A tradition since the Middle Ages, the many open-air food markets around Paris are bursting with fresh produce, cheeses, meats and other delicious looking edibles and seasonal foods. Displaying a tempting array of all kinds of food—from a fresh soft goat cheese, to ripe strawberries and freshly picked green beans—browsing the markets of Paris was one of my very favorite morning activities when I lived in Paris.
I recently read an article about how fewer Parisians are shopping in the markets. But while the younger generation may be headed into grocery stores for most of their food shopping needs, that doesn’t mean the outdoor neighborhood in market in Paris is going anywhere. The markets are a must see for any visitor to Paris, not only to pick up some fresh items for a picnic, meal or snack, but also as a cultural experience and peak into French daily life.
>>If you are looking for some non-edibles to bring home, make sure you also check out Paris Flea Markets
Tips for Shopping the Paris Food Markets
- Markets are open in the mornings and usually run from 7-7:30 am until about 1-1:30 in the afternoon.
- Go early, but not too early. Of course you will always have a better selection earlier in the day, but if you want to experience some of the lovely market culture, go mid morning.
- Bring a basket or cloth bag, or plan on buying one there so you can comfortably hold everything you buy.
- Do a walk around before purchasing anything since several merchants have similar products. Don’t be afraid to ask for a sample and compare vendors against one another (they are used to this). You want to be able to find the best of what you want and the best prices.
- Definitely take advantage of being able to test the fruit, cheese and olives before purchasing. No one wants to end up with a huge wheel of cheese you don’t like.
- Read more about food shopping in France and what to expect when out and about in the market setting.
There are outdoor markets in every neighborhood in Paris on almost every day of the week, so you should never have a problem finding a good market to check out. In fact, if you do enough walking in the city, you are bound to at least accidentally stumble across one in some neighborhood. Some markets and bigger and better than others, so here is a list of some of my favorite outdoor neighborhood and farmer’s markets in Paris.
>>For a list of the markets in every neighborhood, check out the comprehensive list of markets in every neighborhood in Paris — EDITOR’S NOTE: It has been pointed out to us in the comment section (thanks, Al!) that this link isn’t currently working; we’re going to leave it up in the hopes that it’s a temporary glitch, but in the meantime if you’re looking for information on all the markets in Paris listed by neighborhood, here’s the French version of that page.
My Favorite Paris Markets
While there are many markets scattered across every neighborhood in Paris, there were a few that became my very favorites when I was living in the city. If you are looking for a market near your hotel or apartment rental, check out this complete list of Paris markets on the Paris mayor’s web site.
I lived on the border of the 12th and the 20th arrondissements in Paris, which means shopping at this great market in eastern Paris was always super convenient for me. The market at Richard Lenoir also just happens to be on the best in Paris.
Not only will you find a huge array of all kinds of items—from fish to produce to cheese—on Sundays you will also find plenty of performers singing and playing music among the hub-bub. Also, because this market is located closer to some of the traditionally more ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Paris, you will also find all manners of food here outside of the excellent and traditional traiteurs.
There are several vendors here that offer Middle Eastern cuisines, and there is also a vendor that makes a delicious paella. You’ll also find leather goods (wallets, purses, belts) along with lingerie, shoes and textiles.
Market Days: Thursday and Sunday
Metro: Bastille, Line 8, 1, 5
**It is easy to combine a visit with this market with a stop at the Place d’Aligre permanent covered market, which is located just a ten minute walk from Place de la Bastille and on weekends includes a small flea market, often with antiques and collectibles, some vintage clothes, and the food vendors offer expanded food choices often with an Arabic/African flavor. It has great prices and a souk-like, lively atmosphere.
Maubert and Monge
If you’ve read my other posts, you know that I have a serious affection for the Latin Quarter in Paris. This very well could be because it’s actually one of the most charming areas of the city, or because it’s where I had class every day at the Sorbonne and spent much of my time getting to know all the little nooks and crannies.
That being said, there is a great market in the Latin Quarter near Rue Mouffetard. These are both small markets with high quality goods. I used to like going to the Monge market, which takes place in a lovely place, where you will find vendors selling fresh salad greens, meats, cheeses, fish, spices, breads and more.
Maubert: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Monge: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
**If you go on Saturday you can hit up both
Maubert: Maubert Mutualite, Line 10
Monge: Maubert Mutualite, Line 10
Avenue President Wilson
Sometimes dubbed the largest open market in Paris, this market definitely will give shoppers the widest selection of vendors and products to choose from. In fact, with such a huge selection, you’ll probably find you market bag full before you even reach the end.
Here you will find everything from crusty country breads to fish to homemade pastas to produce to household wares and flowers. You can even buy and taste wines here. Tucked in the stylish and picturesque 16th arrondissement, this market is just across from the Pont d’Alma (where the famous Bateau Mouches leave for their Paris boat tours) behind the Trocadero. Avenue President Wilson is also a beautiful and charming street and offers a view from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Market Days: Wednesday and Saturday
Metro: Trocadero, Line 9 and 6
Located in the Les Halles area in central Paris where the original Les Halles markets took place in Paris, this market is situated on Paris’ oldest market street and was famously immortalized in Monet’s painting bearing the street’s name. This market is also centrally located and easy to pop into an itinerary of other sightseeing activities since it is so close to many of the major Paris attractions.
While most market s close down traffic on market days, this traditional market street is a pedestrian-only zone always. The street retains a small village, old world fill, and you will find some the city’s best fish, produce and fine grocery shops here.
Market Days: Sunday
Metro: Les Halles or Chatelet, many metro lines
Along with the Latin Quarter, Montmartre is among my very favorite neighborhoods in Paris. Narrow winding streets curving their way to the Sacre Couer at the top, I have long loved the bohemian vibe in this area of Paris (even if it has gotten quite touristy the past several years).
If you are a Montmartre or Amelie fan, you should make sure to check out this market, which is known for great butchers and bakers. Rue Lepic was actually one of the very first roads in Montmartre and climbs the hill from Clichy to the top of the hill at Montmartre.
Market Days: everyday except Monday
Metro: Abbesses, Line 12
This well-known market is perhaps one of the most famous in Paris. Framed by views of the Eiffel Tower in the background, there is no way you’ll be able to forget you are indeed in Paris as you shop through the stands of produce, fish, flowers and cheese (though the whole experience may seem a touch surreal).
However, one the best and most beautiful markets in the city, you certainly won’t be disappointed stopping in at this market. The market stretches from Place de Breteuil to Avenue de Segur and takes place from 7 am until 2:30 pm every Thursday and Saturday morning.
Market Days: Thursday and Saturday
Metro: La Motte Picqute, Line 8
Boulevard Raspail Market
This market in Saint Germain des Pres is situated in one of Paris’ most scenic and upscale neighborhoods, and as a result it is the most glamorous and expensive market in the city. The market at Raspail is where the celebrities do their Sunday shopping.
On Sundays the market is biologique, or organic.
The fish and produce selection at this market are especially good his market is upscale and pricey and draws shoppers from all around the city. It is also a place to see and be seen for Parisians. If you want to shop where Paris’ elite, gourmands and foodies do, then this is the market for you.
Market Days: Tuesday through Sunday. Sunday is organic market day.
Metro: Rennes, Line 12