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5 Places to Grab a Drink in Paris

5 Places to Grab a Drink in Paris

Whenever you move to a new city, there is always a learning curve. There are tasks to get done, people to meet, exploring to do and so much more. At the end of the day, sometimes, you just want to head to your favorite bar or restaurant to get that much-needed drink or a satisfying meal.

In a new city, you don't have that yet. You have to seek out new spots with the hope that they will become old favorites.

With almost four months in Paris under our belts, we have started to build our own small list of potential favorites for nightlife. Some of these places we want to return to ASAP and others stand out as spots that we know "so-and-so" will love. I'm happy to have these places in our back pocket.

Some of our first finds came from our French teacher, Delphine. She would take us around the city and deliver that day's lesson in a different bar or cafe. But recently, we've been finding some on our own. I attribute this to my newfound ability to read French. Obviously, it's not perfect, but I can get the gist of what's going on. This has been one of my go-to sites - http://www.timeout.fr/paris. I like reading these reviews because they're written by those who know the ins and outs of the city in their native language.

Here are some of the standouts, in no particular order:


Le Dude:

Our most recent discovery was this Big Lebowski themed bar. We brought a bunch of people here for cheap drinks not knowing they had a special menu of six (maybe more) different White Russians. The place was pretty crowded during happy hour, but we were able to take advantage of the cheaper drinks - I got The Dude, their signature beer (2.50) and Steve drank a White Russian (4.50). After happy hour ended, it cleared out a bit and we were able to grab one of the tables inside to  chat. There are also tables outside for those who wanted to brave the cold.

Canal Saint-Martin, Métro Belleville, Goncourt, or Colonel Fabien
214 Rue Saint-Maur, 75010
Open 6pm-2am, Monday to Saturday


La Lavomatic:

The Lavomatic at night

When we first walked up, we didn't think we were in the right place. It is a speakeasy type bar that looks like an unassuming laverie (aka. laundromat). You open a hidden door, climb the stairs and enter a chic bar with great drinks and small plates. We were only here once for a quick drink, but are hoping to go back very soon.

République, Métro République
30 Rue René Boulanger, 75010
Open 6pm-2am, Tuesday to Saturday


The Bottle Shop:

This place is the result of my first foray in reading reviews en Francais. It's in an area full of bars, so if we didn't like it, no problem, we could move on. We stayed. We loved it. They had a wide variety of beer, so our small group bought a pitcher, and then another and.. Needless to say, we stuck to beer for the night. The prices weren't bad and it had a great ambiance - the entire bar sang "Joyeux Anniversaire" to one lucky patron. At the end of the night, we debated on having just one more beer. The group said yes, and the bartender gave us each a free shot. I guess we were good customers? They also had a solid looking cocktail menu, so we will be back for more!  

Charonne, Métro Ledru-Rollin, Faidherbe-Chaligny
5 Rue Trousseau, 75011
Open 3pm to 2am, everyday


Lizard Lounge:

Early in our Paris days, we met up with a few friends who were in town on vacation. We chose this bar and it was a pretty good choice, considering we were going in blind. It's in the Marais, close to the Seine and all the famous Marais shopping. We visited during happy hour where I enjoyed a refreshing Aperol spritz. Good cocktails, wine and beer along with an easy, pleasant atmosphere - you can't go wrong. And it's only a stone's throw from our apartment. Of course, we'll be back.

Canal Saint-Martin, Métro Belleville, Goncourt, or Colonel Fabien
214 Rue Saint-Maur, 75010
Open 6pm-2am, Monday to Saturday


La Recyclerie:

The abandoned train tracks the run under LA RECYCLERIE

This is one of the gems that Delphine brought us to. It's an old train station that's been cleaned up and turned into many different things - a, bar, cafe, workshop space and community garden. It's a hike to get there from where we live (it's near the ring road, north of Montmartre), but is quick walk from the closest metro station. This place has such a great atmosphere that we've been back three times. It's an open, airy space with plenty of seats; there is an outdoor patio that looks onto the overgrown train tracks and a bar where it's easy to order food and drinks. On one visit, we ordered a pichet of wine and a mixte planche (cheese and charcuterie plate) - trés bon. It's relaxed, but lively and a great place to bring friends. 

18eme, Métro Porte de Clignancourt
83 Boulevard Ornano, 75018
Open noon to midnight, everyday

These are just a handful of the bars that we've visited while living in Paris so far. But they are definitely on the shortlist. Hopefully we'll continue to find more throughout the city as our time here continues!

What are you favorite spots in Paris to grab a drink? And how did you find it? 
Cheers / Santé!


Vocab for today:

  • sortir - to go out
  • boire - to drink
  • une pinte de bière - a pint of beer
  • un verre de vin - a glass of wine
  • pichet - pitcher (can be a pitcher of beer or a half-bottle of wine)
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