Embrace the past, and engage in times gone by. We’ve put together a list of some of the greatest retro and vintage bars in Paris which are sure to get you wishing you were born in a different era.
Swing into Le Basile and find formica, and lots of it. Decorated in the style of an American Diner stuck in the 60s, sitting yourself down at one of the red leatherette wall seats will have you feeling like a cast member from that old show your mom used to watch. Situated just a stone’s throw away from Sciences Po university, the prices are surprisingly cheap considering its location in the upmarket 7th arrondissement. Young and trendy students pack themselves inside for the food deals and a daily happy hour.
Embodying all the aesthetic aspects of the 1920s prohibition period, Jefrey’s is a snug little spot in the 2ndarrondissement, which takes on the moody, masculine atmosphere associated with the era. The fabulous decor complete with comfy Chesterfield sofas, pretty crystal wall lights, and signature gramophone, gives the space a more romantic, softer vibe. The cocktails pack as much of a punch as the interior, with an emphasis on whisky and an impressive selection of spirits on offer. The barmen are creative in concocting the perfect mix, and drinks change regularly so you simply have to keep going back for more.
Usually a task we spend all week dreading, Lavomatic will change your views on chores. The is possibly the best place to do your laundry in Paris. Don’t be fooled by its façade, as behind this supposedly inconspicuous laundromat, lies one of the trendiest bars around. Wave to the machines as your pass through to the white door at the back, behind which awaits a world of 60s-meets-bohemian. With a mix of iconic, pop-art Brillo stools and hippie, crocheted rugs, not to mention some super sweet cocktails, this is the ideal place to escape while your laundry is in the wash out front.
Cocktails are great and men in boxer shorts are also great Why not combine them to create one of the most unique bars in Paris? Just to be clear, for the barmen here, trousers are off limits. You may be thinking that’s all very well and good, but where does the vintage part of this come in? Not that you need any more reason to pay Le Calbar a visit, but the bartenders also smarten up their look with some good old-fashioned braces and bowties (and occasionally even bowler hats on ‘special occasions’). With this vintage look you’ll be blasted straight to a prohibition past in this bizarre, industrial-cool setting.
If futuristic-retro was ever a thing, Le Fantome aces it. A concoction of pieces from the 60s to the 80s, including video games and shiny-black tiling is mixed with what the 80s kids probably thought our 2016 pads would look like (think silver geometric structures and bright cylindrical lights). This fantasy location is hit with lovers of retro-gaming, but you don’t have to be fans of Pac Man to enjoy a night spent here. The fun atmosphere is contagious, as is the taste of the inventive cocktails that the resident mixologist produces. This bar prides itself on gourmet-like cocktails, so make sure not to order a mojito, as the bartender will actually refuse to serve this drink.
The hipster Tiki craze goes further back than you may have expected. Back in the early 1900s, the Tiki bar became a place of imaginary travel for many, and Le Tiki Lounge here in Paris is no exception. This lounge doesn’t try too hard to compete with some of the modern bars in Paris, preferring to stick to a more vintage, rustic, and authentically Hawaiian decor. Think colored straw skirts and coconut bras over high-heels and pearls. Add in a perfectly-mixed, holiday playlist and a variety of cocktails with copious amounts of rum, and you’ve got your ideal retro-island escape, right here in Paris.
At Mini Pong, the decorum of wooden-clad walls, mirrored detailing, and geometric fabrics create a playful, art-deco ambiance. Wind your way around the corner and hidden inside, you’ll find every kid-at-heart’s dream, a glorious ping-pong table. If you’re feeling shy about picking up the paddle, the cocktails, which are served in vintage crystal glasses, are sure to help you on your way to an outstanding win.