Apéritif or Apéro as it’s called colloquially, is anchored in French culture and, of course, it is near and dear to the hearts of Parisians. An indelible weekly event, Apéro can be enjoyed with friends, colleagues, or neighbors, at home or in a bar… as long as there’s a glass in hand and friends to enjoy it with!
Apéro is possibly the most important part of the week for many urban families. Parisians await Apéro all week long, because it’s the one time when they can get together with friends for a fun and low-key event. Apéritif is traditionally the drink served before dinner (or lunch!), a way to work up an appetite. Nowadays, however, Apéro has become a prolonged cocktail hour, the perfect event for the Parisian socialite.
The advantage of Apéro for the busy Parisian is that it’s flexible; it’s quicker than a dinner (for the host, but also for guests who may want to duck out early), and it can be extended for as long as the bottles are full and the conversation is lively! Thursday evening is the sacred moment for Parisians, who leave work in a hurry to meet for a drink. On offer: kir, pastis or wine, olives and saucisson, or even elaborate hors d’oeuvres and canapés. Starting in springtime, the Parisian likes to have Apéro at a café terrace or, even better, on the banks of the Seine or the canal Saint-Martin, to awaken his country mouse fantasies!
Learn the art of the French apéritive during a evening game of Pétanque with the locals.
The possibilities for an Apéro locale in Paris are endless! In the Oberkampf neighborhood, where the concentration of bars per square meter is incalculable, little side streets crawl with groups of friends. The long rue Oberkampf, whose concentration of bars and cafés increases the further you walk up it, is the culminating point of this area, attracting groups of all walks of life.
Another option for a Parisian Apéro is the Montorgueil neighborhood, which finds its epicenter in the street of the same name, continuing onto rue de Montmartre. This area offers countless bars with lovely outdoor terraces, a big advantage for Apéro, no matter the season, because it affords the perfect opportunity for people watching.
For an atmosphere that’s just as lively and friendly, you’ll love the bucolic charm of rue Cinq Diamants on the Butte aux Cailles, a place that’s still void of tourists and partiers. From the rue des Canettes in Saint-Germain to the place des Abbesses in Montmartre, the places for Apéro in Paris are unlimited… find your own favorite!
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