Quartier D'Aligre recs bakery, patisserie, market stalls cheese, wineshop, bars

Bonjour! We stayed in the 5th previously for a few months in 2017 and were grateful for the time so many of you volunteered to making amazing recommendations and discussions (on Chowhound). We spent so much time trekking over to the Marche D’Aligre area last time that we are staying in the Quartier D’Aligre (near Sea Bar Peche) for the next 3 weeks - January 4th -25th 2023. We have already scoured HO recent posts and can see that Pianovins, Sea Bar (oysters) and Les Province Boucherie are nearby so will likely try these. We have previously liked Virtus, Grive and Cafe du Coin in this vicinity. A family-friendly, relaxed local bistro fave would be handy too (we also love taking the kids to the bouillons and have tried most of these but are looking forward to trying Republique and Pharamond this time).

But we are also interested in trying any local favourite bakeries/patisseries for croissants, baguettes, eclairs and also galettes des rois as the timing will coincide with our stay. Shopping recs for cheese (in addition to Hardouin), a wine shop, charcuterie, bars for aperitivo and a local crepe place. Any favourite market stalls or particular products? And anything else you love! To give you an idea, previously in the 5th our kids loved the warm baguettes (at any time of day which for us is pure luxury) from Eric Kayser and the croissants and kouign-amann from Sebastien Degardin. We bought cheese from Laurent Dubois and ate crepes at Le Pot O’ Lait. We got wine recs from La Fontaine aux vins and sometimes Philovino. We loved the market at Place Monge. Bars nearby that we liked included Les Closeries du Lilas piano bar (as visitors we liked the historical nature of the place) but we would love to hear about any fav neighbourhood bars. We do appreciate that the general standard of all theses things in Paris is high and we could likely find these things in many places but still interested in all of your thoughts on this topic if you have the time! Thank you!

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Not sure how others with more local experience feel, but we were there in Oct and thought that Ble Sucre is still a very good bakery. It’s only 3-4 blocks from you, across Square Trousseau.

Jouvence

After sampling all of the bakeries recommended on Chowhound, husband found the Kouign Amman at le Moulin a Pain, on the north side of rue du Faubourg St. Antoinne, steps east of rue Trousseau., the most to his liking. And we often were able to snag a still warm baguette at Boulangeris Ounissi, around the corner from rue d’Aligre, on F.du SA before jumping the bus “home” to the 7e.

I can recommend Le Baron Rouge as the textbook Aligre wine bar.
I’m afraid I’m not exactly knowledgeable in the Aligre field, not that I don’t go there at times but it’s not exactly close to my own Place-Monge/Jardin des Plantes neighborhood (although there’s little more than the Seine to cross) and I go mostly for the flea market. So I’ll let others chime in, as they already have begun to. But…

L’Ébauchoir on rue de Cîteaux has been going on for decades, and might be the type of relaxed local bistro you crave. I guess it’s not heavily exposed in the food media because of its unpretentiousness, which might be good news. Also, last time I was there,
Le Square Trousseau was still good.

There is a very good épicerie-fine/wine bar at Agrology, rue de Prague. Specializing in Italian and Greek wines and foods, but they have other stuff too.

YARD on rue de Mont-Louis is a natural wine bar and restaurant with delicious food, at Philippe-Auguste, which isn’t right next door but I’d say at a 20-minute walk distance. Only at apéro and dinner times.

By the way, if you’re staying in the Aligre area, you don’t want to stay strictly right there but you can walk to the nearby neighborhood of Voltaire-Philippe-Auguste which is very restaurant and commerce-rich. I.e. : A la Renaissance, Aux Bons Crus, Jones, Il Bacaro (exquisite Friulan cuisine)…

In addition to shops in the Marché d’Aligre, rue d’Aligre has lots of good shops, especially for wine.

On the rue de Charenton near bd Ledru-Rollin is Ici-Même, an excellent natural wine shop with high-end producers such as d’Angerville that you often do not find in other natural wine shops, a very large selection of Champagne, plus plenty of little micro-producers of interest. You can order a plate of cheese or charcuterie and drink on the premises. Around the corner on the rue de Prague is Caves de Prague, which has a good selection of wines and also serves food that was quite good when I was last there ca. 2017.

At the intersection of the rue de Charenton and rue Traversière is Passerini, which thinks of itself as an Italian restaurant; I think of it as a Frenchified version of Italian with an Italian wine list (which is the case with the great majority of “Italian” restaurants in Paris), but in any case, the food is good. It also has a bar across the street. Le Singe à Paris is also at that intersection - I’ve not been but have good references for it. There are some other places at that intersection that look worthy of taking a drink while doing some people-watching.

I can confirm Carmenere’s recommendation of Le Square Trousseau. Unfortunately, I can’t for L’Ébauchoir – most places with exclusively natural wine lists have cleaned up their act and no longer foist off faulty wines on their customers; but alas, L’Ébauchoir disrespects their customers and continues to serve flawed wines as though the spoilage is an essential feature of the wines.

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Indeed it was good, and for good reason: the tiny kitchen was operated by chef Patrice Gelbart, formerly at Aux Berges du Cérou in the Tarn with one Michelin star. He was, and still is, assisted by his buddy Stéphane Camboulive, but they left Les Caves de Prague about three years ago and now take care of the restaurant at the Théâtre de Gennevilliers. Same cuisine, larger dining-room, better-equipped kitchen, but definitely beyond the Périphérique and not easy to access.

I forgot to add that a stroll alongside the Arcades of the avenue Daumesnil, below the Coulée Verte, is always interesting to discover the artisans that work there. I recently got acquainted with La Distillerie du Viaduc, a small spirits distillery which makes excellent gin.

I haven’t been to L’Ebauchoir for quite a while and haven’t experienced the flawed wine culture there, which is a relatively recent trend but in my opinion tends to recede, as neo-winemakers acquire some experience and nature sommeliers do their jobs a bit more professionnally than before. The appreciation of natural wines, and I’ll even say their quality, is largely a matter of networks, as I’ve discovered when writing about these wines and tasting plenty of them. Depending on who federates the network, the wines will be extremely different. Maybe I should check out L’Ébauchoir again to figure out how bad that is. Anyway, the wines served at YARD Mont-Louis (and also at their Champs-Elysées location) are also high-quality and not flawed.

A stroll above the Arcades on the Promenade Plantée is also most pleasant.

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We also make regular trips Blé Sucre on rue Antoine Vollon right on Square Trousseau., mainly for the pastries (which are about half the price as the more buttoned up Ble de Sucre on Rue Rambuteau). For bread we like Boulangerie Moisan (5 pl. d’Aligre) for their natural bio breads made from many different grains. Speaking of which, don’t miss the Grainèterie du Marché at 8 pl. d’Aligre, where the owner stocks a treasure trove of various dried beans including the Tarbais, and lots of oils, nuts, seeds and old fashioned candies.

The Aligre quartier is so full of good stuff that recommendations are almost unnecessary. Rue d’Aligre market street, the morning street market (daily except Mon) on place d’Aligre, the excellent covered market Marché Beauvau (open Tue to Sat AM &PM with some vendors taking a long lunch break and Sun AM) make it one of, if not “the” food-fab quartier of Paris. Its vibrancy and unmanicured Parisness may be too much for some older tourists not used to city life but, for others the “hum” and abundance of choices can be intoxicating.

For takeaway, the covered market Marché Beauvau on the place d’Aligre is a treasure trove. At least two excellent rôtisseries (roast chicken at one and pork/ lamb at the other), cheesemongers (including the excellent Fromagerie Hardouin), a few charcuterie stands that also include prepared side dishes, poissonneries for platters of shucked oysters to take back to your apartment, an artisanal beer shop, coffee roaster, etc etc.

I also enjoy browsing the Aladdin’s cave of Mediterranean goodies like lokum, nougat, dates, olives, spices, nuts, at the Lebanese épicerie Sabah on the rue Faubourg St Antoine just next to Boulangerie Ounissi.

Since there are so many fishmongers, butchers, charcuteries, etc clustered on the rue d’Aligre and in the Marché Beauvau, it’s also a great opportunity for exploring the house-made rillettes, soups, etc that such shops sometimes offer.

Boulangeries/ pâtisseries. I doubt that any other quartier in Paris can match the number of choices in the Aligre quartier/ Faubourg St Antoine. Maybe 7 or 8 good-to-excellent ones and 4 or 5 more run-of-the-mill in a 10-minute walking radius. Since it’s so close to your place, Ounissi on rue Faubourg St Antoine is more than good enough for your daily croissants and baguettes. I’d also try Farine & O and Moulin à Pain, both almost next door to each other on the rue Faubourg St Antoine for comparing/ contrasting and finding the breakfast pastries that most match your own tastes. I find Moisan suggested by @sfcarole much less good than it used to be but still worth a try. Since you are staying in the area for so long, I’d also check out the highly regarded Blé Sucré on rue Antoine Vollon across from Square Trousseau as well as my own particular fave Boulangerie Bo on rue Charenton/ rue Castelar… maybe not a place for conventional trad pastries but a great place to experiment with modern variations. I haven’t tried a large range of his pastries but the lemon tarte at Cyril Lignac Pâtisserie on rue Paul Bert is, for me addictive and my instincts tell me his other pastries are probably also very good. Also starting to have a fondness for the new-ish pâtisserie (name?) inside the covered Marché Beauvau because of its strange mix of Mexican and French pastries/ cookies and charming French-Mexicaine couple that run the place. Given the length of your stay, I’d also sample the Algerian/ North African pastries at La Bague de Kenza on rue Faubourg St Antoine and/or Amira on rue d’Aligre.

Cavistes/ Wine bars. I’m not a wine geek and always a drink a wine with food, love pairing the food and wine, and, at a restaurant, almost always order the wine suggested by the waiter/ somm. For grabbing a few bottles for taking back to your apartment, the branch of the Nicolas chain on rue Crozatier is very convenient and the selections are good enough for us mortals. In my one and only experience there, the young guy helping me was exceptionally helpful, knowledgeable… and, mercifully, no up-selling or attitude. If Nicolas isn’t rarified enough for you, there must be a dozen cavistes and wine-bars in a 10-minute walking radius. I used to love Caves à Prague on rue Prague for the food more than the wine but, as @Carmenere has pointed out, the food is far less of a draw now that the original food team has gone elsewhere. Time-warp Le Baron Rouge wine-bar on the corner of rue de Cotte and place d’Aligre (side street) can be very enjoyable, especially on weekends Oct to April when they also serve oysters, but a little warning: it’s sometimes overwhelmed by organized tour groups attracted by its cutesiness and olde-worlde setting.

Crêperies. The Aligre quartier is not exactly good crêpe territory but a few very worthy crêperies in easy walking distance. If you can tolerate the cramped space, tiny Crêperie Le Goéland on place d’Aligre is very good… in addition to traditional French crepes, they also do excellent Lebanese-style rolled crêpes. There is also a branch of the excellent, very tourist-pleasing and somewhat upmarket Breizh Café crêperie chain on rue Paul Bert (less than a 700-metre walk from your apartment). I haven’t been to either in years but a similar walk in the other direction towards the Gare de Lyon, Au Beurre Salé on avenue Ledru-Rollin and Les Embruns on rue de Lyon are maybe even better as family crêperies because of their very good price/ quality ratios and space.

Restaurants. For me, Virtus on rue de Cotte is the belle of the ball. Admittedly the food is less good than pre-Covid when it was cheffed by a charming Asian-Argentinian duo but still worthy of its Michelin star. And a very relaxed and joyful ambiance (something somewhat rare for Michelin-starred restaurants). Yet, considering the Michelin star and the prices, maybe a bit of a waste with kids in tow. Jouvence on rue Faubourg St Antoine is star-worthy and has a startlingly good price/quality ratio for both lunch and dinner that makes it perhaps a better “foodie” choice for families… and A+ for ambiance and service… and it has onzieme’s seal of approval. What more could you ask for ?
For noshing en famille, I’d also suggest:
the carnivore’s delight butcher+resto combo Les Provinces on rue d’Aligre;
the pescatarian’s delight SeaBar on rue Crozatier/ rue d’Aligre;
the fishy Bar à Iode on rue Faidherbe at rue Jean-Macé, good value for family dining, and an opportunity for a before and after— or at least a photoshoot-- across the street at the ultra-picturesque Le Pure Café often used as a film location (but don’t ask me which films);
L’Ebauchoir on rue Cîteaux has such a good price/ quality ratio for the food and a very pleasing ambiance that I’d still recommend it as a good choice for families despite onz’s criticism of the wine;
Le Chat Bossu brasserie, also one of the neighbourhood’s prime hangouts but more one-size-fits-all than foodie-fab) on rue de Cotte/ rue Faubourg St Antoine;
Le Bistro du Peintre on rue Ledru Rollin at rue Charonne for “correct” trad, good prices, a large menu, continuous hours, Art-Nouveau décor and history, mixed clientele including tourists (they’re the ones eating soupe à l’oignon gratinée) and relatively good restaurant theatre likely to appeal to the kids as long as you insist on a table in the main dining room);
Le Chalet Savoyard on rue Charonne for relatively good value fondue, raclette, tartiflette, and other Alpine winter specialties… I wouldn’t be caught dead here in summer but do enjoy it in winter to remind me of my last skiing trip… and kids love this type of cheesy food.

Bouillons. I used to be a fan of the Petit Bouillon Pharamond after its relaunch a few years ago because of the value, décor, and ambiance but last meal there a few months ago was a disappointment. I imagine the chef(s) have become a bit bored doing the same trad dishes day after day, and standards have slipped. And it’s a no-reservation place and always a wait… I suppose you could slip in for an early meal at, say, 6:30pm without much of a wait but the trade-off is an empty restaurant which for some (i.e. me) is pretty joyless and un-Parisian. I much prefer Bouillon République now that they offer reservations but less enthusiastic about it than the new “old” Brasserie Martin near the Square Gardette (a 20-minute walk for you guys or walk down to rue Reuilly to catch the #46 bus to the St Ambroise stop). Brasserie Martin and its older siblings Brasserie Bellanger in the 10th and Brasserie Dubillot in the 2nd seem to me to capture the brasserie spirit-- and a less old fogey one-- far better than the more famous bouillons and landmark brasseries… and food is “fait-maison”, authentic, no-suprises brasserie fare at very fair prices.

The Faubourg St Antoine straddling the 11th and 12th is riddled with 18th and 19th century passages and hidden courtyards left over from the time when this was the furniture-making district. Wonderful to explore as long as you do your research and know where to find each particular passage and “cours”. Many are difficult to find. And not all are as interesting as others.

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