Speakeasies popped up in the United States during the Prohibition era of the 1920s and 30s; there were several attempts to shut down these outlawed establishments, but to no avail they continued to operate. Known for their unique atmosphere that attracted a certain kind of crowd, these bars came to be known for three things: the drinks, the music, and the laissez-faire attitude towards all kinds of rules. While Europe never went through a Prohibition era, speakeasies continue to pop up all over Paris, hoping to capitalise on a crowd that cherishes exclusivity.
La Candelaria is Mexican-inspired cocktail bar that opened in 2011, and was one of the first speakeasy bars in Paris. To get into this hidden gem, enter the tiny all-white taqueria and walk to the end of the narrow bar (or stop there first to try the spicy and delicious tacos and tostadas!) and push the anonymous back door. You’ll find yourself in a dimly lit cocktail bar with delicious creations awaiting you!
Open everyday from 12pm to 12am (11pm during the week). 52 Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris.
La Mezcaleria guarantees that you’ll go on an adventure before receiving your well-deserved cocktail. To get to this iconic speakeasy, go through the front doors of the famous 1K Hotel in Paris, and follow the masked Mexican wrestler through the hotel restaurant’s kitchen. You’ll end up in a sultry, dimly-lit cocktail bar that serves cocktails exclusively made with Mezcal. If you’re feeling brave and up for a challenge, order some grilled grasshoppers to go along with your drink!
Open Wednesday to Saturday from 7pm to 2am. 13 Boulevard du Temple, 75003 Paris. +33 1 42 71 20 00
Lavomatic (French for ‘laundry mat’) is the newest addition to the Parisian speakeasy cocktail bar landscape. This bar is located above a laundry mat in a bright and beautifully designed space. To enter this bar, find the secret bell between the washing machines and climb the stairs — a swing-seat and delicious fruit cocktails are among the many surprises that await you!
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm to 1am. 30 Rue René Boulanger, 75010 Paris.
With windows completely covered in layers of old, water-damaged posters, you might walk past this abandoned-looking shop a hundred times thinking that no one’s been in there for decades.
However, behind those dirty-looking doors is one of the coolest bars in Paris, Le Syndicat (the Trade-Union). Located in Château d’Eau, an up and coming area, this bar serves some of the best cocktails in the city in a cool and ultra-relaxed atmosphere.
Open everyday from 6pm to 2am. 51 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010 Paris. +33 6 66 63 57 60
Le Moonshiner was one of the first bars in Paris to implement the prohibition theme. This bar is located in the Bastille area of the city, inside of a pizzeria. Enter the restaurant and go through the heavy, metallic doors of the cold room to enter the New-York-style bar. A sultry atmosphere with subdued lighting and jazzy tunes straight out of an old gramophone will keep your senses spellbound. Le Moonshiner offers delicious old-style cocktails using 83 kinds of whisky the bar keeps on hand. This place is trés chic and ultra cool!
Open everyday from 6pm to 2am. 5 Rue Sedaine, 75011 Paris. +33 9 50 73 12 99