Once painted by the likes of Renoir and Van Gogh, the guinguette is the cheeky love child of a beer garden and dance hall. And it’s having something of a revival. Hot on the heels of Paris Plages, the city’s hugely popular urban beach, the neo-guinguette is tapping into a nascent Parisian appetite for seasonal pop-ups and outdoor fun.
A new generation of younger, cooler, quirkier venues is cropping up all over town with crowd-pleasing programmes of karaoke, weekend brunches and tattooing nights.
Here’s our pick of the best.
This riverside joint in Joinville-le-Pont, just outside the capital, has been entertaining the working classes for the past 125 years. Regulars still turn up at the weekend for summer frolics: a punt on the water, a long lunch and a dance or two.
A sister venue to the Buttes Chaumont classic, this floating guinguette has a much-loved terrace and enormous pizza oven. Bring your dancing shoes every Wednesday for pop-rock covers or with a live band.
The mood is jubilant at this pop-up venue at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Throw shapes on a dance floor right by the water, or pluck up the courage to take to the stage during the Friday open mic. The seafood’s not bad, either.
Napoleon III must have boogied at his pavilion by the Bois de Vincennes. It’s still just as charming, with dance nights ranging from swing to deep house.
By day, this futuristic monolith displays experimental works by up-and-coming digital artists. By night it’s a hangout for creatives, with a third-floor restaurant fostering culinary and musical talents alike.
Come sunny weather, this hipster canal boat takes over the adjoining river bank. Expect comedy nights, a rotating cast of innovators in the kitchen and cut-price lagers on the odd rainy day.
Image credits: © Jose Duarte da Silva Rocha; © Jose Duarte da Silva Rocha; © Eric Bobrie; © Jose Duarte da Silva Rocha; © Eric Bobrie; © Le Chalet du Lac; © EP7; © Le Barapapa