Where to Head for the Best Artisan Gourmet Products in the Capital
In addition to dozens of temporary food markets that spring up around the city on select days of the week, Paris counts a number of permanent market streets offering gaggles of fresh, high-quality produce, fish and meat, cheeses, and other goodies. These Paris street markets are usually situated on pedestrian-only streets, making them particularly pleasant for a leisurely stroll. Grab a basket or large bag, come with an appetite (you'll want to nibble on baguettes, pastries, fruit or other samples) and get acquainted with these permanent open-air markets, which are highly coveted by Parisians.
Rue Mouffetard, Left Bank Market Street
One of the oldest streets in Paris, with roots extending to pre-Christian Paris, the mostly pedestrian Rue Mouffetard houses a bustling, permanent street market at its southern end. Some of the city's finer fruit and vegetable vendors, fish and meat markets, fromageries and other specialty shops are clustered on Rue Mouffetard and the Square Saint-Médard.
While the area can be quite touristy, and the northern end near La Place Contrescarpe has unfortunately been populated with mediocre restaurants and cafes with inflated prices, the traditional open-air market here is still a pleasure to wander. After visiting the market, get a closer look at the Paroisse Saint-Médard on the eponymous square, a 16th-century church designed in flamboyant gothic style.
Getting there: Metro Censier-Daubenton or Place Monge
Rue Montorgueil and Rue des Petits Carreaux
Smack in the center of Paris in the bustling area around Chatelet-Les-Halles, Rue Montorgueil (turning into Rue des Petits Carreaux at its northern end) is a pedestrian haven and one of the better permanent street markets in Paris. Especially prized for its fish and shellfish vendors, but also for high-quality (and often pricey) produce, bakeries, and gourmet 16th-century, Rue Montorgueil tends to be a hub for health-conscious hipsters, who do their shopping and lounging here.
The street houses the original Maison Stohrer pastry shop, which claims to be the oldest in Paris, as well as one of the city's historic shellfish restaurants, Au Rocher de Cancale, which first opened its doors in the mid-19th century.
Getting there: Metro Etienne Marcel or Sentier
Rue des Martyrs
Located just south of hilly Montmartre in the 9th arrondissement, the Rue des Martyrs is one of the most coveted market streets in the city.
Boasting some of Paris' best artisan gourmet shops, peddling everything from jam and olive oil to chocolates, fresh produce, and baked goods, this street is a must-see if you're a devout foodie. It's recently become one of the coolest destinations for artisan food shopping in the capital, melding tradition with a hip sense of modernity and savvy.
Getting there: Metro Notre-Dame de Lorette
Rue Daguerre: Lively Market Street Near Montparnasse
Situated in a relatively untrampled stretch of South Paris in close reach of Montparnasse and its imposing tower, Rue Daguerre is a pedestrian-only, permanent market street that's always pleasant for shopping, strolling, and tasting. The fromageries (cheese shops) are particularly good on Rue Daguerre and you can get slabs of excellent, nutty comté or a good oozing camembert au lait cru for a bargain. The fish, meat, produce, and specialty products such as honey, jams, and confits are all excellent here too, and there's an Italian traiteur, O Sole Mia, selling fresh pasta and other goodies at number 44. At number 82, you'll find one of Paris' best bakeries, Au Moulin de la Vierge.
Getting there: Metro/RER Denfert-Rochereau
Rue Cler: Market Street Near Invalides
The car-free Rue Cler in Paris' posh 7th arrondissement has one of the city's largest and most exciting (for foodies, at least) permanent outdoor street markets. Quality is de rigueur here: You're unlikely to find any molding fruit or less than excellent fish and meat at this favorite grocery hub for les bonnes familles of Paris. Not surprisingly, it's not always cheap-- but if you want to stake out top-quality fresh ingredients or nonperishables to take back home with you, a stroll on this coveted market street won't disappoint.
Getting there: Metro Ecole Militaire