Avignon, on the Rhône River in southeastern France, epitomises a picturesque French city. Think medieval architecture – including the famed Palais des Papes – and quaint cobbled streets in a Unesco-protected historic centre, which dates back to the 12th century. It’s also a hop and a skip from the Rhône Valley wine region, so after a long day of exploring, you can kick back with local vin or craft beer. Check out our picks for the best bars in Avignon.
This intimate wine bar, a favourite among Avignon locals, cultivates an inviting environment. The book-lined walls are softly lit by overhead lamps, and exposed beams add to the venue’s hole-in-the-wall atmosphere. Marion – the bar’s owner and namesake – takes great pride in the bar’s wine selection and hand-picks bottles from across the country, ensuring there’s something for every palate.
Less wine-inclined? You’ll feel right at home inside this English-style pub. The Pipeline was founded by a former brewery sales representative, who made the leap to publican after visiting countless bars and breweries across Europe. They have 18 draft beers on tap and 30 bottled options – so whether you prefer a bold brew or a blonde lager, the friendly team will know what to recommend.
Le Carré du Palais is dedicated to Rhône Valley wines, making it a must-visit for oenophiles. This bistro, opposite the Palais des Papes – Avignon’s most famous attraction – hosts an enormous wine cellar, bistro, school of wine and a wine bar boasting 36 permanent vins by the glass. Overwhelmed with options? The in-house sommeliers will happily talk you through their permanent and monthly selections.
Au Cœur d’Avignon is a chic wine bar, attached to a guesthouse in central Avignon. Its menu of local reds and whites is just as sophisticated as its interiors, while the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. Settle by the fireplace, apéritif in hand, and enjoy a charcuterie selection based on your beverage choice.
With 16 craft beers on tap and another 50 available by the bottle, Beer District is one of several venues championing the fermented brew in the wine-saturated region of Provence. The folk here are so confident that you’ll enjoy your beer that they offer a try-before-you-buy policy. If you’re lucky, you might catch live music here too.
Vinotage is a floating wine bar, docked on the banks of the l’Île de Piot. The unusual venue – a 1900s barge built in Germany – was purchased and transformed by three wine aficionados several years ago, and has since become a popular place for sundowner drinks by the Rhône. They offer a great wine selection, along with thematic tastings and events. Grab a spot by the water and enjoy a glass of vin blanc with fresh oysters.
La Tache d’encre is a family-run theatre with a cafe that doubles up as a bar. It calls itself a multi-disciplinary space and attracts a loyal – predominantly French – crowd of rollicking regulars. Aside from the shows themselves, La Tache is beloved for its courtyard, where visitors can enjoy well-priced drinks among the quirky decor.
This is an updated version of an article originally by Christine Wilson.
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