To celebrate our 21st episode, we’re treating it like a 21st birthday and we’re having a drink. Or 20.
But where to find a good bar in Paris?
We’re joined in the studio by Forest Collins, the absolute expert when it comes to Paris bars (she is the woman behind Paris cocktail guide 52 Martinis).
She presents what she considers to be the one bar you should definitely visit in each arrondissement.
Listen to the 30-minute episode below for the full descriptions – all bars offer something personal. For addresses and pictures, simply scroll down. Cheers.
And watch this space… we can feel a pub crawl coming along.
1st: Hemingway at the Ritz Hotel, 15 Place Vendôme
“A serious classic, they’ve just reopened, 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: Little Bastards, 5 Rue Blainville*
They have a pretty sophisticated cocktail programme in an that area which is usually overrun by places with cheap but so-so drinks… plus they have a mid-week happy hour.
*Forest’s original answer for the fifth, La Lucha Libre the Mexican cantina with sumo wrestling, has closed down since the time of recording. Little Bastards was her second pick.
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 neighborhood place where you can meet the locals.
18th: Le Kremlin, 6 Rue André Antoine
It’s a Russian bar with soviet memorabilia, totally Russian themed with interesting cocktails.
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.
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By the way, if this idea of the top spot in each arrondissement sounds familiar, it might be because we did a similar thing earlier about the must-see attraction in each Paris arrondissement. Listen to it here.