I have to admit that when I travel, one of the first things I look up in any guidebook (or, increasingly, online) is where to find the closest market. I find that you can really tell a lot about a country and its culture by looking at the way its people eat and shop and one of my favourite places to do such “research” is in Paris. Having lived in Paris for a number of years, I was very familiar with the Marche Montorgueil, as that’s where I would do my shopping. I love the area so much that I always stay there when I return and whilst it used to be a true hidden gem that only locals knew of, it’s now firmly ensconced on the Paris foodie-tourist trail. I still think it has a lot of charm, considering how well-known it’s become.
(insert first five pictures here)
With everything from the oldest patisserie in Paris to an old-fashioned hardware store, the pedestrianized rue Monrorgueil is a lovely mix of locals doing their shopping and tourists in awe of the wonderful array of fresh meats, seafoods and produce available on a daily basis.
Rue Montorgueil, between rue de Turbigo and the rue Réaumur, 75002 Paris.
Open daily, except Sunday afternoon and Mondays. Many stores closed between 12-2/3pm.
Métro: Etienne Marcel, Les Halles or Sentier.
Just a hop, skip and a jump away, on the rue du Louvre, behind the St Eustache church, you’ll find the Marché St Eustache-Les Halles. Truly a much more local scene than Montorgueil, this market closes down the street on Thursday afternoons and Sunday mornings. You can buy your fruit and veggies here as well as fish, meat, cheeses and a small selection of housewares, crafts and even clothes. There is a wonderful roasted chicken vendor at the south end of the market, right next to St Eustache. I highly recommend for a quick dinner!
Marché “Saint-Eustache-Les Halles”
Rue Montmartre, between Rue Rambuteau and Rue du Jour, 75001, Paris
Open Thursdays from 12:30 to 8:30 pm and Sundays from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm
Métro: Les Halles
A market I discovered this summer that is similar Montorgueil in that it takes place along a street with stores spilling their wares out onto the footpath is the rue des Martyrs in the 9th arrondissement, just south of Sacré Couer. With gorgeous pastries and breads from Arnaud Delmontel, slabs of butter you buy by weight and cheeses you can smell from a block away, this is a place for food loving travellers to come and mingle with locals going about their daily shopping.
Rue des Martyrs
Between rue St Lazare and Blvd de Clichy, 75009, Paris
(insert next six pictures here)
When I used to live in Paris, I had friends who lived next door to the Marché d’Aligre, a little further east than the Place de la Bastille so I knew it well. On returning this summer for the first time in many years, I was pleased to see that little had changed. Gorgeous produce, cheeses and meat/ seafood share the stall space with a fairly large “brocante” (bric a brac) market that takes place in the place d’Aligre and whilst gentlemen of a certain age (as the French like to say) gather for their weekly catch up on nearby benches. Don’t forget to check out the covered market there as well!
(insert next four pictures here)
Rue d’Aligre, Between rue du Faubourg St Antoine and Boulevard Diderot, 75012 Paris
Open from Tuesday to Sunday, 7:00 am to 2:00 pm (stands stop selling around 1:30 pm)
Métro: Ledru Rollin
Beauvau Covered Market
Open from Tuesday to Friday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm; Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 3:30 to 7:30 pm; Sundays from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm
Métro: Ledru Rollin
The market where I saw the most tourists gawking at the beautiful food, drinks and clothes on sale was the sizeable Marché Bastille. WIth everything from the ultimate in French fast food (le poulet rôti – roast chicken), early morning wine tastings (well, you have to know what it tastes like before you buy, right?) to funky shopping trolleys, this really does have something for everyone. Go early to avoid the crowds but take some time to sit and observe – people watching is the best part of any market, wherever you are!
(insert next 7 pictures here)
Boulevard Richard Lenoir, between Rue Amelot and Rue St-Sabin, 75011
Open Thursday from 7:00 am to 2:30 pm and Sunday from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm
Metro: Bastille or Bréguet Sabin