You may think your town has a thriving farmer’s market scene, but you haven’t been to a Paris food market yet.
If you’re lucky enough to stay in an apartment with a petite Parisian kitchen, you won’t want to skip a trip to the market.
The traditional French shopping experience is a process. Sure, you could do a one-stop shop at one of the vast supermarkets, but browsing market stands for fresh ingredients and selecting choice items from specialty shops is the foundation of France’s high-quality cuisine.
Like all things French, there’s a certain sense of ceremony, even to the artful arrangement of asparagus. Come armed with cash and reusable shopping bags, and prepare for the most enjoyable grocery run of your life.
1. Marché d’Aligre
If you have to choose just one Paris food market to visit, many people will tell you Marché d’Aligre is where it’s at—and they’re not wrong.
Open six days a week, Marché d’Aligre is probably the easiest to slip into a busy touring schedule. Choose between browsing stands in the covered market, or skipping between outdoor stalls, but either way you win. As you go, pick up spices, vegetarian delights, or simply the beautifully fresh French produce.
Address: Rue d’Aligre et place d’Aligre
When to go: The covered market opens most evenings (closed Sundays), while the outdoor stalls are only open during the morning. The whole market is closed on Mondays.
2. Marché Maubert
A stone’s throw from the Notre Dame, Marché Maubert brings the ambiance.
The maze of stalls is compact, but varied—from artisanal preserves to beautiful bouquets of artichokes and fat, ripe tomatoes. If the market stalls don’t catch your eye, drop into the specialty shops that line place Maubert. With a fromagerie, boulangerie, boucherie, poissonier, and a cave à vin, Place Maubert has you covered whether you’re bringing home provisions for a feast familial or putting together a foolproof picnic spread.
Address: Place Maubert
When to go: Open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.
3. Marché des Enfants Rouge
Located in the chic Haut Marais, this covered Paris food market was created in 1615.
Taking its name from the orphanage, Marché des Enfants Rouge is an ideal stop whether or not you’re staying somewhere with a kitchen. Make a selection from a variety of produce stands or stop for lunch at the bevy of restaurants. Here, Japanese bento boxes, truffle ravioli, and Moroccan tagines all rub elbows underneath the market’s arching iron and glass ceiling.
Address: 39 rue de Bretagne
When to go: Open all day most days (closed Sunday evenings). Closed all day on Mondays.
4. Marché Anvers
Open Friday afternoons, the Marché Anvers is a perfect stop on your way home from a day of exploring the Butte Montmartre.
Nestled along the edges of Square d’Anvers, Marché Anvers has an elegant and convivial atmosphere—much like the quartier that houses it. Sprightly vegetables share top billing with fromagers from Auvergne, Meditteranean traiteurs (who offer food to go), fresh ravioli and rotisserie chickens. The market even includes a number of bio, or organic, producers to satisfy your cravings.
Address: Place d’Anvers
When to go: Open Fridays from 3 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
5. Marché Villette
In the mood for food? Do you want a ridiculous walk-away-laughing-with-your-arms-full-of-produce deal? Then Marché Villette is for you.
Stretching between Colonel Fabien and Belleville, this Paris food market gives you a taste of the real Paris. Vendors hollering deals will pull clients from the crowd towards their booths with the promise of sweet deals. You might get your foot run over by a “granny trolley” or two, but you can’t beat the prices.
Insider’s Tip: Opt for shopping a little later in the day to maximize your bargains, and find yourself taking home two pineapples for the price of one!
Address: Entre le 27 et le 41 boulevard de la Villette
When to go: Open Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
Want to step inside a real Paris food market with us—and see how the locals shop? Join us on our Ultimate Paris Food Tour, where you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at a stall in one of these markets (you’ll have to join us to find out which one!) and sample one of their most famous delicacies. That’s just one stop on a whole morning full of foodie fun—we can’t wait for you to join us!
Lauren Sarazen is a Paris-based writer and graduate student in literature at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle. Falling in love with the French capital during her semester abroad, she has called Paris her home since 2014. She contributes to publications such as The Washington Post, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Shondaland, and intermittently blogs at her website.