In the world of natural wine, there’s no better drinking destination than Paris. No matter where you find yourself in the city, there’s likely a good place to glug just around the corner.
Bypass the heavily touristed spots for local haunts with late-night (or early-morning!) hours, killer views, and unparalleled selections. VinePair sat down with American expat Josh Adler, founder of the Paris Wine Company and natural wine expert, to get the inside scoop. Here are eight natural wine bars the locals love in Paris.
Le Saint Sebastien
This recently opened restaurant and wine bar in the 11th arrondissement comes from Thomas Deck and Bolivia native Daniela Lavadenz, formerly of Au Passage and 6 Paul Bert. “They have an extensive wine list,” Adler says, “and you can choose to have a glass or bottle at the bar or sit down and enjoy a full dinner; the ceviche and mushroom mole are delicious.” Plates by Chef Robert Mendoza, formerly of Willows Inn, are paired with over 400 meticulously selected wines, including favorites from Jo Landron and Jean-Francois Ganevat. Open Mon.-Fri. 7:30 p.m.-midnight. Location.
“Marco Pelletier was the sommelier at the very chic, three-star Le Bristol before going out on his own to open his own wine-focused home base,” says Adler — and wine-focused he is. Pelletier’s list has an astounding 2,000 labels, making this 11th-arrondissement-based bistro a natural wine lover’s mecca. For food, the sage butter gnocchi is absolutely unmissable, and for wine? There’s always something special open. “He has great personal relationships with great producers ranging from the famous to unknown, so there’s an enormous choice and great service.” With a list this size, you’d be hard pressed not to find your favorite natty producer. Open Mon.-Fri. 12-2 p.m., 8-10 p.m. Location.
Café de la Nouvelle Mairie
For an accessible natural wine experience, look no further than Café de la Nouvelle Mairie, located in Paris’s 5th arrondissement. While most natural wine hotspots are on the city’s Right Bank, this café’s Left Bank location is perfect for those staying near Luxembourg, Saint-Germain, or the Panthéon. The wine selection at Café de la Nouvelle Mairie always rotates, with just five to 10 options of both white and red served by the glass, carafe, or bottle at all times. Consider yourself lucky if you snag a table outside — and don’t forget to order a cheese to pair with your wine! Open Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-midnight. Location.
Les Grands Verres
Finding natural wine spots can be trickier the farther west you go in Paris; thankfully, Les Grands Verres has come to save the day. “The team from Quixotic Projects (a.k.a. the faces behind Candelaria, Glass, Mary Celeste, and Hero) just took over this expansive space at Le Palais Tokyo, Paris’s contemporary art museum,” Adler says. “Enjoy great cocktails and natural wine on tap, along with a view of the Eiffel Tower, and one of Paris’s best outdoor terraces in the summertime.” Count us in. Open 7 days 12-2:30 p.m., 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Location.
Le Baron Rouge
“This is a classic, often overlooked in favor of newer spots, but it’s always fun,” Adler says. “The crowd is a mix of tourists and locals doing their shopping at the Marché d’Aligre market next door.” Known for its oysters, cheese boards, and wines served by the pot, this is a surprisingly solid spot in the early hours. “The best time to go is Sunday mornings in winter, when they serve oysters right in front,” Adler says. Open 7 days; Mon. 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-10 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Location.
Located on the 11th’s rue Saint-Maur, this intimate, natural caviste-wine bar was founded by Camille Fourmont, formerly of Chateaubriand, and offers an exceptionally diverse range of bottles and wines by the glass. Highlights include cult classics and foreign finds, such as bottles of Jean-Pierre Rietsch (Alsace) and Pheasant’s Tears’ skin-contact Rkatsiteli from Sighnaghi, Georgia. Although prices aren’t necessarily the cheapest in Paris, the minimal €8 corkage fee makes drinking sur place totally worth it. Arrive early for your best chance at snagging one of the four tables! Open Wed.-Fri. 5-10 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Location.
Le Grand Bain
Prefer your natural wine with a view? Le Grand Bain is for you. “The rue Denoyez in Belleville is famous for the street art covering the walls of this narrow brick alley,” says Adler. Chef Edward Delling-Williams, formerly of Au Passage, presents a chalkboard of small plates, including many vegetarian options. You’ll find wines from Touraine, Gaillac, and the Jura, some which run as low as €25 a bottle. “Le Grand Bain is a beautiful restaurant space with a very rare — for Paris — horseshoe bar in the center. It’s a nice spot to have a glass of wine and a small plate.” Open 7 days 7-11:30 p.m. Location.
‘Lot’ of Wine
No trip to Paris is complete without grabbing a bottle and cracking it open with friends to drink along the Seine. “This wine shop and wine bar on the banks of the Seine carries wines from many of my favorite producers,” Adler says. “It’s centrally located and open late, so it’s a great address to keep in your back pocket.” Whether shopping in the Marais, strolling around Ile Saint-Louis, or checking out the latest exhibition at the Hotel de Ville, stopping by ‘Lot’ of Wine for an end-of-the-day drink is convenient and satisfying. Open Tues. 6:30-11 p.m., Wed.-Sat. 6-11:30 p.m. Location.