Top 3 Tiki Bars in Paris
Tiki bars saw their heyday back in the 1950s; at the time, there was no more glamours place to be seen while out on the town. You simply weren’t living if every drink didn’t have a kitsch umbrella sticking out of the top of an Easter Island shaped glass.
They burnt out almost as quick as they arrived, with partygoers quickly moving past the tiki trend and on to the next.
It is unclear to me as to whether modern day tiki bars exist as a bit of a parody on the ones from the 50s, or whether these bars are really dedicated to the whole fruity, flamboyant cocktail scene. Perhaps there is irony in recreating these spaces.
Either way, the fad has crept back into Paris of all places; here are the top three tiki bars in the city.
1. Dirty Dick in Paris
I’m a firm believer in giving credit where its due. In spite of the very predictable decor and sticky tables (what did you expect from a bar named the Dirty Dick?), the cocktails here are probably some of the best you’ll have in Paris.
The Dirty Dick opens at 6pm daily. The staff are there eight hours earlier, every single day, just to prepare all of the cocktail ingredients fresh from scratch.
At the Dirty Dick you wont be drinking mass produced, preservative filled cocktail fruit juices, you’ll drink freshly juiced and squeezed produce that the team at Dirty Dick have literally slaved to prepare.
The fresh ingredients are paired with quality ingredients from around the world. Like every tiki bar, rum is the specialty; the quirky bar staff will mix your choices in front of you and garnish them in ways that would seem utterly ostentatious anywhere else, but perfect for inside a tiki bar.
Throughout the evening at the Dirty Dick there are table side massages available to anyone who is interested. Bizarre for a bar, yes, but never too weird for a tiki bar.
OPENING HOURS: Monday TO SUNDAY – 6PM TO 2aM
ADDRESS: 10 Rue Frochot, 75009 Paris, France
METRO STATION: Pigalle
2. Le Tiki Lounge in Paris
Moving further east into the Folie-Méricourt area just before Belleville is a bar that tells it like it is.
Le Tiki Lounge has managed to get their interior closer to what the tiki bars looked like back in the day, and less like an ironic island popup bar.
The Dirty Dick might spend hours preparing, but le Tiki Lounge still makes a better piña colada.
Fresh fruit and mixers are used in le Tiki Lounge as well. The bartenders here take their craft very seriously and have been known to run to a corner store and back should they find themselves with the opportunity to create a specially requested drink but are missing a key ingredient.
As far as customer service in Paris goes, this has probably never happened before in the entire history of the city… never… not once.
The space is true to it’s name. It’s a lounge vibe through and through. The music is vibey but never loud enough to disturb the ability to converse, the staff are passionate and the lounge is open early enough for your night out in Paris to start here.
From the Tiki Lounge you’re in prime position to either head east into Belleville’s nightlife, north to the Canal Saint Martin where there is guaranteed to be live music, or south into le Marais, which we already know is the heart of Paris’ night culture.
OPENING HOURS: TUESDAY TO Saturday – 6pM TO 2aM
ADDRESS: 26 bis Rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 75011 Paris, France
METRO STATION: Goncourt / Hôpital St Louis
3. Mermaids and Divers in Paris
Visually, Mermaids and Divers appears to be one of the most well curated tiki bars in the city. I peeped inside once during a free guided walking tour through Bastille and couldn’t wait to come back to see what it was all about.
The entire bar is wooden and covered in plant life. The bottles of spirits live amongst them and skilled bar tenders shake up cocktails throughout the day — they open at 10am!
The operation at Mermaids and Divers is a little different to the previous two tiki bars we explored. This one is more of a tiki/bistro hybrid. It’s not customary for tiki bars to have full restaurant menus but at Mermaids and Divers it works.
Their veggie and bread platter blew my mind. They also do grills, burgers and steaks that pair well with the cocktail menu on offer.
The bar gets loud, after 9pm you’ll struggle to have a decent conversation and resort to talking to your glass of rum instead. The music alternates between evenings; some nights it’s reggae, some nights rock ’n roll… sometimes even Greek music? Trés bizarre but tons of fun.
The bar is about a minutes walk from the Place de la Bastille which holds the beautiful Colonne de Juillet statue. Drink enough fruity cocktails and the structure may start to look a bit like a tiki totem pole on your walk home.