From now on I will make you discover every month one of my favourite food markets in Paris. The food markets are part of the identity of Paris and have been existing since… the fifth century, when Paris was still called Lutèce! They have always been THE place for friendliness and local life in the city.
Paris counts 82 food markets scattered all across the city. Those ‘marchés parisiens‘ as we call them, are taking place several times a week and are markets for which the vendors come in on specific days, set up their stands for a couple of hours and then pack up and leave. Most of them are taking place two or three times a week, usually in the morning, from 8am till 1pm; some are open everyday except on Monday, in the morning and in the afternoon. They are particularly lively on Sundays, when Parisian people do not work and go buying their fresh produce and greens for the coming week.
Wherever you stay in Paris you can be sure to find nearby your accommodation a typical Parisian food market. If you want to live like a local, do not miss it: you will really feel like being a Parisian yourself!
The market of the month: Le Marché d’Aligre
Here is my Number One ranking: the Marché d’Aligre, located in 12th arrondissement in Paris between the Viaduc des Arts and the Faubourg Saint Antoine. I love its picturesque and colourful side, its varied atmospheres depending whether you stroll in the rue d’Aligre, on the Place d’Aligre or inside the Halle Beauvau, its cheap prices, and its village-like atmosphere: the regular customers do not only meet at the food market but have a drink or a lunch together after it .
Colourful stands and varied atmospheres
The Marché d’Aligre is in fact composed of three different places, each having its very special atmosphere and that is what makes it so attractive!
- The Rue d’Aligre offers a mix of colourful fruit and vegetables stands and permanent food shops: fishmonger’s, butcher’s, cheese merchant, bakery, … It is the area where to buy cheap fruit and vegetables.
- The Place d’Aligre is busy with a mix of curio stands and second-hand dealers and with traditional fruit and vegetable stalls.
- And the Halle Beauvau is a charming covered market which shelters gourmet stores and up-market food: meat, cheese, delicatessen,… The building itself is worth seeing with its wooden beams and its frame like a boat hull upside down. However I could not enter it last week as the Halle Beauvau is closed for repairs until mid September because of a fire that occured there early July.
Fruit and vegetables at cheap prices
The Marché d’Aligre is famous all around Paris for the cheap prices of its fruit and vegetables and that is the reason why it attracts Parisian people coming from all over the city and not only the local people. Last week I filled up my shopping basket with two punnets of strawberries, three avocadoes, one melon, one kilo of peaches, a pound of tomatoes and three mangoes… for a total of 11€! And apart of the avocadoes and mangoes of course, all the fresh food I bought came from the south of France.
After the market: drink or lunch with friends
If you are a Parisian and live in the neighbourhood of the Marché d’Aligre one of your favourite moments is the ‘Apéro’ time: the market is over, your shopping basket is full and you meet your friends at one of the cafés in the rue d’Aligre or its surroundings. The most famous place where to have a drink is ‘Le Baron Rouge’, a wine bar with a warm welcome which is very popular with the local residents and where one can also fill up his bottle with bulk wine drawn from the barrel.
But one can also prefer the Sea Bar Paris Pêche which offers a very attractive ‘formule apéro’ for seafood lovers including oysters or other shellfish and a glass of wine. Or any of the numerous cafés or restaurants nearby. And if you decide to have lunch rather than just a drink, I would recommend you a delicious thai restaurant offering traditional tasty thai dishes at very reasonable prices. It is called Paya Thaï and is located in the rue d’Aligre. I love it!
Christine Bokobza – Good Morning Paris B&B – www.goodmorningparis.fr
Practical information: Marché d’Aligre – Rue et Place d’Aligre – 75012 Paris