Before I moved to France, I had a weekly pub date with a group of friends back in my hometown. It wasn’t anything fancy, just drinks and great conversation, but it was a nice constant in my weekly routine. When I moved to Paris, I didn’t know a single person in this city, and during those first few months, I found that I dearly missed those weekly gatherings. When every single aspect of your life is suddenly completely different, you find yourself wanting to hold on to something that’s familiar. That’s why I started looking for a new neighbourhood pub once I had settled into my new adopted city. In the years since, I’ve discovered a lot of great pubs in Paris, but I finally struck gold earlier this year when a friend invited me to her birthday party. It was held at a place called Barracuda, and let’s just say it was love at first sight.
I can be forgiven for taking so long to find my new local haunt, as Barracuda is relatively new by Parisian standards. It opened in February of 2018, and is owned by the husband and wife team of Geoffrey and Sable. Yes, I’ve gotten to know both of them well, but regardless of who’s behind the bar, I’m always greeted with a smile and a hello. Even before I was a regular, Barracuda easily had some of the friendliest waitstaff I’ve come across in this city. What’s more, there’s cider on tap, which is a relatively difficult thing to find in Paris, and a good chunk of the menu is devoted to tapas, which is my preferred type of pub food. It’s all delicious, but my favourite is definitely the onion rings, because they’re easily the best onion rings in the city. In my humble opinion.
In the months since discovering Barracuda, it quickly became my go to place for catch up drinks, quick lunches, or Friday night revelry. In fact, when it came time to decide where to celebrate my own birthday, it was an easy choice as to where I wanted to celebrate. I may have spent my first birthday in Paris alone, but five years later, not only did I have wonderful people to celebrate with, but Geoffrey booked off half the bar for the party. It was a wonderful birthday present to realize that I finally had a neighbourhood pub that was as comforting and familiar as my old one back home. This may seem like a weird thing to make a big deal about, but when you live in a foreign city, even one as amazing as Paris, those little connections to home mean a lot. Sable actually happens to be a fellow Canadian from my hometown, so it’s almost like it was meant to be.
If you find yourself in Paris one day and you want delicious pub food, great drinks, and a wonderful atmosphere, definitely check out Barracuda. You can tell them Laura sent you. They know me well. And while you’re there, if you’re wondering why Mr. T is staring at you from the cover of the menu, well, it’s time for your French Fun Fact of the day. France regularly changes the names of famous characters to suit the French sensibility. It’s the reason why Goofy is called Dingo out at Disneyland Paris and Han Solo is Yan Solo due to the inability of the French to pronounce Hs. And Mr. T? His A-Team character of B.A. Baracus is known in France as Barracuda. I have no idea why, but it inspired the name of one of my favourite places in Paris, so I’m not complaining.
Barracuda is located at 10 Place du Colonel Bourgoin, 75012.
Laura Moore is a professional storyteller who loves history and the many stories that make Paris one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Join one of her signature tours to learn the story of a city.