Top 5 Markets That Fit Your Work Schedule

saxe breteuil With over 80 open-air food markets taking place 6 days a week across the city, Paris provides its inhabitants with impressive access to markets where, if you're lucky, you will find fresh, local, and seasonal produce.

But if you, like the majority of the city's residents, happen to have a job with working hours that take up most of your day, morning markets are simply not an option. While a large percentage of Paris markets keep the standard 7h-14h30 hours, there are a few options for Parisians who work 9 to 5.

If you're interested in getting fresh artisanal ingredients on your hours off, here are a few markets that will fit into your work schedule:

marché convention

Afternoon Markets: 

In order to meet the needs of shoppers and their work schedule, the city of Paris has created six marchés d'après-midi, or afternoon markets, which are open during the week and set up shop later in the afternoon and stay open well until the evening. 

While these markets are not likely to have local producers on site (they are usually working on the farm at this time of the day), they can be good spots to pick up organic produce and other artisanal or natural ingredients.

Marché Anvers (Fridays 15h-20h30) is a great place to pick up organic fruits and vegetables. Be sure to visit the chèvre man a put together a selection of his delicious artisanal cheeses.

Back Camera

Covered Markets: 

I've always thought that Paris' covered markets are some of the most underdeveloped and neglected markets of the city. These beautiful structures are often left only partially inhabited and stocked with industrial produce.

However, there are treasures to be found in these indoor markets, which are open throughout the afternoon and into the early evening, making them a great spot to do some shopping during your lunch hour or on your way home from work.

Le Marché des Enfants Rouges (Tues-Sat.; 8h30-19h30) is one of my favorite spots to grab lunch, the aisles lined with food counters provide ample options for a midday meal and the organic vendors are an easy option for fruits and veggies. Marché Couvert St. Martin (Tues-Sat; 9h-20h) has a selection of organic items, GMO-free meats, and artisanal beers, along with a selection of ingredient-focused restaurants.

Au val coutant Batignolles

Organic Markets: 

The city's three organic markets all take place on the weekends, making them an ideal option for a leisurely day off at the market. Here all the produce is certified organic and some of the best quality you will find in the city.

Take advantage of having access to farm-fresh produce and visit local producers at either Marché biologique des Batignolles (Sat. 7h-14h30) of Marché biologique Raspail (Sun. 7h-14h30).

Marché Alésia

Weekend Markets: 

Many neighborhood markets that are open during the week also set up during the weekend. While locals flock to the market on Saturday and Sunday mornings, it's worth braving the crowds and seeing your quartier come alive as neighbors and familiar faces line up to do their weekly shopping.

Some of my favorite neighborhood markets include Marché Ornano (Sun. 7h-14h30), Marché Saxe-Breteuil (Sat. 7h-14h30), and Marché Place des Fêtes (Sun. 7h-14h30).

march cent quatre

New Wave of Paris Markets:

The new generation of Paris markets are not sponsored by the city itself, but rather organized through community groups or associations cooperating with the farmers themselves. The result is an exciting network of markets that adapt to the busy life of the urbanite.

Associations like AMAP and La Ruche Qui Dit Oui arrange for local points of collection that are often in the evenings during the week- providing the market experience without infringing on office hours.

Other markets, such as Marché Sur L'Eau and Marché Bio du Cent Quatre have fixed locations, but are scheduled to work with your working schedule.

 

 

 

Marché du Mois: Marché St. Eustache-Les Halles

****Editor's Note: On a recent visit to this market I visited the vendor described below and found him to be incredibly rude as well as charging an outrageous amount for his produce, claiming they are specialty products and impossible to find elsewhere in Paris- which is not the case. Fortunately this man is an anomoly among Paris markets, but I would hate for anyone to have an unpleasant experience with this unpleasant man. If you are planning on visiting this market, do so on a Sunday when the organic food vendor is present and offering "bio" produce at a reasonable price (thanks Emperor Norton for this tip)  ***********************************************************************************************

Marché St. Eustache-Les Halles is all that remains of what was once the site of the city's largest food market. Later replaced by Rungis, Les Halles was where chefs, store owners, and shoppers of all sorts came to stock up on fresh ingredients.

Whether you are attracted by the history of this marketplace, it's central location near the charming Montorgueil neighborhood, or the convenient hours it keeps, there are plenty of reasons to visit the vestiges of what once was Paris' primary food source.

It is worth noting that this market, along with a few others including Marché Bourse and Marché Anvers, is one of a small number of Parisian food markets that stays open late enough on a weekday for shoppers to stop by on their way home from work.

What remains of the market is hardly a fraction of its predecessor and, unfortunately, there is not a farmer in sight at any of the stands that line the rue Montmartre. However, the products on offer are mostly of French origin and predominately seasonal.

French vegetables, chickens, and cheeses are for sale at various stands and the poissonerie was proudly displaying Coquilles St. Jacques (scallops), for which the fishing season opened on the 1st of October.

I was attracted by some heirloom veggies, including gorgeous purple "haricots verts" at a stand that was manned by a seller who knew his stuff. He instructed me how to prepare the "green" beans and then served me some lovely cèpes and told me what to do with those, too.

He bagged up my dinner ingredients as the smells of hot lunch wafted through the market stalls. Like most afternoon markets, Marché St. Eustache-Les Halles caters not only to forward-thinking shoppers who are getting the evening's groceries, but also those who seek instant gratification and some homemade ratatouille on their lunch break.

The majority of the produce at my chosen veggie stand seemed to come from France and the vendor's knowledge of each product implied an interest and investment in his profession. Doubting very much that he was actually the grower of the vegetables (the selection was too large and varied to come from one farmer), I decided to ask if he was a producteur anyway.

"Mais non!" he responded, slightly offended. "How can you expect me to be the producer- I spend all my time at the markets!" Point taken. This is an unavoidable issue for the independent producers that we see at markets, who have to split their time and lengthen their days by being both grower & seller of their produce.

So while there are no local producers present at the Marché St. Eustache-Les Halles, it is still possibel to find French-grown food and quality products, all while enjoying a stroll around this truly charming neighborhood.

Marché St. Eustache-Les Halles rue Montmartre, 75001 m° Les Halles (line 4) Hours: Thursday: 12h30-20h30 Sunday: 7h-15h

Marché du Mois: Marché Bourse

Located in front of the palace-turned-convention-center, Palais Brongniart, the small agglomeration of tents that makes up the Marché Bourse serves the surrounding community of bankers and business people who gather at Place Bourse for their pause déjeuner. Marché Bourse is one of the few markets that is open in the afternoon (along with Marché Anvers, Marché Baudoyer, and Marché Bercy) allowing short lunch breaks and late nights at the office to be rewarded with a hot lunch and a selection of bio wines.

Open until 20h30, Marché Bourse is a good market to keep in mind if you, like me, have a hard time making it to the morning markets.

The market stands mostly offer hot meal options served to go (no seating area is provided for market-goers). A variety of international options, such as Indian curries and Moroccan bricks and sandwiches are available to stoppers-by. Vegetarian options are limited as are organic ingredients (the veggie-friendly Bio Burger is a short walk away for hungry herbivores).

While I was disappointed to see that at at Marché Bourse fresh fish and veggies were limited to one stand each, both offering industrial-looking products, I was thrilled to find that the market has a caviste who specializes in organic wines made by independent producers.

Since naturel wines are my current obsession, I went directly to this vendor (who advertises his English speaking skills and I'm sure is happy to chat with foreigners and the French alike) and chatted with him about the various vintages he had for sale.

Of all the bottles, he showed me three that were low-sulfite natural wine options (I ended up deciding on a Sauvignon from the Touraine region for €8,50).

Working closely with small vineyards, this vendor develops a relationship with the producers and hand picks a selection of quality wines to bring to market. This relationship is important to take into account when it comes to "natural wines" as the term is a wide umbrella for various methods of wine-making and only a knowledge of the producer and his or her winemaking process will guarantee that your wine is truly au naturel.

A concentrated yet quality selection of wines from many French regions is offered at this stand, with three different bottles open and available for tasting. These bottles rotate every week, and the friendly vendor suggested I visit him next week to do a more extensive tasting of his vins naturels.

This particular wine stand makes the Marché Bourse worth a visit. Weather on your way to an apèro and in need of a bottle to go, or after a nice lie-in and an afternoon stroll down to the market for a wine cellar restock, Marché Bourse is open for business.

Marché Bourse Place de la Bourse 75002 m° Bourse (line 3)

Hours: Tuesday 12h30-20h30 Friday 12h30-20h30