Photographer: Eleonora Strano/Bloomberg

Best Bars in Monaco for Drinking and People Watching

Every May the streets of Monaco become a racetrack for the glamorous annual Grand Prix, but any time of year the tiny principality is a luxurious place to enjoy yourself. As the city fills up with visitors this week, photographer Eleonora Strano provides a guide to the best bars in town and chats up the late-afternoon crowd as they unwind after work. Photographs by Eleonora Strano/Bloomberg

"It's Five O'Clock Everywhere" is our regular series where we examine post-work drinking culture in cities around the world.

  1. Hôtel Metropole
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    Hôtel Metropole

    Name:  Fabien, Bartender

    What are the most popular items here? A Royal Peach Mojito, Aperol spritzes, and for food, tartines foie gras.

    Who comes here? Some clients of the hotel, but it's mostly locals.

    Where do you hang out for fun?  Buddha Bar, and Nikki Beach at the Fairmont hotel. 

  2. Nobu, at the Fairmont Monte-Carlo
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    Nobu, at the Fairmont Monte-Carlo

    Names: Sihan & Jihane

    Where are you from? Sihan: I’m from Casablanca, Morocco, but I’m visiting my cousin Jihane who lives close to Monaco in Cap Martin.

    What are you drinking? Non-alcoholic mojitos.

    Did the city meet your expectations? Definitely! The service in Monaco is great. In bars and hotels people do really a great job to make you feel like a princess.

  3. Bar Américain, at the Hôtel de Paris
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    Bar Américain, at the Hôtel de Paris

    Name: Tom

    Where are you from? I’m from Nice, but I work in Monaco.

    What are you having? A spritz and some nuts.

    What is special about this city to you? This city is a concentration of events, glamour, and history. Also it reunites all celebrities of the world in such a tiny space. 

    What brings you here? It is my favorite bar in Monaco. I come regularly.

     

  4. Brasserie de Monaco
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    Brasserie de Monaco

    Names:  Stratos & Elisavet

    Where are you from? We’re from Greece originally, but we live in Holland. We are on a vacation, we’re staying in Nice, and we’re touring around the coast.

    What are you having? The homemade beer, Bière de Monaco, and an assorted plate of barbajuans [a local fritter stuffed with Swiss chard and ricotta], pizza, and pissaladière [a thick flatbread covered in onions, olives, and garlic].

    Have you had any exciting experiences here? It’s been only a day, but we think we came across [Formula 1 driver] Nico Rosberg on the streets.

  5. Société Nautique
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    Société Nautique

    Names: Maxime, Bernard, & Carla 

    What are you up to? We are all three athletes; we do coastal rowing. Maxime is the world champion, and Bernard is a double France champion. We often come to this place after training.

    What are you having?  Leffe beers and homemade tapas.

    What brings you here? This wooden table is the one table here reserved for the administration members of the coastal rowing association, which is also the oldest sport association in Monaco. It was founded in 1888.

     

  6. The Salle Blanche & terrasse, at the Casino Monte-Carlo
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    The Salle Blanche & terrasse, at the Casino Monte-Carlo

    Name: Victoria 

    Where are you from? I’m from Russia, but I now live in Monaco.

    What are you drinking? Champagne.

    What is special about this city to you? The first time I came here I thought I was in a fairy tale. Today I live here; it's the best place to raise a family. I feel safe, the weather is incredible. It's the best place in the heart of Europe.

    When is the best time of year to visit the city? If you’re looking for adventure, from May to August. If you’re looking for some quiet time, from October to April.

     

  7. Place du Casino
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    Place du Casino

    The week before the Monaco Grand Prix, the Historical Grand Prix—a rally of vintage cars—takes over the streets of Monte Carlo. 

  8. Buddha Bar
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    Buddha Bar

    Name:  Vibeke (right)

    Where Are You From? Born in Denmark but raised here. Left after high school and moved back five years ago to have a family.

    What are you having? White wine and sushi. I don’t drink cocktails, only wine. And I love the sushi at Buddha Bar.

  9.  Le Bouchon  
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    Le Bouchon  

    Name: Matilde

    What are you having? Le Bouchon’s non-alcoholic cocktail, and barbajuans.

    What are some other favorite places in this area? Maya Bay, Nobu at the Fairmont, Buddha Bar.

  10. Le Jack Monaco
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    Le Jack Monaco

    Name: Règis (left), Karin, and Ilona, a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog

    Where are you from? We are from Lorraine, in the northernmost part of France. We came here for a dog show.

    What brings you here? It’s one of the places I regularly go for drinks—they accept dogs. But if you want to know the whole story, we were supposed to meet someone at the Brasserie de Monaco earlier, but we never made it on time as people stopped us in the street to photograph Ilona and ask questions about her.

     

     

  11. La Rascasse
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    La Rascasse

    Name: Aminta

    What brings you here? It’s the mythical bar to watch the Grand Prix from because of its location—literally on one of the most mythical curves of the Grand Prix, on the port.

     

  12. Wine Palace Monte Carlo, at the Yacht Club de Monaco
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    Wine Palace Monte Carlo, at the Yacht Club de Monaco

    Name: Guy

    What are you drinking? Bordeaux Roc de Cambes 2006.

    What brings you here? It’s my local bar, I’m a member of the Yacht Club.

    What are some other favorite places to eat/drink around this area? Quai des Artistes, La Rascasse.

     

  13. Pattaya
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    Pattaya

    Names: Joanna & Irina

    Where are you from? We’re visiting from Estonia, we are in Nice, and this is our only day in Monaco, unfortunately. We have to go back tonight.

    Is there anything about the culture of city that speaks out to you? 

    It’s all so fancy! 

     

  14. Café de Paris
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    Café de Paris

    Name: Marie  

    Where are you from? I am from Lille. I've been living on the French Riviera for almost five years now.

    What are you drinking? I am drinking the speciality of Café de Paris, the Grand Prix cocktail. I'm waiting for my boyfriend, who is about to join me after work.

    Where is the best place to eat in Monaco? Le Quai des Artistes, a Parisian-style restaurant in the harbor and La DifferAnce on the border with Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. It's open just during summer because it's an entire outside restaurant on the rocks. Great food with great view!

    Photographer: Eleonora Strano/Eleonora Strano