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Need a break from menu confusion, snarky waiters who seem to purposely forget about your request for water, or maybe you just can’t let your child eat yet another plate of French fries? So go be like a true Frenchie and dare to dive into the unique world of French outdoor food markets. Don’t forget to bring some bags!
There are few experiences more French than food shopping in Paris outdoor food markets. On certain days of the week gorgeous food markets open up across Paris with dozens of vendors coming from regional farms to sell their fresh product.
Either organic or small production farmers of fruits and vegetables, chees, poultry and meat, as well as more specialty items like smoked fish, wine, oils or soaps, selling directly to customers, often, though not always resulting in lower prices then buying from the store.
In most of these markets you can also buy prepared food and drinks like crispy onion galettes, fruit tarts, roast chicken, and winter favorites such as mulled wine and tartiflette, a traditional dish that is about cheese, cheese and more cheese. The ambiance is fun and lively, with some more serious types apt to nudge you out of your way to get the right tomato.
Say “Bonjour” and don’t be shy to ask for samples at the cheese stalls as it is nearly impossible to know where to start when the selection is so diverse and unique. For this reason, Meet the Locals brings you a list of the best outdoor food markets in Paris to explore:
The Marché Raspail
The Marché Raspail and the Marché Raspail Biologique (organic) are probably the best known and chicest outdoor markets in Paris and very well visited by serious foodies, the occasional celebrity, and top chefs.
The selection of herbs is reason enough to visit! The Marché Rapsail is open two mornings a week and features a range of local food and produce from nearby farms, and Sunday is the organic only market. Both markets take place along the lovely Boulevard Raspail in the heart of the 6th arrondissement.
Open: Raspail Organic: Sunday from 8am-2pm. Marché Raspail: Tuesday 7h-14h and Friday 7h-14h30.
Suggestions: Go early! Because of its central location and popularity, this market can get crowded and vendors tend to run low on products by around 13h. Grab some fruit, cheese and fresh bread for a late morning brunch in the nearby Jardin de Luxembourg.
Rivaling Raspail in terms of quality organic products is the Marché Batignolles, open on Saturdays along the Boulevard des Batignolles in the 17 arrondissement. An incredible selection of fruits and vegetables dominate this outdoor market and if you go in the summer look for “Monsieur Blueberry” in the eastern stretch of the market, who offers copious fresh blueberries, juice, and jam at great prices.
There is also an excellent fish monger (who sells out early!), but be sure to visit the the Italian focused-stall in the center of the market, selling fresh homemade pastas and sauces, and selected olive oils from Italy that are hard to find elsewhere. This is also a good place to look for gifts to bring home with people selling reasonably priced scarves, jewelry, and socks.
Open: Saturday morning 8h-15h.
Suggestion: Pick up some of the homemade crepes and vegetable tagines available, with your fruit and veg and a bottle of rose, and go visit the nearby Square des Batignolles for an inspired outdoor lunch.
Walking through the lively Marché Barbes in the northern part of Paris, steps from the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, is like being temporarily transported to the streets of Morocco or Senegal.
Vendors bargaining in Arabic, women in colorful flowing dresses walking hand in hand, and a diverse range of produce on hand, including spices, olives, dried fruits, and spicy Caribbean peppers. Be prepared for crowds but it is great energy. Unlike Raspail or Batignolles, prices here are low and sometimes can be negotiated, if you feel up for it.
Open: Wednesday 8h-13h and Saturday 7h-15h.
Suggestion: Heading out of Gare du Nord later for a weekend trip? Pick up some fresh fruit and snack here before you catch the train!
Marché des Enfants Rouges
The Marché des Enfants Rouges is one of the most incredible covered outdoor markets in all of Paris, and it is also the oldest, dating from the early 1600s! Unlike the markets mentioned above, the Marché des Enfants Rouge is open every day of the week except Mondays. Located on the rue de Bretagne in the chic upper Marais, it is the perfect place to sit down and relax after a morning of shopping. Beyond the typical fish, flowers and fruit stands, the Marché des Enfants Rouges offers a selection of vendors selling homemade Moroccan, Lebanese, Italian, Japanese and West African food.
There is also an organic restaurant and juice bar. Tables and chairs are set up along the sides and you can order food from any one of them and sit down to enjoy. In the winter, plastic sheeting and small portable heaters are set up to keep you warm, though a steaming plate of couscous or a bowl of ramen noodles should also do the trick!
Open: Tuesday-Saturday 8h30-20h30. Sunday: 8h30-17h.
Suggestion: After your lunch, buy food that night from another vendor to bring home along bottle of wine from the the market wine shop. Dinner served!
On the east side of Paris, the Marché Bastille is one of the largest Parisian outdoor food markets. Running the length of the Boulevard Richard Lenoir, behind the Bastille monument, this market includes more clothing and crafts along with the food stalls and flower stands.
On Saturdays the market is dedicated to arts and crafts, a fun way to see some local artists in action.
Open: Thursday and Sunday 7h-15h.
Suggestions: Grab some bread, cheese, salami and fruit and head to the Basin de l’Arsenal, boat basin, for a picnic by the canal.
Place des Fȇtes
Three times a week this vast outdoor market fills the Place des Fȇtes, a vibrant neighborhood in the 19th. Here you will see a true cross-section of Parisian living with people of all nationalities and ages wandering about: Moms pushing strollers, young kids playing hide and seek, hipsters sipping coffee, and older people buying their weekly groceries.
On the Place des Fȇtes side of the market look for the fantastic fruit and vegetable stall run by two women. They will tell you all about where things are from and how to best prepare them. In addition, there is a great fish stand with a very fresh selection.
Open: Tuesday and Friday, 7h-14h30 and Sunday, 7h-15h.
Suggestions: Everyone pick out what they want for lunch and go spend the afternoon in the magical Buttes Chaumont park a short walk away. Early evening cocktail at the Rosa Bonheur bar tucked inside the park is fun too!
And if you want more shopping Markets!
Though not outdoor markets or specifically focused on regional farms, La Grande Epicerie de Paris located in Le Bon Marche Department store can be quite a fun experience. Harder to stay on a budget here, but the offerings are vast and the design is beautiful. From the excellent fruit and vegetables, and the fish counter where you can order up oysters, clams, and organic smoked salmon to go, to the bakery with fresh bread and pastries.
Maison Plisson opened in 2015, the dream project of a former fashion journalist. Think Dean & Deluca for the Parisian crowd. With nearly 5000 square feet in an old factory building on Boulevard Beaumarchais, Maison Plisson is everything with grocery store, bakery, restaurant, prepared foods and café. A very knowledgeable staff, daily tastings and the sheer scale of the space make this a fun visit.
L’Epicerie Generale opened up in 2014 just off the bustling Place de Clichy, by a group of young chefs and foodies. Offering products from local French producers including jam, juice and soups, they also do special workshops and tastings in outside locations for up to 100 people, featuring foie gras, oysters or ham.
And if you are in love with French food & markets, have a look at our awesome Aligne Market Tour! Yummy!
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