Caves à manger are fun little wine shops that serve small sharing plates with their wine. They are popular with Parisians as places to socialise during apero (short for aperitif) from 6-8:30pm before and (often) after dinner.
Before you go, know that cave à mangers are not the same as wine bars (bar a vins) – here’s your quick cheat sheet to know the difference.
Cave à vins: A wine store.
Cave à Manger: This is a contraction of “cave à vins” and “salle à manger.” These are wine stores whose license requires them to serve wine with food, so they serve light snacks to accompany wine sold in the shop. They are a good value as you only pay a small corkage fee which is less expensive than a wine bar.
Bar à Vins: This is a wine bar that functions like a restaurant, but not at all formal. Menus are a la carte, and choices ranges from light to heavy so that you can order several plates to share. Popular wine bars are Frenchie Wine Bar, The Clown Bar, and Les Enfants du Marche.
Share seasonal plates (smoked pork w/apple, creamy Burrata etc.), with natural wine at Bistrot Paul Bert’s fun little sister wine bar is open all day every day until 11pm (if there is a good crowd it can go much later)
Septime’s satellite bottle shop-wine bar across the street was my shoe repair shop before Bertrand & Theo transformed it into a cool neighborhood gathering spot for natural wine.
Camille Fourmont transformed this little vintage dairy shop on a sleepy street into a cult wine bar-shop that draws industry folk from all over the world who meet here for delicious tapas plates & bottles.
Yves Camdeborde’s fun charcuterie-pork-tapas wine bar is hidden behind a clear curtain with a “pig” painted on it. Just step inside to join locals at the bar tucking into the corn bread, aged ham, salted butter, foie gras burgers, incredible small plates & natural of wine.
“Top Chef” Romain Tischenko’s cave a manger is extremely popular with the food & wine industry, especially on Sunday night – who eat & drink standing at the bar grazing on small plates and bottles of natural wine. If you like what you are drinking, definitely buy it to go, it may be the only place you’ll find it.