Word of Mouth: Paris

From natural wine bars to sophisticated accommodations, some of our favorite spots in the City of Light

Like any dynamic city, Paris is ever-evolving. As frequent visitors, we try to keep up with all cultural developments. While we remain faithful to our beloved stalwart bars and restaurants, there are always new or undiscovered venues to visit—be it bars, cafes, galleries or places to rest your head. Some of the selections in this guide aren’t secrets, but have been renovated or reinvented, others are new, and a few are old favorites. All are worth stopping by if you find yourself in the City of Light.

Courtesy of Deviant


Just two storefronts away from its sister Vivant, Deviant is located on Rue des Petites Ecuries—quite literally open to the street, thanks to the lack of a front facade. Post up among the interior mirrored walls at the marble-top bar (which overlooks the organized chaos of the tiny open kitchen) and order from the vast selection of natural wines and small plates. The menu changes frequently, but could include items like grilled asparagus, foie gras, haddock fritters, chicken wings and anything between. With no tables or chairs, plenty of wines by the glass, and the club Hôtel Bourbon next door, Deviant has an undeniable party vibe.

Courtesy of Clown Bar

Clown Bar

Quiet during the day and boisterous by night, Clown Bar is a dynamic spot for small plates and natural wines just moments from Republique and Cirque d’Hiver. The inside is tastefully adorned with Belle Epoque tiled murals of clowns. A whole veal brain is the signature dish, but if that’s not your style, there’s plenty more season-focused fare to choose from—and plenty of funky, odd and delightful natural pours. Unlike many spots in Paris, it’s also open on Sundays. Just be ready to wait for a table.

Courtesy of The Hoxton

The Hoxton

The former home of Etienne Rivié (an adviser to Louis XV), the 172-room Hoxton is an 18th century residence reborn as a casual yet sophisticated hotel. It also features the brasserie-style Rivié restaurant serving food all day, as well as two bars, Jacques and Planche. Like the brand’s other properties, there’s a strong social and community vibe, with people hanging out and working in public spaces—all of which are decorated with a hodgepodge of thoughtfully selected objects, fabrics and textures. The rooms come in four sizes (each aptly named Shoebox, Cosy, Roomy and Biggy) but all make use of the property’s historical features and quirks. A five-minute walk to another Paris favorite, Lockwood (go downstairs to the cave-like cocktail bar) and a 20-minute stroll to the Louvre, it’s—above all—an ideal location.

Courtesy of Galerie Perrotin

Gallerie Perrotin

Certainly not a secret, Perrotin has—since 2005—come to occupy three gallery spaces in the Marais. The stark, white space inside is contrasted with the lavish exterior (the facade that JR covered for his first major solo show) and has played host to exhibitions by international names like Takashi Murakami, Ryan McGinley and Daniel Arsham, as well as French artists including Sophie Calle, Tatiana Trouve and others. There’s a certain kind of silence and solemness that occurs upon entering this gallery, which, perhaps surprisingly, makes the experience extra special.

Courtesy of Cafe Mericourt, by Molly SJ Lowe

Café Méricourt

Sun-drenched and bustling, Café Méricourt is the sister venue of beloved Café Oberkampf. With impeccable coffee and bread by CH favorite Ten Belles, the menu is made up of old favorites and some zingers—from shakshuka to pancakes, quinoa bowls and a spicy Thai-influenced salad. Since late November, the cafe has also been hosting Crushed—a natural wine pop-up.

Le Mary Celeste

From Quixote Projects (the brains behind Candelaria, Les Grands Verres at Palais de Tokyo, Hero and more), Le Mary Celeste is a creative bar with a busy, vibrant atmosphere that’s truly welcoming. The bar focuses on meticulous, thoughtful craft cocktails but there’s also tremendous attention paid to fresh, locally sourced meat and produce. Post up at the bar, order some oysters, and enjoy the energy buzzing around you. Le Mary Celeste also happens to be open every day.