When you really need a wine bar in Paris, you can never seem to find one. But that’s because of the law that governs how the desperate can’t get a date, not because we have a dearth of solid wine bars in this city. Basically, all the wine bars in Paris serve good wine -- this is France, after all -- but a truly great wine bar offers more than just something to drink. Bottles of wine beg for cheese and charcuterie, among other things. Depending on what sort of experience you’re jonesing for tonight, here are Paris’ best offerings.
For those who can’t get into the adjacent restaurant Le Chateaubriand, you can taste the wares at their wine bar next door. Le Dauphin isn’t the most charming place to share a few glasses of wine -- its glass façade looks onto bustling rue Parmentier -- but the creative small plates and natural wines still make it a mainstay.
For something a little daintier, this cozy spot features plush chairs and couches instead of the typical wooden tables you might see in most wine bars. Burrata and prosciutto pair nicely with the hundreds of wines available, and the staff is always ready to share advice. It’s not a party scene, or particularly trendy, but it’s a solid place to enjoy something a bit more intimate and refined.
The 18th arrondissement is becoming a scene of sorts, and Vingt Heures Vin the go-to for wine bars in the neighborhood. It offers over 170 wines, and most come directly from their producers. It has all the trappings of a solid wine bar, with honey-roasted camembert, Spanish ham, and foie gras. Tiny, quaint, sometimes rowdy, but always a good bet, it’s just far enough away from the touristy parts of Montmartre to still be appropriately cool.
In 2014, a pair of friends launched this little Left Bank bar, which features organic products by small producers. It’s not a big-name affair, but you should expect a smattering of tourists among the smiling locals gathered here. A warm welcome, good food, and good wine are all that it takes -- and it’s located right near the Pont Neuf, so you won’t have to go hunting.
A wholly local wine bar tucked away in the 11th by metro Parmentier, there’s not a whole lot to see or visit in the neighborhood, and bloggers don’t rave about it. That’s why you’ll hear mostly French at this wine bar, which serves up a broad selection of affordable bottles with a 30-euro meat-and-cheese plate that will satisfy any hunger. Definitely make a reservation if you’re going to make the trek this far.
Getting a seat at the Barav might feel like winning the lottery, but if you’re there when it opens at 6pm, you should be fine. Customers can hand-pick bottles from the ever-changing selection of wine at the adjacent shop, and sip the evening away with charcuterie and cheese plates. It’s almost too trendy for its own good, but that’s because there’s so much to love.
This Japanese-inspired wine bar, housed in the vaulted cellar underneath Restaurant A.T, is not your grandfather’s wine bar. A limited selection of bottles await customers each night, while the usual suspects mingle with whatever the chef has prepared upstairs in the kitchen. The bill will add up with all of that wagyu beef and fancy cheese -- but hey, no regrets.
La Belle Hortense in the Marais is a solid bet for a probable chance of meeting an English-speaker. Half bookshop, half wine bar, this tiny little establishment serves up small plates from the café across the street. It’s not the most hidden gem in the city, but it’s a solid go-to when wandering the Marais.
For a delightfully old-timey feel, this wine bar, located in the 19th century covered passage Galerie Vivienne, brings the charm. It is unabashedly French when it comes to wine, so don’t expect more exotic quaffs. It’s not really a scene as far as entertainment is concerned, but for a calmer glass and some nibbles, you can’t really beat it. Great for when grandma’s in town.
If you want delicious wines, but your French isn’t perfect, this American-run wine bar is the place to go. Wine-loving English speakers usually pack this tiny bar, sharing small plates with carefully selected glasses of red and white. Nobody moves to Paris for the fried chicken, but that shouldn’t stop you from ordering at least one plate while here -- you won’t regret it.
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Bryan Pirolli is a Paris-based writer, photographer, tour guide, and PhD candidate at the Sorbonne who is more than likely currently drinking wine. Follow him on Twitter right here.
1. Le Dauphin167 rue st. Honore, Paris
2. Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels7 rue Lobineau, Paris
3. Vingt Heures Vin La suite2 rue des Goncourt, Paris
4. Chez Nous10 rue Dauphine, Paris
5. Le 11ème Domaine14 rue des Trois Bornes, Paris
6. Le Barav6 rue Charles-François Dupuis, Paris
7. Bar à vin A.T4 rue cardinal lemoine, Paris
8. La Belle Hortense31 rue Vieille-du-Temple, Paris
9. Legrand Filles et Fils1 rue de la Banque, Paris
10. Verjus47 rue Montpensier, Paris
It may not be the most cozy wine bar in Paris, but Le Dauphin is definitely one of the best. Here you can sample the wine and fair available next door at Le Chateaubriand, which consists of creative small plates and natural wines. Their glass facade overlooks the bustling Parmentier, and we highly suggest giving Le Dauphin a chance.
This cozy wine bar is a perfect place to impress a date in Paris. Instead of the wooden tables you usually find at wine bars, here you can sit on plush chairs and couches while sipping on one of their few hundred wines to choose from. Their small plates are delicious, and it is the perfect place to go if you are looking to enjoy being out without the noise.
There is no wine bar in Paris that compares to Vingt Hueres Vin. Here you can choose from over 170 wines to sip on and some great small plates to match with your wine of choice. The interior is tiny and sometimes a bit rowdy, but totally worth visiting if you are in the mood for great wine.
This small wine bar specializes in wines from small producers, giving you a unique wine tasting experience every time you visit. Locals love their good food and even better wine selection, and tourists love being in a spot that in so in tune with local Parisian life.
If you are looking for a wine bar that is 100% locals and where you'll hear mostly French, Le 11ème Domaine is the place for you. Here you'll find affordable wine bottles, and a meat and cheese plate that is out of this world. If you are willing to travel out of the tourist traps, this place is well worth the trek.
It can be hard to get a seat at Le Barav, but if you do, you are in for a treat. Here you can hand pick you own wine at the adjacent wine shop and enjoy cheese and charcuterie plates. It is one of the trendiest wine bars that locals love to frequent, and you should stop by before 6pm to snag a table.
This Japanese-inspired wine bar is one of the most popular wine bars in Paris, and it only features a limited number of wines. The food options vary depending on what the chef upstairs cooks up, but rest assured that anything you order will be a bit pricey. Even so, everything you can eat and drink here will be totally worth the price.
This half bookshop, half wine bar is a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike, featuring delicious small plates courtesy of the cafe across the street. It may be a bit crowded at times, but we highly recommend this wine bar to anyone looking to spend an evening wining and dining in Marais.
Sometimes in Paris it’s best to forgo the cocktails and get back to basics – wine. Legrand Fille et Fils has tables spilling onto the gorgeous Galérie Vivienne, a restored 19th century covered passageway. A seemingly endless choice of wine will help make the entire place even that much more beautiful as each glass nears empty.
Palais-Royal's Verjus serves a daily tasting menu plus an optional cheese course and wine pairing (but who are we kidding, you should get them). Below the main dining room is a wine bar that --- bless its heart -- offers an à la carte menu for those wishing to indulge in Verjus’s famed fare without draining the wallet (as much). Pair small plates like zucchini beignets, veal tartare, and pork and duck terrine with wines produced by independent French vignerons, and enjoy your dishes in the bar’s cozy, den-like atmosphere.