Maybe you think Paris is all shopping, poodles, and champagne, but there is a rougher side to the city. Whether you’re a man looking for ways to make Paris your own or a woman who wants to inspire the men in your life to give the city of lights a second look, here is a short guide for manly men traveling in Paris:
The French infatuation with smoking does extend beyond cigarettes to their more refined cousin, the cigar.
Light up at the oldest cigar shop in Paris, A La Civette du Palais-Royal, where both Napoleon and Casanova purchased cigars (if that doesn’t make you feel manly, I don’t know what will).
If Havanas are you thing, try the Art Tabac, where the owner has even created his own cigars. Art Tabac even has its own smoking room for you to try out your selections.
La Civette du Palais-Royal
157, rue Saint-Honoré, 1er arrondissement
2, place de Catalogne, 14eme arrondissement
2. Manly Cocktails
The Duke’s Bar at the hôtel Westminter (by Warwick) is a manly bar with an English club feel. Live entertainment makes you feel like you’re in a Paris of yesteryear and Chief Barman, Gérard, mixes historic cocktails to match.
Curio Parlor is a literal hole in the wall speak easy, largely responsible for Paris’ jump on the craft cocktail train. Be prepared to get crammed in tightly among the Paris hipsters and the NY tourists while you sip varieties of obscure Japanese Whiskey they don’t have anywhere else in Paris.
The Duke’s Bar
13, rue de la Paix, 2eme arrondissement
16, rue des Bernardins, 5eme arrondissement
3. Just the Whiskey
If you’re a man of one drink, Paris has some great single malts for you. La Maison du Whisky has an extensive selection as well as some of the coolest flasks I’ve come across in Europe.
The staff here really understands their product, so drop your girlfriend off at the Madeleine across the street and check out your own holy church with the wall-to-wall selection. A little overpriced, yes, but that’s Paris (just wait ’till you see her shopping tab…)
La Maison du Whisky
20, rue d’Anjou, 8eme arrondissement
4. Drive in a Classic Automobile
Okay so you’d probably rather let someone else do the driving (Paris can be very hard to navigate for newcomers). There are a few services that offer 2CV tours, but our favorite is this viator deal for $87.
Interested more in the cars, less in the transport? Check out the Christophe Pund dealership at the Galerie des Damiers to get up close and personal with some stunning rare rides. Taking one of these around Paris will cost you a pretty fortune, though (best to leave your credit cards in the hotel room, just in case).
La Galerie des Damiers, Mont des Técollets, 59670 Cassel
5. Eat Red Meat
Paris has some of the world’s best beef and some of the world’s best butchers. If you’ve got your own kitchen, consider buying your own cuts and cooking at home (it will be significantly cheaper than going out). Bend the butcher’s ear about how to prepare your meat – they know best and love to share their expertise.
Paris dining expert David Lebovitz recommends le Relais de l’Entrecôte:
“There’s no choices on the menu: just tell the no-nonsense serveuse how you want your meat cooked, and… await your slices of beef, which are served tableside with herbed butter sauce and some of the best frites in town. Seconds are offered, on the house.”
Le Relais de l’Entrecôte
20, Rue Saint-Benoît, 6eme arrondissement
The American male’s favorite food group has certainly exploded with popularity in Paris, though sometimes with a little French edge.
20, Rue Ponthieu, 8eme arrondissement
5, rue Dragon, 6eme arrondissement
44, rue d’Argout, 2eme arrondissement
What are your favorite manly activities to do in Paris? Let me know in the comments!