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Better Than A Brasserie

Better Than A Brasserie

We’re just back from Fashion Week in Paris and, thanks to some amis branchés, found five places where real Parisiens drink. 

1. La REcyclerie 

Organic ingredients and a location in some kind of converted space are, we’re told, both essential factors if you want your new bar to pass the cool test in Paris.  In an enormous former train station with an on-site farm, vegie garden and handy-man, La REcylcerie passes with flying colours.  This hybrid cocktail bar/restaurant/beer garden is in the sketchy part of the 18th and offers views over the old railway tracks, a changing food menu (always featuring local ingredients) and a fit-out comprised of weird second-hand furniture. It’s like a share house on steroids with jugs of hibiscus cocktails on tap.
83 boulevard Ornano
75018 Paris


2. La Paname Brewing Company

Overlooking the (currently frozen) Bassin de la Villette, the Paname Brewing Company is a rare find in antiquated Paris.  These guys brew their own artisanal beers on site and serve burgers, steaks and on-trend finger food year round.  In summer, apparently, it’s almost impossible nab a table either on the floating patio or by the floor-to-ceiling windows, but in winter it’s a cosy haven for locals in the know.
41 bis Quai de la Loire
75019 Paris


3. CO18

There is something quite unnerving about watching your cab drive away after you’ve been left in what look likes an entirely residential, and completely deserted, street late at night. Especially when it’s -2 degrees outside.  But one reason that CO18 is so wildly successful is because it’s so tricky to find.    The other reason is the seriously excellent cocktails.  Proper cocktails – the ones that taste like they’ve taken months to perfect – are hard to find in Paris, and the ones here are mindblowing. The restaurant specializes in caviar, which means the bar menu is littered with it as well. Need we say more.
15 Rue Esclangon

75018 Paris



4. Ice Cube Bar

The rooftop of Galeries Lafayette provides one of the city’s best views, and now it can be enjoyed in sub zero temperatures.  The summer-only ‘Cube Bar’ has been transformed into ‘Ice Cube Bar’ thanks to a series of igloo-shaped domes that cocoon against the season’s chill.  If you can handle the arctic breeze, snuggle up under a blanket under a heater on the terasse – but the view is just as delicious from the safety of the plastic igloo that zips firmly shut. As it closes at the same time as the Galeries (7.30pm), this is the perfect spot for a post-shopping coup de champagne – though foie gras, oysters and alpine cheeses are all on the menu as well.
Level 7, Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann
40, Boulevard Haussmann
75009 Paris


5.  Pavillon Des Canaux

Eat your cheesecake in the bath. Drink your beer in bed. Share a salad around the kitchen table upstairs. Pavillon Des Canaux is a bar/restaurant/café in a two-storey house that has retained its original format.  Decked out with mismatched furniture, painted in retro pastels, and serving everything you could ever want to eat or drink this is a house you’ll wish you could rent for yourself.
39 Quai de la Loire,
75019 Paris