Aix-en-Provence is one of those rare cities where businesses still resist the devastating attacks of standardized mass distribution. As a city that is constantly renewing itself while also defending its traditions, Aix-en-Provence is still ripe with the city’s authentic and historic culture. Here are some of our favorite spots to eat, drink, and shop in Aix-en-Provence.
1. Book in bar
Drinking tea or coffee and reading a book in English, Greek, Italian or Russian is possible at Book in bar, which provides a place for foreign visitors, polyglots, children, and language students to come together. This book store also hosts a number of author readings, book clubs, and children’s events, so there is always somewhere to divulge your thoughts on your latest read. — 4 rue Joseph-Cabassol
Rue des Bouqinistes Obscurs, or RDBO, is another bookstore, but this one is perfect for classics enthusiasts. Here you’ll find all of the French greats, limited edition prints, and, as the name suggests, obscure or non-mainstream books. In line with its vintage appeal, RDBO, also sells a number of eclectic vinyl records and rare CDs. — 16 rue Matheron
3. L’Atelier du bilboquet
“The trend of typography, coming from the United States, gives a second life to our shop,” say the owners of L’Atelier du bilboquet. This atelier is a traditional printing workshop/studio, and they produce beautiful business cards, invitations, restaurant menus, posters, leaflets, flyers. If you’re looking for a personalized yet modern gift or a card with a delicate 20th century flair, this is the spot. This family business is home to the only traditional printing craftsman in the Bouches-du-Rhône region, so it is most definitely an Aix-en-Provence delicacy. — 4 rue Adanson
Food & Drink
4. La Tomate verte
Maryline and Sébastien Jacquet, the owners of La Tomate Verte, wanted to create a “a sweet and savory café-restaurant-tea salon” inspired by their time New Zealand. This tasty spot offers a three-tiered approach to ambiance. From 10am to 2pm, brunch is the meal of the hour; after 2pm, the restaurant adopts a tea room atmosphere and menu, featuring luxurious cakes, salads and drinks. Finally, from 6:30pm to 10:30pm dinner is served, with everything from ceviche entrées to traditional Provençal dishes. They also have vegetarian and vegan options—a Provence rarity!
5. Caves Mazarin and Dammann Frères
If you’re looking to take a taste of Aix-en-Provence back home with you, the Caves Mazarin is the perfect spot. This cellar specifically sells wines and spirits from the region, along with luxurious delights like Neuvic caviar, truffles, and Bellota charcuterie— 18 rue d’Italie.
6. Cave du Cours Mirabeau
Cave du Cours Mirabeau is underneath the Cours Mirabeau—a 40 meter long boulevard in the heart of Aix-en-Provence, with everything from cafés and shops to outdoor marks, concerts, and other events. The shop features an array of options, including contemporary spirits with unique flavoring, wines from all over the region, and vintage pastis. — 19 cours Mirabeau