If you're after some good French wines, Paris isn't a bad place to look for them. While you can order a decent glass of wine at most corner brasseries and bars, we recommend spending a night out at a good wine bar. Taste some truly interesting and high-quality whites and red-- some served straight from oak barrels--and feast on delicious cheeses, charcuterie platters or small plates. Without further ado, these are 10 of the best wine bars in Paris. We've included a range of bars located throughout the capital of the original wine country, from foodie hotspots to old-fashioned neighbourhood hangouts.
This popular neighborhood wine bar nearby the Marché d’Aligre market serves a wide range of excellent French and international wines, and is a cozy place to perch on a dark autumn or winter night. It's also a popular local hangout for raw seafood lovers. Customers spill out into the street on winter weekends to purchase and suck down fresh oysters. The oysters come with just a bit of lemon and a slice of bread (cheese and charcuterie also an option), and the wine is often poured straight from the barrel. The cheese and charcuterie plates here are simple but delicious.
Open: Monday 5pm-10pm, Tuesday-Thursday 10am-2pm and 5pm-10pm, Friday-Saturday 10am-10pm, Sunday 10am-4pm.
Read related: Paris for Wine Lovers (Tasting, Touring, Learning)
Located around the corner from the famous Hotel Lutetia, Au Sauvignon has been owned and operated by the same family since 1954. The small, glass- enclosed wine bar manages to come across as both cozy and chic, with old-fashioned decor and a rustic vibe that's usually absent from trendier spots. Despite the bar's name which suggests it specializes in Sauvignon varieties of wine, this place is well known for its Beaujolais wines--light, fresh reds that tend to please most palates-- and offers a wide sampling of some of the best varieties. You'll also find fine reds from Bourgogne, Bordeaux, or the Rhone Valley and crisp, fruity or dry white wines from St-Emilion to Chablis.
Au Sauvignon also serves delicious tartines (open-faced sandwiches) on Poilane bread, as well as a variety of cheeses, charcuterie and small plates.
Open: Monday-Saturday 8am-11pm, Sunday 9am-10pm.
Located across the alley from Frenchie, a restaurant notoriously hard to get a reservation for, this wine bar annex offers small plates at reasonable prices, with an international wine list featuring plenty of bottles accessible to most budgets. Don’t miss the house-smoked trout, one of head chef Gregory Marchand’s trademark dishes. The bar can only accommodate 15 people, so if you’re hoping to be seated quickly show up at 6:30 sharp. And while the Frenchie Empire hasn't stopped growing in recent years-- the group recently snagged a Michelin star for the sit-down restaurant on Rue du Nil and opened another restaurant in London's Covent Garden-- it's only become harder in recent years to get a table at one of their sought-after tables.
Open: Open every day for dinner beginning at 6:30pm.
This cozy (read: tiny) wine bar and shop nestled less than a block away from the trendy Canal St Martin area remains intensely popular among foodies and their ilk. Owner Cyril Bordarier and chef Delphine Zampetti team up to offer an excellent selection of wines, small and large plates. There's a very good selection of organic wines and vintages from small, up-and-coming vintners. The cuisine is French and Spanish-inspired and based on the principal of simple but excellent ingredients: try the wonderful heirloom tomato salad or pan-seared octopus; the cheese and charcuterie plates are also excellent. The cavistes (wine-sellers) are always happy to recommend wines from the shelves to match your meal or palate. The place is small, so make sure to reserve several days ahead.
Open: Daily from 10:30 am to 2am; kitchen open from 12:30 to 2:30pm and from 7:30pm to 10:30pm.
A bar menu featuring natural wines and the fantastic home cooking of Argentine Raquel Carena bring locals and the occasional tourist to Le Baratin, a small, boisterous wine bar and bistrot located in Northeastern Paris' lively Belleville neighborhood. Reservations are recommended. The 19-euro lunch menu is one of the best deals in Paris (please note, prices are suspect to change at any time). Enjoy wine by the glass or the bottle; the personal selection from the co-owner Phillipe's cellar is reputed to be excellent. One word of warning: the place has a reputation for cool to unhelpful service.
Open: Closed Sunday and Monday. Open Tuesday-Friday for lunch and dinner; Open Saturday for dinner only.
Restaurateur and wine aficionado Mark Williamson helms this now-iconic Parisian wine bar located on a quiet street behind the Palais Royal. Tuck into a cheese platter or artfully prepared main course alongside a glass of red or white. Williamson's cellar-- which also feeds the considerable wine list at adjoining restaurant Macéo-- is stocked with bottles that would likely impress even discerning wine lovers. From Mosel Riesling whites to dry reds from Malaga and full-bodied wines from the Rhone Valley, Willi's has one of the city's most well-rounded and impressive selections. The three-course lunch menus from chef Francois are reasonably priced and feature market-fresh ingredients.
Open: Monday to Saturday, 12pm to midnight. Closed on Sundays.
Cave du Miroir
This wine bar extension of Le Miroir, the bistro owned by Sébastian Guénard and Matthieu Buffet and located just across the street, is popular with locals for its high-quality wines and hearty, delicious cuisine. The Cave offers simple appetizers (charcuterie, cheese and radishes) as well as a daily special, to accompany an eclectic wine list.
Open: Tuesday 2pm-8pm, Wednesday-Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 10am-1pm. Closed Mondays.
If you didn't succeed in getting a spot at Frenchie, don't despair: this wine bar just around the corner is also well worth a look. A more recent addition to the Rue Montorgueil district, the cozy bar features wines scrawled on chalkboards (you can also order from a menu), shelves cheerful stocked with bottles and informal stool or table seating. An ideal refuge on a cold night, De Saison serves decent and reasonably priced wines by the glass or bottle and a daily menu of lunch or dinner specials, cheese and mezze platters. A nice, unpretentious addition to a neighborhood that has began to suffer a bit from over-gentrification.
Open: Monday to Friday, 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to midnight; Saturday 6pm to midnight. Closed Sundays.
This cheerful wine bar and shop has become popular among tourists and locals for its friendly, modern approach and unintimidating tasting room. The sommeliers and staff at Ô Chateau are approachable and helpful, always willing to help you choose a wine from the bottle or advise on a selection of wines to taste by the class. At the bar, you can embark on a "casual tasting", choosing among 50 French and international wines. Accompany your wine with cheese or charcuterie platters, seasonal dishes and other light fare. This bar also offers more formal wine tasting sessions and tours, for those looking for a more educational experience.
Open: Monday to Saturday, 4pm to midnight
Located on the Western edge of the Latin Quarter, this restaurant and wine bar is a focal point of the American community in Paris and a place where English is spoken more often then French. The bar is housed in an old fish shop and the owners have left up the art-deco mosaics from the market on the walls. Fish is a popular foodie spot, with a wine list selected by Juan Manchez, who owns the nearby wine store La Dernière Goutte. It also has numerous decent vegetarian options.
Open: Daily, 12:30-2:30pm and 7:00-10:45pm