Since I will soon be fleeing the city of Paris and won’t be frequenting these spots anymore, nor have angry Parisians harangue me for divulging their top-secret places, I’ve decided to compile a guide of all of my favorite/under the radar hang-outs that one only finds after living here.
While the list isn’t long, this is truly about quality and not quantity. Paris is brimming with cool cafés, swanky bars and deliciously decadent restaurants and oftentimes it’s overwhelming and difficult to pick one when you’ve only got a few days in the Capital. So if you’re looking for a good time at a place that really allows you to dive into Parisian culture then venture down the rabbit hole and explore these places during your next trip.
Warning: By visiting these places, you may find yourself wishing to be Parisian and spend your days walking along the Seine with a baguette in arm. I do apologize for the charm of this city. However, I don’t apologize for the cheeky French men that you may meet at any one of these places as they are sure to pepper your stories from abroad. (Watch out, they can be *VERY* romantic. And by romantic, I mean forward).
Le 10 Bar
What: Sangria Bar located near Odéon
Small pitcher of sangria 8 euros
Medium/Large 21 euros (about 2-3 glasses each for group of 4)
Where: 10 Rue de l’Odéon, 6ème
The sangria is delicious and a tad strong and the atmosphere is young. On weeknights it’s not packed enough to open the downstairs, which in my opinion is the best part, but the entire bar is really cool. Old posters from the 19th and 20th century line the walls and the downstairs reminds one of a speak-easy style bar, with dark woods lining the wall and a kind of musky smell.
Le Comptoir Général
What: Hipster crowd, Colonial Africa Themed Bar
Combines drinks with art, food and a dance floor
Mixed drinks about 8-9 euros, 1 or 2 euro entrance fee
What: Café/Restaurant with outdoor terrace, one of Hemingway’s old haunts
Located near Rue Mouffetard, one of the oldest market streets in Paris, this is a lovely place to sit and watch locals stroll by and take in the magic of the night.
Bottles of wine about 24-35 euros
Small plates and appetizers, haven’t had *actual* food here
Where: Rue Mouffetard, 2 Place de la Contrescarpe, 5ème
From a few nights ago here: Last night at the café, sitting on a terrace overlooking Place de la Contrescarpe. Situated on Rue Mouffetard, one of the oldest market streets in Paris, this area was a favorite haunt of Hemingway. He spent many winters wrapped in the confines of the apartments above, toying away at his novels and staying warm with a bottle of red.
We sat on the terrace, the night bubbling with raucous laughter and those with a penchant for getting into mischief on a Friday night. Couples passed by, hand in hand, while other groups weaved their way through the square – their cigarette smoke leaving a haunting trail behind them.
The lights twinkled, the music from each of the surrounding cafés melted together, creating a soft Parisian melody, then to be accompanied by a guitar player, busking in the moonlight.
The couple in front of us, no doubtably in love, kept falling into each other’s shoulders, whispering secrets in delight and watching the world pass by. In the quietest of moments, the man would slightly turn his head and kiss the girl on her temple, letting his lips linger as if he were writing a love letter on her skin.
The world stood still, for the two of them, as they sat wrapped in the arms of the one that they loved – taking in the beauty of life, together.
What: Fun and raucous bar on Rue Mouffetard
Can be difficult to find seating at times, drinks get sloshed around and the air is amicable
Been proposed a threesome here — or rather a menage à trois
I love their Delirium Blonde (or any Delirium beer that they are carrying)
Large beer about 8 euros, some mixed drinks about 6euros
Where: Rue Mouffetard, 49 Rue Descartes, 5ème
What: Rowdy bar up top, dance club in the cave downstairs that plays today’s hits and 90’s tunes
Shots around 4 euros, mixed drinks around 7 euros
Where: Rue Mouffetard, 45 Rue Descartes, 5ème
*Tip: For a really fun night – start at Café Dumas and share a bottle of wine, move on to Mayflower for beers and laughter, finish at Antidote with dancing and shots
What: Australian opened coffee shop near Pigalle/Sacré-Coeur
This is my go to place as it is down the street from my flat
Always busy for brunch, only open until around 6pm, has WiFi!
Flat White ~ 4 euros
Where: Rue des Martyrs near Pigalle, 53 Avenue Trudaine, 9ème
What: Tiny little café mixing Parisian elements with Japanese
Cappuccino ~4 euros, Matcha Latte 5 euros
Nothing too special here, just ideal locations for a quick pick-me-up
Where: Jardin du Palais Royale, 1ème and also one on Rue Condorcet, 9ème
What: Bar, Funky/Provocative Art Gallery/Music Venue
I think beers are around 7 or 8 euros, check online for shows!
Great during the summer months when people take their beers outside and drink on the canal
Where: Canal St. Martin, 10ème
What: Traditional French restaurant with cute waiters and decadent plates
Plates ranging from 15 to 25 euros
Where: Argentine, 28 Place Saint-Ferdinand, 17ème
By far my favorite restaurant in all of Paris. My mom and I found this place during my first visit to Paris almost 4 years ago and it’s become a tradition to go back ever since. It’s an old-style restaurant with hand-written chalkboards of the ‘plat du jour’. I’ve tried a handful of the dishes and honestly, you can’t go wrong – white fish with potatoes au gratin or scrumptious duck and buttery veggies — eat every last bite and don’t skimp on dessert. This is a great place to have a really French meal without any tourists and to be teased by cheeky waiters. I’ve suggested it to numerous friends that come into town and they always love it.
What: Artsy bar frequented by hipsters, celebrities and good lookin’ gents
My roommate really loves this one — can be very crowded, interesting decor and small dance club downstairs
Drinks around 9-10 euros
Where: Rue Mouffetard, 36 Rue de Paradis, 10ème