There’s more to Paris than the obvious bar and pubs scene. This 2,000-year-old city hides many treasures for those who dig in the right places. Hidden in plain sight, tucked inside telephone boxes, and chilling behind restaurant refrigerators lie the very cool, secret speakeasies of Paris. Follow our guide to discover a land of hushed and hidden nighttime wonders.
Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Tucked behind mint-tiled walls and laundry machines hides Lavomatic. The sterile facade belies a vibrant interior, with bright textile and squishy Brillo Pad seating. Enjoy a selection of cocktails, including creative gin infusions (and bacon-infused gin, for the really adventurous)!
It’s easy to walk right by The Little Red Door in the Marais without noticing. Hidden behind an unassuming red door, only those who are aware of the bar’s existence will spot the entry. The drinks are innovative, and the staff is friendly: a great place for cocktails and something a little different.
Moonshiner is camouflaged and there are two entrances: through a telephone box under a kebab store or through the restaurant Pizza Da Vito (just walk to the back and push your way through the metal door of the industrial fridge). Moonshiner has several successful sister bars in London, New York, and Berlin, and it feels like a true American Prohibition speakeasy, from the clandestine entrance and the retro jazz to the menu of 83 whiskies.
Tucked away behind the Pigalle sex shops hides the little-known Marlusse et Lapin, named after the couple that runs the bar. This bar feels like home — literally — with sober family portraits staring down from the walls, an armoire, and even a bed! The menu has a decent selection of absinthe, which, combined with the French grandmother-style decor, will make you feel like you’re living an artist’s Montmartre bohemian dream. This is a great spot for after-hours (or post-cabaret) drinks, but beware of coming at peak hours, because it can be quite difficult to get a table.
Le Ballroom du Beefclub hides in the center of Paris but it’s not so easy to spot (hint: through an unmarked black door, and down the spiral staircase to the basement). The service is reasonably friendly and the cocktails are excellent.
Prescription Cocktail Club is a cool dimly-lit venue with an intimate and decidedly New York vibe. The drinks are as creative as they are pricey, but cocktail-lovers and mixology-followers will appreciate the expertly crafted drinks. Come here to impress, get close, and forget the rest of Paris.