Le Marche des Enfants Rouges is the oldest food market in Paris, built in 1615 under the rule of King Louis XIII. The name literally means “ Market of the Red Children” and in my research all I found was the name comes from a nearby 17th century orphanage where the children wore red uniforms. What that has to do with the price of cabbage, I don’t know, but the name has a mysterious, romantic air to it.
Located in the chic northern part of the Marais, Le Marche des Enfants Rouges is a compact indoor market with a small iron-gate entrance that’s easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. I arrived in the late afternoon and was starving for lunch. The nice thing about the market is that many of the stands sell fresh prepared food that you can eat on tables with cheerful plastic tablecloths spread out through the market. The heavenly aroma from an Asian food stand seduced me and I chowed down on a delicious dish of Asian–style chicken nuggets with seaweed salad.
The market was quiet as I walked around and smelled the bouquets of vibrant flowers, marveled at the wide selection of obscure wines, admired the gorgeous bounty of organic pumpkins, tomatoes, cauliflower, and other richly colored fruits and vegetables, and savored the treasures of a stand with fresh pasta,
Italian olives and extra virgin olive oil. Some of the other stands had a great selection of fresh seafood, meat and charcuterie, and French & imported cheeses.
I was just about to start filling my basket so I could whip up a delicious dinner but darn!, I already had dinner reservations.
Le Marche des Enfants Rouges
39 rue de Bretagne
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8:30-1PM and 4PM-7: 30PM
Friday, Saturday- 8h30AM-1PM and 4PM-8PM
Metro: Filles- Calvaire or Temple