Closerie Closerie

Paris' Most Historic Bars: Une Petite Guide

Step back in time to drink like Parisians used to

Harry's New York Bar

Back in 1911, a former US jockey convinced a friend who owned a bar in New York to relocate it to , and the Harry’s was born. A hip 1920s hangout, patrons included Hemingway, Sartre, and Blondin who enjoyed the famous cocktails created here like the Bloody Mary and Side Car with a hot dog snack. All wooden panels, downstairs is a piano bar where Gershwin is said to have composed An American in Paris. Amazingly enough, the bar is still run by the original Harry’s great-grandson.


LUXOS Recommends: A Bloody Mary, in its original birthplace

Les Bains

Opened in 1885, this was the finest bathhouse in Paris with Marcel Proust as a regular. By 1978, the baths were reborn as the beating heart of Parisian nightlife with Andy Warhol, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Naomi Campbell, Prince, David Bowie and Mick Jagger dancing the night away here. Now a hip hotel, the revamped bar still welcomes celebrities from across the world.

LUXOS Recommends: The classic Long Island Le classique Long Island

Recommended: Top wine bars in Paris

Bar Hemingway at the Ritz

The legendary newly overhauled bar was named after the author who celebrated the end of WWII here while being a war correspondent. Hemingway famously wrote “Whenever I dream of afterlife in heaven, [it] always takes place in the Paris Ritz.” Dating back to 1898, it was also frequented by Capote and Welles, while Proust wrote part of his novel A la recherche du temps perdu here.

Bar HemingwayBar Hemingway

LUXOS Recommends: The Serendipity, a perfect mix of Calvados, fresh mint, sugar, apple juice and brut champagne

La Closerie des Lilas

Another favourite with the literary set, this discreet establishment founded in 1847 counts Jean-Paul Sartre and Samuel Beckett as patrons, as well as Picasso, Apollinaire and Man Ray. It’s said Hemingway wrote part of The Sun Also Rises here – and his spot is even marked with a plaque. There’s a late-night piano bar, smart restaurant and cosy brasserie with terrace.

Closerie des lilasLa Closerie

LUXOS Recommends: The Royal Closerie, a heady blend of champagne, Armagnac, mandarine impériale and red fruit coulis

Les Deux Magots

A Saint-Germain-des-Prés institution, just across from Café de Flore, it is one of the city’s most famous cafés. In its 1940s heyday it saw the likes of Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Camus sipping coffees on its banquettes. The Surrealists, such as André Breton, and Picasso and Léger also congregated here. It even has its own literary prize, rivalling the Goncourt since 1933.

Les Deux Magots credits David McSpaddenLes Deux Magots

LUXOS Recommends: A bottle of the Delamotte Rosé ‘Les Deux Magots’ of course!

Le Mathis Bar

Intimate and cosy, this bijou bar also has a past boasting illustrious guests like Françoise Sagan and Yves St Laurent. Recently updated by the Experimental Group cocktail crew, the place retains all its original charm thanks to chandeliers, mirrors, oodles of red velvet and a slightly louche feel. Even better, it stays opens until 4am.

LUXOS Recommends: The zingy and fresh vodka and lemongrass-infused Experience 1

1 Harry's New York Bar
2 Les Bains
3 Bar Hemingway
4 La Closerie des Lilas
5 Les Deux Magots
6 Le Mathis Bar