Marché des Enfants Rouges: Paris’ Oldest Covered Market

Hidden in plain sight among the chic boutiques and galleries of the Marais in Paris is a gem that’s ripe for exploration—Marché des Enfants Rouges.

This isn’t just any market; it’s Paris’ oldest covered market, having flung open its doors way back in 1615 (it’s followed by a close competitor and equally charming Marché d’Aligre). And trust me, it’s aged like the fine French wine we adore. With a name that translates to “Market of the Red Children” (a nod to the orphanage that used to share the street, where kiddos wore red), this place is bursting with as much history as it is with fresh flavors.

marche enfants rouges

Now, if you’re envisioning rows of sleepy stalls peddling produce, think again! This market is more like the United Nations of gastronomy. Fancy some authentic Moroccan couscous? Or maybe your taste buds are leaning towards a bento box of Japanese delights? Or, if you’re feeling particularly indulgent, why not go all in with a classic French crêpe, oozing with cheese and ham? Whatever your stomach is grumbling for, Marché des Enfants Rouges has got the goods, it’s among one of the best places for international food in Paris.

Serious Market Shopping

But it’s not just about filling your belly. This place is a feast for the senses! Stroll through and you’ll be serenaded by the sizzling sounds of fresh ingredients hitting hot pans, enchanted by the vibrant colors of fresh produce, and perhaps a little tipsy from the heady aromas of spices and fresh herbs. Each market in Paris has its charm (the Parisians are truly spoiled!) and they’re very accessible friendly places. they’re you’re must visit for seasonal produce. I’d recommend reading up on what to expect at a market in France with a shopper’s guide, but to get the full experience you can always take a French market cooking class and then use what you learn for any market in Paris, Marché des Enfants Rouges included.

chez alain miam miam
Chez Alain Miam Miam

A stall you MUST stop by:

Chez Alain Miam Miam. You might have to queue up to eat here but it’s worth it! It’s French street food at its best and without a doubt, a good choice. There’s no seating here so it’s truly on-the-go eating, but you can find places to sit around the edges of the market. Head there for sandwiches, crepes and blinis.

The real scoop? It’s the people. This market is as much about the charismatic vendors as it is about their mouth-watering offerings. Chat up the stall owners and you’ll hear stories as rich and varied as the food they serve. These folks aren’t just selling food; they’re serving up pieces of their culture with a side of Parisian flair. There’s a market for each arrondissement in Paris – that’s 20 markets to visit! But this one truly is special because of the animation you’ll find here.

So, the next time you’re in the Marais and hunger pangs strike, save the terrace for later. Dive into the bustling, vibrant world of Marché des Enfants Rouges. Grab a glass of something bubbly, snag a spot at one of the communal tables, and watch the world go by. Who knows? You might just end up staying for dinner, too. And possibly even for seconds.

marche enfants rouge

Now go, unleash your inner foodie and let the market’s spirit lead you to your next unforgettable meal in Paris! 🍴✨ And don’t let the cultural events end there, this market is just a stones throw away from the Centre Pompidou, one of the must-visit museums of Paris.

Practical Info:

Location: 39 rue de Bretagne – 75003 Paris

Market Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 8.30am-7.30pm; Sunday: 8.30am-2pm.

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