Paris Bars & Nightlife
The Hoxton Paris
30-32 Rue du Sentier, 2nd Arrondissement
As in the Hoxton outposts in Amsterdam, Brooklyn, and London, the lobby here is massive. And in this case, it's also built into a courtyard. Velvet sofas, natural light, and gorgeous decorative features (like a 300-year-old spiral staircase) make for an absurdly pleasant place to spend a few hours. For a change of scene, move on to the Hoxton’s Jacques Bar and its floor-to-ceiling windows that look directly onto the rooftops of Paris. The Moroccan-influenced cocktail list includes the Postcard from Marrakech, made of orange blossom and gin—it tastes like summer in a glass.
Hoxton Hotel Bar
30-32 rue du Sentier, 2ème
Rivié, one of the two bars in the Hoxton, has a wonderful brasserie, a lovely outdoor garden, and scattered here and there, relaxing little nooks with armchairs and nice lighting. But never mind-skip all that. Head straight for the bar. The bar bar. Settle into the velvet barstool, order a glass of Billecart-Salmon (a rosé champagne) or, depending on your day, a dirty martini. The staff is friendly, the vibe is chill, and as evening slips into night, remember only two very important words: truffle fries.
15 Place Vendôme, 1st
This moody, leather-accented bar is famous for being an old haunt of so many Paris creatives—in addition to Hemingway himself, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Cole Porter, and Gary Cooper were all regulars. Legend has it that Marcel Proust ordered a cold beer from here on his deathbed. Today, the watering hole maintains its reputation with a world-class bar program by Colin Peter Field, who's a celebrity in his own right at this point. You're in great hands with Fields no matter your order, but do keep in mind that all the drinks err on the stiff side (just as Hemingway would have wanted it).
9 Rue Frochot, 9th
Located in the up-and-coming Pigalle neighborhood, Paris’s old red-light district, this hotel offers an all-day café/bar that’s comfily kitted out in overstuffed couches and elegantly mismatched vintage finds, not to mention a dance pole—a clever reference to its roots. With a tapas-style menu and generous cocktails, it’s easy to while the evening away here until the jukebox turns on or the local DJ starts spinning.
10 Rue Frochot, 9th
The name and the pinup poster in the entryway hint at this Pigalle bar’s seedier past as a brothel, but take a closer look and you’ll find yourself in a full-fledged tiki bar, overflowing with pseudo-Polynesian flair. If the excellent rum-based drinks and retro vibe aren’t really your thing, then the other, perfectly balanced proprietary cocktails and extensive beer collection should keep you happy.
14 Rue Crespin du Gast, 11th
The young team behind this growing concept came up with the genius idea of opening bars in disused spaces all over Paris—on rooftops, at the old Pavillon at the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, and on a houseboat parked on the Seine. The newest locale, right on top of the Gare de l’Est might just be their greatest conquest to date: In addition to an incredible view and the trademark cocktails, you'll find snacks by souped-up kebab joint Grillé.
Experimental Cocktail Club
37 Rue Saint-Sauveur, 2nd
In true speakeasy fashion, this very-adored spot is behind an unmarked door, on a dimly lit, pedestrian-only alley. But beyond the appeal of being impossible-to-find, Parisians really come because they love the artful cocktails. It gets crowded after 11 and is generally packed on weekends; there are now outposts in New York City and London as well.
La Conserverie (Closed)
37 Rue du Sentier, 2nd
There's a bit of an identity crisis at this much-loved spot, but it totally works. For one, the décor is American Gothic meets industrial (galvanized tubing stretches across the ceiling, the bar is backed by antique crates, and old-fashioned prints of tools dot the walls). And for two, the menu morphs dramatically throughout the day. Breakfast tends to be American (pancakes, eggs, and hash), lunch is Japanese bento boxes, and then it morphs into a full-on bar, with excellent (and complex) cocktails at night.
Le Baron (Closed)
6 Avenue Marceau, 8th
Though it has spidered into cities across the globe (there are now locations in Tokyo and New York), Le Baron in Paris is the original, and it's still our favorite. For one, it's small and intimate (it holds only 150); for two, the DJs are some of the best in the world; for three, those who make it past the tough door always turn it into a great party. Meanwhile, the red-hued décor takes a deep bow to the building's former life as an upscale brothel.
52 Rue de Saintonge, 3rd
This is Paris's version of La Esquina, complete with a doorman to hold back the crowds. Up front, you'll find a teeny-tiny tacqueria, with fresh tortillas and a roster of toppings, whipped up under the watchful eye of the Mexico City–born chef. There's a hidden door in the back that opens into a cozy bar, which offers some of the more inventive (and delicious) tequila cocktails in the city.
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