The best cocktail bars in Paris

The best bars in Paris include canal-side drinks, discreet cellars and inventive cocktails with a side of cabaret camp

Words by Sarah Moroz
Last updated: April 5, 2024
The best cocktail bars in Paris | a cocktail on a mustard armchair from Dirty Lemon
Dirty Lemon

Paris may be noted for its wine scene, but it also boasts some of the best cocktail bars in the world. Drinking dens range from hidden haunts to lively neighbourhood enclaves, many of which have outdoor eating to watch the passers-by, whether in polished Saint Germain, the fashionable Marais, or laidback Belleville.

Cocktail bars make use of local ingredients and international inspiration from London and New York. A local drinker picks out the best craft cocktail bars in Paris, drawing on Caribbean, Lebanese and classically French techniques – all making beautiful drinks in atmospheric surrounds.

The best cocktail bars in Paris | Kissproof's yellow facade in Belleville
Kissproof brightens up a corner of Belleville

20th arrondissement


Best for: A neon-lit bar with Levantine cocktails – and absinthe
Address: 50 Rue de Belleville, 75020 Paris
Price: Plates and snacks from 4-15 EUR

Brightening up a corner of the buzzy rue de Belleville is a sibling spot to the Beirut bar of the same name, recognisable by its sunshine yellow facade. Inside the narrow space, red neon signage irradiates the window. A Serge Gainsbourg record cover, Love on the Beat, looks down at bar-goers from behind the counter, which is also the name of one of the signature cocktails (shaken with mezcal, beetroot and lime, with a slick of sal de gusano). Alternatively, dabble in the Pink Sheep of Beirut (a ‘glitter-parade daiquiri’ with rum, hibiscus, arak and lime) or ask about the absinthes. To accompany cocktails, try the smoked labneh and stracciatella, and utilise the outdoor seating on warm days.

The best cocktail bars in Paris | Cocktails and Caribbean cooking at La Commune
Cocktails and Caribbean cooking at La Commune

La Commune

Best for: Caribbean inspiration in a chill Parisian setting
Address: 80 Boulevard de Belleville, 75020 Paris
Price: Cocktails from 11 EUR

Behind the plant-peppered veranda looking onto Boulevard de Belleville are polished concrete walls, green marble counter, and brass seats of Carribean-inflected bar La Commune. The house specialty here is punch served in large silver bowls, so groups are more than welcome. Other pours include Rest in Peach (vodka, peach liqueur, bissap, pineapple, lime), the French 80 (cognac, champagne, citron, sugar) or the Pain Killer (dark rum, cognac, orange, coconut, pineapple). Balance out the lovely liquids with spicy chicken wings or plantains with pepper dip.

The best cocktail bars in Paris | an iced cocktail at Combat in a tin vessel
Combat shakes cocktails in Belleville with a commitment to sustainability

19th arrondissement


Best for: Fierce cocktails in Belleville
Address: 63 Rue de Belleville, 75019 Paris
Price: Cocktails from 11 EUR

Combat takes its name from the forceful nickname of the neighbourhood it is situated in, noted for its revolutionary spirit. This female-run bar helmed by master mixologist Margot Lecarpentier (a delight to watch preparing cocktails with a flourish on TikTok and Instagram) features exposed brick, bright yellow tiling and foliage draped from the ceiling. The venue’s sustainability efforts are laudable, with a focus on waste and water control, seasonal ingredients and a strict ban on plastic. On the menu, sample the Minto Martini (gin, saké, pear, dry vermouth, toasted juniper, peppermint, mint oil), the Correto (Calvados brandy, coffee, banana, red vermouth and Italian bitters, laced with cardamom) or the Cascada (scotch bourbon blend, clove, cherry liqueur, red vermouth, cascara de cacao, verjus de raisin). If you’re feeling peckish, reach for some aged gouda and pickles.

The best cocktail bars in Paris | a short drink on a sofa edge with an orange garnish
Dirty Lemon is an inclusive space in the lively 11th arrondissement

11th arrondissement

Dirty Lemon

Best for: A queer women’s space that welcomes all, Mediterranean warmth
Address: 24 Rue de la Folie Méricourt, 75011 Paris
Price: Cocktails are priced at 13-14 EUR

Dirty Lemon’s bubblegum pink facade brightens up a cobblestone side street in the trendy 11th arrondissement. Owned by Palestinian-born and French-trained chef Ruba Khoury (who cut her teeth at Michelin-starred Septime), the bar couples great cocktails with a Mediterranean menu of elevated falafel, hummus, and kebabs, served until 1am. Insistently inclusive, “it’s a bar wherein a queer and female clientele can find community, comfort, cocktails, and maybe a phone number or two,” its biography attests. Try the It Girl (Japanese brandy, cold green jasmine tea, pineapple cordial and rose) or the Jessica Rabbit (tonka-infused rye, olorosso, carrot, cinnamon and almond mousse). If you’re in mocktail mode, test the habanero-laced Spicy, or sip on a CBD-infused sparkling hibiscus water. When the sun shines, perch on the pavement terrace and watch the neighbourhood go by.

The best cocktail bars in Paris | the peach bar at Abricot

10th arrondissement


Best for: American exuberance in Paris, plant-based bites
Address: 189 Rue Saint-Maur, 75010 Paris
Price: Cocktails 13-15 EUR

With its slogan ‘keep it cheeky,’ you can be sure the vibes are solid at Abricot, founded by two brightly energetic American women (repping New York and California – also reflected in the plant-based snacks, like popcorn, nachos and cornbread). Try the Hot Bitch if you are one: smoky mezcal and pineapple tepache fermented with jalapeño and sage; or pay pop culture homage with the Sophia Petrillo (named after the iconic eldest Golden Girl) expressed as a pseudo-negroni with Ron Colon coffee-infused rum. Duck in from rue Saint Maur and catch the jazz performances on Sundays. Groups of six or more are accepted by reservation and private hands-on cocktail workshops are available.

The best cocktail bars in Paris | The sculptural, low-lit bar at Gravity
The sculptural bar at Gravity


Best for: Canal-adjacent cocktails
Address: 44 Rue des Vinaigriers, 75010 Paris
Price: Cocktails from 12-15 EUR

Just off the Canal Saint-Martin, this intimate cocktail bar appears to in fact defy gravity, with striking decor: a sculptural wooden wave runs along the ceiling and down the wall behind the bar to become an undulating bottle shelf. Try the bright orange (Don’t) Play with Fire (Makers Mark, pumpkin, warm spices, tawny port, tonka), the Moriyama (tequila, pear, kefir), the Pisco Disco (Pisco, hazelnut-almond orgeat, chai, roasted buckwheat) or the Araki (mezcal, grapefruit, seaweed). The small plates are no slouch either, like grilled halloumi with fresh figs, roquette, Kalamata olives, honey, and hazelnut oil.

The best cocktail bars in Paris | a glowing drink against a dark curtain at Le Syndicat
Le Syndicat is a hidden cocktail bar with serious vibe

Le Syndicat

Best for: A new wave speakeasy
Address: 51 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010 Paris
Price: Cocktails 13-14 EUR

Beneath a palimpsest of posters on its facade, you’d be forgiven for missing Le Syndicat at first glance. A portal out of the heaving bustle of Faubourg Saint-Denis, it discreetly leads to a diminutive space with quilted gold curtains and dim lighting. The cocktail menu includes the Holy G, mixed with grilled coconut water, habanero, an assemblage of rums, and white absinthe, or for a different flavour profile, try the Wet White T-Shirt with herbed ghee, vodka, pear, and dry rancio. The classics here are just as carefully made as the signature specials, especially the Pisco sour, daiquiri, and espresso martini. Non-alcoholic options include a house-made ginger beer and rhubarb soda.

The best cocktail bars in Paris | Sister Midnight is an inclusive craft cocktail bar with a glam rock vibe
Sister Midnight is an inclusive craft cocktail bar with a glam rock vibe

9th arrondissement

Sister Midnight

Best for: Cocktails with a side of camp in Pigalle, weekend performances
Address: 4 Rue Viollet-le-Duc, 75009 Paris
Price: Cocktails from 12-15 EUR

This small, inclusive bar has lots of Pigalle energy: that is to say, untamed vivacity. It is run by Joseph Boley and Jen Riley, who also own the American bar-cantina Red House near Bastille. Inside, Sister Midnight is a wash of kitschy glam rock details (think leopard-print seats) – the name is a reference to Iggy Pop and David Bowie’s 1977 collaboration. Crafted creations include the Mad Daddy with mezcal, Campari, Fernet Branca, sweet vermouth, and grapefruit, or for those off the sauce, La Vie en Rose with ceders, non-alcoholic cucumber distillate, honey, lemon and rose water. Be sure to check out the regular drag and burlesque performances on weekends.

The best cocktail bars in Paris | velvet sofas and glamour at Prescription Cocktail Club
Prescription Cocktail Club exudes Parisian glamour

6th arrondissement

Prescription Cocktail Club

Best for: Maximalist vintage glamour from the Experimental Group
Address: 23 Rue Mazarine, 75006 Paris
Price: Cocktails 15 EUR

This Saint-Germain-des-Prés staple (opened in 2010 by hospitality behemoth Experimental Group) rebooted in 2022 to unveil a theatre-esque transformation by interior designer Dorothée Meilichzon. Think draped fabric, gypsum lamps, and velvet sofas – there’s even a fortune-telling Zoltar behind the DJ booth. The fashion-inflected cocktail menu includes the Garavani (North American Lot 40 whisky, Pommeau Drouin and Campari, with honey and bitter chocolate) and the zesty Karl (tequila, lime, spinach cordial, ginger lemon mousse, bitter celery) – plus there’s a rotating ‘Fashion Cocktail du Moment.’ For an alcohol-free option, enjoy the Drag Race (orchid tea, verbena, ginger beer); nibbles include croque monsieur with halloumi or beetroot hummus.

The best cocktail bars in Paris | Marble tabletops meet elegant cocktails at Craven
Marble tabletops meet elegant cocktails at Craven


Best for: Stylish soirées in Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Address: 165 Bd Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris
Price: Cocktails 15-22 EUR

Cravan (named after poet and boxer Arthur Cravan) is located in Saint-Germain-des-Prés – a storied neighbourhood where intellectuals once roamed. Housed within a 17th-century building (outfitted by designer Ramy Fischler), its smart design details include classical mouldings, plush banquettes, and marble tabletops. The venue is spread over four levels: there are, in fact, three cocktail bars, a bookstore co-designed by Rizzoli New York, and a rooftop accessible only by invitation. Mixing old-world glam and contemporary cool, the bar also offers 50cL bottled cocktails such as negronis and margaritas to purchase via their online store.

The best cocktail bars in Paris | A sake-based cocktail at Sherry Butt
A sake-based cocktail at Sherry Butt

4th arrondissement

Sherry Butt

Best for: Whiskey whimsy in the Marais
Address: 20 Rue Beautreillis, 75004 Paris
Price: Cocktails 13 EUR

Sherry Butt’s name references the sherry barrels in which whisky ages. Hidden in a disarmingly quiet street in the Marais, not far from Bastille, this venue’s stone walls and leather couches are minimally lit for maximum effect. Sample the extensive whisky offerings – there are around 80 labels from all over the world, from Scotland to Japan – or, if you’re keen on cocktails, sip the Sayuri (Umajun saké, coriander, rhubarb, verjus, citron), the Loomi (Scotch, Hojicha, eucalyptus, verjus, citron) or the Babe (vodka, strawberry, kefir, citron).

The best cocktail bars in Paris | Cambridge Public House takes its cue from a classic English pub
Cambridge Public House takes its cue from a classic English pub

3rd arrondissement

Cambridge Public House

Best for: English-Inspired pub vibes
Address: 8 Rue de Poitou, 75003 Paris
Price: Cocktails 13 EUR

In the midst of the Haut Marais, this laidback spot takes its cue from classic British pubs. Its big front windows open breezily onto the street in the warm months, yet the bar maintains the cosy, mellow atmosphere of a tavern when it’s chilly. Here, the pub vibes aren’t resonant with endless rounds of pints, but rather crossover into cocktail bar expertise (the bar’s motto is ‘tradition & transition’). Munch on classic pub food such as sausage rolls and pies while sipping the Stay Gold (mirabelle, Takamaka rum blend, umeshu, Dolin Dry vermouth) or the martini-like Sun Bathing (lychee, saké, Avallen Calvados, Dolin Blanc, parmesan).

The best cocktail bars in Paris | Le Mary Celeste Grasshopper cocktail, with peppermint, salted cacao and coconut
Le Mary Celeste Grasshopper cocktail, with peppermint, salted cacao and coconut

Le Mary Celeste

Best for: A trendy spot with quality cocktails, outdoor seating
Address: 1 Rue Commines, 75003 Paris
Price: Cocktails 14 EUR

Le Mary Celeste falls under the Quixotic Projects umbrella, which also oversees Candelaria, a Mexican taqueria in neighbouring Marais. Occupying a prime corner site, with outdoor seating in the warm months, it serves as a hip base for the area’s creative set. To sip, there are remixed classics like a Manhattan with salted butter bourbon, banana, and xocolatl mole, and a Spritz with timut pepper, pink peppercorn and bitter soda, as well as more exotic creations such as the Cardinale (rye whiskey, orange wine, bitter) or the Egg Nog mocktail (fruit confit, buckwheat, crème patissière). Unlike most cocktail bars, the natural wine list is extensive and considered. Note that the venue is open for lunch and also has small plates at dinner.

The best cocktail bars in Paris | drinks and bonhomie at Experimental Cocktail Club
Experimental Cocktail Club is the cocktail bar that launched a now globally-known hotel group

2nd arrondissement

Experimental Cocktail Club

Best for: The Parisian cocktail headquarters
Address: 37 Rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002 Paris
Price: Cocktails 15 EUR

This is the original address of Experimental Group, the international pantheon that launched here in 2007 and has since expanded into hotels and restaurants in Switzerland, Italy and the UK. Situated in the vibrant cobbled Montorgueil neighbourhood, this cocktail bar inaugurated the mixologist-as-maestro fervour of the Paris scene. Within its stripped down walls, enjoy the cocktail menu made “with a nod to Parisian elegance”. Experiment, so to speak, with the PB&J, made with Nikka whisky, Denoix Suprême, crème de cassis, toasted peanut orgeat, citron, egg white, and Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters, or the Guajaca Del Arte, with mezcal del Maguey Vida, house-made falernum, Cocchi Doppo Teatro et Punt e Mes vermouth, grapefruit juice, lime, Absinthe Pernod, and Scrappy’s Aromatic Bitters.