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Many Parisians prefer not to buy their vegetables, fruit and other fresh produce in the supermarket – and with good reason: the city has dozens of markets, which are often open several times a week. Freshly baked baguettes, juicy cherries and the best regional wines are all found here. And most sellers are happy to let you try their delicacies.
It’s no wonder that the markets are so popular. The products on offer are usually fresher, cheaper and more authentic than in the supermarket. The cheese makers can tell you precisely which one best suits the wine you just bought from their neighbour. And one stall down you can buy delicious aioli for your baguette. Every neighbourhood has its own markets – we’ve picked out four that are particularly worth visiting.
One of the largest street markets in Paris is the Marché de la Bastille in the 11th arrondissement. Twice a week dozens of stalls fill the central strip of boulevard Richard-Lenoir, providing a far greater choice than the average hypermarket. Extravagant mountains of fruit and vegetables and fresh saucissons merge into a colourful spectacle. Many of the products are of excellent quality, making the market a foodie's favourite.
Marché de la Bastille, Blvd Richard-Lenoir, 11th, Paris
Ernest Hemingway described the Marché Mouffetard in his book A Moveable Feast as a wonderful, narrow, bustling street market. It’s certainly one of the most charming markets in Paris with cobblestoned streets and atmospheric buildings. Many of the traders only sell organic products. On Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the market extends to the Marché Monge, creating a larger selection with even more fantastic food. The bread is especially popular here.
Marché Mouffetard, Rue Mouffetard, 5th Paris
Founded in 1628, the Marché des Enfants Rouges is the oldest covered market in Paris. Located in the trendy neighbourhood of the Marais, its name refers to the children from a nearby orphanage who always wore a red uniform. The market is distinguished by the large number of stalls where you can eat a meal as well as buy products. There is a traditional bistro, L’Estaminet, as well as Japanese cuisine or African dishes such as couscous.
Marché des Enfants Rouges, rue de Bretagne, 75003, Paris
Rue Montorgueil is a market and shopping street in one. This pedestrianised road is full of vegetable and fruit stands, flower stalls and cosy cheese shops. Charles Chocolatier serves delicious hot chocolate milk. The oldest existing patisserie in Paris, Stohrer, is also located on this street: it’s not just the cakes that catch the eye here – the ceiling fresco, too, is delightful.
Rue Montorgueil, 2nd