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Oct 24, 2007 02:27 PM

Anything like J-Talon Mkt in Paris

For those JT market lovers who have been overseas and done the fresh market thing in Paris. Which one (is there one?) would you say resembles JT the most? Fresh local produce, mix of outdoor stalls and specialty shops.
I'm heading to Paris for the first time and would like to spend an afternoon roaming and grazing like I do at JT.


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  1. There are so many different markets in Paris that I can't think of a single one that is really similar to Jean-Talon. You are looking for one that combines the features of a marché couvert (indoors, more speciality shops) and a street market. Marché d'Aligre comes to mind but it is much smaller. Perhaps le marché de Belleville/Philippe-Auguste, but that is just a marché ouvert, though an extensive and varied one.

    The Gourmet Paris issue had an article on public markets.

    Obviously a question about Paris goes on the France board, but I know, then the problem is finding people who are familiar with Montréal...

    1 Reply
    1. re: lagatta

      I don't know about the JT market, but most markets in Paris are on a specific day, generally a morning.

      See here for details:

      There are only few permanent markets, especially as big as you seem to be looking for. There is the one on rue Bayen and rue Poncelet (17th), the one on rue Clerc (7th), the rue Mouffetard (5th), the rue Montorgueil (1st) smaller markets like rue Daguerre (14th), rue de Lévis, etc.

    2. I don't know about shopping in Montreal so not certain how Paris compares. However, Paris has both great markets and really good food shops across most neighborhoods. There isn't really a "mall culture" in France (avoid Les Halles) and so most high streets have a great mixture of high quality specialist shops. The markets are great, but so are the shopping districts/streets.

      So don't confine your shopping to markets, head for the great cheese shops, patisseries, chocolate shops, grand department stores (Le Bon Marche has one of the worlds top food halls) etc etc.

      As others have said here are lots of street markets in Paris and they are held on different days (usually mornings). The biggest (I think) is next to the Bastille on Sunday mornings.

      The great thing about Paris is that it is really a series of interconnected villages and is so easy to walk around and just soak up the atmosphere. You will have fun.

      3 Replies
      1. re: PhilD

        Bastille is also on Thursday - it is important for visitors to remember that (most of) the street markets are EARLY and to get there in the morning.

        Jean-Talon is a large "covered market" with stalls, and many merchants surrounding these - there are also many food shops in the area, the old Italian neighbourhood; now also featuring merchants from the Maghreb and the Middle East, East and Southeast Asia (on St-Denis between Jean-Talon and Bélanger, Latin American countries etc. Due to our harsh climate, during the winter the central area is closed in, like a barn or like some Paris marchés couverts. It is the largest such market in Montréal.

        As you say, in Paris such shopping is decentralised in different neighbourhoods, and Les Halles, the central market no longer exists as a retail market, and the wholesale market has been moved out to the suburbs in Rungis. While it was essential to move the wholesale market for reasons of scale, modern hygiene and transport, personally I think it was a pity to demolish Les Halles - thinking of the grand old markets that still exist in other European cities. And indeed, the shopping centre is best avoided, and not at all a foodie destination.

        The grand departments stores etc are certainly worth exploring, but too expensive for average people living or staying in Paris.

        1. re: lagatta

          T'as tout compris :-) thank you for being there !
          You have put into words the uniqueness of why I like JT market in Montreal and was unable to express to someone who had never been to visit it yet (I say yet - because everyone should at some point go visit, it is a lovely experience - sort of like the souks in Morocco are a must see) Merci Lagatta.

          Sounds as though Marché d'Aligre might be what I had in mind. I thought there might not be a similar concept in Paris.

          I'm not actually interested in buying any food - (other than to taste the samples the vendors give out - if they even do that in Paris) I know that sounds strange. But it's - but rather just want to roam around and see the colours, smell the aromas, be exposed to new produce - feel some sort of exotic culinary dépaysement if you will...

          Thank you everyone for the other recommendations of places to see, I will try the other markets if I have the time.

          1. re: yow yul

            No prob - living in Montréal and having spent several stretches of time in Paris - NEVER with a budget to buy all from upscale department stores, or Fauchon (not complaining, I was just living like normal people in Paris). Marché d'Aligre, with a small marché couvert and a small street market is not nearly as big as Jean-Talon, but of course there are several other places walking distance from it.

            I am VERY interested in buying food - not great gobs of it, where would I put it? - but I do like to stay in rentals or places where I can buy food, and if not REALLY cook while on holiday or working trip, at least bring home some salads and roast chicken, and cheese.

            And I do love that mild dépaysement - nothing like something really exotic, but Sting's "Englishman in New York" - the other way around. Listen to that for mild dépaysements within a generally "anglophone" cultural code...

            I facilitate at conferences where there are people from different continents and the dépaysement is far more wrenching for many of them. Some don't dare sojurn outdoors in the winter - and I mean in Europe, not here in Québec. Here, we've met foreign students from tropical countries who literally hadn't set foot outdoors all winter - the bank machines, cafeterias etc were all indoors and they were utterly terrified of a snowy landscape. Dark side of the moon.

            Back to Paris - it is important to know what you are looking for. If you are looking for the North African side of the Jean-Talon Market, or Southeast Asian foods, you will have to seek out relevant markets. The good news is the excellent network of public transport in Paris, and the fact that the central city isn't really very large.

      2. I really enjoy the Mouffetard maket. It one long street winding street with wine , cheese , boucherie and produce. If you arrive from the Seine side , be sure to visit the magnificient church just beside the Pantheon , Saint-Etienne !

        And visit the resto "Le grand pan " in the 15iem , at 20 de Rosenwald ( my new neiborhood resto in Paris. it is out of the way , but very nice. Benoit , the chef, and Arnauld , the waiter are very nice and the food is awsome . Have a glass of Cerdon as an aperitif ! ( and say hello from antoine !)