Paris has lots of secret bars or ‘speakeasy’ tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Known mostly for their original storefront, they have some of the best cocktail concoctions to enjoy against a background of jazz music or the latest trendy DJ sets, all in intimate but very sophisticated interiors. To help you choose, we unveil 5 top addresses not to be missed for a ‘clandestine’ evening!
Secret 8 Buddha Bar
Inspired by American speakeasys – the clandestine bars from the prohibition era – Secret 8 is a cocktail bar hidden behind a back door of the Buddha Bar restaurant in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. To gain entry, you will need a password and will have to solve the puzzle posted monthly on social networks (@Secret8bybybuddhabar). Welcome to Secret 8, a secret cabinet of curiosities with a hushed atmosphere. Here, the cocktail menu will be given to you in a wax sealed envelope and each cocktail has its own designated glass. With or without alcohol, the savvy concoctions are both lovely to look at and taste and are delightfully presented.
At first glance the Candelaria looks like a nondescript Mexican restaurant serving tacos and tostadas, with an open kitchen, communal tables and a few stools at the counter. It is when you push open the little door at the back that you find a second room, tucked away out of
sight, with dim lighting, a few candles burning, and soft music playing in the background. This hideaway is where locals in the know come to sip the barman’s creative cocktails.
Little Red Door
Little Red Door does indeed have a red door (hence the name), but the actual entrance is through a hard-to-find side door. Every detail of the decor in this secret bar, formerly a ready-to-wear clothes shop, is carefully curated. Luminous cornices, exposed stone walls and velvet upholstered chairs make for a pleasant setting in which to sip a drink from a stylish glass and enjoy the latest sounds. This is not the place to order a classic cocktail like a mojito or a cosmopolitan: the list only features highly innovative creations and little-known flavours.
For a taste of authentic Peruvian food, head to the Mezcaleria, the speakeasy at the Hôtel 1K, formerly the Murano. The highlight of the drinks menu, however, is Mexican — mezcal, the strong liquor resembling tequila, which is served here on the rocks or in a cocktail. To be sampled with guacamole — or, for the more adventurous, with deep-fried locusts. Bonus: the Mezcaleria is the only hidden bar in Paris
that transforms into an open-air venue in summer.
Le Petit Club de la Favela Chic
Favela Chic, a popular Brazilian restaurant and club, is the place where Paris clubbers get down to the sound of samba. A black velvet curtain shields the intimate ‘Petit Club’ from the main venue. With its confidential atmosphere, black bar, sophisticated cocktails and dim lighting, this space is perfect for sitting back comfortably to listen to DJs mixing their sets.
It’s impossible to tell from the facade covered in posters and graffiti that the Syndicat (full name: Organisation de Défense des Spiritueux Français) is actually the hottest cocktail venue in town. The decor is modern and beautifully designed, featuring a marble bar and a cork ceiling, and the content of the glasses is heady stuff-cognac, Armagnac, whisky, Calvados apple brandy and fir tree liqueur, all of it 100% French made and absolutely delicious.