One of the best parts about living in Paris and France for a foodie like myself is all of the weekly open-air markets. Marché Raspail is “mine,” since it’s the closest to my apartment. And it makes shopping for food a dream.
The open-air Marché Raspail is open year-round every Tuesday and Friday, and on Sunday the entire market is organic. For a second I thought I missed having a Whole Foods in Paris, but I’m a total open-air market convert.
I’ve recently started making homemade bone broths because it’s getting colder, they have tons of health benefits, and also because I’m in my late-twenties and need all of the collagen I can get. Chicken bones are my best friend right now so I’m roasting at least a chicken a week. I love my butcher on Rue du Bac, but the prices at Marché Raspail can’t be beat.
Today I knew I wanted a chicken and I knew I wanted to make bone broth but that was about it. I’m the kind of shopper that likes to do a once-over of everything before committing to a purchase. My tactic with Marché Raspail or any open-air market in France is to walk the market first. I like to see vendors I recognize and also which places have lines queuing.
Open-air markets in Paris aren’t farmer’s markets. A lot of the time the produce doesn’t come from France. However, the vendors are required to disclose the origin of everything, so it’s easy to tell and choose local. On Sunday, the organic version of Marché Raspail does have quite a bit of local producers – look for signs that say “direct producteur.”
The produce is also rated by categories based on weight, color, and visual aspect. Essentially, products that are the “correct” weight, have great color, and look beautiful are Category I. Category II products have a few more “flaws,” although these flaws aren’t very evident.
My Marché Raspail haul today was a “Label Rouge” free-range chicken, thick-cut bacon (why not), cheeses and cream, and tons of fresh vegetables for the week. I wanted to buy more dahlias but I’ve run out of vases. I also thought the hydrangea wreaths were gorgeous but I have to stop myself somewhere.
Even if you’re visiting Paris without a kitchen the market is worth a visit. You can have a fresh-baked pastry while you browse or sample some of the prepared foods. There are also beautiful cashmere scarves for 35€, kitchen utensils, soaps, creams, and more. It’s a great place to find gifts for people.
Marché Raspail is located on Boulevard Raspail between Rue du Cherche-Midi and Rue de Rennes.
- The traditional market is on Tuesdays and Fridays from 7AM to 2:30PM
- The organic market, Marché Biologique Raspail (Marché Bio Raspail) is on Sundays from 9AM to 3PM
For more information, click here.