Photo: Courtesy Meg Zimbeck
The term wine bar can be a little confusing in Paris. All wine bars feature wine, of course, but the bar part is a little more flexible. Some have a counter and tables, and you can show up anytime for a glass of wine and a snack. Others resemble restaurants more than actual bars. In many cases reserving in advance is imperative. Some are cavistes (retail wineshops), which is good to know if you need a bottle to go.
What’s clear is that these bars à vin are among the most fun places to eat and drink in Paris. Here are some of our favorites.
9, Carrefour de l’Odéon, in the 6th Arrondissement. 01 46 33 16 24.
No reservations. Open daily, all day.
Go early if you don’t want to be packed in like a sardine at this minuscule, standing-room-only tapas and wine bar. Wildly popular and wildly fun. Read a full review here.
3, rue Jouye Rouve, in the 20th. 01 43 49 39 70. Tues–Fri, lunch; Tues–Sat, dinner.
A veritable institution, Le Baratin was an early champion of vins nature. Most people will tell you they come for the food, though. Reservations are imperative.
Le Baron Rouge
1, rue Théophile Roussel, in the 12th. No reservations. Tues–Thurs, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5 p.m.–10 p.m.; Fri–Sat, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sun, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Join the rest of the neighborhood here on Sundays after a stroll through the Marché d’Aligre. Belly up to the bar to order your glass or carafe, then take it out to the sidewalk and mingle. Read a full review here.
La Cave des Abbesses
43, rue des Abbesses, in the 18th. 01 42 52 81 54 (shop only). Mon–Fri, 5 p.m.–9:30 p.m.; Sat–Sun, noon–9:30 p.m. No reservations.
Hidden at the back of this Montmartre caviste is a cozy wine bar serving plates of charcuterie and cheese. There are a few stools at the bar and a handful of tables, so go early if you want to score a seat.
Le Chapeau Melon
92, rue Rébeval, in the 19th. 01 42 02 68 60. Wed–Sun, dinner only.
Just across the rue de Belleville from Le Baratin, Le Chapeau Melon is a caviste by day and a table d’hôte by night, serving a unique prix fixe menu with wines only a few euros above retail. Read a full review here.
26 bis, passage des Panoramas, in the 2nd. 01 44 82 08 54. Mon–Fri, lunch; Tues–Sat, dinner.
A cool new addition to the old passage des Panoramas, Coinstot Vino serves small plates (charcuterie, oysters) as well as full meals. You can reserve a table for eating, but there are a few spots at the counter to have a glass.
13, blvd de la Trip Maubourg, in the 7th. 01 44 11 72 00. Daily, lunch and dinner.
This chic address is one of the best places for Italian wine in Paris, should you feel inclined to leave France behind for an evening. Instead of picking wine to go with your food, here you can have food cooked to go with the wine you’ve chosen. Reserve.
3, blvd de la Madeleine, in the 1st. 01 42 97 20 27. Mon–Sat, noon–3 p.m. for lunch, all day for small plates and wine.
Yes, it has a bit of a generic, megastore feel, but this massive wine shop near la Madeleine has a restaurant and a bar upstairs that serves snacks and wines by the glass to a lively after-work crowd. If you’re up for a bottle, choose one from the store shelves and take it directly to the bar—there’s no markup.
Legrand Filles et Fils
1, rue de la Banque, in the 2nd. 01 42 60 07 12. Mon, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Tues–Fri, 10 a.m.–7:30 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
A gorgeous wine shop in the Galerie Vivienne, Legrand also has a bar with a few tables, serving excellent snacks and wines not often poured by the glass. A fine break from shopping.
30, rue Gay Lussac. 01 43 25 20 79. Tues–Sat, lunch and dinner.
Another caviste/bistro, Les Papilles has a few spots at its beautiful bar for casual sipping. If you want to enjoy the prix fixe dinner, be sure to reserve. Read a full review here.
Le Verre Volé
67, rue de Lancry, in the 10th. 01 48 03 17 34. Daily, lunch and dinner.
Reserve ahead if you want one of the few tables at this popular caviste of natural wines. Otherwise this is the place to pick up a bottle for drinking along the canal St.-Martin. Read a full review here.
Willi’s Wine Bar
13, rue des Petits Champs, in the 1st. 01 42 62 05 09. Mon–Sat, lunch and dinner.
A Paris classic run by Englishman Mark Williamson, Willi’s Wine Bar actually has a bar, with seats, perfect for a few glasses or a casual meal. Read a full review here.