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 10 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 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 at the top of 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 (especially Rhône wines)
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 England-born 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, the Languedoc, and Italy. By-the-glass options are served in small, standard, and carafe sizing, 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.)
Best for natural wine (and a beer break)
Natural wine bars, a dime a dozen in Paris, so when one particularly stands out, we take notice. Founded in 2017 by Julien Maillet, Liquiderie first came under our radar with its Oberkampf-based cave. Following its retail location, Maillot opened this Belleville-based natural wine and beer bar, located on the corner of rue de la Présentation and Rue Louis Bonnet.
The bar’s overall vibe is rather brewery chic meets industrial warehouse, complete with concrete floors and a hefty line of taps. With over 15 beers on tap and a 24-page, all-natural wine list, Liquiderie truly has something for lovers of all things vibrant, flavour-packed, and “clean.” Expect 5€ for a glass of wine on tap and a hefty bottle selection, with standout favourites (Frank Cornelissen, Domaine de l’Octavin, Ganevat), as well as off-the-beaten path picks from Italy, Australia, and beyond.
Don’t come too hungry, but rest assured that light snacks – tinned fish, olives, and a selection of cheeses – are available. Even if you tend to choose wine over beer, we recommend springing for a demi of something local to kick off the night.
Dix Visions de la Joie
- Tel: 06 74 78 12 04
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 ricotta with sliced vegetables, crab sandwiches, and cheese boards, as well as rillette, fresh tomato salad, and other traditional French small plates. The staff isn’t necessarily the friendliest, but with a terrace so good (and no reservations needed), hospitality isn’t what we’re after here.
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 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-yet-precise restaurant stocks over 2,000 – yes, two thousand – references 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 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 brunch (and child friendly!)
After establishing their Sentier-based wine bar (of the same name) just three years prior, Charlotte Poumailloux and Julien Pontoizeau have since opened their second location in Paris’ bustling 11th arrondissement. Tucked away just off the Saint Ambroise métro stop, this charming wine bar offers a vast selection of exclusively French bottles, with a focus on organic and natural offerings.
The bar’s curated menu of small plates are meant for sharing, featuring homemade labneh, green beans, hard boiled eggs with mayonnaise, and gooey croque monsieurs. On weekend days, head to Le P’tit Pinard for brunch from 12-3pm for a taste of delicious comfort food, including French toast, scrambled eggs, and fromage blanc with granola. Wash it all down with a crunchy bottle of Gamay from Dutraive, Lapalu, or Marcel Joubert, a late-harvest Alsatian Pinot Gris from Albert Mann, or spring for a bottle of vintage Champagne from Veuve Fourny if you’re feeling fancy.
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, 9 out of 10 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 epic 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 Rays, 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 Denoyez, often unofficially referred to as “the graffiti street near Aux Folies,” this colourful passageway leads to 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 Dwelling-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. As we said, fair warning, this apéro may turn itself into dinner…
Best international selection
Founded in 1987 by English native 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 Sherry, the Rhone 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, Marguax, 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 is 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.