If you need a break after your grocery shopping at the Marché d’Aligre, head over to Le Baron Rouge where you are guaranteed to be rubbing shoulders with plenty of locals.
If you drop by while the market’s in full swing, you may be put off by the sea of people spilling out onto the pavement in front of the bar, but even on the busiest Saturday afternoons, bar service is surprisingly quick and you can rely on the staff to be cheerful. Should you fancy a mid-week apéro, you can pull up a seat at the back facing the bar or lean across the wine casks that guard the entrance. These are not purely decorative: bring an empty bottle along and you can buy the wines that are stored inside them.
Head to the bar and look up – the wine list is scrawled on the blackboards for all to see. All wines are available by the bottle, carafe or glass and there are a handful of ‘wines of the month’. Chat to the barman if you’re unsure – he’s always happy to let you try their selection.
The petites assiettes (7€/8€) are served up in very generous portions and are perfect accompaniments to a glass of wine. When feeling piggish, I easily get carried away and fill up on their delicious rillettes, saucissons and seafood dishes.