Vacation in Paris Blog

A Few of my Favorite Markets

Places To Visit - Posted on Apr 22,2016 by JanSmi

Whenever I travel, and especially when I travel to France, one of the first things I do before I even leave is find the location of the market closest to where I’ll be staying. I think there’s no better way to get a feel for a place than to spend a morning in a market, looking at what’s on offer and checking out what people buy. It’s a great insight into the people and their culture.

Before I leave, it's likely that I will have spend a lot of time figuring out the locations, hours and days of operation of various markets to make sure that I don't miss out. Trust me, there's nothing more disappointing than missing the local market by days, or sometimes hours, and realizing you won't get a chance to check it out because you won't be around for the following weeks. For me, the sights and sounds of a market are in full swing are nearly on par with a great exhibition, gallery, tourist attraction or monument. I could spend every single day in a market and never be bored.

One of my favorite places to spend time in markets is Paris, where I have previously lived, where I return as often as I can. I truly think that some of the greatest markets in the world are to be found in Paris. Here are some of my favorites.

rue Montorgueil
Located between rue de Turbigo and rue Réaumur, 75002
Hours - Daily, except Sunday afternoon & Mondays, though some stores, bars/cafés and restaurants remain open; many stores closed between noon and 2pm/3pm
Metro - Etienne Marcel, Les Halles or Sentier

The rue Montorgueil, not a market per se, more like a market street, is a firm favorite on the foodie trail around Paris. Despite the large amount of tourists, this pedestrian only street still has a lot of charm. With everything from Paris's oldest pâtisserie to an old-fashioned hardware store, the street hosts a mix of locals going about their business and tourists gawking at the wonder array of fresh meats, seafood, breads, pastries, chocolates, wines, olive oil, tea, fruits and vegetables on offer.

rue des Martyrs
Located between rue St Lazare and Blvd de Clichy, 75009
Hours - Daily - Note: there are permanent food stores, as opposed to stalls, which hours can vary
Metro - Notre-Dame-de-Lorette

Again, not so much a market but similar to the rue Montorgueil; a market taking place along a street. This lively rue commercante is in the 9th arrondissment, just south of Sacré-Cœur and offers a large selection of food including fresh fish, gorgeous pastries and breads, slabs of butter purchased by weight, a colorful array of fruits, vegetables and cheeses that can be smelled from blocks away. Though it's gaining in popularity with tourists, it's definitely still got a "village" feel about it and it's a must visit for the food loving traveler.

Marché Bastille
Located on Blvd Richard Lenoir between rue Amelot and rue St. Sabin, 75011
Hours - Thursday 7am - 2.30pm and Sunday 7am - 3pm
Metro - Bastille or Bréguet Sabin

Though it's definitely one of the more trafficked by tourists, this market is well worth a look. With everything from the ultimate French fast food - le poulet rôti, (roast chicken, but don't forget about the potatoes cooked in chicken drippings!) - to clothes (you can't leave here without one of those ubiquitous stripey sailor tops!), fabulous crêpes and wine tastings - this market truly has something for everyone. DO go early to beat the crowds and don't forget, people watching is one of the best parts of the market!

Marché d’Aligre
Located rue d’Aligre, between rue du Faubourg St. Anotine and Blvd Diderot, 75012
Hours - Tuesday - Friday 7.30am - 1.30pm - Saturday/Sunday - 7am - 2.30pm
Metro - Ledru Rollin

Beauvau Covered Market
Located rue d’Aligre, between rue du Faubourg St. Anotine and Blvd Diderot, 75012
Hours - Tuesday - Friday 9am - 1pm and 4pm - 7.30pm - Saturday - 9am - 1pm and 3.30pm - 7.30pm - Sunday - 9am - 1.30pm
Metro- Ledru Rollin

Though it's fairly close to the much more touristic Bastille market, Aligre is much lower key. It truly feels like a small village in and around the market streets. Gorgeous produce, cheese, meat and seafood share stall space with a pretty big brocante (bric-a-brac) market next door in the Place d'Aligre. There is a much more local feel as friends gather on benches for their weekly catch up as they keep an eye on their bric-a-brac stalls. The covered market next door, Beauvau, is also well worth a visit.

Marché Raspail
Located on Boulevard Raspail between rue de Rennes and rue du Cherche Midi, 75006 Paris
Hours - Tuesday and Friday 7am – 2.30 pm; Sunday (organic market) 7am – 3pm
Métro- Rennes

One of the trendier food markets in Paris, (with fancy prices to match!) Raspail is worth checking out on Sundays when you can buy all organic food and produce including hand-made English muffins....yes, really!

Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen

Hours - Monday 11am - 5pm, Saturday 9am - 6pm, Sunday 10am - 6pm, Reduced activity August 1 - 15
Métro - Porte de Clignancourt - Line 4/Garibaldi - Line 13

The ultimate in flea markets, “Les Puces” is located just north-east of Paris proper, but reachable via métro. Covering over 7 hectares, with over 3000 traders, this place can be intimidating so don’t try to cover it all in one day. It’s organised in a cluster of streets and alleyways in over a dozen mini-markets. With everything from clothes, vintage furniture, kitchenware and silverware to art, there is something for everyone. Bring cash as many of the vendors don’t take cards.


Paris Market Resources
For a list of markets in Paris, check out Discover France in English or the Mairie de Paris site for French. One book I would highly recommend you buy before you go and take along with you for quick reference is the fabulous The Markets of Paris by Dixon Long and Marjorie Williams. Organized, as any decent Paris guide should be, by arrondissements, this book doesn't just cover food markets - there's also information on antiques, crafts, books, stamps, bric-a-brac, passage coverts and much more. It's a pocket sized book that's easy to carry around, so it's available to reference if you should find yourself in an unfamiliar neighborhood and are unsure if there's a market of interest there.
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Mardi Michels is a full-time French teacher to elementary school-aged boys and the author of eat. live. travel. write- a blog focusing on culinary adventures near and far. She has lived and worked as a teacher in Australia, Hong Kong, England, France and now calls Toronto home. She spends nearly every summer in France, honing her cooking and baking skills and touring different wine producing regions. In 2014 she and her husband purchased a historic home in South West France which they operate as a vacation rental property. As part of her job, she runs a cooking class twice a week for 7-13 year-old boys, Les Petits Chefs and Cooking Basics. She was one of the founding members of Food Bloggers of Canada, and is a cook, baker, traveler, photographer, writer, Food Revolution Day Ambassador for Toronto, contributor to JamieOliver.Com and in her spare time teaches cooking and baking classes around Toronto.
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