Josephine (Forest Collins)
Quenching your thirst with a nice glass of wine has never been the hardest thing to do in Paris. Cafes, restaurants and bars abound, making it all but impossible to believably complain about being thirsty for more than a block.
Recently, however, a new breed of wine bar is upping the ante and bringing a breath of fresh air to the scene. Here are some of the latest and best places to partake in wine and small plates:
Septime Cave (Forest Collins)
For the Adventurous and Outgoing: L’Avant Comptoir
This tiny annex of the notoriously popular le Comptoir serves up a selection of nicely priced wines alongside phenomenal small plates that justify the popularity of the main restaurant. There is no room for shyness here, as big draws like the tuna tataki or foie gras skewers pack in the patrons – quite literally – shoulder to shoulder. Although service may seem brusque at times, once you dive in and truly immerse yourself in the experience, the servers and cooks seem more harried than gruff and are quite willing to banter with those willing to give it a go.
Plastic menu cards hanging from the ceiling, felt pen drawings on white tiled walls, and crepes sold out the streetside window give the otherwise no frills decor some spunk. With plates and wine by the glass running at an average of 5 Euros each, it’s easy to make a light meal or substantial snack here for a nice price.
3 Carrefour de l’Odéon, 75006
Tel: +33 (0)1 44 27 07 97
L’Avant Comptoir (Forest Collins)
For Straight Up Foodies: Septime Cave
A favorite of the city’s foodies, Septime continues the trend of reputable restaurants opening more accessible adjacent wine bars. Housed in a former cobbler shop, Septime Cave retained the old wooden store front and remnants of the original painted sign, giving this cave a fun and funky feel. Inside, a small selection of tasty treats is on offer to be washed down with natural wines sold by the glass (sur place) or bottle (à emporter or to drink sur place, at a 7 Euros corkage fee.)
Head here for a light lunch of lip-smackingly satisfying sardanillas, fresh crusty bread smothered with herbed butter and a lovely little Chignin La Jaja to sip on. In the evening hours, crowds converge for a lively apero, propping plates and balancing glasses on any available surface. Prices are nice, with almost all the wines ringing in at 5 Euros per glass and snacks ranging from 7 to 14 Euros.
3 Rue Basfroi, 75011
Tel: +33 (0)1 43 67 14 87
For the Tasty Trend Watchers: Bones
James Henry, the former chef of Au Passage, has stepped out on his own with his highly anticipated set-menu restaurant, Bones. Customers looking for something a bit looser than a multi-course, no-choice dinner should pull up a stool at the bar. Low sulfite wines from small producers accompany offerings like olives, oysters, veal tartar and Carpaccio of Bar, which showcase Henry’s kitchen skills and his uncanny knack for sourcing fabulously fresh ingredients.
With its concrete floors, stone-and-brick walls, and loud music, Bones feels more trendy-art-loft than typical Paris bar and is turning out to be a new favorite haunt for the city’s foodinistas. With a wide range of prices in both the bar snacks and the wine, it’s easy to order according to any budget.
43 Rue Godefroy Cavaignac, 75011
+33 (0)9 80 75 32 08
Josephine (Forest Collins)
For Sophisticated Night Crawlers: Josephine
Since its recent opening, Josephine has made a solid impact on the city’s wine bar scene with its lovely art deco décor, friendly and unpretentious service, solid selection of wines by the glass and tasty bar snacks. Peckish patrons enjoy plates like duck rillettes, fennel and radish salad or crisp and comforting freshly made fries. While the wine bar is the main focus, there’s also a second bar for set up for cocktails, a fumoir, and occasional DJ’s.
Although the city’s trendsetters are singing its praises, Josephine is still at that sweet spot of being busy enough to feel festive without being overcrowded. Wines by the glass average 5 Euros and food prices ranging from 7 to 14 Euros make this stop worth crossing town for.
25 rue Moret, 75011
+33 (0)1 43 38 59 88
Métro: Couronnes, Ménilmontant
For Laid-back locals: Le Petit Matieu
Having just opened in early 2013, this personable little wine bar and restaurant is pulling in a Canal Saint Martin crowd to share a moment over wine and munchies. A cool playlist and the simple, straightforward style of both dishes and décor give le Petit Matieu a welcoming, unpretentious vibe. Here, locals gather in the early evening hours over a glass of Corsican wine and Mediterranean-inspired plates like the olive oil drenched burratta or bruschetta.
Wines average around €5 a glass and plates range from €4 to €13. Beyond the bar snacks, they offer nicely priced menus at 14 Euros for a 2 course meal.
Le Petit Matieu
55 Rue des Vinaigriers, 75010
+33 (0)1 46 07 09 49
Métro: Gare de l’Est, Château d’Eau, Jacques Bonsergent
- Not Drinking Poison in Paris tells us more about the Septime Cave
- Paris in Four Months just visited Frenchie Wine Bar, which also another great place for good wine and delicious food
- The Guardian lists their top 10 picks for great wine bars in Paris
Written by Forest Collins for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.