06 January 2021

An open-air retail market at Les Halles

This is a "walk through a market" post. I've done them before. As you know, Les Halles was the central wholesale food market in Paris until around 1970, when it was relocated to the suburbs. Car and truck traffic around the market was creating too much pollution and congestion. However, there are still retail street markets in the neighborhood. These photos are some I took at the bottom of the rue Montmartre and along the rue Montorgueil, around the église Saint-Eustache.

Some of the shellfish you see in the slideshow are scallops (coquilles St-Jacques), clams (two kinds, praires and palourdes), cockles (coques), and coquina [Donax variabilis] (tellines in French), as well as lobsters (homards), shrimp (crevettes), and crabs (crabes). There are also a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and a couple of pans of cooked foods (one is a Spanish paella). The man selling those big globe artichokes you see toward the end of the slideshow wanted 15 euros apiece for them. I told him he was crazy. He didn't appreciate that. I think he saw me as a tourist and was trying to take advantage.


  1. By the way, some of or maybe all of the photos of pastries in my lèche-vitrines post the other day were taken at the Pâtisserie Stohrer, which is said to be the oldest such shop in Paris, dating back to 1730. It's on the rue Montorgueil.

  2. Aha, I’ve been to that patisserie, what a fantastic place! Thanks.

  3. Replies
    1. The French do such a good job with seafood at markets, not just in big cities, but also in rural areas.

  4. It wouldn't be a proper French market w/o a paealla vendor. It seems like practically every good-sized market in France has a paella vendor, and by the time noon rolls around they're usually sold out. A couple of times we've bought paella and taken it to our gite for lunch. It was always good.

    1. I remember that in the summer of 2003, when we had just arrived here, friends from San Francisco came to visit. We went to the big Sunday market in Amboise and ended up buying a big "bucket" of paella. It was very good, if I remember correctly.

  5. Yes, I thought the paella looked particularly tempting. 15 euros fro an artichoke? Maybe he was thinking in francs?


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