Best Food Markets in Paris: Produce, People-Watching & More

Last Updated on May 10, 2024

market in Paris- Courtney Traub/All rights reserved
Image by Courtney Traub/All rights reserved

There’s little I love doing more, especially on a spring or autumn morning in Paris, than strolling through a good marché alimentaire (food market or farmer’s market). The French capital counts dozens scattered through the city, from open-air stalls that pop up twice or more frequently every week to traditional covered markets. The latter are especially good to keep in mind as options on a rainy or miserably cold day.

The best food markets in Paris offer ultra-fresh produce and other goods– olives, cheeses, fish, bread, oils, the list goes on– in abundance, alongside plenty of opportunities for people-watching. But consider yourself forewarned: the culture of the Parisian marché isn’t always genteel.

It’s not uncommon for regulars to brush past you impatiently with their enormous shopping caddies if you get in the way of their attempt to assess a pile of fresh chanterelles. The crowds can be a little daunting, and again, pushing isn’t unheard of.

The vendors, though usually cheerful and happy to offer samples of a juicy wedge of pear or a bit of orange, can also be a tad brusque and business-like, hollering out the deals of the day in singsong cries and fulfilling your order without much ceremony or chit-chat. Don’t be offended: this is just the way Parisians “do” the markets.

Vendors at the Marché d'Aligre in Paris/Image by Courtney Traub/All rights reserved
Vendors at the Marché d’Aligre in Paris/Image by Courtney Traub/All rights reserved

{Related: French Etiquette Basics & Polite Rules for Travellers}

Without further ado, here are our picks for some of the finest farmer’s markets and covered markets in the capital.

The Open & Covered Markets on the Place d’Aligre

Purple artichokes at the Marché d'Aligre/Courtney Traub/All rights reserved
Purple artichokes at the Marché d’Aligre/Courtney Traub/All rights reserved

This is probably the city’s most beloved market, and it’s not hard to see why. Open six days a week, it forms the pulsing artery of an entire neighborhood: more than a mere place to buy food and other goods, it’s a social and cultural powerhouse in Paris’ 12th arrondissement.

The dozens of stands that occupy the open-air farmer’s market on Rue and Place d’Aligre are widely known to sell some of the finest (and most beautiful) produce in the city, from pale purple and green artichokes to spring asparagus and freshly caught seafood.

As I detail in my full guide to the Aligre market, there are some truly excellent bakeries, cheese shops, wine sellers, wine bars and restaurants in the area. And once you’ve made the rounds of the food stalls and shops, you might consider visiting the adjoining book, antiques and clothing market at the back of Place d’ Aligre, which can be a good source for unusual and authentic French gifts or memorabilia.

The covered Marché Beauvau market in Paris may be trendy, but it has fascinating revolutionary and working-class roots. Image: Courtney Traub/All rights reserved
The covered Marché Beauvau market in Paris may be trendy, but it has fascinating revolutionary and working-class roots. Image: Courtney Traub/All rights reserved

This is also a historic spot, with the covered Marché Beauvau dating to 1781 and boasting fascinating revolutionary roots. Plus, the covered portion of the market is a go even if wet or cold weather discourages you from hitting the outdoor stalls.

Getting There & Practical Info

  • Address: Place d’Aligre and Rue d’Aligre, 12th arrondissement
  • Metro: Ledru-Rollin (line 8) or Faidherbe-Chaligny (line 8)
  • Tel: + 33 (0)1 45 11 71 11 
  • Hours: The open-air market on the Place and Rue d’Aligre is open daily except for Monday, 7:00 am-1:30 pm on weekdays and 7:00 am to 2:320 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The Marché Beauvau covered market is open from Tues-Friday, 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, and 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm; on Saturdays and Sundays it remains open from 8:00 am to 7:30 pm. It’s also closed on Mondays.

Le Marché des Enfants Rouges

Marché des Enfants Rouges in Paris: Image by Courtney Traub/All rights reserved
Marché des Enfants Rouges in Paris: Image by Courtney Traub/All rights reserved

just blocks from the increasingly commercial Marais area and its encroaching luxury boutiques is a haven of local life: one dominated by independent businesses. The Marché des Enfants Rouges is a covered market that features both fresh produce stands and several casual food stands and sit-down restaurants serving lunch and dinner most days of the week.

It also happens to be the capital’s oldest covered market, dating to 1615. King Louis XIII commissioned its creation to ensure that his opulent apartments on the nearby Place des Vosges would be easily supplied with fresh poultry, game and other fresh products. It was initially called “The little market of the Marais” and only gained its current name in the 18th century.

A Historic painting by Frederic Houbron shows the Marché des Enfants Rouges in Paris. Frédéric Houbron - Le Marché des Enfants-Rouges, rue de Bretagne - Musée Carnavalet
A Historic painting by Frédéric Houbron shows the Marché des Enfants Rouges in Paris towards the beginning of the 20th century. Frédéric Houbron – Le Marché des Enfants-Rouges, rue de Bretagne (1907)- Musée Carnavalet

Closed for a time in the 20th century, it was nearly made into a parking lot in 1994. Happily, it was so beloved by locals that the city managed to avoid this outcome, and it was instead renovated and

When I visited, I had just had lunch with a friend in the area, so I was disappointed to not have an excuse to stop and order something from one of the many appetizing-looking food stands, many offering tables that afford excellent perspectives of the market and its bustle.

The place is overcrowded with intimate little eateries, serving everything from smoothies and fresh juices to pasta, Japanese bento boxes to Moroccan-style couscous with vegetables.

Marché des Enfants Rouges, a popular farmer's market and street food spot/ Image by Courtney Traub/All rights reserved
Marché des Enfants Rouges by Courtney Traub/All rights reserved

It’s also an excellent place to people-watch and soak in some truly Parisian local life, since it’s not especially well-known by tourists. See more about the Marché des Enfants Rouges here, including suggestions on where to shop and eat. 

Getting There & Practical Info

  • Address: 9 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris (3rd arrondissement)
  • Metro: Temple or Filles de Calvaire
  • Tel: + 33 (0)1 45 11 71 11 
  • Hours: The Marché des Enfants Rouges covered market is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm and Sunday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Like many Parisian markets, it’s closed on Mondays.

The Marché Bastille

The Marché Bastille is one of Paris' most popular open-air food markets. Jean-Louis Zimmerman/Creative Commons 2.0 license
The Marché Bastille is one of Paris’ most popular open-air food markets. Image by Jean-Louis Zimmerman/Creative Commons 2.0 license

This always-crowded open-air market takes over the Boulevard Richard-Lenoir, one of the streets joining the tentacular Place de la Bastille, every Thursday and Sunday morning. You can see the famous “July column” at Bastille looming behind you as you wander through the tightly packed stalls, where vendors proffer products as varied as fresh fish and shellfish to brightly colored pomegranates and heirloom purple carrots, cheeses, olives, flowers, etc. There’s even a stand claiming to be Europe’s first pickled herring bar!

This is also an excellent destination for lunch: you can grab a Lebanese-style falafel, sweet or savory crepe, sandwich or plate of paella from one of the many vendors offering hot dishes.

An adjoining flea and clothing market makes the Marché Bastille ideal if you’re also hoping to browse antiques, memorabilia, old books and catalogues or vintage clothing.

{Where to Taste Scrumptious Falafel in Paris?}

Getting There & Practical Info

  • Where: Boulevard Richard-Lenoir, 75011 Paris (11th arrondissement), from Place de la Bastille (between Rue Saint-Sabin and Rue Amelot)
  • Metro: Bastille
  • Hours: Thursday and Sunday, 7:00 am to 3:00 pm

The Place Monge Market

Marché Monge market in Paris by Yisris/some rights reserved under the Creative Commons license
Marché Monge market in Paris by Yisris/some rights reserved under the Creative Commons license

One of the loveliest farmer’s markets in Paris’ legendary Latin Quarter only opens a couple days a week, but draws loyal customers from surrounding neighborhoods to the leafy Place Monge. It’s been open since 1921, so it’s little wonder it’s gained such a steady fan base.

Here, you can peruse, admire and purchase high-quality fruits and vegetables (including a decent number of organic offerings); this is also an excellent destination for French bread and pastries, cheeses, fresh fish and meats. There’s a village-like vibe in this small but important farmer’s market: certainly one of the best on the left bank.

Make sure to consider stopping at the nearby Jardin des Plantes after or before your market stroll for a walk through Paris’ lovely botanical gardens. Especially in the spring, they’re full of vibrant color, with hundreds of varieties of flowers, plants and trees to admire.

Getting There & Practical Info

  • Where: Marché Monge, Place Monge, 75005 Paris (5th arrondissement)
  • Metro: Place Monge/Jardin des Plantes
  • Hours: Wednesday and Friday, 7:00 am to 2:30 pm; Sundays from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.

The Marché Batignolles Covered Market

While this covered market lacks the urban buzz and slight mayhem of marchés alimentaires closer to the city center, it’s the sort of place that reminds you that Paris can feel remarkably village-like in its quieter, more residential areas.

Nestled in the somewhat-sleepy but nevertheless charming Batignolles district in northwestern Paris, the Marché Couvert Batignolles is protected from inclement weather and open 6 days a week. Dozens of stalls occupy the rather drab, metal-clad building, whose lack of color is largely made up for by tumbling bounties of ripe, sweet gariguette strawberries, juicy melons, ripe zucchini and purple eggplant.

One stall I immediately fell in love with was Les Fromages des Batignolles, where the vendors were equal parts friendly, humorous and helpful. Despite contending with an enormous selection, I settled on two delicious cheeses, including a hard sheep’s milk cheese flavored with Espelette pepper and made in French Basque country.

Les Fromages des Batignolles is a favorite stand at the Batignolles covered market in Paris. Courtney Traub/All rights reserved
Les Fromages des Batignolles is a favorite stand at the Batignolles covered market in Paris. Courtney Traub/All rights reserved

Unfortunately I don’t recall what the second variety was, but it was an intensely creamy cow’s milk cheese from Burgundy that paired perfectly with fresh plain baguette.

The rest of the market was rather quiet (it was a weekday morning) but I noticed one stand in particular that looked tempting: Edgar, selling Lebanese specialties such as olives, candied fruit, fresh hummus and tabbouleh.

Getting There & Practical Info

  • Where: Marché Couvert Batignolles, 31 Rue des Moines, 75017 Paris (17th arrondissement)
  • Metro: Brochant
  • Hours: Daily except Monday, mornings and afternoons

Also in the Batignolles area is the Marché Bio des Batignolles, which is an open-air market that springs up on Saturdays until around 3:00 pm and offers a large variety of organic fruit, vegetables, fish, meats and other specialties.

Location: 34 Bd des Batignolles, 75017 (17th arrondissement); Metro Rome or Place de Clichy

The Marché Belleville

The teeming weekly farmer's market on Boulevard de Belleville isn't for the crowd-shy, but offers an invigorating and authentic experience of the neighborhood
The teeming weekly farmer’s market on Boulevard de Belleville isn’t for the crowd-shy, but offers an invigorating and authentic experience of the neighborhood

Probably one of the Parisian marchés with the least appeal for tourists, this perennially crowded market stretching onto Boulevard de Belleville is a local favorite for its inexpensively priced, flavorful produce– much of it not formally bearing the organic label but cultivated without pesticides.

{Related: Our Full Guide to Arty, Diverse Belleville}

It’s also the market to explore if you want to sample a variety of specialties from Asia and North Africa, including Tunisian or Algerian couscous, tajines and honey-laced pastries; Vietnamese Pho, and a dizzying number of other tasty dishes.

Just be forewarned: the crowds can be a bit overwhelming during peak times. If you’re a bit claustrophobic, we suggest heading to the market early in the morning, near opening time.

Getting There & Practical Info

  • Where: Marché Belleville, Boulevard de Belleville between metro Belleville and Couronnes, Paris 75011 (11th arrondissement)
  • Metro: Belleville or Couronnes
  • Hours: Tuesdays and Fridays, from around 7:30 am to 1:30 pm

The Market Stalls on Rue Montorgueil

A poissonier (fishmonger) outside his shop on Rue Montorgueil. Image credit: Marcus Chance/Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons 2.0 license
A fishmonger outside his shop on Rue Montorgueil. Image credit: Marcus Chance/Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons 2.0 license

As I detail in my long and sentimental guide to the Rue Montorgueil neighborhood— my first home in the French capital– there’s something charmingly old-world about the permanent market stalls and food shops that line the semi-pedestrian Rue Montorgueil.

Later turning into the Rue des Petits Carreaux at its northern end, the partially marble-paved street is coveted for its fruit and vegetable vendors, fishmongers, cheese purveyors, bakeries and other gourmet provisions.

Brioche from Maison Kayser, one of the best bakeries in the Montorgueil district of Paris.
Brioche from Maison Kayser, one of the best bakeries in the Montorgueil district of Paris.

The whole area– smack in the city center but somehow managing to feel like a village– is also well-known for its high-quality French kitchenware shops, including E. Dehilleren, with its vintage-y copperware and ceramic crockery, among countless other fetish items for aspiring cooks.

Our full guide offers more in-depth advice on exploring the area and its best shops. You can also see David Lebovitz’s in-depth guide to eating, drinking and shopping around the Montorgueil/Les Halles districts.

Getting There & Practical Info

  • Where: Rue Montorgueil (turning into Rue des Petits Carreaux), 75002 Paris (2nd arrondissement)
  • Metro: Etienne Marcel or Sentier
  • Hours: daily (opening hours of individual shops and stalls vary); the best time to visit is generally between 9 am to 4 pm

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