The Canal Saint Martin is the most popular Parisian place for leisure during the spring and summer time. It is a perfect location to go for a walk on the banks, to picnic with friends, even to fly fish, observe the ducks or just to enjoy its special atmosphere. Here, you will also find many restaurants and cafes. Some of them are situated in the buildings listed as a historical monument, and some of them are quite secret. Follow me, and I will discover you the best bars around the Canal Saint-Martin.
The most secret bars around the Canal Saint Martin are Café A, Pechoire de l’est et Comptoir Général. Café A is an atypical Parisian restaurant and a bar that is not easy to find. It is hidden inside the walls of the Couvent des Récollets. So, first you need to cross the gate of this ancient convent, and then to cross the courtyard lined with the arcades to enter in this exceptional place. But what is really great about this place, it is its secret garden. Hidden and protected from the street by a wall, the Café A’s garden is a real piece of heaven. The Perchoire de l’est is a bar hidden above the Gare de l’Est train station. This mythical 400 meters-square rooftop, situated under the Eiffel rose window, is a very charming place created in the neo-industrial style. Unfortunately, Le Perchoir de l’Est is closed during winter. The Comptoir Général, situated in an old 600 square-meter barn, is an eclectic bar. Decorated in the colonial style with stylish chandeliers, red carpets and a cabinet of curiosities. This absolutely amazing place is perfect to have a cocktail with your friends on weekends.
When it comes to the most emblematic bars around the Canal Saint Martin, I have to mention the Hotel du Nord and Chez Prune. The Hotel du Nord is a restaurant and a bar, classified as a French historical monument. This place became famous in 1938 thanks to the Marcel Carné's movie about the pre-war working-class Paris. Today, this establishment is a chic and charming place that attracts the crowds of tourists and celebrities. The atmosphere in the bar Chez Prune is a little bit different. On first sight, it is just an old café, but I assure you, this place is a real institution. It is one of the best locations to spend an evening with friends along the Canal Saint-Martin. It is too crowded and too noisy, but that's exactly what gives the charm to this place.
And last, but not least, the Cinquante, one of the best bars around the Canal Saint-Martin in my humble opinion. A small bar and its counter are hiding behind a green facade. This is the place where you will find more locals than anywhere in this part of Paris. Sometimes, it gets so crowded that people are even drinking their drinks and chatting outside the bar. Live music, good French wine and plates of cheese and cold cuts, and you have all the ingredients to spend a perfect night.
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