Harry's New York Bar

Cocktail Bar / Historic Bar / Piano Bar
Harry's New York Bar Rumors abound about Harry's New York Bar, with regulars swearing it's the oldest cocktail bar in Europe, and doing so with the kind of pronounced assuredness only a silver-foxed Frenchman can portend. Paris France 48.86926 2.33217
3.09 7
Harry's New York Bar - Cocktail Bar | Historic Bar | Piano Bar in Paris.
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Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Rumors abound about Harry’s New York Bar, with regulars swearing it’s the oldest cocktail bar in Europe, and doing so with the kind of pronounced assuredness only a silver-foxed Frenchman can portend. The scuttlebutt is... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    Daily 10:30am–2am; Piano Bar Tu–F 10pm–2am, Sa 10pm–3am; Venue often stays open till 4am

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Harry's New York Bar Review

The Scene

Rumors abound about Harry's New York Bar, with regulars swearing it's the oldest cocktail bar in Europe, and doing so with the kind of pronounced assuredness only a silver-foxed Frenchman can portend.

Rumors abound about Harry’s New York Bar, with regulars swearing it’s the oldest cocktail bar in Europe, and doing so with the kind of pronounced assuredness only a silver-foxed Frenchman can portend.

The scuttlebutt is equally firm that the Bloody Mary, White Lady, and Sidecar were all invented behind the bar, much to the appreciation of former regulars Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel, though Hemingway was always more of a mojito guy.

Entering Harry’s is like stepping back into the Big Apple circa 1920, with its dapper crowd of sophisticated regulars, white-coated bartenders, and the soft tinkling of a piano streaming from the basement.

Swinging saloon doors, oak paneling, and vintage photos add to the effect, as do the faded American college pennants that hang near the pressed tin ceiling.

Midday brings in nearby office types looking for a stiff lunch-break drink, while creative young professionals and chic girlfriends mingle over martinis after work.

Before heading to the theater, dressed-up couples and tourists stop in to peruse the list of over three hundred whiskeys, though patrons looking for the full throwback effect make their way down to the Piano Bar, where plush red chairs provide space to settle in with a Manhattan and listen to some live jazz.

A cocktail lover’s paradise, Harry’s New York Bar is a chic and refined spot with a healthy helping of nostalgia on the side.

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Tip from Emma:

Harry’s provides a sign out front reading ‘sank roo doe noo’ – the phonetic spelling of the bar’s address – so those with rusty French can tell their taxi drivers where they want to go, as well as where to find them after a few too many cocktails.

  • Crowd

    Expats, CEOs, bank and office workers, chic groups of girlfriends, sophisticated couples, and theater lovers, mid-20s to 40s+.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Ambient jazz piano music upstairs. Live jazz pianist in the downstairs Piano Bar five nights a week.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    French/American food including hot dogs, croque monsieurs, club sandwiches, and chili.

  • Prices

    Sandwiches €13.50+, hot dogs €6. Beer €6+, cocktails €12.50, champagne, €4–€15/glass glass or €80/bottle, coffee €2.80. Drink prices higher after 10pm.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Smart casual: button-downs and loosened ties, smart jeans, suit jackets, dresses, sandals, ballet pumps. Dress code: no shorts permitted.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Saturday nights for a crowded scene of tourists and younger locals, though reservations are strongly recommended.

  • Close By

    Social Club (142 Rue Montmartre) features French indie bands and DJs spinning till dawn.

Harry's New York Bar User Reviews

Average rating:
A little piece of Manhattan at sank roo doe noo
Kylie N. Mar 11, 2013
As you swing through the saloon-style doors of the bustling bar you feel like you are stepping back in time, to a place where the air should be thick with cigarette smoke and brilliant thoughts. Whether the mythical lore of Harry's New York bar being a watering hole for great minds like Hemingway is true, or not, it is a great place to kick back with one of their signature cocktails and soak in the scene. As an American tourist, it was thrilling to see my college's pendant hung with the countless others lining the wooden walls - somehow making a graduating from a state school tres-chic. Beware, though, you won't be the only Yankee trying to charm the bartender with your American accent. Since this spot is featured in Fodors and countless other travel guides, prepared to run into a fair amount of other tourists. Still, a stop by 5 Rue Daunou (kindly, phonetically written: sank roo doe noo at the door) is the perfect way to kick off an evening...while on your way to the next, most-likely more Parisian, rendezvous.
Parisian-Style American Nostalgia
Giuseppe C. Feb 28, 2013
It’s hard to think about Paris and not think about Paris in the past, Paris how it was, Paris of yesteryear. Famously in the 1920’s, many American artists and writers made their home in the French capital, partially to escape Prohibition back home, partially because the War brought them there and they stayed, and partially because -- as difficult as it is to believe now -- Paris was a damned cheap place to live. Harry’s New York Bar says a lot about each of those things. First, Harry’s has to get full marks on aesthetics. The owners have clearly gone all out to make the place feel as authentically 1920’s New York as possible, and, though I wasn’t there myself, I have to imagine that they’ve done a bang up job. This place feels like it’s from another time, even though it is habitually full of Americans talking about the progress of their current European sojourn. In addition to being very well put together, however, Harry’s is pricey. There are plenty of bars in the area that make stronger cocktails for less cash, so if you’re looking to get good and inebriated, Harry’s definitely will not give you the most bang for your euro. But if you’re in the mood for one drink, I’d say it’s worth it for the experience. Hold your drink tight, imagine Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway sitting at the bar beside you, and enjoy. Harry’s is a fun place. Give it a look. Just don’t expect too much... Frenchiness. And, if you plan on staying, bring a couple of credit cards.
Kinda touristy, but still worth checking out
Sara G. Aug 9, 2012
So Harry's is not the place you go when you want to immerse yourself in Parisians. However, it is fun - the review is totally accurate...you feel transported back to 1920s New York, which is cool in and of itself. All of the bartenders are old men, who are pretty gruff and grumpy to you, unless you're a young woman. Because it's Paris, this somehow comes off as cute. I don't even remember if my Bloody Mary was good - I'm sure it was. I do remember loving the bartenders, identifying a bunch of very old boarding school and university pendents, and wishing we had gone when the pianist was there. I also remember leaving after one drink. It's not the kind of place to plant yourself and spend the evening, but it is a great stop on the way to other (more authentically French) spots.
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