Travel

Paris Bars & Nightlife

Establishment neighborhood
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 Ave. 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.
Carmen
34 Rue Duperré, 9th
A wildly ornate bas-relief ceiling—moodily lit by Versailles-worthy chandeliers—is actually not the first indication that this isn't your average bar (that would be the gigantic birdcage at the entrance). Occupying the former mansion of composer Georges Bizet (hence the name, Carmen), this Pigalle club gets particularly busy around fashion week, when any number of designers host their after-parties here. While DJs play until 4 a.m. on weekends, the space hosts more-civilized affairs, too: For example, the literary magazine A Tale of Three Cities uses it to hold a monthly book club.
Silencio
142 Rue Montmartre, 2nd
Leave it to the mind behind Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet to engineer Paris's most labyrinth-like club—in one of the city's most culturally significant buildings. Constructed in the late 19th century as a publishing press for France's leftist newspapers, Émile Zola printed "J'Accuse" there in 1898, and rumor has it that Molière might be buried in its hallowed ground. For its 2011 opening, David Lynch designed the entire, garret-like space himself, from the futuristic theater to the wood-block lined passageway to the '60s-style bar. Until midnight, it's a private club with screenings, talks, and private exhibits; after midnight, it's a full-on dance club with some of Europe's best DJs.
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