You don’t need to be a guest at the grand Le Meurice hotel to enjoy the luxury of having tuxedoed waiters serve you 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 euros a pop, the prices certainly are not.
The original (and still insanely popular) speakeasy that sparked the trend in 2007 and spawned an empire that now includes Beef Club, Fish Club, Prescription Cocktail Club and Curio Parlour. ECC sets the standard for tiny, dark and cozy bars with their intricate cocktails. Despite being the oldest of the new wave joints, it’s still one of the swankiest and hardest to get in.
You’re almost guaranteed a celebrity sighting in one of the warren-like rooms that include a fumoir, movie theater, and stage for bands to perform. That is, if you can get in.
Famous for being a Hemingway haunt, Harry’s is responsible for the invention of the (now) classic cocktails the Bloody Mary, the French 75, and the Sidecar. Stiff, white coat clad bartenders keep a strict dress code in check so shorts aren’t going to cut it. Pants (sigh) are required if you’d like to make it through the door of this historic bar.
The tiny red door leads to a tiny 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.
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.
The least expensive of the historic cocktails bars with a cocktail menu as thick as an encyclopedia.
A bar near Republique that distinguishes itself by using traditional French liqueurs and ingredients as the base of its menu.
Skip the pizza at Da Vito and head directly for the refrigerator in the center of the room. The walk-in fridge filled with beer kegs and hanging hams is an entrance to this elegant but unpretentious speakeasy.
Red House is where your bartender hangs out on his/her night off. An easygoing dive with really solid, inexpensive cocktails.
Serious cocktails in an unpretentious lounge near the Bastille with good bar snacks to boot. The attention to detail, chill atmosphere and intriguing menu make this an industry darling.