2nd Arrondissement Bars & Nightlife
The Hoxton Paris
30-32 Rue du Sentier, 2nd
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, 2nd
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.
Experimental Cocktail Club
37 Rue St. 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.
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.
Frenchie Bar à Vins
6 Rue du Nil, 2nd
This first-come-first-serve wine bar is a tough seat for good reason: The small plates are crafted from superb ingredients, and the wine list is reasonably priced. Closed on weekends, you can usually snag a spot in the first wave by going early in the week, and arriving 20 minutes before the 7pm opening.