The first ever Paris Cocktail Week will be taking place next week, featuring events, courses, and special drink prices at more than thirty bars around the city.
Amanda Boucher, an American who was well-known behind the bar at Candelaria, has opened up her own spot near the Cirque d’Hiver. Her cocktails are always intriguing and playful, but they’re not innovative just for the sake of being different, which is to say… they work. The Bloody Céleri, for example, is a fresh take on the savory classic Bloody Mary made with celery and a lingering spicy kick. The Reine Rouge with sherry, honey, orange, and rum, is another that’s royally good. Above all, the beverages here are balanced. Personal, too. On a recent visit, I enjoyed the clay mug that Herbaceous, an icy tequila, lillet, celery and suze cocktail, was served in and was told by the server that it was handcrafted by the bartender’s mother. The surprisingly long bar has several different rooms and ends up being quite spacious so that unlike Boucher’s former employer around the corner, it’s easy to get in (for now) and seats can reliably be found. You can count on listening to a great playlist or DJ, but also to being able to hear whoever you’re chatting with.
In an attempt to bring something different to the cocktail scene, Boucher and chef Lina Caschetto are playing around with cocktail and food pairings. It’s an ambitious idea that occasionally succeeds. It’s nice to see someone attempting something more creative than a jar of rillettes, like carrot or cauliflower pierogies(!), but the small plates are still primarily a pricey afterthought.
Maybe there’s a right way to do Dersou, one that involves sharing a sixty-day aged steak and a bottle of Crozes-Hermitage, as the happy couple next to us was doing at 11pm. We who had signed up from the tasting menu – offered for 90€ from 7:30-9pm, were less pleased. Chef Taku Sekine’s food – a series of five inventive, generous and mostly delicious plates, each paired by with a cocktail from barman Amaury Guyot, is not well-enough supported by an adolescent staff that seems to be more enthralled with their own vibe than with the banality of service. Continue reading Dersou
Frédéric Le Bordays is behind the bar and serving up excellent craft cocktails alongside a few simple small plates from chef Vanessa Krycève.
Reviews of interest
David Lebovitz (2014) “A big feature of the place is the zinc cocktail bar, where you can get excellent drinks… Bijou came in a slender cocktail glass, and was a delirious blend of gin and Chartreuse… The thinly sliced Iberian ham was a nice treat alongside as was the fried mini croque monsieur, that was perhaps the best I’ve had in Paris.”
Forest Collins (2013) “While Artisan has incorporated some successful trends like small plates, large format drinks (their punch serves four) or bottled cocktails, nothing feels gimmicky or risky. It’s quite simply a well-put together cocktail program that is as nicely balances as Fred’s drinks.”
Emmanuel Rubin (2013) “Un bar de belle civilité où cocktails d’auteur (quasi gourmands) et nourritures de comptoir twistent la canaille.”
Aaron Ayscough (2013) “An appealingly under-designed space with a big broad bar, competent cocktails, decent beer, not enough wine, and an astonishingly successful menu comprising miniaturized version of French classics: roast lamb shoulder, steak tartare, etc… Artisan presents sophisticated drinks and a lively atmosphere without Asian inflections, without caricatured Cali vibes, with no silly hidden doorways, no Mexican themes, and no vile perfumes sprayed on the cocktails – and as such, it represents the inevitable but already-overdue maturation of cocktails and bar culture in Paris. The theme is there is no theme, nor is one needed.”
Timeout (2013) “Sa carte changera toutes les deux semaines, en fonction de l’humeur du barmaid et de la chef, des fruits et légumes de saison de prime qualité. Un menu mettant l'”artisanat” des boissons et des ingrédients à l’honneur… En cas de fringale, vous piocherez des plats mitonnés à partir d’ingrédients de saison, une cuisine de marché hyper fraîche. On salive devant la bruschetta de tomates confites aux fraises et parmesan de vache rousse, suivie d’une épaule d’agneau du Quercy confite, avec son caviar d’aubergine à la flamme. Les desserts sont tout aussi tentants.”
Photo courtesy of Artisan’s Facebook
A coffee bar with emphasis on the bar – cocktails and coffee in a shared space from one of the partners in the Belleville Brûlerie. Anglo offerings are available for brunch onsite or to go.
Address: 73 Rue d’Aboukir, 75002
Nearest transport: Sentier (3)
Hours: Closed Sunday; Open Monday-Saturday 8am-2am
Reservations: Not necessary
Telephone: 01 77 32 97 21
Average price for lunch: Less than 10€
Style of cuisine: Soups/salads/sandwiches, American, British
Reviews of interest
Emmanuel Rubin (2014) “Selon l’heure à laquelle on veut bien s’y perdre, un post-café de la nouvelle rue parisienne, une cantine des pas pressés, un coffee shop hipster ou un cocktail machine” but he enjoyed it all the same as “toujours une bonne énergie à activer les en-cas.”
Hipsters in Paris (2014) “A haunt for Italy’s finest digestifs and liqueurs, the range and the spread during aperitivo is reason in itself to make the visit. By day, it’s a reputable coffee haunt with cafe food and beans from Belleville Brulerie. From 6.30–8 it’s Aperitivo time with antipasto and cold cuts to soak up the spritz. From 8pm onwards you can descend into the cocktail bar for some late night debauchery, or maybe munch on a fried chicken sandwich to the sound of excellent rock, soul and blues.”
Adrian Moore (2014) “Brews are from the Belleville Brulerié (thanks to Brother Thomas Lehoux, who is also behind the roaster) and cocktails from brother Olivier (also of the club Le Silencio). Breakfast and lunch are organic and Anglo-inspired.”
Forest Collins (2014) “Lockwood is exactly the type of place the city now needs. Its relaxed attitude, understated cool, and focus on quality ingredients are the right combination to satisfy the coffee connoisseur, casual early evening drinker as well as the late night bar crawler. Given their initial showing and reception, they are set to be a popular and prevalent force on the Paris drinking scene.”
Kim Laidlaw (2013) “A coffee shop by day and a cocktail bar by night set up by a Paris trio with serious pedigree (one founder is from Ten Belles, one from Silencio and the other has opened three bars in London and Sydney). This looks set to be hot.”
Entering Bar 228 is like stepping back in time. You don’t need to be a guest at the grand Le Meurice hotel to enjoy the luxury of solidly made classic cocktail in the intimate, clubby den, but you may need to be a millionaire. The atmosphere might be retro, but at 25€ a pop, the prices certainly are not. You’re there for the atmosphere–soft jazz, comfy leather chairs, and gracious pampering from tuxedoed waiters–not innovation.
Address: 228 rue de Rivoli, 75001
Nearest transport: Tuileries (1), Concorde (1, 8, 12)
Hours: Open every day 11:45am-1:30am
Telephone: 01 44 58 10 10
Average price for cocktail: 25€
Reviews of interest
Forest Collins (2011) “Barstaff maintain the same level of polished, professional, perfected service found throughout the rest of the hotel and bring out bowls of nuts, olives and creamy, garlicky dip with delicate bread sticks while guests peruse the extensive cocktail menu. Clientele can choose from dozens of long and short classics, champagne cocktails and a smaller selection of house creations…”
Emma Bentley (2011) “Dark wood. Leather armchairs. Attentive waiters in pressed white jackets. A glass of crisp Chablis. Nibbles. Jazz pianist. Hushed voices. The chinking of glasses. Dimmed lighting. Men in suits and women in cocktail dresses. Seduction at its very finest.”
The original (and still insanely popular) speakeasy that sparked the trend in 2007 and spawned an empire that now includes Beef Club and Prescription Cocktail Club. Despite being the oldest of the new wave joints, it’s still one of the swankiest and hardest to get in.
— Catherine Down, July 2013
The tiny red door leads to a dark bar with cozy couches, cushy bar stools, and an elevated nook that is ideal for people watching. The bar menu is short, sweet and well-curated, but the bartenders are amenable to getting creative and going off-menu.
Address: 60 Rue Charlot, 75003
Nearest transport: Filles du Calvaire (8)
Hours: Open every day 6pm-2am
Reservations: Reservations not required
Telephone: 01 42 71 19 32
Average price for a cocktail: 13€
Reviews of interest
Sophie Doran (2013) “Top shelf selection, no standard list and the most comfortable bar stools in the whole of Paris.”
Forest Collins (2013) “They’re turning out a small but solid (and regularly changing) selection of inspired cocktails. In an effort to continually up the ante when it comes to cocktails, they’re even bringing in a professional flavorist to assist with new drink design.”
Sophie De Santis (2012) “Des cocktails sur mesure. La carte est courte et précise. Pas de fioritures dans les appellations, les associations d’ingrédients cohérentes, avec la touche poivrée ou sucrée qu’il faut.”
Just what the doctor ordered: another reliable standby from the ECC team. Two floors of creative cocktails, dark lounge-y space, and too many fashionable people packed into one space.
Reviews of interest
World’s Best Bars (2012) ” The cocktail list gives the place its heart beat, its reason for being. These are some serious drinks: inventive, inspired and, yes, occasionally experimental. They do all the classics but it’s the house drinks that really sing – try the Gin Gin Mule and you’ll see what we mean.”
Forest Collins (2011) “Prescription oozes the same lounge lover style as their other spots. While the downstairs bar is the perfect place to pull up a stool and watch the bartenders work, the upstairs holds a second bar hidden behind a bookshelf to cater to the bigger crowds on busier nights (and things do get much busier late night and weekends.)”
The unaffected but luxurious lounge is the least expensive of the historic cocktails bars, with a cocktail menu as thick as an encyclopedia. Le Forum has been open since 1918 and run by the same family since the early 1930s.
Address: 4 Boulevard Malesherbes, 75008
Nearest transport: Madeleine (8, 12, 14)
Hours: Closed Sunday
Telephone: 01 42 65 37 86
Average price for cocktail: 16€
Reviews of interest
Forest Collins (2013) “Spoil yourself with a drink from their “Hall of Fame” list, like the popular vodka-based Porn Star Martini, made with a soft touch of passion fruit and vanilla.”
World’s Best Bars (2012) “The boxy leather chairs are surprisingly comfortable and one could easily while away an hour or so here with a well-made martini, a classic Pisco Sour or a glass of crisp champagne. The crowd is smartly attired and can veer towards the middle-aged and corporate.”
Andrew Harper (2011) “Otherwise, this bar is a haven of excellence for anyone who likes a good cocktail, a fine whisky or an old-fashioned aperitif such as Lillet, Suze or Pineau des Charentes Marnier. Mrs. Harper has a fondness for the occasional Forum Cocktail, a mix of gin, Noilly Prat Dry and Grand Marnier that was created here in 1929, and I’ve enjoyed sampling my way through the excellent list of single malts through the years.”
Forest Collins (201o) “their attention to detail and consideration of cocktails ensures that every drink is made with just the right ice. This is where I go if I’m feeling flush and craving some sophisticated sipping.”
The congenial international crew at this cheekily named Polynesian-themed rum bar are serving up reasonably priced tropical cocktails, flaming scorpion bowls for a crowd, and interesting craft beers from Oregon to boot. Hipsters and regular people alike are enjoying the retro ambiance at this kitschy cool lounge.
An absolute favorite
Address: 10 Rue Frochot, 75009
Nearest transport: Pigalle (2, 12)
Hours: Open every day 6pm-2am
Telephone: 01 48 78 74 58
Average price for a beer: 6€ for pints, 7€ for 33cl bottles
Number of taps: 3
Average price for cocktail: 6-14€
Reviews of interest
Thierry Richard (2013) “On se verrait d’ailleurs bien en smoking blanc, version Bond à la Jamaïque, dégustant l’un de ces somptueux cocktails où le rhum est roi, comme un Mai Tai (Rhum, zestes d’orange, amandes grillées) parfumé ou, pour les soirs de blues, un Zombie (mélange détonnant de plusieurs rhums) un Pain Killer (Rhum, coco, ananas, orange) revigorant. Car l’avantage du Dirty Dick, c’est qu’on peut aussi s’y réfugier les jours de mauvais temps: le soleil hawaïen y a élu domicile.”
Serious Eats (2013) “As over-the-top as its ambiance is, the bar maintains equilibrium both in the make-up of the menu and in the mixing of impressively balanced individual drinks. The Da-Tiki-Da offers easy-drinking pleasure to big tiki style, impersonating a Brazilian caipirinha, but with rough edges smoothed out by coconut. Served small and clean, this cheapest drink on the menu (6€, or about $7.75) was a refreshing break.”
Le Figaro (2013) “Du côté des breuvages, la part belle est faite au rhum, avec 55 références, et une vingtaine de cocktails very strong servis – pour certains – dans des verres en forme de statues Maori ou dans des bowls à partager. La «Mula Mexicana», à base de tequila, gingembre et menthe, est intelligemment relevée d’un piment entier.”
Forest Collins (2013) “The menu features 17 cocktails with a good mix of classics and house creations, mainly based (of course) on rum, but with other options…I was ready to move onto the rum-based Cutback Conquest, which offers the satisfying balance of a well-made sour made more mature and interesting thanks to the Guinness reduction’s bitter beer bite, spiking through the otherwise easy-going cocktail for a pleasant surprise. The rest of the menu also reflects this element of the unexpected or a juxtaposition of sorts: An elegant un-refinedness, if you will.”
Sophie Doran (2013) “Rum is definitely the star of the show but the team are doing equally great things with vodka, tequila and whisky…The Mai Tai is excellent…As are the drinks – €5 for a pint, roughly €10 for a cocktail – its high brow drinking on a low brow budget.”
Kim Laidlaw (2013) “Somewhat incongruously, Guinness and Newcastle Brown Ale are also on tap, and there is a good selection of bottled beers, too.”
Photo via Dirty Dick’s Facebook page
A bar near Republique that distinguishes itself by using traditional French liqueurs and ingredients as the base of its menu.
Reviews of interest
Thierry Richard (2014) “La déco soignée de l’endroit puise donc son inspiration dans la vision anglosaxonne des années 70 parisiennes, chics, un peu déjantées, ambiance Gainsbourg – Hardy… L’un de mérites, et pas le moindre… c’est de remettre sous le nez des parisiens de vieux alcools et liqueurs du patrimoine qui enchantent tous les bars de la planète mais que les bords de Seine ont oublié depuis longtemps.”
Sophie Doran (2013) “The list is inventive, drawing heavily on local ingredients and forgotten French liquors, but you can also order the classics or Tony’s famed Dry Martini. The prices are great, the service is great and the music is great. It’s simply a great bar.”
Forest Collins (2013) “Rather than recreating Tony’s popular London bars here, they’re working in conjunction with local trends, tastes and products to come up with something uniquely Parisian.”
Forest Collins (2013) “Industry superstar Tony Conigliaro masterminds cocktail creations that focus on forgotten French spirits and liqueurs and incorporate secret ingredients imported from his London laboratory. With a regulars list already comprising Paris’s trendsetters and tastemakers, le Coq is giving the city’s cocktail scene a wake up call.”
Sophie De Santis (2012) “L’adresse anglo-chic ou le symbole de l’entente cordiale franco-anglaise. À la tête de ce dernier-né, un as de la mixologie: Tony Conigliaro, bartender auréolé de prix, déjà patron de deux bars en vue à Londres…Avec ses associés Thierry Daniel et Éric Fossard, il a imaginé une adresse dont rêvent les Britanniques à Paris.”
Photo via Le Coq’s Facebook
Red House is where your bartender hangs out on his/her night off. An easygoing dive with really solid, inexpensive cocktails.
Reviews of interest
Hipsters in Paris (2014) “Red House is the best place to drink above average cocktails at below average prices…It’s basically the perfect dive bar; friendly staff, quality drinks and excellent music (with DJs most nights of the week).”
Forest Collins (2013) “Giving clients a good time is as important as giving them a good cocktail…hungry locals line up to fill their bellies on taco nights and take advantage of one of the city’s best happy hours.”
World’s Best Bars (2012) “They’ve ramped up the cocktail list to include some inventive and intriguing drinks…The menu changes seasonally, so feel free to ask what’s good (or go for one of the seasonally variable Old-Fashioneds). There’s also, unsurprisingly, a decent range of spirits (especially tequilas) on offer. The bartenders are friendly and knowledgeable and the cocktails are great value.”
Forest Collins (2012) “When I’m looking for a bit of fun over fancy, I head to the Red House…The spirits selection is smaller than in most of the city’s best cocktail bars, but it goes beyond the bottom shelf basics that you’ll find in most of the city’s laid back watering holes.”
Photo courtesy of Red House’s Facebook page
Whether you’re looking for a nightcap or an apéro, an old fashioned hotel bar or a new wave dive, here’s our guide to the best craft cocktails organized by arrondissement. Happy tippling!
L’oiseau Blanc (75016) LiLi isn’t the only new opening at the Hotel Peninsula Paris, there’s also a rooftop bar with “360 degree view of Paris in a sophisticated and staid space. The drinks menu features around a dozen drinks ranging from appropriate classics (Aviation, anyone?) to twists on classics like their Take Off (gin, sweet vermouth and bitters). Here you’ll find the excellent service and hush hush feel that high-end hotels are known for.” Forrest Collins recommends going early as she suspects many of the best terrace seats are reserved for hotel guests.
Read the full review at 52 Martinis
We have not yet reviewed this restaurant, but you’ll find practical information about location and hours on this page, along with links to other reviews. Feel free to share your own opinion in the comments.
10% of the best bars in the world, in fact.
Candelaria not only broke into the top 10 and but also took home top honors for Best Bar in Europe.
“Don’t bother with churches, government buildings or city squares, if you want to know about a culture, spend a night in its bars,” –Ernest Hemingway
Serious cocktail snobs, beautiful bobos, eager expats, and beer geeks alike are buzzing around the octagonal bar at Le Mary Celeste on a weekday night. Bright, airy, young, and fun, the bar is the hub around which the restaurant itself is organized.
Le Mary Celeste is a venture from the people behind Candelaria and Glass. Accordingly, there’s a solid cocktail program and two Brooklyn beers on tap. Another creative and beautiful (now nautical) interior from David Rager, Cheri Messerli and Gilles Tombeur. These get a lot of attention, as do the rotating cast of mostly wild oysters sold seasonally by the piece for 2-5€. Continue reading Le Mary Celeste
With its bright, bare-bones kitchen, crowded counter, communal table, and addictive salsas — all mercifully un-Frenchified — this upper Marais spot has officially changed the game, and people are lining up for tacos and agua fresca. Go through the unmarked door next to the stove and you’ll find a serious bar, staffed by Experimental Cocktail Club grads.