If you’re anywhere near le Marais (3d arrondissement), this market is a must-visit. It’s said to be the oldest market in Paris.
I’ll admit, it’s not really of the beaten track. All the different languages I heard while I was there, indicate it’s mentioned in many Paris travel guides. But since even my Parisian friends don’t think it’s beneath them to visit le Marché des Enfants Rouges (and they usually stay far from ‘touristic’ places), it’s still well worth mentioning.
Technically, it’s a market, but the offer of fresh products is not that impressive. Sure, you can buy fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, fish and so on, but don’t expect a huge variety. What is impressive, is the amount of dining options. You’ll find all sorts of cuisines, from Italian, Japanes and Moroccan, to truly HUGE sandwiches.
Just order what you like and devour at one of the tables on the (very crowded) terrace. The people who work at this market add something extra to the experience. Most food stands are very well organized, and it’s fun to watch how they work so efficient on such tiny surfaces.
One word of advise, this place gets busy. REAL busy. So it’s likely you’ll have to wait in line, most food stands have a queue of hungry people waiting patiently to order. Now that sounds worse than it actually is. Last time we were there, we chose a couscous royal. The wait was about 20 minutes, but well worth it considering that after this time we could enjoy a truly delicious couscous outside in the sun (in a city were it’s truly difficult to find a spot outside when the weather is nice).
Not to mention the price! The couscous itself was just 11 euros, and don’t even try finding a Coke for only 1,50 anywhere else in Paris (especially in le Marais, where you’re more likely to pay around 5-6 euro for a soda).
You’ll find Marché des Enfants Rouges at Rue the Bretagne in the 3d arrondissement, there are two iron gates that give acces to the market. For more information or directions on how to get there: Timeout Paris