Food markets in Paris are as prevelant as museums, but far tastier. Some are known for just food, others carry a wide variety of items. Some markets are permanent real estate, others are only there on certain days. A movable feast, if you will.
In Paris, each neighborhood has their market. It’s where the food shopping is done, close to home. Most locals visit specific markets, and develop a relationship with the food purveyors. They know who has the best beets, whose onions are grown locally, etc. The purveyors take pride in knowing their merchandise and will pick out the cream of the crop for you, you needn’t root around and touch the produce. Think Mr. Whipple preaching Don’t squeeze the Charmin!
During one September Paris visit, I was able to tour the Aligre Market with my friend Anne. Though this market is not in her neighborhood, she likes it very much. And being a foodie, I totally trust her judgment! Come on, let me show you some of the mouthwatering food in Paris.
First, we grabbed a nosh [alright, you beat it out of me] a few noshes at one of her favorite places in the area, Moisan Bakery. All the freshly baked treats are organic. I highly recommend it! After we inhaled our homemade goodies and cafe in no time flat, we checked out the produce at the outside market.
Look at those fabulous leeks…they were the size of Louisville sluggers.
The artichokes like softballs. (No, I am not a baseball fan. And the sports references stop here, I swear on a stack of baseball cards)
Have you ever seen a round zucchini before? (you know I could have gone there..but I promised)
This sure beats a UPC codes plastered on the shelves at the supermarket, doesn’t it? You know the stuff is fresh when the sign is handwritten!
Even the salad greens looked extra gorgeous, not all wet and soggy from the automatic sprayer clogged with bacteria and green gunk. Mmmm, that sounds delectible.
There is also a brocante located outside. Here is a shot of some Netsuke for sale.
We all had a chuckle at all the naughty little poses. *blushing*
Anne tells me the inside of this food market has much better quality than the outside, which I can hardly believe. There’s a butcher, cheese shop, fish monger, gourmet spices and jams and more.
This is the ‘inside’ lettuce. Do you see a difference? I bet the rabbits can tell.
After our food tour, we worked up quite a thirst, so we strolled over to Le Baron Rouge, where all the locals go when they’re done shopping at the market. This place is usually brimming with life, but we had the place to ourselves during our visit. If you go on a Sunday, the crowds are so heavy that you will see locals lined up on the street eating oysters and drinking wine. It is a convivial sight.
Check out the barrels of wine, ready for filling your empty bottles. Now that is my idea of to-go! Just look at the ridiculously cheap prices per liter. You can’t even buy a coke for that in Paris! Oh, how I love France. Vive la France!
Anne and I indulged in a glass of wine and some delicious cheese. Chris was a party pooper and had a beer. Beer in a wine bar..is he nuts? Then it was time to head out for a little lunch. We checked out another neighborhood favorite of Anne’s, called Pause Café.
The joint was hopping, we waited and scored a table out on the terrace on a beautiful sunny day in Paris. Perfect for people watching.
We enjoyed our prix-fixe lunch, and I highly recommend this place. We each had a different entree and dessert so we could share a little nibble from each other’s plates. Isn’t it nice to have friends that know that trick, and appreciate it?
Nothing worse than asking your French friend to share her meal and have her give you a dirty look followed by a stab in the hand with her fork. What a faux-pas that would be! Come to think of it, in France, I think lesser ill-mannered dining infractions witnessed at dinner parties are often punishable with, gulp, the guillotine. “Off with your hand!”
Thank goodness for casual dining.
check the website for hours, pictures and plan
1 rue Théophile Roussel
01 43 43 14 32
41 rue de Charonne
01 48 06 80 33
5 place d’Aligre
01 43 45 46 60