Best Places To Drink Outside
While cold-weather drinking is really more of a necessity (whisky=instant warmth), summertime boozing is a legitimate leisure activity best enjoyed al fresco. Here, the rooftops, backyard gardens, and patios that after a cocktail or three, can make the muggiest of concrete jungles feel like an oasis.
L’Oiseau Blanc19 Avenue Kléber, 16th | +126.96.36.199.67.30
Gracing the rooftop of one of the Peninsula hotels, L'Oiseau Blanc (the White Bird) is named for a French plane that crashed over the Atlantic in 1927 during a transatlantic flight attempt. The restaurant's décor pays homage to the pilots, complete with a small-scale replica of the biplane that looks like it's flying off the terrace. Even if you're not a history buff, you'll appreciate the sweeping views of the Eiffel Tower and the excellent service.
Hôtel Costes239-241 Rue Saint-Honoré, 1st | +188.8.131.52.50.00
With a now-iconic interior that's dripping in red velvet, Hôtel Costes is one of those spots that has perfected its aesthetic—which, of course, extends to the music. It can get dark and smoky inside, so head out to the enclosed terrace (you can still hear whatever the DJ is spinning inside), which is equally great for either an afternoon glass of wine or an after-dinner cocktail. Plus, the people-watching is always fabulous.
Point Éphémère200 Quai de Valmy, 10th | +184.108.40.206.02.48
Besides hosting concerts, art exhibitions, and live performances, this ex-storage space turned squat cultural institution on the Canal Saint-Martin is also home to one of the area's best bars. On busy days, the local art and hipster crowd spills out onto the banks of the canal with beers and affordable cocktails from noon until...whenever.
Le Zyriab at the Institut du Monde Arabe1 Rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard, 5th | +220.127.116.11.55.42
Le Zyriab, part of a chain of Lebanese restaurants in France, is nothing fancy, but the stunning views from atop the Institut du Monde Arabe set this place apart for drinks overlooking the Seine and the Ile St. Louis. Aside from being inside one of the finest cultural institutions in Paris, it's also never too busy in the afternoons before dinner, making it a standby for getting the evening started over a couple of glasses of Lebanese wine, which is actually pretty good.
The Terrace at the Hôtel Amour8 Rue de Navarin, 9th | +18.104.22.168.31.80
Located close to what was once Paris's red-light district, Hôtel Amour takes a deep bow to the neighborhood's tawdry past. Conceived by nightlife visionary André Saraiva (the force behind Le Baron), the black lacquered bar, brasserie, and outdoor terrace are as scene-y as you can get in Paris. Whether for a boozy Saturday brunch or dinner and drinks, the best seats in the house are outdoors, in the leafy courtyard dotted with vintage ’50s cafeteria tables. The brasserie is open late, and you can linger on for hours until it's time to hit the bar or a nightclub in nearby Pigalle.
La Rotonde6-8 Place de la Bataille, 6th | +22.214.171.124.33.40
This restaurant, bar, and nightclub—in an iconic rotunda built by Claude Nicolas Ledoux, the father of Neoclassical architecture—is also smack in the middle of one of the main hipster drags in Paris. Young Parisians flock here for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch under the cupola and drinks all day in the verdant and colorful terrace garden right on the Place Stalingrad. This summer, there are also different pop-in food experiences and a gallery of contemporary art exhibitions. When it gets late, you can always head back indoors to the Mini Club for some French disco.
Rosa BonheurParc des Buttes Chaumont, 2 Allée de la Cascade, 19th | +33.1.42.00.00.45
This spot is named for the nineteenth-century painter Rosa Bonheur, the first woman to become an officer of the Legion of Honour, whose paintings of horses and cows grace the walls of the Louvre and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. While Bonheur used the then-wilds of the Bois de Boulogne to find animals to paint, this Rosa Bonheur is situated in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, a beautiful garden in the 19th. The emphasis here is on day-drinking, really, though it gets overly packed as the night wears on. It serves great appetizers, plus it's laid-back, unpretentious, and kid-friendly. Should you stay past 10 p.m., expect to follow the crowd onto the dance floor.
Nüba34 Quai d'Austerlitz, 13th | +126.96.36.199.34.85
Sprawling across the top of the Docks en Seine (a mixed-use warehouse with a neon-green extruded glass roof that's impossible to miss), this newcomer from two Le Baron founders has packed in the crowds since opening day. There's no dress code at Nüba, the DJ booth is actually a beach hut, there's a resident food truck, and lawn chairs dot the landscape—though it is a well-turned-out scene, thanks in part to the fact that Docks en Seine hosts Paris's preëminent fashion school. While you can dance in the open air, the club stretches far inside, too.
Wanderlust32 Quai d'Austerlitz, 13th | +188.8.131.52.41.74
Situated on the quay of the recently rehabbed Docks en Seine—also home to Paris's fashion institute—Wanderlust is a bit more than just a club/bar/restaurant. Though a small part of the enterprise lives indoors, it primarily resides on the sprawling outdoor terrace which overlooks the Seine. Exposed pipes, neon lights, live music (DJs, generally), and a stylish crowd are all hallmarks of this much-buzzed-about destination.