Paris travel guide



Paris Travel Guide

Bars in Paris

Cafés and bars in Paris are very blurred with cafés where you can settle in with a beer and a croissant for breakfast and bars when you can enjoy a late night sandwich along with your cocktail.

The 1990s craze for Irish and British pubs has to some extent run its course with the new focus on more funky and interesting bars that have more in common with East Berlin than the East End of London. With the exception of Anglo/Irish bars, beers on tap (bière à la pression) are normally served as a demi (25cl).

The once trendy Buddha Bar, 8 bis rue Boissy d’Anglas, 8th, has lost much of its shine, with the bars in Ménilmontant now the place to see and be seen. Café Charbon, 109 rue Oberkampf, 11th, the bar that kicked the rejuvenation of the area is still going strong and has stayed at the head of the game by adding a club venue.

The Le Mecano Bar, 99 rue Oberkampf, 11th, so called because of its toolbox decor, is one of most popular bars in the area with a grungy feel. Nearby Lou Pascalou, 14 rue des Panoyaux, 20th, is a relaxed place to hang out with some of the most unusual toilets in Paris. The scene in Ménilmontant is constantly evolving so visitors are advised to just wander around rue de Oberkampf and explore some its side streets for the latest ‘in’ bar.

The Marais 3rd and 4th, is packed with a happy mélange of gay and straight bars. Vibrant gay bars include the Coffe Shop, 3 rue Ste-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie, and Amnesia, 42 rue Vieille-du-Temple, 4th. Le Central, 33 rue Vieille-du-Temple, 4th, is one of the city’s oldest gay bars, with a more sedate clientele. Paris’ sole gay-only hotel is situated above the café.

There are also a number of quirky little straight bars in and around rue Vieille-du-Temple, including La Chaise au Plafond, 10 rue du Trésor, 4th, with its ceiling decorated with Frisian cows and a lovely terrace, Au Petit Fer à Cheval, 30 rue Vieille-du-Temple, 4th, named after its huge horseshoe-shaped bar, and L’Etoile Manquante, 30 rue Vieille-du-Temple, 4th. Also in the Marais is the Web Bar, 32 rue de Picardie, 3rd, a silversmith’s atelier turned into a hip but relaxing cybernet haunt.

For genuine Scottish beer and televised sports in a relaxed Marais setting the Auld Alliance, 80 rue Francois Miron, 2nd, is the place to head. Anglophone ex-pats will also find safety in numbers at the Café Oz, 184 rue St-Jacques, 5th, which serves a good range of draught and bottled beers, or The Frog & Rosbif, 116 rue St-Denis, 2nd, a traditional British pub. A new branch of the Frog & Rosbif, 25 cour St-Emillion, has recently opened in up-and-coming Bercy.

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