DRINKING in Paris: Address Book
In the City of Lights, Happy Hour is 5-8pm, or if you’re lucky 9. The savvy option is to order as many drinks as you desire at quarter to the-end-of-Happy Hour and you’re good to go =) When cocktail hour hits, my personal favourite go-to spot is Boulevard Saint-Germain, it has an electric atmosphere at this time in the evening! I like to think of this stretch of Boulevard which begins on your right-hand side as you step out of Odéon metro and extends to Mabillon station as the Quartier Latin’s Rue des Cocktails. Read on for my Little Black Book of bars and tips for making the most of Happy Hour in the French capital.
THE LATIN QUARTER | 5TH & 6TH ARRONDISSEMENTS
In Continental Europe they don’t scrimp on the measures when you order so a single or a double shot can often be one and the same with a little spilled over! If you order a cocktail at any of the aforementioned spots they will be well-made and perfectly poured. Happy hour is priced at 5-6 euros per cocktail, around half of the normal prices and when you order, say, a Pornstar Martini with a coupe de champagne, they of course bring you champagne and not a fizzy equivalent (!) Parisians are obsessive about quality & authenticity.
The reason this is one of my favourite areas is that you can hop and skip between cafés, brasseries or bistros with ease and from first-hand experience I can attest that Happy Hour(s) will truly live up to their name! This was one of my old neighbourhoods so I got to regularly partake in its charm. Balmy summer evenings or even more chilly autumnal ones are best enjoyed people-watching, the favourite Parisian past-time (ever wondered why all café chairs face onto the street? It is the people’s catwalk!) with friends over a mojito-in-love, or two, or three =) The ambiance is a dream as it is a very central, thriving area and if you happen to wander down the small side streets such as Rue de Buci you stumble upon very quintessential Parisian vibes: bands playing the violin, people dancing in the streets, laughter and life! I could write pages just on these few streets of the city and I will soon include my favourite places for brunch (le Molière being one), but ultimately, this is just a wonderful place to wander.
Hope you enjoy these addresses, I would love to hear your thoughts if you drop by at one!
Le Pub Saint-Germain
17 Rue de l’Ancienne Comédie, 75006 Paris
148 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris
Tel: + 33 1 43 26 24 06
164 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris
Tel: +33 1 43 26 62 93
Less of a bar and more of a coffee-sipping literary spot, the fabulous people-watching, reading, studying atmosphere still applies. This is a famous Paris institution, as a library/café in the heart of the literary district.
4 Carrefour de l’Odéon, 75006 Paris
+33 1 43 26 67 76
Slightly further afield, but still within the Latin Quarter area in the neighbouring arrondissemont are:
57 Rue Lacépède, 75005 Paris
Tel: +33 1 43 36 82 88
They are both within the same gorgeous, cobbled square with a similar vibe to Boulevard Saint-Germain and just along from famous rue Mouffetard (one of Paris’ renowned gourmet streets) it is another cocktail hour heaven!