cocktail menu features anecdotes of Andy’s life and are equally entertaining and delicious.
This is the place for ping-pong and pints. Established by former world ping-pong champions, Gossima Ping Pong Bar has equipped the large space with table-tennis tables. So if you’re feeling like a round of beer pong or a friendly game of ping-pong, this is your spot.
There’s a little bit of everything at La Bellevilloise, fromLe Club for dancing to La Halle for café-concerts and jazz brunches. They have a terrace for outdoor drinking and multiple indoor spaces for concerts, salons, and meetings. It’s truly a multi-dimensional space.
Disguised as a small grocery store, this speakeasy has a fun Middle Eastern aesthetic serving drinks in colorful ceramic cups and offering small plates of traditional Middle Eastern foods. Finding this hidden door can be tricky, but those familiar with traditional Maghreb cuisine ingredients will have an easier time (hint, hint).
In 1942 the Antipode barge was erected in Belgium and it transported goods for nearly 60 years. Today, it is a floating live music venue boasting concerts, cabarets, and even films. You can take lunch and dinner made from fair-trade products at Café Antipode or drink out on the terrace.
This park tavern is a place to meet new people, dance to good music, and gobble down homemade tapas and wood-fired pizzas. They alternate between live DJs, themed evenings, Sevillanas, and tavern balls, but it’s always a place of good service and drinks.
Once a place known for one of the capital’s “greatest pleasure houses,” La Delaville still retains the soul and atmosphere of that time. The café blends its history and modern, artistic features for a new generation of Paris. The bar and kitchen menu both focus on seasonal, organic products for great taste and pleasure.
Manko Bar is an extension of their Peruvian restaurant, and fun fact, elegant dress is required! The bar invites you to immerse yourself in Inca culture with cocktails born from crazy ideas and history.
DEETS: Peruvian restaurant, cocktail bar, dress code: elegant, not open Sunday, Monday-Friday lunch and dinner, Saturday from 7pm
Café Oz Rooftop
Located on the rooftop of theCité de la Mode et du Design, Café Oz is a bar right along the river with bright colors, aboriginal fresco, and an outdoor DJ. This bar is trendy with Australian beers, house cocktails, and classic shooters (Jägerbombs anyone?). As for the cuisine, they serve up a variety of pizzas, wraps, burgers, and boards for sharing and snacking.
Fluctuart prides itself on being the world’s first floating urban art center, as well as one of those places that want to make art accessible to everyone. Walls (literal and figurative) do not belong here: it’s the passion for art that matters. The permanent exhibit is dedicated to urban art in various shapes and techniques, and its cultural calendar is almost bursting with workshops, conferences, debates and screenings. Artists vary as well, from pioneers to contemporary artists, or even students. Not into urban art? With its two creative spaces, a bookstore, a restaurant, two bars and a perfect location near the Invalides, Fluctuart is a perfect spot for everyone. Stop in for a drink on the rooftop and take advantage of the amazing views of the Eiffel Tower — and let the art speak for itself.
ADDRESS: 2 port du Gros Caillou, Berges de Seine (7th arr.)
MÉTRO: Invalides (lines 8 and 13) or Franklin D. Roosevelt (lines 1 and 9)