For wine lovers worldwide, heading to Paris is a no brainer. Although home to quite a few staples, the city’s wine bar scene is constantly evolving. Whether you’re keen on the classics, can’t get enough of natural wine, or find yourself straddled somewhere in between, the City of Lights promises an endless amount of chic options for imbibing amongst friends.
When seeking out wine bars in Paris, we take a few major factors into consideration: ambiance, price point, food options and – of course – wine selection. Although a difficult feat, we’ve rounded up 15 unmissable places to drink wine in Paris. Some featured spots provide a quaint and quiet reprieve from the city’s constant bustle, while others provide ample, patron-packed terrace space perfect for people watching. Our comprehensive list features a mix of traditional establishments and new-to-the-scene spots, which cater to a variety of wine styles, palate preferences, budgets and location. Santé!
Best for natural wine
Formerly a shoe repair shop, Delicatessen Place is one of the buzziest places to drink wine in the City of Lights. Spearheaded by mother-and-son team, Mireille and Gabriel Langlois, this small cave à vin is the perfect example of rustic meets homey. The space itself, clad with concrete walls and free-hanging lightbulbs, is tiny, but the hospitality is in no short supply.
Expect rotating by-the-glass pours selected by Mireille and Gabriel themselves. For thirstier drinkers, grab a bottle from the shop next door (with the advice of the expert team, of course) and simply enjoy back at the bar space – or do as the hipsters do and sip on the sidewalk. In terms of snacks, no-frills options such as oeufs mimosa, freshly sliced charcuterie, escargots and radishes with butter grace the small plates menu and are served buffet style, as the bar’s name implies.
Although Paris’ Right Bank tends to get all of the wine bar love, Bonvivant is absolutely worth the jaunt across the Seine. Located just a hop, skip and a jump away from the city’s famed Panthéon, this classic Parisian wine bar has something for everyone. Its bible-like wine list strikes the perfect balance between classically styled bottles and natural wines, with a number of cult classics from each side of the range peppered in.
Contrary to many other spots on our list, Bonvivant’s food offerings are quite robust. While small plate favourites (think terrine, rillettes and pâté en croûte) are available, sprawling cheese and meat planches, as well as heartier mains (entrecôte, lamb shoulder and risotto) are also available. Grab a seat indoors for a more traditional bistro setting or enjoy a seat al fresco for prime people watching on the Rue des Écoles – and don’t forget to snag a signature Bonvivant sweatshirt or t-shirt for the road.
Bistrot Paul Bert
Best for lunch
For an industry favourite that can go the limits, look no further than Bistrot Paul Bert. Aptly located on Rue Paul Bert, this old school French bistrot covers all of our bases – the food is simple yet well executed, served up quickly and has remained at a reasonable price despite the renown the spot’s received over the past few years.
While walking in sans reservation is pretty tricky for dinner, arriving as soon as the restaurant opens for lunch is a relatively solid bet. The restaurant’s small-yet predictable specials arrive on a handwritten chalkboard menu, while standard offerings include steak frites with peppercorn sauce, pot au feu and other meat-heavy classics. Vegetarians, fear not. The kitchen can easily prepare you some (very delicious) roasted vegetables and a side of fries, though don’t expect much more than that.
Best for late night
Wine industry folks know that when it comes to late night debauchery, the vibrant Chambre Noire is where it’s at. Established in 2015, this vibrant wine bar was founded by Rémy Kaneko and Oliver Lomeli, the latter of whom was previously a partner at Café Chilango. Here, the duo serves up a variety of no-sulphur wines from an array of European wine regions, with no bottle priced over €35.
In terms of food, expect a handful of plant-based small plates with a selection of seafood options peppered in, though don’t arrive at the bar too hungry. While there is ample seating space indoors, it’s at the bar, high-top tables and – above all – outdoors on the sidewalk where the party’s at. Note: While Google says the bar’s hours are from 6pm to midnight (closed Sundays), we’ve never seen a Chambre Noire night end at that hour.
Ma Cave Fleury
Best unique bar
We don’t say this lightly, but Ma Cave Fleury really isn’t like any other wine bar we’ve experienced in Paris. Founded in 2009 by Morgane Fleury (of the Champagne Fleury family), this warm and welcoming wine bar offers a breath of fresh air from the sex club-lined streets of Rue Saint Denis. In addition to being the global ambassador for her family’s biodynamic Champagnes, Morgane Fleury serves up a number of other organic and biodynamic pours at this quaint, hole-in-the-wall bar – and at a good price, too.
Food offerings are limited to standard meat and cheese plates, though those heading to Ma Cave Fleury are really there for the hospitality and ambiance, where old wine barrels are repurposed as tables and a variety of local wine lovers, stage performers and industry folk brush shoulders along the cave’s sidewalk terrace. Contrary to the snobbery that large Champagne houses can often exude, Ma Cave Fleury completely embodies the warmth and conviviality offered by smaller, family-owned grower estates.
La Belle Hortense
Best for bookworms
Two of life’s greatest joys – booze and books – collide at La Belle Hortense. Located amongst the tiny streets of Paris’ famed Marais neighbourhood, this simple oasis, easily spotted by its bright blue exterior, offers a quiet reprieve from the bustle of the area’s trendy boutiques and touristy restaurants. Grab a glass (or small carafe, should the mood strike) and something to read and enjoy the often-missed tranquil side of this vibrant neighbourhood. The bar also hosts a variety of literary events, including poetry readings, book release parties, author meet-and-greets and more.
With regards to food, the kitchen is spearheaded by Xavier Denamur, a talented chef passionate for organic and locally-sourced produce, who also happens to oversee the selections at Au Petit Fer à Cheval. Set menus go for €24, though à la carte options, including small plates, salads and pastries are also available. Pro tip: the small room in the back of the bar offers a serene setting to lose yourself in your latest read, though for those travelling solo, grabbing a seat at the bar is a great place to strike up conversation with other literature-loving voyagers.
Best for a splurge
For a splurge-worthy wine experience that promises a lifetime of memories, head to the iconic La Tour d’Argent, located at 15 Quai de la Tournelle. Originally established as an inn during the 1500s, the space morphed into a restaurant space around 300 years later. The dining room’s sixth-floor location offers sprawling views over the Seine, only made better when enjoyed with one of the restaurant’s 300,000 – yes, we said 300,000 – wine selections.
La Tour d’Argent’s epic wine cellar is home to one of the most diverse collections in the world, spanning 15,000 references across a number of global regions. Though don’t be intimidated by the encyclopaedia-sized list; the restaurant’s well-versed sommelier team is ready (and quite eager) to guide you along your journey. While indulging in the restaurant’s tasting menu will run you a pretty penny – about €400, to be exact – ordering á la carte offers a much more wallet-friendly experience. With regards to the menu, all ingredients are sourced locally and dietary restrictions are accommodated with notice. While La Tour d’Argent likely won’t become your go-to Parisian spot, a ‘treat yourself’ moment to this little slice of wine heaven is simply unforgettable.
Best for groups
In terms of location, selection and affordability, Barav is certainly one of the city’s best. Couple that with simple-yet-tasty snacks, central location, a great outdoor terrace and friendly service, and it’s truly no surprise that this place finds itself on our list. Although the bar has been around since 2007 – and has definitely grown in popularity since then – Barav (which is short for bar à vin) has still managed to maintain its neighbourhood feel.
The wine bar/wine cave features over 250 references, all available to purchase for takeaway or consume on site. The ever-changing by-the-glass list features 12 references at all times, most of which are traditional expressions from classic regions, and a variety of planches and sandwiches promise to satisfy your urge to snack without weighing you down. On a sunny day, grab a seat on the terrace, pop a bottle of your choice (with a low corkage fee of just €6), and enjoy. Don’t skip on the gooey croque campagne, laden with gooey truffled brie, honey and arugula.
Fair warning: Le Bon Georges isn’t your average, run-of-the-mill Parisian bistro. Located in the 9th arrondissement, this restaurant’s jaw-dropping storefront is like something out of a movie, clad with wooden walls, chalkboard slate menus and a beautiful wrap-around terrace. The restaurant was founded by Benoit Duval-Arnould, a former agricultural engineer, back in 2013. Since then, he’s entrusted the restaurant’s Bible-like wine list to his head sommelier, Elise Esnouf, who is ready and eager to lead guests to their perfect bottle.
Expect hearty French dishes (gratin dauphinois, steak haché, homemade chips and more), crafted from high-quality ingredients sourced from local purveyors. In terms of wine, this highly curated list has all of its bases covered. Best of all, the restaurant is open 7 days per week, from 12-3pm for lunch and 6-11pm for dinner service (and continuous drinks/snack service at the bar in between).
Best for classics
Contrary to popular belief, Willi’s is not actually named for the founder of this long-standing Parisian wine bar, but rather a local dog that prowled the streets of Paris’ 1st arrondissement in days past. The bar has been a staple in the neighbourhood since 1980, originally established by Englishman Mark Williamson.
Williamson’s love for Rhône wines – despite their unpopularity a few decades back – allowed him to secure deep yearly quantities of wines that find themselves allocated today. For those looking to indulge in back vintages of Clape, Gangloff and other classic producers, this is the place for you. Willi’s robust wine selections are served up alongside a mix of classic French and American favourites, including foie gras, mushroom lasagne, burgers, magret de canard and bouillabaisse. Although Rhône-heavy, the list presents extensive offerings from Champagne, Burgundy and Italy. By-the-glass options are served in small, standard and carafe sizes, and an extensive dessert menu is available. (Side note: For those looking to pay homage to Willi himself, you’ll find his tomb just under the gas meter to the left of the bar’s front door.)
Dix Visions de la Joie
Tucked away in Paris’ 20th arrondissement, Dix Visions de la Joie is undoubtedly one of the city’s best-kept secrets. The bar’s immense outdoor space is perfect, both child and pet friendly, rendering it perfect for parents (and family members) looking to release some steam outdoors. Expect a modest selection of well-curated organic and natural wines as well a small selection of artisanal beers. Although the wine offerings are predominantly French, a small offering of bottles from Italy and Georgia can also be found.
Food options are limited, although quite delicious and rather filling. Expect seasonally-focused small plates centered around vegetables and seafood, such as ricotta with sliced vegetables, crab sandwiches and standard small plate offerings including cheese boards, rillettes and more.
Best for dinner
With a name like Vantre, the gastronomic expectations are already set high – and when we say that this spot overdelivers, we mean it. Founded by Marco Pelletier (formerly of Le Bristol) in 2016, this wine-focused restaurant has quickly become a must-visit for local and international imbibers alike. Located just a few steps from the foot of the Canal Saint-Martin, this casual restaurant stocks around 6,000 references (including on and off the list) in its immense cellar, with Pelletier ready and eager to navigate any palate preference to their perfect bottle.
Although a simple entrée, the restaurant has become renowned for its sage butter gnocchi, which is perhaps the menu’s most delicious item. Japanese chef Masaki Nagao (formerly of Clarence) meticulously crafts a handful of other plates, ranging from roasted pig to white asparagus to savoury pigeon and foie gras pies and beyond. For those looking to pinch a few pennies, head to Vantre at lunch for its set menu (€17-21) as opposed to ordering à la carte at dinner. In terms of wine, Pelletier has something for everyone, from simple Loire Valley quaffers to back vintages of DRC. Best of all, the restaurant is open on Mondays (shocker!) and the hospitality is nothing short of exceptional.
Best for aged wine at low prices
From the outside, Le Petit Sommelier may look like your average stuffy, white-tablecloth-bearing French restaurant. However, this unassuming restaurant offers much more than meets the eye. Truth be told, many of the spots on our list are located on the Right Bank, as these northerly neighbourhoods tend to be hotter spots for wine drinking. However, Le Petit Sommelier is worth the trek across the river. Located a hop, skip and a jump away from the Gare Montparnasse, this restaurant is home to one of the most epic wine lists in the entire city – and in terms of finding old wine at insane prices, it’s unbeatable.
Although the food is nothing to write home about, the carte des vins promises a night to remember. Home to over 750 references, Le Petit Sommelier’s cellar is laden with back vintages of DRC and classic Loire Valley producers, many of which can be found hovering around the €100 mark. Picks from the United States, Italy and Australia are also widely available. Over 20 wines are available by the glass at all times, with frequent 10 to 15-year-old pours offered for just over €10 a pop. On the food front, expect traditional meat-heavy bistro fare (steak tartare, rib eye, homemade foie gras) served up in a Belle Epoque reminiscent dining room.
Best for apéro
Looking for tasty wine and delicious small plates in a bustling ambiance? Le Grand Bain is the answer. Located at the end of the famous Rue Dénoyez, often unofficially referred to as ‘the graffiti street near Aux Folies’, this bar is one of the most delightful places to drink wine in Paris. Expect a natural/organic-focused list from benchmark French producers, all served alongside flavour-packed small plates that – fair warning – may turn into dinner.
Chef Edward Delling-Williams, formerly of Au Passage, excels at meticulously crafted tapas-style snacks, most of which are fish and veggie focused (think pan-fried mushrooms, grilled scallops and ever-addictive panisse). In terms of wine, there’s no shortage of bright reds from the Loire, textured whites from the Jura and a slew of frothy bubbles – many of which are available in magnums. Reservations – even for apéro – are highly recommended, though if indulging in small plates, don’t expect to leave hungry.
Best international selection
Founded by Englishman Tim Johnston, this long-standing 1st arrondissement wine bar has been happily serving thirsty guests since March of 1987. From its early days, Johnston was always fond of wines from Jerez, the Rhône Valley and Beaujolais, as well as Italy, the United States, South America and beyond. In a city so focused on domestic bottles, Juveniles provides a much-appreciated relief to the constant flooding of French wines.
Now spearheaded by Johnston’s daughter, Margaux and her husband, Romain Roudeau, this unmissable wine bar offers one of our favourite cosy atmospheres for drinking wine – which, like its list, provides a well-needed reprieve from the hustle of its neighbourhood. The majority of Juveniles’ ingredients are sourced from local farms, with a smattering of imported pungent cheeses (from Johnston’s native England, of course). Expect pan-fried mushrooms with poached egg, mackerel tartes, homemade terrine and entrecôte de boeuf from the bar’s kitchen, served alongside a variety of organically-produced wines. We raise our hats – and glasses – to Johnston and his family’s impeccable efforts to create a place where gastronomic cultures collide.