In Pictures: Delicious Scenes From Paris's Aligre Food Market

  • 01 of 20

    Prized by gourmets, it's a wonderful place to stroll and taste

    An elegant display in the old covered Beauvau market on the Place d'Aligre in Paris.
    ••• An elegant display in the old covered Beauvau market on the Place d'Aligre in Paris. Courtney Traub

    Out of Paris's numerous open-air food markets, the vibrant stalls and old covered market situated on and near the Place d'Aligre are certainly among the city's most coveted. Gourmet types and food bloggers regularly cite this market as one of the best spots in town to stock up on first-rate fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, cheese, wine and beer, fresh flowers or bakery items at the stalls and shops in the area. Whether you wish to take a stroll to whet your appetite before lunch and perhaps taste a bit of fresh fruit, or you're in the market for the perfect ingredients for a meal or impromptu picnic, a morning at the Marché d'Aligre comes highly recommended. 

    Read related: Best Street Food in Paris 

    If you can't make the morning open-air market, the gorgeous old Beauvau covered market has plenty of high-quality stalls selling fresh produce and other items. First opened in 1779, this historic market allows for a gourmet stroll on rainy days in Paris

    Getting...MORE There and Opening Times: 

    The outdoor stalls and shops and the Beauvau traditional covered market are located on the Place Aligre, just east of the Bastille area and easily accessible by metro.

    • Address: Place d'Aligre, 12th arrondissement
    • Metro: Ledru-Rollin (line 8)
    • Tel: + 33 (0)1.45.11.71.11 

    Opening Hours and Best Times to Visit: 

    If you want to amble through the open-air stalls at Aligre, make sure you reserve your morning and early afternoon, as they close by 1:30 or 2:00 pm. I recommend going during the week if possible since the market gets very crowded on weekends. The covered Beauvau market and the permanent shops are open until the early evening. 

    Open-air market: 

    • Monday: Closed
    • Tuesdays to Fridays: 7:30 am to 1:30 pm 
    • Weekends: 7:30 am to 2:30 pm

    Beauvau covered market: 

    • Monday: Closed
    • Tuesdays to Fridays: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
    • Saturday: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm top 7:30 pm
    • Sunday: 9;00 am to 1:30 pm 

    Click through the gallery for more colorful scenes from the market.

    Continue to 2 of 20 below.
  • 02 of 20

    Touring the market with an in-the-know friend is always a plus....

    The author's friend Jason showed her around the Marche d'Aligre in Paris.
    ••• The author's friend Jason showed her around the Marche d'Aligre in Paris. Courtney Traub

    In all of my years living in Paris, I'd admittedly only made it over to the Aligre market once or twice. This time around, I vowed to see it through the eyes of someone with real know-how. I enlisted my good friend and former colleague Jason Keller (pictured above) to take me on a whirl of the market on a quiet, sunny weekday (as mentioned, this is generally the best way to avoid crowds). 

    Jason's a consummate self-taught gourmet who manages to cook (and bake) amazing food without a hint of pretention, even when it's experimental. 

    He's the kind of guy who seeks out only the best ingredients for his (often impromptu) creations, and knows just where to find them. The kind of guy who wakes up on a Sunday morning and whips up what he considers a fairly "basic" weekend breakfast: brioche French toast with grilled peaches, pears, vanilla, ginger, and pink peppercorn-infused syrup is a favorite.

    Read related feature: Best gourmet supermarkets in Paris

    So it was a delight...MORE to have him point out some of his favorite stalls and shops at the market as we strolled up and down the open-air lane, whiffs of fresh strawberries and cheese and fish trailing on the air. The market criers call out bargains as they have for centuries, imploring you to come try a wedge of juicy tangerine or even a bit of laboriously-opened pomegranate. 

    Join our virtual tour of the market, including some of Jason's favorite stalls and sellers, by clicking through the slides. 

    Continue to 3 of 20 below.
  • 03 of 20

    A fruit seller at the market offers a bounty of tantalizing varieties...

    A market stall selling a wide variety of fruit at the Marche d'Aligre in Paris
    ••• A market stall selling a wide variety of fruit at the Marche d'Aligre in Paris. Courtney Traub

    As we stroll through the innumerable stalls at the Aligre, I'm struck by how many regional varieties of fruit and vegatables are on offer here: the sense of abundance, and choice, is almost overwhelming at first. I encourage you to sample widely and find your own favorites. It's well and good to claim that one stand outdoes them all, but the standards at this market are high enough that you can safely experiment and make your own discoveries. 

    Continue to 4 of 20 below.
  • 04 of 20

    Gorgeous purple artichokes tempt the eye

    Gorgeous purple artichokes at the Marche d'aligre in Paris.
    ••• Gorgeous purple artichokes at the Marche d'aligre in Paris. Courtney Traub

    I don't eat artichokes all that often, although I do love them (some claim they're a waste of time and a waste of space since so little of the plant is edible, but I think they're amusing and delicious). These pale purplish specimens caught my eye immediately. 

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20

    A fruit seller serves melon to a customer

    A fruit seller at the Marche d'Aligre in Paris serves a customer.
    ••• A fruit seller at the Marche d'Aligre in Paris serves a customer. Courtney Traub

    The mountains of fresh cherries at this stand drew me in. Part of the fun of going to the market is interacting with the sellers-- most of whom are warm are enthusiastic. If you don't know much French, you'll probably be able to get by in English, although, as I"ve recommended elsewhere, it's always important to say "Bonjour" and "merci" lest you be perceived as rude.

    Read related: How to Avoid "Rude" Service in Paris

    Occasionally, as Jason and I discovered, some sellers are grouchy about having their picture taken: it's probably best to ask before you do so. 

    Continue to 6 of 20 below.
  • 06 of 20

    Plump red pomegranates catch the eye...

    Eye-catching, bright-red pomegranates at the Aligre market in Paris.
    ••• Eye-catching, bright-red pomegranates at the Aligre market in Paris. Courtney Traub

    Pomegranates have always been more visually appealing to me than interesting to eat whole-- although I do enjoy the juice. Here, the heaping pile of striking red fruit really added to the cheerful ambiance at the market.

    Continue to 7 of 20 below.
  • 07 of 20

    Old-fashioned music-box players add to the ambiance

    Old-fashioned music box players at the Marche d'Aligre.
    ••• Old-fashioned music box players at the Marche d'Aligre. Courtney Traub

    Many people imagine Paris to be the kind of old-world place where everyone dons berets and plays accordion standards in the street. Here, a father and son team of street musicians is clearly trying to cultivate that old-fashioned vibe. And it works. 

    Continue to 8 of 20 below.
  • 08 of 20

    Delicate purple and white aubergines (eggplants)

    Delicate purple and white aubergines at the Marche d'Aligre in Paris.
    ••• Delicate purple and white aubergines at the Marche d'Aligre in Paris. Courtney Traub

    Eggplants are another favorite of mine, and these delicate purple ones at one of Jason's preferred vegetable vendors looked divine. One tip for cooking: always get the water out by placing salted slices of eggplant on layers of paper towels or clean dishtowels. They come out with a much more delicate, less gummy texture that way. 

    Read related: My favorite falafel in Paris features delicious fried eggplant...

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20

    "Fredo", a watermelon not unlike Wilson from "Castaway"....

    ••• "Fredo", the friendly watermelon of the Marche d'Aligre market in Paris. Courtney Traub

    At this stand at the Aligre market, a humorous vendor has anthropomorphized a watermelon, calling him "Fredo". 

    Read related: Complete Guide to Paris Food Markets, District by District

    Continue to 10 of 20 below.
  • 10 of 20

    Gorgeous garlic bulbs at the Aligre

    Gorgeous multicolored garlic bulbs invite the eye at the Aligre market in Paris.
    ••• Gorgeous multicolored garlic bulbs invite the eye at the Aligre market in Paris. Courtney Traub

    Not only am I a garlic fiend from a standpoint of taste: I also admire the plant for its beauty. At the Aligre market, you can find bulbs in all sorts of colors and varieties. I especially love the purplish ones (are you seeing a theme here yet?) 

    Read related: Complete Guide to Paris Food Markets, District by District

    Continue to 11 of 20 below.
  • 11 of 20

    A panoply of beautiful red fruits and berries: perfect for summer tarts

    Fresh red fruits and berries at the Aligre food market in Paris.
    ••• Fresh red fruits and berries at the Aligre food market in Paris. Courtney Traub

    In this shot from a particularly coveted fruit stand at the Marche d'Aligre, a panoply of beautiful red fruits and berries including the prized gariguette strawberries from the Gironde region of France, smaller and much sweeter than most commercial varieties. They're perfect for summer tarts and smoothies, and for enjoying whole with a glass of champagne or with a nice soft, ripened French cheese like Brie de Meaux. 

    Read related: Complete Guide to Paris Food Markets, District by District

    Continue to 12 of 20 below.
  • 12 of 20

    White and green asparagus, peppers, and other beautiful vegetables

    White and green asparagus and other vegetables at a stand at the Marche d'Aligre in Paris.
    ••• White and green asparagus and other vegetables at a stand at the Marche d'Aligre in Paris. Courtney Traub

    Since my tour of the Aligre market fell in June, the asparagus (traditionally a spring vegetable) still looked absolutely delicious. Here, white and green varieties grace one stand. 

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20

    An abundance of cherries at the Aligre

    An abundance of fresh cherries at a market stand in Paris.
    ••• An abundance of fresh cherries at a market stand in Paris. Courtney Traub

    In this shot, a tempting mountain of cherries draws you to this fruit seller. 

    Read related: Top Permanent Market Streets and Vendors in Paris

    Continue to 14 of 20 below.
  • 14 of 20

    Fresh flowers from the market

    Fresh flowers at the Marche d'Aligre in Paris.
    ••• Fresh flowers at the Marche d'Aligre in Paris. Courtney Traub

    While the Aligre outdoor market specializes in fruit and vegetables, there are also several stands offering gorgeous houseplants and cut flowers. If you're invited to a special dinner in Paris, you'll be sure to find the perfect floral arrangement here. 

    Read related: Top Permanent Market Streets and Vendors in Paris

    Continue to 15 of 20 below.
  • 15 of 20

    Another shot of a customer and a seller at the Aligre

    A market stall selling fruit and vegetables at the Aligre market in Paris.
    ••• A market stall selling fruit and vegetables at the Aligre market in Paris. Courtney Traub

    Another shot of the laid-back ambiance felt at the Aligre during the weekdays. At the weekends, it can be a lot more hustle-and-bustle. 

    Read related: What to do on Sundays in Paris?

    Continue to 16 of 20 below.
  • 16 of 20

    A fresh fish market at Aligre

    Fresh fish stand at the Aligre market in Paris.
    ••• Fresh fish stand at the Aligre market in Paris. Courtney Traub

    Unless you're staying in an apartment or other accommodations with cooking facilities, a visit to the permanent fish shop at the Aligre will probably be reserved for admiring only. Still, it's well worth it. Here, a customer checks out the fresh shellfish on display.

    Read related: Complete Guide to Food and Dining in Paris 

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20

    A cheese stand offers endless tempting varieties at the covered Beauvau market

    A cheese stand at the covered Beauvau market in Paris.
    ••• A cheese stand at the covered Beauvau market in Paris. Courtney Traub

    What would a Paris market be without at least one or two good cheese stands? Not much of one at all, is my answer. Dozens of varieties of French and foreign cheeses are elegantly presented at this indoor cheese shop at the covered Beauvau market, letting off tantalizing whiffs  (if you don't mind strong cheeses, that is). 

    Read Related: Best Permanent Market Streets in Paris (all featuring excellent cheese shops)

    Continue to 18 of 20 below.
  • 18 of 20

    Juicy red and green tomatoes in the Beauvau covered market

    Juicy green and red tomatoes at the Beauvau covered market in Paris.
    ••• Juicy green and red tomatoes at the Beauvau covered market in Paris. Courtney Traub

    I don't know about you, but for me, tomatoes are synonymous with summer. So I was particularly delighted by this stand inside the Beauvau covered market at Aligre, displaying several varieties of especially juicy red and green tomatoes (and shades featuring both colors). 

    Read related: Complete Guide to Paris Food Markets, District by District

    Continue to 19 of 20 below.
  • 19 of 20

    Le Baron Rouge wine bar: a great place for an aperitif or light meal

    Le Baron Rouge wine bar in Paris.
    ••• Le Baron Rouge wine bar in Paris. Courtney Traub

    Le Baron Rouge wine bar, situated smack in the middle of the Aligre food market, is a great place for an aperitif and/or light meal. It only opens at 5 pm, though, so you should plan accordingly if you want to see the open-air market which closes much earlier at around 2:00 pm each day. 

    Read related:

    Continue to 20 of 20 below.
  • 20 of 20

    Colorful root vegetables are the highlight at this stand

    A vegetable stand specialized in root varieties at the Aligre food market in Paris.
    ••• A vegetable stand specialized in root varieties at the Aligre food market in Paris. Courtney Traub

    Fan of root vegetables? Carrots, beets, parsnips, and other nutrition-rich root veggies are a true highlight at this market stand on the Place d'Aligre in Paris. 

    Read related: Best Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Paris