Paris and lip-smacking gastronomy go hand-in-hand. Not only is the French capital the perfect place to sample the nation's traditional dishes and specialties, but it is a cosmopolitan haven of cuisine from around the world.
Eat your way around the City of Light at all its best indoor and outdoor markets with this guide to the finest food spots in town.
Whether you’re hitting the Left Bank’s organic market or the city’s new wave of delis, there’s always something new to sample.
One of the most famous in Paris, this under-cover market is located in the 3rd arrondissement. The building itself was once a 16th century orphanage where the children wore Christian charity-donated clothes in red, giving the market its name.
If you love not only your French classics, but international fare, this is the place to come with extensive Lebanese, African and Thai cuisines to sample.
This small, intimate market is the perfect alternative to the busy hustle and bustle of its larger, more touristy counterparts. Famed for its high-quality produce, rather than the volume of stock, the stallholders will passionately tell you about their artisanal foods, where they come from and how they’re made.
Eclectic and, at times eccentric, sample the upmarket ‘junk’ food at Au Comptoir de Brice and excellent German smoked meats and beer.
One of the city’s newest food markets, this celebration of open-air street food is Paris’ answer to already-popular, similar markets in London and Berlin. This instalment offers a delectable roam around the globe, all in one street.
Take a bite of Moroccan, Mexican, French and vegan dishes, to name but a few, and either sit at a bench and soak up the atmosphere or take your food away with you to find one of Paris’ famous sights for your backdrop.
This enormous market sprawls the entire length of the Avenue President-Wilson and is a haven for foodies. Explore traditional Parisian specialities at every turn, from cheese to offal, wine to crepes.
Make sure you arrive hungry and do plenty of browsing before committing to your dish – or you could easily do a day here, grazing your way through this capital’s delicious gastronomy.
As one of the oldest markets in Paris, and in one of the most architecturally interesting areas, this food market is well worth a visit. Its Latin Quarter location is upmarket and boasts wonderful medieval history, including a 12th-century church.
The market itself entices customers with its array of fresh fruits and bread, as well as organic and fair-trade produce for you to take home and cook up a storm.
Open every morning bar Monday, this is one of the city’s most colourful markets. Its open-air stalls sell everything from fresh baguettes to second-hand books, with more traders in the covered market. Follow your nose to Sur les Quais for spices of every description. First, though, stop by Café Aouba for a quick pick-me-up; locals order a noisette (an espresso with a dash of hot milk) at the Formica counter.
Lined with cafés, specialist food shops and delis, this cobbled, car-free street is where well-heeled locals stock up. Head to La Fermette (no. 86) for truffled brie and expertly aged comté; a few doors down, Les Halles Montorgueil is best for seasonal fruit. At no. 45, Fou de Pâtisserie offers cakes from all-star pastry-chefs; try Pierre Hermé’s rose-fragranced Ispahan, or Cyril Lignac’s airy rum baba.
Only the finest foods make the grade at this upmarket grocer’s and café, which champions small-scale French producers. That might translate to herby goat’s cheese from the Drôme or dry-cured Ardèche hams, along with heirloom greengages or candy-striped Chioggia beets. Come lunchtime, a handful of dishes are chalked up on the board. Try the vibrant soups and salads, or the generous plat du jour.
On Tuesday and Friday mornings, the main market kicks into gear, filling the street with traders’ cries and the smell of rôtisserie chicken. On Sundays, it morphs into an all-organic marché bio, beloved by Left-Bank locals, selling everything from local honey to freshly shucked oysters. Picnic provisions include stellar quiches; the piping-hot potato pancakes should be eaten on the spot.
Food shopping’s never a chore at this sleek Marais all-rounder (or its Saint-Honoré sibling) inspired by New York’s Dean & Deluca. Little luxuries run from noir de Bigorre ham to buttery Breton biscuits, while the own-label salted caramels make for perfect presents. Invest in a chic blue tote bag to blend in with the locals, then lunch on gnocchi with confit lamb in the light-filled dining room.