Best bars near Canal Saint-Martin
The Canal Saint-Martin is actually an ancient waterway connecting northeastern Paris to the Seine. Established in the 1800’s to bring water from the center to the outskirts, the area around the Canal has been transformed into one of the trendiest in Paris. Walk along the Canal Saint-Martin in summertime, and you’ll find the banks lined with Parisians of all ages out enjoying a picnic or a late afternoon apéro.
Since it’s located in the center of the Parisian bar scene, near Oberkampf, Parmentier and La Villette, the Canal is one of the most lively areas in all of Paris. As you can imagine, there are some awesome bars around here. But there are so many, how can you choose? Well, read on to discover my recommendations for the best bars near the Canal Saint-Martin.
Le Comptoir General
Le Comptoir General, or just “Le Comptoir” for locals, is definitely one of the best bars near the Canal Saint-Martin. Once you enter, you’ll see why. Eccentricly decorated with antique furniture and a forest of tropical plants, you’ll feel as if you’re on vacation. There’s even a cabinet de curiosités, featuring all kinds of eclectic artifacts and treasures. The whole 600 square meter space has indoor and outdoor areas, and a full bar and restaurant. There’s plenty of seating all over, and it’s definitely an ideal bar for a night out with friends!
At Le Comptoir, the drinks are tasty, the vibe is good and so is the food. They offer a full bar menu (including delicious homemade virgin cocktails) as well as snacks and a Sunday brunch. This is truly a spot to kick back and relax, you’ll really forget you’re in Paris!
It can be a little hard to find, but part of Le Comptoir’s allure is the mysterious vibe. The entrance is hidden behind a simple gate, on the quai. To find Le Comptoir, head to 80 Quai des Jemmappes, just across the canal from metro Jacques Bonsergent.
Le Comptoir is undoubtedly a local favorite. So if you don’t want to spend half your night waiting in line, my advice is to arrive early on weeknights, or towards the end of the night. Because once apéro hour hits, you’re sure to spot the huge queue spilling out onto the riverbanks.
le comptoir general – 80 quai des jemmappes 75010
metro: jacques bonsergent
opening hours as follows:
The Point Ephémère is not only one of the best bars near the Canal Saint-Martin, it’s also an all out arts center. Located right on the water next to the Canal, this two-floor space is a local institution. A favorite among young, artsy Parisians, this combo bar and arts center features music, art and cultural events almost daily. For a full lineup and agenda, have a look at the schedule on their website.
The ground floor triples as a bar, a dance floor and an art gallery. The minimalist decor and street art surroundings border on grungy, and really cements the cool, arty feeling at Point Ephémère. Pretty much any day of the week you can find live music acts, DJ’s, and performance art/cultural events on the ground floor. So if you’re looking for a cool, unique bar in Paris, this is the place to go.
While the downstairs is excellent, the real gem of the Point Ephémère is the rooftop, or Le Top. From inside, take the stairs to the first floor, or enter directly via a bridge from the street. Here, you have a rooftop bar area, which overlooks the Canal. Here, you’ve got the perfect balance of sun, shade and good, affordable drinks. Any local will agree that during the the summer months, this is the place to be!
The rooftop is scattered with tables and lounge chairs, and lots of greenery. Indie music plays from the speakers, and there’s a full bar. The reasonable prices here are another reason for Le Top’s popularity. You can have a pint of beer for just €5.50, any time of the day. This is incredibly cheap for a popular bar in Paris, especially one that’s right on the water.
If you’re hungry there’s a great selection of tapas and small plates to share, which definitely won’t break the bank. A plate of 6 tapas will set you back €10. Le Top also has a full restaurant and you can order bar classics like burgers, charcuterie plates and fries until 22:00. This place is also known for their Sunday brunch, copious, delicious and affordable, this is the ideal hangover cure.
metro: jaurès or louis blanc
open monday through friday from 18:00-23:00
open weekends from 15:00-23:00
The Gravity Bar is perhaps the least-known spot on my list of the best bars near Canal Saint-Martin. But that just means it’s somewhat of a closely-guarded local secret!
Located just minutes from the Canal, this cool spot has been drawing in the neighborhood’s it-crowd since its inception. The minimalist bar is situated on one of the area’s most popular streets, but most visitors seem to overlook it. The interior is very simple, with sophisticated touches. Behind the concrete bar, all arrays of spirits and homemade mixers are displayed under a gigantic wooden wave, which expands over the ceiling of the whole place. The artsy look and feel remain casual and cozy, perfect for a chill night out in Paris.
Gravity Bar is known for their exceptional artisanal cocktails, and their creative spirit. Of course they have the classics available, but their forté is experimental cocktails and personalized drinks, often made with rare and unexpected liquors. Seriously, the bartenders here are super knowledgeable, creative, and friendly too. You can ask them to work with almost any flavor combo or idea, and they’ll create a unique and tasty drink for you!
Though a lot of the drinks quite exquisite here, the prices remain affordable. A custom cocktail will cost you around €13 and wine and simple drinks are even less. If you’re in the mood to grab a bite to eat, their menu is just as creative as their cocktails, and definitely worth a try.
metro: château d’eau
open tuesday through saturday from 18:00-02:00
Well, now you know all about the best bars near Canal Saint-Martin! I hope you’ll take the chance to try some of these places. And let me know what you think in the comments!
See you soon in Paris!