The Marché d’Aligre has become the hottest weekend rendezvous for Parisian BoBos and cosmopolitan foodie travellers doing their shopping, and there are no shortage of trendy hangouts for coffee-lovers, from the bijou espresso machine in Terres de Café to the politically-correct Puerto Cacao, which specialises in ‘equitable’ fair-trade chocolate and coffee. But to really feel the authentic pulse of Aligre, and taste some great coffee, nothing compares to stopping off at Café Aouba, tucked away behind teeming fruit and vegetable stalls right on rue d’Aligre itself. Opened originally in 1938 by a Portuguese butcher, this is the ultimate market bar, tiny, packed with boisterous stallholders, shoppers and curious tourists, while the friendly patronne flits between making coffee for everyone, checking her beans on the big coffee roaster, and selling everything from artisan honey and homemade jam to takeaway.
Aouba has had a new lease of life since it was bought two years ago by Emmie Bolatoglu, a dynamic young Turkish girl who has always lived in this neighbourhood. Don’t expect any designer deco here, just a basic red Formica counter with elbow room for half-a-dozen customers, and a shining Faema espresso machine. Emmi roasts her coffee every day, and while the house brand is a mixture of beans from Colombia and Brazil, she also has stock from Cuba, Mexico, Kenya and Uganda. To try some of these, pass by at the weekend when she runs regular tasting sessions. The latest news is that Emmi has ordered a coffee machine from Turkey, so soon there will be genuine ‘Café à la Turque’ on the menu as well.
|Venue name:||Café Aouba|
30 rue d’Aligre, 12e
|Opening hours:||Tue-Fri 8.00-13.30 and 16.00-19.00, Sat 8.00-19.00, Sun 8.00-14.30|
|Transport:||Metro: Ledru Rollin|