Cool Stuff in Paris. By Manning Leonard Krull.

La Fée Verte

108, Rue de la Roquette, 75011 Paris (Map)
Phone: 01 43 72 31 24
Métro: Voltaire, Bastille

La Fée Verte — the Green Fairy — is a charming, old-fashioned absinthe bar and café, not too far from the Bastille on the lively Rue de la Roquette. Stop in during the afternoon for a leisurely coffee, or come hang out at the bar in the evening and sample from their menu of about a dozen different brands of absinthe, served in the traditional manner, with your straight absinthe in a glass, your special absinthe spoon and sugar cubes on the side, and a large absinthe fountain on the bar in front of you, with multiple spouts so you and your companions can simultaneously add water to the absinthe to your respective tastes. The decor is 19th-century Parisian, and the atmosphere is young and sophisticated but not too pretentious; it's a great vibe overall. I was once lucky enough to there on a very quiet night with two visiting American friends, we were seated at the bar, and the bartender hung out with us and regaled us with the history of absinthe — in French, and my French was not very good back then, and I clumsily (and drunkenly) endeavored to translate for my friends. It's a really fun memory; Paris will sometimes just hand you a great moment like that.