Here’s the thing about me abroad: I don’t like doing touristy things… Not that I’d completely shy away from, say, going up the top of the Eiffel Tower once in my life (okay, this may be my way of justifying the photos that exist somewhere online).
If I had the option to do an activity that locals do, however, I tend to prefer that.
Ideally, I’d do that with alcohol.
This is why, knowing my appreciation for a proper cocktail, our friend C decided to take me to some of the best speakeasies in Paris. I personally think that a perfect speakeasy has the following characteristics:
- It has to actually be hidden (I think it loses the point if everyone knows about it)
- It has to have a great ambiance
- It is imperative that they serve mind-blowing cocktails
That said, and as always, Paris did not disappoint me. Here are some of the places C took me:
Candelaria (52 Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris)
This splendid bar is located at the back of a Mexican restaurant (which also serves delicious food). Their claim to fame is having a roster of amazing mixologists, which guarantees impeccable drinks. They’re becoming famous now to locals and foreigners alike (though one would be hard pressed to find a wide-eyed tourist in there). An adventurous new guest could spin an arrow in their menu and allow fate to decide the evening’s poison.
C and I loved the El Chupacabras and Las Ciguapas, but I understand that they change their menu from time to time.
Lavomatic (30 Rue René Boulanger, 75010 Paris)
“I’m gonna take you to a bar where you have to enter through a washing machine,” C told me.
Behind the door of faux washing machines situated in a well-lit “laundromat” was a wonderland for every artistic, bibulous person: there were swings, books, comfy couches, “profound” quotes on benches, and little “Brillo branded” seats. It was filled with locals, proably owing to the fact that most information about the bar is in French. Our favorite cocktail involved the use alcohol infused “pearls”.
Experimental Cocktail Club (37 Rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002 Paris)
Quality, quality, quality.
This looked to be the name of the game in this bar located in an inconspicuous establishment (I couldn’t quite figure out if it looked more like a closed down art gallery, fancy restaurant, or boutique).
Once inside, guests are greeted with a fancy chandelier and some of the friendliest (and arguably best) bartenders in Paris. After regaling us with stories about his delight in finding out we were Filipinas and sharing the fact that they’re part of the same group as Candelaria (plus they do consulting for many establishments in different parts the world), he blew our minds with some of the most delicious cocktails I’ve ever had.
I had a completely different ending in mind, but I realized I am posting this on 14 July, which is coincidentally Bastille Day. I’m sure there will be plenty of parties in different parts of France as well as French communities worldwide. Enjoy and Santé !
C: Merci beaucoup ma belle pour l’hospitalité. Tu es la meilleure. Bonne chance !