Venez avec moi (come with me)
let’s ”storm” the Bastille and Aligre market area
Thunder storms like I have never heard. A downpour of rain… a smattering of sunshine … then more rain. Paris’s stormy June weather inspired me to learn more about an up and coming area: the Bastille. So, I left the kichen, put on my running shoes and ran east across the city. Mark my words, there are more and more reasons to head east and I am going to show you why. Venez avec moi (come with me) and ”storm” the Bastille and Aligre market area (you do not have to run, although you may want to after you see the photos).
Allez-y (let’s go) !
where is the Bastille ?
The Bastille and Aligre market area begins at the place de la Bastille where you will find the Opera National de la Bastille (metro stop Bastille). If you take the yellow metro line no. 1, you head east (toward Chateau Vincennes) and exit Bastille.
The Bastille area covers parts of the south 11th arrondissement and the northeastern portion of 12th arrondissement (which is south of the 11th). The two arrondissements are divided by the rue du St. Faubourg (which turns into Saint Antoine). This main street runs from the place de la Bastille and the “new” opera house (on the west border toward the place de Nation.
The Bastille area used to be known as Faubourg St-Antoine area. It was the furniture making district apparently due to the easy access of timber deliveries on the Seine as well as the guild restrictions for craftsmen in the 17th and 18th centuries within the city. At that time the Abbaye de St-Antoine owned the land in the Bastille area and because the land was not owned by the city, the craftsmen where allowed to set up shop and work.
For the most part these furniture and craftsman shops have been replaced with modern clothing and home shops. Although, if you explore some alleyways here you will find a few shops (i.e., passage du Cheval Blanc, Passage du Chantier, Passage de la Main d’Or, Passage l’Homme). There are still a few furniture shops on rue du St. Faubourg which sell furniture.
The Bastille area is the “spice” of life as my father would say because it is filled with so much variety in every way.
You will find a collection of traditions, flavors, and cultures. The area is filled with life and energy.
Unique shops, vintage stores, flea markets, cafés, classic bistros, special shops devoted to Italian, Middle-Eastern and Asian flavors an specialities.
Place de la Bastille remains home to many demonstrations and public entertainment. But my interests were predominately in the culinary and I found this area delicious!
When I was discovering this area, it made sense to me to break it down into two areas: (1) the area surrounding the place de la Bastille and the open and covered market on rue d’Aligre; and (2) what I call the “Paul Bert” area.
place de la Bastille & Aligre market
The easiest thing to do is to exit the metro at Bastille where you will find the “new” opera house. Walk east on rue du St. Faubourg. On this street you will see many furniture and home shops. Many home shops that have things for the kitchen and table (i.e., Maison du Monde and Habitat). There is a Monoprix further down. Bistros and cafés are everywhere.
You will find Barrio Latino on this street, a three storied Latino food and dance extravaganza. It has been a few years since I was here. .. hum … but I still remember the festive food and people dancing every where.
You will also find Caffè dei Cioppi, a small, charming place filled with Italian delights.
Continue east on rue du St. Faubourg and turn right on rue Antoine Vollon.
This is a charming street, across from a park Square Trousseau, where you will find Blé Sucré (sweet wheat). Pâtissier and Boulanger Fabrice Le Bourdat is up at 3 am every morning making you specialities from Brittany and beyond. Everything here is really good. I love their take on a tarte tartine and even their “to go” packaged item like caramelized almonds and marshmallows.
This street has cafés and restaurants including, Le Square Trousseau and Le Bar à Thé. If you have seen the movie Paris, Je t’aime? One story is set in the Bastille area and one scene takes place in Le Square Trousseau.
If you go to the end of rue Antoine Vollon and turn left, you will be one block away from the Marché d’Aligre.
Before you reach the market you will find Le Baron Rouge famous for its fresh oysters as well as its French wine selection served with cheese and charcuterie.
Across the street is Le Pain au Naturel, an artisanal bakery specializing in organic baked items. Caves d’ Aligre is an independent wine shop.
Next door is Puerto Cacao a café specializing in fair trade chocolate.
The Marché d’Aligre (pronounced “ah league”) is open every day from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m, except Monday. This is the market where it is said that France meets North African souk.
However, I found both sides had similar products and prices and equally lively with various growers shouting prices and how ripe and fresh their produce is. On Sundays the market is at its busiest. The prices are overall less expensive than many other markets in Paris.
If you are on the street rue d’Aligre (facing east) the ”French” side will be to your right and the “North African” side will be to your left. Getting past the debate of whether there is a difference, both sides of the market are in the middle of the street and back up against neighborhood daily life which includes: fish markets, cheese shops, wine shops, cafés, and chocolatiers
In the place d’Aligre is a flea market which sells everything from books and dishes to vintage clothing.
Behind there is a little grain and spice shop called La Graineterie du Marché. I buy pepper and nutmeg here as well as grains. They sell grains for birds in the back of the shop.
On this side of the market is where you will also find the covered market: Marché Beauvau, a registered as a historic monument, it is one of the oldest markets in France. The steel rafters above are a reminder that hay used to be stored above.
It is a small market. There are only a handful of stores here but you will find seafood, a butcher, a cheese store, an Italian speciality store, fruit stands, Comptoir Corse which carries sausage, cheese and wine from Corsica, and Sur Les Quais where you can choose your own olive oil from France or Spain and have it bottled on site (I also bought some delicious moutarde vinegar aux myrtles).
On the other side of the market (“the North African souk side”) shops and cafés flank the open market. Here, there are some treasures not to be missed: chez Fernand de las Savoie specializes in cheeses form the Savoie region;
La Garde-Manger, a shop which specializes in the foods and flavors from Alsace region; and chocolats d’Aligre (this is the same location where Goût, Thé et Chocolat was…in case you get confused), an artisanal chocolate shop which carries chocolats from various makers whom cannot yet open their own place. Les Crus de Soleil specializes in wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon region (which is now producing some great wines).
the Paul Bert area
If you head back up north from the Aligre market to rue St. Faubourg and make a right (continue east), you will pass more speciality stores such as: Sabah which has Middle-Eastern and Asian specialities including spices and nuts.
Chocolatier Jeff de Bruges (there are several throughout the city) has a store here. Across the street Soboa specializes in Italian foods, including fresh pasta, wines, and charcuterie.
Rue St. Faubourg splits into two streets (rue de Montreuil on the left and rue St. Antoine on the right). Take rue de Montreuil. Pass the Faidherbe Chaligny metro stop and you will reach rue Faidherbe. On the north side rue Saint Paul veers off of rue Faidherbe. Take rue Paul Bert.
Up on the right side, you will find one of my new favorite little restaurants: 6 Paul Bert a venture of Bertrand Auboyneau (of Bistrot Paul Bert) with chef Louis-Phillipe in the kitchen.
Continue north on rue Paul Bert and you will find a cute kitchen themed store La Cocotte which sells festive table linens and matching notebooks.
There is a wine shop Cru & Couverts and several classic bistros including: Le Temps du Temps and Le Bistro Paul Bert (an institution for classic bistro food where meat is the theme). L’Escailler du Bistrot specializes in oysters.
Continue and on the corner of rue Chanzy and rue Paul Bert is where you will find one of my favorite pastry shops: La Pâtisserie by Cyril Lignac (formerly of LeNôtre). I love this inventive pastry shop and from the photos you can probably see why…
Across the street is Le Chardenoux, a classic beautiful bistro that has been here since 1908. Cyril Lignac re-opened it in 2008 and the food is gorgeous and tastes every bit as good as it looks. Le soleil, across the street, is as cheery as its name sounds.
Continue to street rue de Charonne. This is a large street with boutiques and restaurants with little shops and cafés. If you head west on rue de Charonne you will find Bertrand Grebaut’s modern neo-bistro, another one of my favorite’s, Septime. Delicious !
Below is a list of addresses for your visit. The addresses with the ❤ means it is a favorite of mine.
carnet de addresses
Bastille / Aligre Market area
Barrio Latino (12e)
46, rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine (metro Bastille)
01 55 78 84 75
Maison Andraud (12e)
12, rue de la Roquette (metro Bastille)
01 47 00 59 07
Regional culinary treats.
Blé Sucré (12e) ❤
7, rue Antoine Vollon (metro Ledru-Rollin)
01 43 40 77 73
Le Square Trousseau (12e)
1, rue Antoine Vollon (metro Ledru-Rollin)
01 43 43 06 00
Le Bar à Thé (12e)
9, rue Antoine Vollon (metro Ledru-Rollin)
01 43 40 90 17
Le Baron Rouge (12e) ❤
3, rue Theophile Rousell (metro Ledru-Rollin)
01 43 43 14 32
Puerto Cacao (12e)
2, rue Théophile-Roussel (metro Ledru-Rollin)
01 43 47 58 60
Le Pain au Naturel (12e)
5, place d’Aligre (metro Ledru-Rollin)
01 43 45 46 60
Caves d’ Aligre (12e)
3 place d’Algre (metro Ledru-Rollin)
01 43 43 34 26
La Graineterie du Marché (12th) ❤
8 place d’Aligre (metro Ledru-Rollin)
01 43 43 22 64
Sur Les Quais (12e) ❤
Marché Couvert Beauvau
Place d’Algre (metro Ledru-Rollin)
01 43 43 03 16
Marché Couvert Beauvau
Place d’Algre (metro Ledru-Rollin)
La Cave du Square (12e)
1, rue Antoine-Vollon (metro Ledru-Rollin)
01 43 43 65 91
La Garde-Manger (12th) ❤
17, rue d’Aligre (metro Faidherbe-Chaligny)
01 40 01 02 31
Les Crus de Soleil (12e)
21 rue d’Aligre (metro Ledru-Rollin)
01 43 43 52 20
Paul Bert area
Sabah Orientale (12e)
138-140 Faubourg Saint Antoine (metro Faidherbe-Chaligny)
01 40 01 01 04
Middle-Eastern and Asian specialities.
187 rue Faubourg Saint Antoine (metro Faidherbe-Chaligny)
01 43 79 07 00
Italian specialties. Catering.
Le 6 Paul Bert (11th) ❤
6, rue Paul Bert (metro Faidherbe-Chaligny)
01 43 79 14 32
Le Bistrot Paul Bert (11e)❤
19 rue Paul-Bert (metro Faidherbe-Chaligny)
01 43 72 24 01
L’Ecailler du Bistrot (11e)
22 rue Paul-Bert (metro Faidherbe-Chaligny)
01 43 72 24 01
Le Temps du Temps (11e)
13, rue Paul Bert (metro Faidherbe-Chaligny)
01 43 79 63 40
La Pâtisserie by Cyril Lignac (11e) ❤
24, rue Paul-Bert (metro Faidherbe-Chaligny)
01 43 72 74 88
Le Chardenoux (11e) ❤
1 rue, Jules-Valles (metro Faidherbe-Chaligny)
01 43 71 49 52
44 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud (metro Parmentier)
01 43 57 16 35
Le Bistrot du Peintre (11e)
116 avenue Ledru-Rollin (metro Ledru-Rollin)
01 47 00 34 39
Septime (11e) ❤
80, rue de Charonne (metro Charonne)
01 43 67 38 29
Septime la Cave (11th) ❤
3, rue Basfroi (metro Charonne)
01 43 67 14 87
La Muse Vin (11e)
101, rue Charonne (metro Charonne)
01 40 09 93 03
There is also a “little Italy” in the Bastille area around la rue Saint-Antoine
Caffe dei Cioppi (11e) ❤
159, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine (metro Ledru-Rollin)
01 43 46 10 14
46, rue Trousseau (metro Faidherbe-Chaligny)
01 48 06 95 85
Sardegna a Tavola (12e) ❤
1, rue de Cotte (metro Faidherbe-Chaligny)
01 44 75 03 28
Simone e Nicola (11e)
92, rue de la Roquette (metro Voltaire)
01 43 71 77 46
good stuff (besides food)
La Cocotte (11e) ❤
5, rue Paul Bert (metro Faidherbe-Chaligny)
01 43 73 04 02
Kitchen items and more.
Caravane (12e) ❤
22, rue Saint-Nicholas (metro Ledru-Rollin)
01 53 17 18 55
19, rue Saint-Nicholas (metro Ledru-Rollin)
01 53 02 96 96
Home shop. Kitchenware.
French Trotters (11e) ❤
30, rue de Charonne (metro bastille)
01 47 00 84 35
Boutiques with men and women’s clothes and shoes. Like it.
Le Corner (11e)
24, rue de Lappe (metro Bastille)
09 50 13 20 10
For women, clothes, bags and trinkets.
and a bit of history
Cimetière de Picpus can be found at 35 rue de Picpus. It is closed Monday. The phone number is 33 (0) 1 43 44 18 54. Here you will find two mass graves of people that were guillotined at the place du Trône Renversé (now known as place de la Nation during the end of the French revolution and Robspierre’s fall). Approxmiately 1,306 bodies (the majority commonors) were brought here on a cart. The grave of General Layfaette (who fought in the American War of Independence versus the British) is here and surrounded by French and American flags. ❤