Nestled against the Père Lachaise Cemetery, the 11th arrondissement is one of our favorite neighborhoods to spend the night out in Paris. Unlike the famous expansive boulevards of most of the city, the streets of the 11th are densely packed and a little rough around the edges – which unsurprisingly makes it one of the best districts for nightlife. Here’s our shortlist of the best bars (or, we daresay, “dives”) in the 11th.
| Septime La Cave |
Start on the southern end of the 11th at Septime La Cave, a wine bar and sister establishment of the successful restaurant Septime. Part of the charm here is the space itself, as it’s packed into a narrow building. You’ll literally be rubbing shoulders with the locals, and almost as much of the space is occupied by cases of wine as it is by actual patrons. Grab a stool if you can, and order a selection of tapas and let the bartender pick a wine to match. If you can’t find a space to sit or even stand, try your luck at Le Siffleur de Ballons, an equally hip wine bar just outside the 11th in the 12th arrondissement.
Camille of La Buvette de Camille knows her wine, having honed her palate at many of Paris’ fine establishments. This bar doesn’t look like much from the outside, but grab a seat at the bar and let Camille point you in the direction of the perfect bottle. You have to buy food in order to drink, so here is the perfect place to grab a bite.
Though it’s a quiet neighborhood café by day, Les Niçois is filled to the brim by nightfall with young locals grabbing a drink or playing petanque in the basement. The name refers to residents of the southern city of Nice, and fittingly it specializes in food from the French Mediterranean. Order the French aperitif pastries and you’ll feel for a moment like you’re on the Côte d’Azur.
| La Fine Mousse |
France is the land of wine, but with summer around the corner, there’s always time for a cold pint of beer. La Fine Mousse is tucked away in an odd corner of the 11th – a pleasant surprise for beer aficionados looking for a break from wine. The 20 taps include craft brews from around the world and if you’re feeling hungry, La Fine Mousse also has a restaurant around the corner.
If you’re lucky, you’ll find a live jazz or salsa band playing just around the corner from Les Niçois and La Fine Mousse at Les Enfants Terrible (63 Rue St Maur). The corner bar is the epitome of a neighborhood spot, with cheap carafes of wine and no-fuss drinks.
If spoken word poetry is more your beat than live music, head to Au Chat Noir. Every Monday at 8 pm you’ll catch English-speakers pouring their souls out in the form of poems or stories – and during the day you might catch them pouring their souls into their MacBooks over a café au lait. Again, get a cheap carafe of wine from the upstairs bar and head to the basement to catch the performances.