La Graineterie du Marche

Graineterie du Marche

There are a number of “must-do” lists in Paris, places where people just have to go while they’re here. Often people have limited time, and I hear ya, so I might suggest the departments stores on the Boulevard Haussman, Printempts and Galeries Lafayette (although even since Printemps started charging €1,5 to use the restrooms, I’m inclined to go to the Galeries Lafayette, just on principle.) Some of the well-known chocolatiers and pastry shops have kiosks in those stores, so you can hit the “big names” in one fell swoop. If that’s your thing.

French honey
Winter thyme

For those wishing to shop on a smaller scale, there’s La Graineterie du Marché at the excellent Marché d’Aligre. It’s the only outdoor market in Paris that’s open every day, except Monday, and in the center of the market, you’ll find José Ferré tending to his lovely, old-fashioned dry goods shop.

French white flour

Ever since I discovered his épicerie and graineterie, I’ve been a semi-regular customer, since every time I go in, I pick up a bag of beans or flour, then take it home and work on a recipe using it. Seriously, I could spend weeks going back-and-forth…and sometimes, I have!

dried beans
French jam

In addition to an array of dried beans, whole grains, jams, honeys, and flours, José carries many items which could fall into the “Best Of” for France. Hand-packed barquettes of prized fleur de sel de Guérande, Pain d’épices from Dijon, made by Mulot & Petitjean (who claims to make the original), Haricots Tarbais for making cassoulet, and the lovely nut oils from Huilerie J. Lebanc, whose aroma of freshly ground nuts wafts up and hits me in the senses, whenever I twist the top off, making me almost want to take a swig right from the bottle.

I’m really partial to the hazelnut oil, particularly good on spinach salad, and avocado oil, which is good on, well, just about anything. And if you need a basket to haul everything home with, well, he’s got you covered.

French shopping baskets

There are colorful tins of preserved fish, from La Belle-Iloise in Brittany. I love those colorful tins and they make great gifts, although some of the flavors are kind of wacky. Spiced prunes and tuna anyone? So give those to friends, and keep the sardines packed in salted butter for yourself.

French tuna tins

Out front are pots of tomatoes and fresh herbs, as well as cayenne pepper plants (#want), which can be part of just about any urban garden.

tomato plantsherbs-sage

For those fortunate to have garden space in Paris, after you invite me to your next barbecue – and I’m expecting a big heirloom tomato salad, and corn-on-the-cob, too – you can pick up various seeds and plants.

French tomato seeds
French vegetable seeds

Or for those true do-it-yourselfers, there are lots of seeds in the back of the shop, which is stocked with gardening tools, enameled cookware, and that sound of nature you’ll hear back there isn’t a recording – there are birds chirping away. So put La Graineterie du Marché on your list, where you’ll find plenty of foods to stock your own nest with.


La Graineterie du Marché
8, Place Aligre (12th)
Tél: 01 43 43 22 64

Tuesday- Sunday 9am – 1pm
Tuesday – Saturday 4pm – 7pm

Métro: Ledru-Rollin or Faidherbe-Chaligny


  • June 6, 2013 3:40pm

    Looks just amazing!!! Reply

  • Claire
    June 6, 2013 3:48pm

    OMG!! The honey and jams alone had me drooling! Add salt, dried beans, oils and dry goods to boot and I’m in heaven! I’m planning my next trip to Paris right now and I can tell you this may be my first, middle, and last stop. Who needs the Arc or the Iron Lady when there’s a market like this to be had?? And seeds too?? Be still my heart! Reply

  • martha
    June 6, 2013 4:17pm

    The link to Marché d’Aligre doesn’t work.

    Thanks for letting me know. There is some odd error in my platform that is breaking the links. I fixed them and notified my web folks. They’re all fixed now ~ dl Reply

  • June 6, 2013 4:19pm

    Like. Reply

  • Gay
    June 6, 2013 4:29pm

    I was wishing for a recipe (or just directions) for cooking the Haricots Tarbais or a nice cassoulet. Please… Reply

  • Linda
    June 6, 2013 4:36pm

    Hi David,
    Sorry to be so stupid — I’ve never been to Europe. Can you please tell me how much 4.80 means in dollars on the seed packet? I’m just wondering if I’ll ever be able to afford a trip to Paris? Thanks. Reply

    • June 6, 2013 4:41pm
      David Lebovitz

      Hi Linda: At present, that’s a little over $6. (Costs in general in Paris are higher than other places, although prices include the 19,6% tax.) One good tip to convert currencies is just to plug into Google a phrase, such as “10 dollars in euros” and the conversion will come up. It’s a nifty feature that I use all the time! Reply

  • Angie
    June 6, 2013 4:38pm

    I’m literally drooling. right. now. And did you say “sardine’s in salted butter”? yes please. I’ll take a case…. or as many as will fit in one of those fabulous baskets… wow. Stunning, thanks David! Reply

  • June 6, 2013 4:52pm

    Your photographs always capture the little details that provide a real sense of place for me. I can almost imagine what the rest of the market looks like. Thanks for taking us here today. You mentioned the seeds in the back of the shop. There’s a big push in the states to grow your own, even if it’s only in container gardens. I was wondering if the Parisians are big on home growing. Reply

  • PaulaR
    June 6, 2013 4:57pm

    Went there in March (on your recommendation David) for the tarbais. What a lovely little shop, and a very helpful owner. Reply

  • June 6, 2013 5:15pm

    Great write-up! Sounds like a very special place. Reply

  • Cary
    June 6, 2013 5:28pm

    Lovely trip! Thanks so much for a peek at this delightful spot. Reply

  • June 6, 2013 5:29pm

    would it be grounds for incarceration – i mean, commitment to a mental health hospital – if i were stopped at customs with a suitcase full of flour with those nifty windmills on the package? that is, if my husband doesn’t put me in a french institution first!

    oh ce billet – un reve! Reply

  • June 6, 2013 5:45pm

    My favourite market! Visit it nearly every Sunday – and I hate to admit that I’ve never come across this wonderful other-worldly shop…. how could I have missed it?

    As I’m often only dashing through well after 12h – I HAD to look it up on G.Maps and all is clear…. I’ll be visiting this treasure chest on the next occasion – Thank you so much for this precious post!

    I also visited (years ago) the fish conserves plant La Belle Iloise – and we took as many cans of their beautifully presented and wonderful stuff as we could fit in our car – took it all back to England and lived on their produce for quite some time. I felt so nostalgic that I clicked on the link – and oooops….. – it’s faulty. Here goes:

    Thank you David Reply

  • haugtussa
    June 6, 2013 5:48pm

    Thank You, you are the best!
    ; all things wonderful….
    Will go to this cute shop, when in Paris……
    Thanx for sharing these local places, enjoying all your books and articles all the time.
    (managed a friend to bring Turkish Pepper from Istanbul after you wrote about it, became my favorite spice but cant find it anywhere else now….
    xoxo Reply

  • June 6, 2013 6:13pm

    I love small shops like this one! Thanks for featuring it. Reply

  • Sylvia
    June 6, 2013 6:39pm

    Oh, I want to be there. Right. Now. Reply

  • Lois
    June 6, 2013 6:47pm

    A reply to Linda, who is wondering if she will ever be able to afford a trip to Paris: I went in 1990 because my next door neighbor’s grandmother had a flat in Paris, and wanted to come visit her great grandchildren but not stay in a house with children (she was in poor health). My own daughter was in Paris, tutoring children in a family there. Great grandma and I did a three week house exchange, which worked so beautifully. I lived in Berkeley, she lived in the Marais. If I did it, you can too – be creative.
    Thank you so much, David, for letting me visit Paris each time I read your blog. Reply

    • June 6, 2013 11:38pm
      David Lebovitz

      In spite of some of the lofty prices here, Paris isn’t a super-expensive place to visit. There are a lot of basic hotels that are fine that are less than €100/night, and if you eat in cafés and little restaurants, you can eat reasonably (and reasonably well!) for a lot less than other places. Reply

  • June 6, 2013 6:52pm

    Well, I have a garden, a reasonably sized one at the back of the courtyard (37 m2). So yes, you’re invited, but the only thing edible is the herbs. I tried cherry tomatoes and green peppers and strawberries, but the merle chanteur ate them, so I gave up. You’re welcome to come by for a meal, but warn me first. Reply

  • Gayle
    June 6, 2013 7:30pm

    This is my go-to place in Paris, and has been for years. My garden is full of good French produce, thanks to seeds from the Graineterie. My faves are the Charentais melons.

    I also stop at the Beauvau covered market at d’Aligre. There’s a lady who sells Argan Oil there, a Frenchwoman’s best beauty secret.

    Around the corner on the r. T. Roussel is an organic boulangerie. Snooty help, but the baguettes are terrific. On the way back to the apt, stop at the Baron Rouge for something to quench my thirst, and there’s market day.

    Nice post, David! We probably pass each other on the street when I’m in Paris. This is my neighborhood. Reply

    • haugtussa
      June 6, 2013 7:51pm

      I enjoy the shops and things we foreigners don’t know. (we do know all the famous ones, of course)
      That’s why I love David’ Blogs so much!
      Liveing in Europe, but in California was in my past life.
      I can’t get through the day (week) without DAVID!
      (must have recipies, (so generous with them) from tartin > sardines pate, smoky salt & addicted to chocolate with sel flakes! Voila,,,(it’s the small things in life)!!!!! Reply

  • June 6, 2013 9:02pm

    This post reminds me of a place in Ann Arbor called Downtown Home and Garden. It’s a like stepping back in time with it’s wood floors and screen doors. My list of Paris “must-go’s” is expanding by the minute here! Sounds like a charming place. Reply

  • June 6, 2013 9:57pm

    Just the type of place I love scouting out while in Paris. Can’t wait to check this place out! Thanks! Reply

  • Katie
    June 6, 2013 9:59pm

    Those little colorful woven bags are very cute – do you know where they’re from? Reply

  • Gloria
    June 6, 2013 10:03pm

    Amazing. I’m planning my trip for September and was just looking for info on le Marche d’Aligre today. Thank you, David! Have really loved reading your blog since I subscribed a few weeks ago. Reply

  • Paloma
    June 6, 2013 10:11pm

    Mmmmm gorgeous beautiful and yummmm, and thanks D x Reply

  • Audrey
    June 6, 2013 10:41pm

    The Sojo beans look more like mung beans to me. What a lovely shop? Reply

  • Elaine Vaughan
    June 6, 2013 11:03pm

    Relaxing after a day working in a kindergarten, sitting outside the Paradise Market in Marin County, CA. It was a shock to look up and be here after being totally transported by you post. Reply

  • June 7, 2013 1:32am

    If I had a BBQ and lived in Paris I would love to invite you to a BBQ.
    I wish you had dinner that people could pay to come to eat yum food and get their head filled with gastronomic wonder. Reply

  • Adri
    June 7, 2013 6:13am

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your blog! You bring not only Paris but all the places you visit alive for all of us that may never be able to visit the places of our dreams. If you can cook halfway as good as you can write…………..WOW! Reply

  • Emil
    June 7, 2013 6:17am

    This is the type of place where the tables turn in the ole husband/wife stereotype. Ill spend the hour shopping while my wife sits on a bench waiting for me to finish. Ha! With pleasure! Thanks David, will check it out on my next trip. Reply

  • June 7, 2013 12:41pm

    This is going right to the top of my list for this summer’s visit (in under a month!). Gorgeous photos and wow, what an array of products! Reply

  • Hillary
    June 7, 2013 4:07pm

    What a lovely post…and it served to remind me of a dream I had last night, in which I was giving someone a recipe for chili and telling them how to soak the beans! Quelle coincidence! Reply

  • June 7, 2013 6:31pm

    What a great article. I love to visit food stores. For some women, it is jewelry, while for me it is new foods & new food stores. I must remind my husband that he is a lucky man. Reply

  • June 7, 2013 6:34pm

    oh and here’s a post i did in 2010 of the Marche Aligre – a truly charming place:‎

    oh and OMG! i just noticed those little saucers in the bins of beans. too sweet! Reply

  • Sylvia
    June 7, 2013 8:50pm

    Love your posts! Makes me wish I’d taken more time to explore Marche d’Aligre when we were staying in the neighborhood last year.

    fyi, if you are hankering for Philly Cream Cheese, they have a pop-up in town (knowing you, you may have already gone!) Reply

  • Jane
    June 7, 2013 11:27pm

    I will be in Paris in one week and I’m so glad you shared this place on your site, David. I can’t wait to go there and bring back some seeds. I have read that unlike in the States, customers are not supposed to pick up food items at markets. I have a hard time buying anything without taking a closer look, but I certainly don’t want to raise the hackles of stop keepers, especially since my French is limited. Is this the case in all shops? I don’t want to cause any drama. Reply

    • June 8, 2013 12:10pm
      David Lebovitz

      When in Paris, just see that the regular customers are doing. If people are taking and touching things, it’s likely you can (however “regulars” sometimes get to do that.) When in doubt: ask. Most vendors/merchants appreciate asking first for things, including taking pictures in Paris.

      Do check to make sure that you can bring seeds back into your home country. Some agricultural laws prohibit that. Reply

  • Pratsina Glitsa
    June 8, 2013 2:50pm

    I always sweep by Le Marche D’ Aligre when in Paris, mainly to go to the Corsican food seller in the covered market to feed my addiction figatellu ( a smoked pig’s liver sausage). Like Kiki, I have never clapped eyes on la Graineterie which confirms my deteriorating eyesight necessitates a visit to Specsavers. I will make an effort to patronise it next time.
    I also confirm Le Baron Rouge is worth a pit stop for un verre de vin and some special charcuterie. While Le patron speaks English he reacts very positively if you try to coverse and chit chat in French , no matter how badly Reply

  • Esme
    June 8, 2013 3:50pm

    Marche Aligre is an all time favourite of mine and I love this store-it is just so interesting. Reply

  • parisbreakfast
    June 9, 2013 9:48am

    Love this place and YOU showed it to me back in the day when you were doing marche tours…the good ole days…
    Simply FAB Reply

  • June 9, 2013 3:00pm

    nice!! will check it out! Reply

  • June 11, 2013 8:39am

    This store sounds awesome! I will pass it on to my French For Traveler students. I have several students traveling to Paris this summer. I also love your blog David, it is charming and very informative! Merci bien!
    A bientot! Reply

  • June 12, 2013 1:44pm

    How awesome to read this post! I visited the Marché d’Aligre a couple of years ago and just had to go into this shop. I bought a few things to bring home in my suitcase (risotto that was heavenly) but I loved the owner. Smiling, encouraging me to snap photos, just letting me poke around to my heart’s content. Who says Parisians aren’t friendly??
    Thanks for helping me get my Paris fix on a regular basis, David! Reply

  • arline of va
    June 12, 2013 3:54pm

    David, Is one of the tin cans you posted the one you liked of sardines with salted butter? If not, can you please post a photo? I’d love to try it on my next trip to Paris. Thanks. Reply

    • June 13, 2013 8:02am
      David Lebovitz

      Here is a photo of the sardines in butter from the Breizh Epicerie. It’s a different brand, though. Reply

  • Alina
    June 21, 2013 9:34am

    I’ve added this to my list of places to visit while in Paris for 8 days (can’t wait) Reply

  • Liz Jurkacek
    June 26, 2013 5:39pm

    You regularly write about what Americans should bring when staying as guests in France. Can you link to one of your posts? My nephew is staying in the Bordeaux region and his parents want him properly armed with good presents. Thanks, I’m a devoted reader.
    Liz J. Reply

Leave a comment


Get recipes and blog posts sent right to your Inbox!


Subscribe and receive David's free guide to the best pastry shops in Paris