Aix-en-Provence is a great place to try all the local French wine that you normally wouldn’t find elsewhere. Here’s the top ten bars to experience some southern French vibes close to the Mediterranean coast.
A Casa is a restaurant with lots of attitude. It has a bar at the back which turns into a party on nights where there’s a DJ or lots of people. Book a table for food (there aren’t many) and party until the early hours. Check out Facebook for up-to-date DJ listings.
At Le Vieux Tonneau everyone sits outside in the summer months around oak barrels. In the Winter, the action is cute and cozy inside. It’s a local starting point and sometimes people don’t get any further. Check out Facebook. It has a new sister bar, called Le Petit Baron, at the bottom of Place Cardeurs.
In the Place Cardeurs among all the many restaurants and tourist traps, you’ll find Au P’tit Quart d’Heure. It’s a place where you buy wine by the small glass full and keep topping it up. You’re just as likely to find students spending their allowances and adults enjoying some me-time, while their kids play in the square.
The Duplex only exists in the evenings, after the daily market has been packed away and the square has been cleaned. It’s then that its tables and sofas are laid out and its outside bar is put together for the night (although most of the drinks are made in the inside bar). It has a more lively crowd than the rest of the bars in the square but it’s still for those who want to chat while they drink.
It’s a clichéd choice, but if you’re looking for a good pub to drink in, there are two popular Irish pubs in town and this is one of them. It’s by the big central Rotonde fountain (always a good meeting spot before a night out) and offers an appealing Happy Hour choice. It’s a little more touristy than other places with a real anglophone vibe.
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Monday to Saturday. 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Sunday.
The other favorite Irish bar in town (there are others that aren’t as popular) is O’Shannon’s Pub. This pub is normally a good indicator of how busy a night out is in Aix; if there isn’t anyone in O’Shannon’s, then there isn’t anyone anywhere. People love the footie and rugby on the television and their Happy Hour is one of the best value in town. In contrast to the other Irish pub, this one tends to be a little more packed with locals.
Opening hours: 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday to Friday. 1 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday.
Le Brigand is a great events bar where you can just as likely find local singers and bands or DJs. Check out Facebook for specific events to make sure they’re offering the kind of night you want before you go. Once in, its lively, fun, and can get very busy on the right nights.
Happy Days is a café/bar on the edge of the square where the daily market is held in Place Richelme. It’s a relaxed place, where they’ll keep refilling your beer or wine glass with friendly conversation until you tell them to stop. The food portions are of good value and very generous and it’s a perfect place to watch the world go by while getting slowly tipsy.
Opening hours: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday. 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday.