Gourmet's Guide To The Open-Air & Street Markets of Paris

Let's unravel the mystery & wonder of food in Paris. We love exploring the open-air food markets of the City of Food. And it's easy to do since they're found throughout the city — even in the quiet suburbs. There is a strong connection in the minds of the French between food and where it comes from, and you see this in the gourmet food markets throughout Paris. All the food is labelled with quality, AOC, and origin.

We had a chance to delve deep into one of the gourmet food markets, the covered market at Puteaux (just outside Paris) on a tour with a Paris foodie pal. We were thrilled to find out that the signs at the fish stalls even indicate where the fish is from (what ocean or sea and what part of the ocean or sea) and how it was caught — line-caught being the preferred method. We've included an excerpt from our book below, where you can discover the secrets and intricacies of the high-quality foods Parisians eat every day.


The Food Markets of Paris

Paris Markets

The scent of roasting chicken wafts towards us as we near the market. Among the scattering of outdoor stalls are the roasters found at every market in France, filled with a variety of large and small birds, pressed pork, and roasted potatoes.

"What are the four types of cheese?" she asks us. We guess more or less correctly – hard, soft, goat, and blue cheeses. She points out examples of each and explains their origins and launches into a detailed description of the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée system (controlled designation of origin, or AOC)...

"The system dates back to the 15th century," she tells us. "Champagne and Roquefort are two AOCs you probably recognize." The system… was created to ensure the source and the method of production of various foods, including cheese, meat and wine. Even lentils have an AOC,the best coming from Le Puy.


"Look at the signs…in France vendors identify where the produce is grown, not only the country but the region, and will rate the quality. Extra means best quality: no bruising, no spots, perfect. Catégorie 1 means good quality with little bruising. Catégorie 2 is everything else, still good product, but perhaps suitable for cooking or preserving. The fruit here is all Extra and Catégorie 1."

Aha! The signs that we've usually ignored actually contain vital information about the source and quality: the apricots are from the Drome, haricots verts from Kenya, the tomatoes from Bergerac. It's all about the terroir.


Paris Food Markets – Arrondissements 1 to 10

Paris Food Markets

1st Arrondissement

Rue Montmartre, between rue Rambuteau and rue du Jour
Thursday, 12:30 – 8:00 PM; Sunday, 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Place du Marché-Saint-Honoré
Wednesday, 12:30 – 8:30 PM; Saturday, 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM

2nd Arrondissement

Place de la Bourse
Tuesday & Friday, 12:30 – 8:30 PM

3rd Arrondissement

The oldest covered market in Paris (established in 1615).
39, rue de Bretagne
Tuesday – Saturday, 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM (and) 4:00 – 7:30 PM (until 8:00 PM Friday & Saturday); Sunday, 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM

4th Arrondissement

Place Baudoyer
Wednesday, 12:30 – 8:30 PM; Saturday, 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM

5th Arrondissement

Place Maubert
Tuesday & Thursday, 7:00 AM – 2:30 PM; Saturday, 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Place Monge
Wednesday & Friday, 7:00 AM – 2:30 PM; Sunday, 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Boulevard Port Royal by the Val de Grâce Hospital
Tuesday & Thursday, 7:00 AM – 2:30 PM; Saturday, 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM


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6th Arrondissement

Boulevard Raspail, between rue du Cherche-Midi and rue de Rennes
Tuesday & Friday, 7:00 AM – 2:30 PM; organic market Sunday only, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

4-6, rue Lobineau (corner of rue Félibien)
Tuesday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM (and) 4:00 – 8:00 PM; Saturday, 8:00 AM – 1:30 PM (and) 3:30 – 8:00 PM; Sunday, 8:00 AM – 1:30 PM

7th Arrondissement

Avenue de Saxe
Thursday, 7:00 AM – 2:30 PM; Saturday, 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM

8th Arrondissement

The smallest market in Paris
Place de la Madeleine
Tuesday & Friday, 7:00 AM – 2:30 PM

Raised platform on boulevard des Batignolles
Saturday, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

1, rue Corvetto
Tuesday – Sunday, 8:30 AM – 8:30 PM

9th Arrondissement

Place d'Anvers
Friday, 3:00 – 8:30 PM

10th Arrondissement

Rue Alibert, in front of Saint-Louis Hospital v Sunday, 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM

31-33, rue du Château-d'Eau
Tuesday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM (and) 4:00 – 7:30 PM; Saturday, 9:00 AM – 7:30 PM; Sunday, 9:00 AM – 1:30 PM

The largest covered market in Paris
85 bis, boulevard Magenta
Tuesday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM (and) 4:00 – 7:30 PM; Saturday, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM (and) 3:30 – 7:30 PM; Sunday, 8:30 AM – 1:30 PM

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