Lifestyled by Paula Joye

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December 6th, 2013

The Paris Food Markets Guide.

The Paris Food Markets Guide.

Paris Food Markets. What’s not to love?

The hustle and bustle, the advice and recipes dished out with friendly banter and the smells of fresh seasonal produce that fill the street. Like most Parisians, my local “marché” has become a weekly ritual.

With at least one in every arrondissement, each has its own personality and caters to a particular crowd whether it’s chic BoBo (Bourgeois Bohemian) families, serious foodies, tourists, actors, grandmas, African communities or Paris hipsters. Watching the crowds mull over their tomato choice can be just as much fun as the food buying itself. So with that in mind, below are my favourite Paris food markets along with a few tips to help you along the way.

Jane xx

Market Tips.

1. Smile and say “Bonjour, parlez-vous anglais?” Even the slightest attempt will see you walk away with some free herbs. In my case, accidently having your bra on display whilst attempting some local chat will see you walk away with a full market stall.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask for food preparation advice. Do be prepared for a war and peace answer and contribution from pretty much anyone in hearing distance.

3. Get your grandma on and embrace the urban trolley dolly. A few apples and potatoes can weigh a ton very quickly.

4. Waiting in line is something of a pastime in Paris. Food is hero and it’s normal to wait 10mins or more for top produce. So, enjoy the queue. The wait will most likely be worth it.

5. Be prepared to ask and not be heard. Ask and not be understood. Ask for a product and have it all be gone.

6. Try to avoid asking for a product out of season. It’s just not worth the lecture.

7. Walk around and have a good look at all the stalls. Normally, the ones that have the longest lines have some of the best produce. That, or the best price.

8. The early bird gets the worm or in this case, the best basil.

9. Beware of charming Corsican sausage sellers. You may just walk away with a €55 sausage…

10. Always leave with fresh roses. They’re so cheap it is a sin not to.

Place Monge Marché 75005.

If you fancy some French chat, the locals are particularly friendly here. Set in a quaint square complete with fountain and overhanging trees, this pretty market offers a large selection of well priced high quality fresh fruit, fish and vegetables. After filling your basket, go to Boulangerie Le Fournil located on the pretty pedestrian market street of Rue Mouffetard. Their “Baguette Du Chef” is simply delicious. On weekends, visit the inviting family run cafe “Caramelle” which serves a wonderful brunch that just keeps going and going and going… (6 rue de l’Arbalète, 75005 Paris).

Metro: Monge.
Open: Wed/Fri/Sun 8.30am til 1pm.

Marché les Enfant Rouge 75003.

Based in the Marais since 1628, this is the oldest indoor covered market in Paris. A local hot spot and full of BoBo, this market is as good for eating as it is for people watching.

Metro: Temple or Arts & Metiers.
Open: Tues – Sunday: 8.30am til 1.30pm; and 4pm to 7pm.

Rue Montorgueil 75002.

I love, love Rue Montorgueil. A cobbled pedestrian market street, it is a foodie’s and fashionista’s paradise. After you’ve filled your bag with fresh food, head to Le Pain Quotidien (2 rue des Petits Carreaux/cnr Montorgueil) for a late breakfast. Although it is a Belgian chainstore, the breakfast menu is delicious, especially eaten at one of the big wooden communal tables. Afterwards, pick up a patisserie at the famous Stohrer Bakery – which is the oldest pastry shop in Paris (51 rue Montorgueil) – then stroll the surrounding streets for a selection of cool fashion boutiques, cookery and vintage stores.

Metro: Etienne Marcel or Les Halles.
Open: Market street open most days.

Rue Levi 75017.

This little pedestrian market street has a cool village vibe. Based in the north of Paris, its food stores spill out into the street and sit amongst cafes, wine bars and clothing boutiques. In the warmer months, pick up a ‘poulet roti’ and bottle of rosé and head to the grassy lawns of Parc Monceau for a picnic with friends.

Metro: Villiers.
Open: Daily.

Marché Richard Lenoir 75011.

This busy market starts at Bastille and features the very best of what France has to offer. With two lanes that stretch for 1km, you can enjoy the smells and sights that come from the huge variety of food on display. Look out for fishmonger Jacky Lorenzo – his fish is quite simply the best in Paris.

Metro: Bastille.
Open: Thurs – Sun. 9am til 1pm.

Rue Cler 75007.

Renowned as Julia Child’s favourite market, the pedestrian street of Rue Cler has grown in size and offering since it was closed to traffic in 1984. You can find excellent produce in many of the street stores here – two special mentions go to the Italian owned Davoli Deli and gourmet food and pastry shop, Lenôtre. One word. Yum.

Metro: Ecole Militaire
Open:  Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and Sunday morning.

Marché Biologique Raspail.

Situated on the Rive Gauche, this market is frequented by actors, ex presidents and chic locals who come here to be seen as much as to shop. Being the first solely organic market in Paris, the produce is more expensive however the range and variety is excellent.

Metro: Rennes or Sevres Babylone.
Open: Sunday mornings. 8.30am til 1pm. (Thurs as well but not 100% bio).

Others notable mentions are Maubert Mutualite 75006 located on Boulevard Saint Germain open Tues, Thurs and Sat and Marche Rue Dejean 75018 located below Sacre Coeur. An unofficial African market, you’ll pick up wonderful spices and exotic fruits along with seeing grocers in full traditional dress.

Post marché walk home.

French Flowers, Fruit & Fromage.

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