Happy Hour in Paris: Getting More “Les Cocktails” for Your Buck
Paris can be extremely expensive, especially if you aren’t familiar with the city. As an American college student during my previous visits, I was particularly strapped for cash and had to find a way to make my dollar stretch further. Enter an underrated Paris tip: Happy Hour! Yes, even the chic and glamorous international hot-spot that is Paris has adopted happy hour into its gastronomic scene. It typically runs from 6-8pm, immediately prior to the dinner hours, and can offer much needed relief to an over-spent budget.
Something to remember about Paris happy hour however is that not all are created equal. Many restaurants and bars don’t even offer happy hour specials. Of course prices vary by restaurant/bar, and some arrondissements are decidedly better when it comes to cocktail deals than others. Many of the best places for happy hour are clustered together on certain streets. However, others are hidden among pricey spots in the more expensive arrondissements.
Two of my favorite neighborhoods in Paris to find great happy hours are the Latin Quarter and Le Marais. The Latin Quarter has many cafes and brasseries that offer happy hours due to the number of students frequenting the area because of its situation near the Sorbonne and several other universities. However, know that not all cocktails are created equal and sometimes you get what you pay for. You may have to try several places before you find one that offers a quality cocktail at the lovely happy hour prices. Le Marais also has many places offering happy hour specials and extensive cocktail menus. Of the few I patronized, the patios were jammed with locals sipping colorful drinks and smoking cigarettes with friends. The best happy hours can be difficult to find in Le Marais with its many winding Medieval streets and hidden courtyards. My advice? Around 6 or 7pm start following the flock of locals.
Here are two of my favorite Paris bars with generous happy hour specials:
Le Fumoir, 6 rue de l’amiral Coligny, 75001
In my opinion the best mojitos in Paris! And at 6.5 euros (regular 11.5 euros) each from 6-8pm, you can have two! This restaurant/bar is set right off of rue de Rivoli near the Louvre Museum in Paris’ high-end 1ier arrondissement. Truly amazing to find such reasonably prices cocktails in this neighborhood. The rich and earthy decor with a touch of bohemian chic makes this spot fit for any aspiring literati. Also keep an eye out for some truly fabulous art while you sip your cocktails!
Num, 10 rue Coquilliere, 75001
Num is a Thai restaurant with a fabulously extensive cocktail menu. From 5-7pm they offer their cocktails at 5 euros apiece. Their mojito also is incredible, but their house specialities take the cake. However, my favorite aspect of Num is the atmosphere. Inside is an ultra modern and chic space dramatically lit, but outside is a lush, vegetated seating area.
Both of these offer my favorite happy hours in Paris, but I hope you find many more on your own adventures in the City of Lights.
Have a favorite Paris bar, more happy hour suggestions, or tips for eating/drinking cheap in Paris? Please share in the comment section!