Paris … Markets

Published in Condé Nast traveller Insider Europe January 2013 by Natasha Edwards :

Wherever you are in Paris, there’s a food market nearby: the city has more than 90 of them, each with its own character and style. At weekends, even in snooty quartiers such as Auteuil and Trocadéro, Parisians grab their baskets and head to the market. It’s a social occasion and a comfirmation of how important food is to French culture. Most marchés are outdoors, and held two or three mornings a week; on some streets they are open all day, usually with a long lunch break.

Here are four of the best :

In western Paris, Marché Président Wilson (Wednesday and Saturday mornings) occupies much of the central promenade on the av. of the same name, with the Musée d’Art Moderne on one side and the gardens of Musée Galliera on the other.  Like the area, it’s upmarket and its undoubted star is Joël Thiébault, whose vast stall is piled high with giant lettuces, huge bundles of carrots, beetroot and herbs. He supplies many of the city’s leading chefs with produce grown at Carrières-sur-Seine, just 15 km from Paris. As well as cultivating rare French varieties of vegetables, notably carrots, he has now branched out into mibuna, shungiku and all sorts of other mysterious Asian leaves.

The young bobo families of Batignolles district flock to the Marché Biologiques des Batignolles (saturday 9am-3pm), an organic market on Boulevard des Batignolles. It is wholesome, earthy, even educational: there is a pen of geese and farmyard animals that draws a crowd of small children. The stalls are great for vegetables, homemade jams, organic fish and meat, and goat’s cheese that look as though they have come straight from the farm.

Under the trees of Place Monge in the Latin Quarter is a compact and select market, most unlike the touristy one on nearby rue Mouffetard. For locals, the big attraction of the Marché Monge (Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings) is its many food producers’ stalls. There’s a specialist in Alpine cheeses and mountain hams, and a charcutier whose huge selection usually includes a steaming vat of choucroute. This is also a good market for locavores thanks to several organic market gardeners from the Ile de France and a supplier of wonderful apples from Picardy.

Near Bastille on rue d’Aligre, the Marché Beauvau is famous across Paris for its low prices and the banter of its stallholders. Next door, the covered market has good butchers, an Italian deli, and a stall with a couple of tables serving Corsican produce. There’s also a small, outdoor fleamarket on Place d’Alligre, the only one in central Paris.

(Near the Romantic Paris Apartement, Friday evening you can shop at a small organic market at Place Anvers. You can find a nice goat’s cheese stall, some butchers, a fish stall and a lot of vegetable stalls )

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