When the weather takes a turn in the French capital, Parisians are faced with two options: host an apéro at home, or wrap up, and head to a bar à vin that’s entirely worth the chilly excursion. The winter months may have made soaking up the sun on pretty terraces, or lounging by the Seine with a bottle of rosé a distant memory, but rest assured that this city is no less romantic when the sun’s disappeared. If you’re anything like me – unwilling to forgo any opportunity to soak up Paris’ charming atmosphere, even when the temperature plummets – you’ll need to head somewhere cozy. Here is our list of the 12 best cozy bars in Paris, sure to brighten your spirits on a dark winter’s night.
1. Café Hugo
Like all the bars and cafés located on the exceptionally pretty Place des Vosges, Café Hugo is tucked away within the square’s outer arcade, and nestled alongside beautiful 17th century peach-coloured architecture. Complete with a heated (and covered) terrace, 1920s style mirrored walls, and warm lighting, it’s an intimate and romantic spot to enjoy a drink and gaze out onto the picturesque square.
2. Chez Prune
Chez Prune is a Paris institution, and with good reason! A stone’s throw away from trendy Canal St-Martin, it is full of character. You’ll find locals and visitors alike drawn to Chez Prune’s welcoming atmosphere. It doesn’t try too hard and it isn’t fancy. The food menu is comprised simply of cheese and charcuterie plates. There are just a handful of drinks on offer, but this is part of its charm. The waiters are friendly and you won’t feel any pressure to leave. Chez Prune is the perfect place to wile away a winter’s afternoon.
3. Le Ballon Rouge
Le Ballon Rouge is pretty serious about indoor entertaining. Even during the summer months it only ever has one or two tables outside. Perhaps this is because the inside of this bar à vins is so spectacular. The interior comes complete with old-school wooden tables and chairs, exposed brick walls, hundreds of wine bottles lining the walls, and a cool playlist to boot. The staff here are true wine experts. Natural/ biodynamic numbers are the order of the day. I highly recommend their seasonally-rotating small plates too, ideal for sharing if you’re visiting with a group.
4. Café Griffon
Unlike other petit Parisian bars, The Griffon is big — over 150 square meters to be precise! Though it excels in serving fabulous drinks (not least cocktails, the menu is home to a variety of classic and contemporary concoctions), The Griffon is more than just a bar. It plays host to live music, art exhibitions, and cultural talks, making it a perfect indoor entertainment venue. With its vintage piano, huge armchairs designed for reading, and copious indoor plants, it feels positively homely.
5. Le Cyrano
Blink and you may miss Le Cyrano — a teeny wine bar located in the city’s increasingly trendy Batignolles. Though small, its mosaic-lined walls, vintage mirrors, and mahogany bar certainly pack a punch. Charleyne Valet is the chef, celebrated for whipping up glorious sharing plates inspired by the Mediterranean, from noon until late evening, seven days a week. There’s an exquisite wine list too – one that boasts a range of classic and more adventurous numbers.
6. Willi’s Wine Bar
Perhaps it’s surprising that an English-owned wine bar in Paris has reaped such great success. Or maybe it makes complete sense — given just how wonderful the atmosphere, food, drinks, and service is at Willi’s Wine Bar. It doesn’t get more cozy than huddling round the restaurant’s wooden bar, and listening to Willi himself tell stories about his travels. But, if you’re looking for some downtime, there’s no shortage of quiet corners to sit and savor a glass or two of wine — all the while admiring the stunning artwork lining the walls.
One of the best things about living in Paris is the ease at which one can grab a drink on their own. This is especially the case at Buvette. You’re invited to get comfortable and watch the world go by in the restaurant’s earthy-but-stylish dining room. Always packed, and filled with people from all walks of life, it’s impossible to feel lonely here. The friendly waiters are on hand to recommend wines based on your preferences. There are plenty of biodynamic and natural options available, and the menu – offering plates of tapas, charcuterie, and cheeses – is small but well-formed.
8. Chez Nous
In terms of food and drink, Saint-Germain-des-Prés has a reputation for offering only expensive and exclusive dining spots. Delve a little deeper and you’ll discover a number of wine bars and eateries that are neither stuffy nor overpriced. Enter Chez Nous: a relaxed and friendly bar à vin, specializing in food and drinks from all over Europe. The menu offers a range of cheeses (including gouda with truffles, crottin de chevre with honey, burrata and Saint nectaire) and charcuterie. Other highlights include a homemade gravlax, beef tartare, black Angus beef pastrami, Iberian ham, and more. End your visit on a sweet note with their madeleines. The interiors are beautiful – all candle-lit tables and rustic brick-exposed walls – and the atmosphere is always buzzing.
9. Café Les Deux Gares
In close proximity to both Gare de L’Est and Gare du Nord, Café Les Deux Gares (located inside Hotel Les Deux Gares) is a quintessentially Parisian Bistro, complete with old-school rattan chairs, wooden tables, and tiled walls. The food is largely classic (think: moules frites, rillettes, and poire belle Hélène) but the drinks menu is fairly extensive and adventurous. It feels old-fashioned (though it only opened in 2021), but not in a standoffish way. The staff are friendly, the atmosphere is warm, and the views of Paris are spectacular.
10. La Belle Hortense
Books and wine — does it really get any cozier than that? Not in my opinion. Opened in 1997, this bookstore/cave hybrid is ideal if you’d like to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the Marais. La Belle Hortense – with its striking blue façade and gorgeous, book-lined interiors – is sophisticated and intimate. There are only a handful of tables (and wines) available, but its simplicity makes it all the more charming. It’s easy to wile away a peaceful couple of hours (read: entire afternoon) here — I would know!
Bouche is a neighborhood bar à vin specializing in seasonal produce. It’s chic and understated, with stone walls, a concrete bar, and low-level lighting – but with plenty of communal seating. Bouche remains inviting. There’s a huge selection of natural and biodynamic wines available (and if you need some help choosing, the in-house sommelier is more than happy to advise). The sharing plates – real highlights including the Korean marinated oysters and radicchio and pecan salad – are a must.
12. Le Claque-Fromage
Le Claque-Fromage is first and foremost a fromagerie — and an exceptional one at that! The team are truly passionate about their produce. All the cheese is ripened in house, in the cellar. There’s a huge selection to pick from. Pair your planche with a glass of wine and soak up the ambiance — Le Claque-Fromage is located in the lively 9th arrondissement, so the opportunity for people watching is huge.
Café Hugo, 22 Place des Vosges, 75004 Paris
Chez Prune, 36 rue Beaurepaire, 75010 Paris
Le Ballon Rouge, 51 rue Notre Dame de Nazareth, 75003 Paris
Café Griffon, 55bis rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75004 Paris
Le Cyrano, 3 rue Biot, 75017 Paris, France
Willi’s Wine Bar, 13 rue des Petits Champs, 75001 Paris
Buvette, 28 rue Henry Monnier, 75009 Paris
Chez Nous, 10 rue Dauphine, 75006 Paris
Café Les Deux Gares, 1 rue des Deux Gares, 75010 Paris
La Belle Hortense, 31 rue Vieille-du-Temple, 75003 Paris
Bouche, 85 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris
Le Claque-Fromage, 49 avenue Trudaine, 75009 Paris
- More from the author: Best Natural Wine Bars in Paris
- The top 10 cozy bars in Paris by Travel Collective
- Another way to get cozy this winter: French Mulled Wine and Raclette
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