Very Best Happy Hour in Paris?

Mar 5th, 2006, 09:54 AM
  #1  
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Very Best Happy Hour in Paris?

Okay, where is it? What time should we get there and where should we sit to view all the "action"?

Include the nitty-gritty on any places that provide some good chow for us budget travelers folks who will walk an extra mile to partake of a good deal (think cheap charlies, skinflint, tightwad, .... .).

I might even arrive without tennis shoes for a nice food spread and friendly service.
degas is offline  
Mar 5th, 2006, 10:09 AM
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Try Vesuvius, on the Blvd. St-Germain, opposite the church of St-Germain-des-Prés. Good pastas and pizza, along with typical French dishes, all at a very good price.
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Mar 5th, 2006, 10:34 AM
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Thanks Underhill

How about some handy happy hour phrases in french like:

Free food

Eat as much as you want

Grab some grub and move on, you are holding up the line!

Give me two more free drinks

Please re-stock the free buffet table

Bring out the good stuff

degas is offline  
Mar 5th, 2006, 11:06 AM
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Someone else will need to respond with those phrases!

Where you really need to be is Turin, with all those huge spreads during happy hour.
Underhill is offline  
Mar 5th, 2006, 12:04 PM
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underhill, you just know I have the patience of a saint waiting in a buffet line after not having eaten for three or four agonizing hours.
degas is offline  
Mar 5th, 2006, 12:48 PM
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I try to avoid such things as I don't like crowds, but Cafe Mabillon on bd St Germain is a popular bar and crowded during happy hour. If you are anywhere around some main streets with cafes/bars, you will probably just see them and can pick out one you like. For a change and a little out of the main tourist central area, I like Academy de la Biere near Port Royal metro stop, which is Belgian.

While I think it isn't unusual to find bars with "happy hour" prices for drinks, I've never seen one with tons of free food like I think you are seeking. Not so say they don't exist as I said, I try to avoid crowded places like that. Lots of places may give you a small dish of nuts or something, but not buffets and meals.

Aren't you a little old for crowded happy hour bar scenes?
Christina is offline  
Mar 5th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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Several years ago in Paris we were searching for an Americna style breakfast and found a place near Montparnasse that was trying to launch just that, with all you can eat pancakes and drink American coffee. The owner told us that they had a problem communicating the concept in adverts because the concept was just foreign to the Parisian (maybe French) mindset which values quality over quantity. They ended up going with <<a volonte>> and still had to explain most of the time. Since then I have seen this phrase used more often, though usually in reference to places not famous for quality (e.g., Leon de Bruxelles)
Seamus is offline  
Mar 5th, 2006, 01:35 PM
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Christina, my heart rate is slower now, but it has not stopped yet!

Yeah, I'm not looking for a rip-roaring drunk out with the younger crowd, not that i couldn't show them a thing or two about having fun, but "people of a certain age" can enjoy knocking back a few drinks and nibbling some goodies at dusk.

I'm living in Hawaii now and I guess its a tropical thing or such to have folks of all ages enjoy happy hour.



degas is offline  
Mar 5th, 2006, 01:52 PM
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I don't know if you can even find big spreads in the US for happy hours any more. Used to be the big rage to drink and eat from 5 to 7, but I think it is passe'. You might see a bowl of nuts or a little chips and salsa, but a big offering for a Happy Hour I think is a thing of the past...Like casseroles in economy for the meals on your flights. Now we get pretzels, if you are lucky...
Heavens is offline  
Mar 5th, 2006, 02:00 PM
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Ah, heck degas, just do what a lot of Americans here do - fill up your pockets with cheese and bread at breakfast and save it for happy hour!!!!! (that was meant to be a joke)

When we were in Paris my sisters liked to buy a bottle of wine for something like $3 at the grocery store, pick up some excellent French cheese at the cheese shop, and buy a loaf of bread to eat in the room. Not as fun as going to a cafe or bar but if you are looking for cheap - that's it. Of course, one of them (shall remain nameless) had brought plastic cups, paper plates, and a plastic knife, and of course, a cork screw!!!! And most importantly, some zip loc bags to put that leftover stinkie cheese in.
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Mar 5th, 2006, 02:09 PM
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Heavens, striving to find things that are passe or whose time has come and gone is the sad story of my tragic life. But I'll make do with a couple of pounds of nuts and a gallon or so of salsa and chips.

Ronda, thanks for the breakfast tip, I'll be sure to wear my desert camo pants with the big pockets! Seriously, I do dearly love a good picnic or two or three on every trip.
degas is offline  
Mar 5th, 2006, 03:37 PM
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Degas, check around and see if they have a "Hooters" in Paris. I'd imagine you would have a good time at such a place.
Cato is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 04:26 AM
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If you go to a cafe with a view (be it monuments or tourists), order a beer or wine, maybe some frites or such, and realize you are in Paris - then it automatically becomes "happy hour"!
Travelnut is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 08:06 AM
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Degas, I don't mean that your desires are passe', I mean to find such a thing, the big happy hour with lots of crowds, reduced drinks, tacos and meatballs offered for free or reduced prices, that is what is in the past. Either bars got tired of giving it away, or people got too drunk, even though they were eating all that free food. Don't quite know who ended all of the fun.

I have no problem with longing for the past "goodies" in life. I love piano bars, and those are not easy to find either. And they are a little corny. But fun.

Good luck finding it. If you are going before us, please write back and let us know if you found the right place with the bountiful happy hour...
Heavens is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 08:13 AM
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PS, just a note, I NEVER leave home without my corkscrew. I can forget my toothbrush, but not my corkscrew...LOL.
Heavens is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 08:31 AM
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Deags, i honestly understand the point of your post but am not sure why you would want to go to Paris sand try to experience a phenomenon which I (apparently mistakenly) always though of as "typically" 'American.'
Intrepid1 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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Maybe it is different in Hawaii, but even where I live in the US, happy hour is a pretty young concept. Who else is really interested in hanging out in bars for hours with a large, noisy crowd and really interested in getting free food? Were you joking about that, or is that one of your main interests, to get free food?

In Paris, the places that are really crowded around happy hour tend to be full of very young people, that's all. Cafe Mabillon, for example. There is another place near where I stay in Montparnasse that is like that also (I forget the name, it changes a lot and is next to the Select). Acadamie de la Biere is full of students.

I just don't think happy hour to load up on free food is really common for those 40+ in years, and from some of your posts, you are at least that and probably a lot older (you said you were an old you-know-what the other day, didn't you?).

Do you just want a drink, or you you fixated on trying to get free food with it? I think these are mutually exclusive as to good places to go. I like Cafe des Phares near the Bastille for happy hour, for example, and sometimes they have live music for free, but not free food.
Christina is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 12:07 PM
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Well DeGas.... Bon Vivant that you evidently are... there was a crowd of beautiful people, all ages, at Le Fumoir. I had arrived too early to be seated for dinner...so I joined the throng for happy hour. No big eats, nice olives were brought to me...along with 1 proper vodka on ice.
I am in my 50's and my "crowd" always HH's on Mondays and Thursdays. My "crowed" the oldest is 72 and the youngest is 38... I am a very lucky person to be friends with such a divserse collection. My point is, age has nothing to do with anything, except when I was a kid, my mother wouldn't let me wear eyeliner like Jean Shrimpton until I was 13.
SuzieC is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 09:19 PM
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Christina, a good location with a view, friendly service and 2 for 1 drinks are the main draw. Free food is nice, but not the main attraction.

However, I will say that eating free at various sorority houses on guest nights was one way I made it through a great southern school of higher learning when my funds ran out my senior year.

Hey, I like young folks just fine, but a mixed age crowd is more to my liking.
degas is offline  
Mar 6th, 2006, 09:34 PM
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Degas dear,
We found that most neighborhood cafes have the equivalent of Happy Hour in the late afternoons. The cafe on the corner of rue Dominic and rue de Grenelle <Café Roussillon> was the spot for the two of us, each afternoon, worn out from sightseeing and shopping. We always grabbed a table along the windows and would watch everyone coming home or going shopping or just going...it was fun and although quite smokey every one was jolly and enjoying drinks and nibbles..
I know you will be with your young adult son who will enjoy it too.
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