Best Apéritif Bars in Paris

The apéritif is considered holy hour in France—and in Paris, the pre-dinner drink can often turn into an all-evening affair, because there’s always bound to be someone who says, “Let’s just get another bottle.” The essentials of a good apéritif—or apéro as it’s often called—are a solid glass of wine, a cheese plate and a spread of charcuterie. Of course, there are always rules to bend, and depending on the style of the establishment, that definition is up to interpretation. But above all, a good apéritif should be the kind of drink that bleed into dinner. —Anna Brones

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    Chez Jeannette

    While Paris is full of bars with hip interiors (anything that feels like a loft-space with a bit of exposed brick is in) Chez Jeanette isn’t one of them, and that’s part of its charm. Chez Jeannette plays up the old-school with a formica bar, red PVC benches and funky wallpaper that has clearly endured decades of cigarette smoke. The cheese and charcuterie plates are generous—so much so that post-apero, dinner might be out of the question. But if not, there’s a solid, basic French menu here with options like Charolais steak and homemade fries.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • day drinking
    • outdoor / patio
    • bar food
  • 2

    Frenchie Bar à Vins

    It can be difficult to secure a reservation at Gregory Marchand’s famed Frenchie restaurant; thankfully there’s Frenchie Bar à Vins. For aperitif hour, there’s a well-curated selection of homemade charcuterie and antipasti that warrant staying well past happy hour. The wine list is equally thoughtful, boasting a tight collection of wines from small, artisanal producers from around the world. And while this is meant as a pre-dinner bar, the bar food is good enough, and the room comfortable enough, that you likely be tempted to stay through dinner time.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • good wine
    • bar food
  • 3

    La Buvette

    This former crèmerie, with its tiled floor and dark oak bar, hints to a bygone era. But Camille Fourmont keeps things fresh with a carefully selected list of natural wines,  locally brewed beer and a creative yet classic selection of small plates to go alongside—from foie gras to Aubrac sausage to sardines.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • good wine
    • natural wine
    • bar food
  • 4

    La Point du Grouin

    Groin means pig snout in French and La Pointe du Grouin in Brittany is where Thierry Breton, its famed owner, hails from. So it's no surprise that the food and drink nods to the region with a few pig snout snacks thrown in. No phone, no reservations, no servers and its own currency (don’t worry, the conversion is easy: 1 “groin” to 1 euro) makes this wine bar one of the quirkiest in Paris's canon. A variety of small plates inspired by hearty French fare—including everything from grilled sausage crepes to oysters—are served family-style. Don’t be alarmed when your order is shouted to the kitchen over a megaphone. Wine ...

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    KNOWN FOR

    • natural wine
    • bar food
    • oysters / raw bar
  • 5

    Le Baron Rouge

    Located close to the Aligre market, Le Baron Rouge is a quintessential, no-nonsense wine bar. Here the focus is low-frills, inexpensive wine in a boisterous setting. Rustic charcuterie and cheese with a crusty baguette will keep the stomach lined and on Sunday there are oysters to accompany an afternoon aperitif.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • good wine
    • bar food
    • outdoor / patio
    • day drinking
    • low wine markups
  • 6

    Comptoir Général

    Self-described as a “temple of ghetto culture,” Comptoir Générale feels like an upcycled, utopian jungle from the 1960s. Part-museum, part-community space, part-bar, CG has gained a cult following for its tropical-inspired cocktails (Ti' Punch and Planter's pitchers abound) and inexpensive Asian and Afro-Caribbean-inspired street food dishes (think egg rolls, bô-bun and fried plantains).

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    KNOWN FOR

    • bar food
    • lots of rum
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  • 8

    Lockwood

    Café by day, cocktail bar by night, Lockwood is the kind of place you could spend hours in. Come sunset, Paris disappears and the Italian-style aperitivo takes over, featuring a spread of everything from hummus to homemade pickles to charcuterie. (Starting at 6 p.m., snacks are included in the price of your drink.) As in any proper aperitivo bar, there are Negronis and Aperol Spritzes, all concocted with the liquor from bottles suspended from the ceiling with bungee cords. The bar staff here also know a thing or two about whiskey.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft cocktails
    • bar food
    • lots of whiskey

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