MARCHE DES ENFANTS ROUGE
Behind an old iron gate in the 3rd arrondissement, there’s the oldest covered market in Paris. Le Marché des Enfants Rouges is a glorious maze of food stalls, flower shops and little restaurants hidden in the Marais. A little surprise for food lovers and history buffs, it’s a spot that one of my best friends introduced me to when I lived in Paris and for that, it holds a special place in my heart.
Its name literally translates to “the market of the red children”, which sounds a bit odd until you get to find out about its history. Le Marché des Enfants Rouges opened in 1615 under the reign of Louis XIII and took its name from a nearby orphanage where young boarders were dressed in red coats. The market was closed for a few years in the 1990s when the Mayor wanted to tear down the structure and turn it into a parking but luckily, the residents managed to save it. The renovated market reopened in 2000 and ever since, it’s been thriving.
One of the things I really love about le Marché des Enfants Rouges is how small and welcoming it feels. It’s not fancy but rather a local gem for foodies. Here you’ll find dishes from around the world: Japanese bento boxes at Chez Taeko, couscous (followed by baklava and mint tea) at Le Traiteur Marocain, French oysters at La Poissonnerie Pleine Mer, burgers at Le Burger Fermier and the unique sandwiches of Chez Alain Miam Miam. And then there are the food stalls with fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, cheese and fish – not a huge variety but just enough to tempt you. Last but not least, the flower stalls that I can never resist (let’s not forget I’m a crazy plant lady!).
Le Marché des Enfants Rouges comes alive for lunch on weekdays and brunch during the weekend. Happy customers flock to every stall, so sometimes it may be hard to find a table. No worries, though. Get your meal to go, eat in the nearby Square du Temple, thank me later!
|Address: 39 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris, France
|Telephone: +33 1 40112040