Guest post by Marta Lopez Garcia.
Have you ever thought about what’s behind what they call “La vie en rose”? The City of Light is made of glorious stories behind a glass of wine. Romantic and sophisticated, the French capital offers hundreds of wine bars across its 20 districts. From the friendly Amelie Montmartre to the chic Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the city knows how to engage travellers thanks to its charming and local wine bars (sometimes half bar, half restaurant) where it will be easy to lose track of time. Because I love this city and happiness, this is my personal guide to the first 10 Parisian arrondissements — I left the selection for the other 10 districts in case anyone wants to discover them by themselves.
Image Source: Marta López
1. Juvenile’s (Palais Royal)
This is definitely a Parisian bar for Anglo visitors. Run by the amazing Tim Johnston, Juvenile´s counts a large number of regular clients that are always happy to share a bottle of wine whilst eating something from the meaty and very French menu. The friendly service always makes people to come back…
47 Rue de Richelieu, 75001 Paris
2. Frenchie Bar à vins (Strasbourg Sant Denis)
It has probably a review in every modern culinary magazine. Not too far from Les Halles Forum and very close to the cool Experimental Cocktail Club, Frenchie is based in one of those narrow streets in Paris. Its owner, Gregory Marchand, started this culinary adventure in 2009 and after two years, he decided to create a very special area: the wine bar. Here you can taste the best selection of wines from Spain, France or Australia – don’t hesitate to try the food menu in case you feel like you fancy a bit of modern French cuisine. Top tip: Arrive early to improve your chances to find a seat at the wine bar (It won’t be an easy job…) In other words: It’s the Paris wine bar of the moment.
6 rue du Nil, 75002, Paris
3. La Fusée (Rambuteau)
La Fusée is one of those places that attracts plenty of young people. It offers good food at reasonable prices for the area. This is the perfect place to enjoy a proper French soirée. If the weather allows it, don´t hesitate to have a seat at the charming terrace. You will feel like you were in one of those old Parisian cafés— In fact, it was one of those in the past and you will notice thanks to the old posters on the wall. To tip: Don’t miss the chance on a Sunday to listen to swing and la chanson francaise.
168 rue Saint-Martin, 75003, Paris
4. Le Café Livres (Hôtel de Ville)
This is one of those cafés in the centre of Paris where you could stay for hours whilst reading an Albert Camus novel. The terrace and its huge collection of books will easily make you love this place as much as I do. This is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine after a shopping marathon at the Rue de Rivoli.
10, rue Saint-Martin, 75004, Paris
5. Le Bistrot du Vin qui Danse (Sorbonne)
Located in the heart of the historic 5th arrondissement, near the Sorbonne, Le Bistrot du Vin qui Danse attracts a large number of young people in the area. It literally means “The restaurant that dances”, and it could make sense as, if you attend one of its wine tasting sessions, you might end up dancing… Here you will understand why French people are so proud of their cuisine.
4 Rue des Fossés St Jacques, 75005, Paris
6. Chez Georges (Saint-Germain-des-Prés)
Absolutely Parisian, Chez Georges (Its name couldn’t be more French) is a paradise of wine and good atmosphere hidden in the heart of the chic Saint-Germain-des-Prés. This place keeps the charm of an old cellar and even if you have to wait a little bit to get in on the weekend, it is definitely worth it!
273 Boulevard Pereire, 75017 Paris
7. Le Sancerre (Champs de Mars)
Not too far from the famous Pont de L’Alma, Le Sancerre is a very cute restaurant that offers excellent homemade French cuisine. It doesn’t matter if you come with friends or with your partner, its owner will look after you behind the bar. This friendly and homely atmosphere is what encourages locals and travellers to come back — and of course, because of the oysters with white wine.
22 Avenue Rapp, 75007, Paris
8. Caves Augé (Madeleine)
Caves Augé is an institution in Paris. Open since 1850, here was where Proust used to go to stock up his cellar. The shop organises tastings every other Saturday, where you can meet local winemakers from different regions. If you trust the taste of Marcel Proust, don´t hesitate to pop in.
116 Boulevard Haussmann, 75008 Paris
9. Autour d’Un Verre (Grands Boulevards)
Autour d’Un Verre is the perfect place to enjoy a soirée whilst sharing a bottle of Bordeaux with friends. Based close to the Grands Boulevards area, this place doesn´t need amazing decoration to get clients. Its simple but amazing menu, as well as its selection of natural wines, are some of this bistro´s great points.
21 Rue de Trévise, 75009, Paris
10. La Verré Volé (Canal St-Martin)
It is without any doubt one of the trendiest bars in the cool Canal St-Martin area. It could seem like a basic wine bar, however it has it all: Good ambiance and good wines. The knowledgeable staff will help you pick out something tasty and not necessarily traditional. To tip: If you visit Paris on a spring or summer day, make sure you spend at least 2 hours here!
67 Rue de Lancry, 75010, Paris
Last but not least, your wine experience will be affected by the arrondissement where you have your glass of wine. If you think you can still handle more grape tasting, there is another stop waiting for you called Le Musée du Vin (16th arrondissement). When looking for accommodation, make sure you know what you will find at each bank side. The right bank is the larger side of Paris on the River Seine and where you´ll find the majority of the big tourist attractions, whereas the left bank is the smaller part and also the artistic part of the city.
Marta López is a travel writer based in London. She loves travelling, literature and the pleasure of enjoying a glass of good wine with friends. Currently she is working on her first novel based in the City of Light.