Restaurants. Merchants (fruit and vegetables, cheese, fish, flowers, etc.). And a photo store. All backed by Like a novel, one of the most beautiful Parisian bookstores, on rue de Bretagne. In short, food for the body and the mind. In other words: a perfect summary of the Marais.

Thus it appears, the Red Children's Market, unique of its kind in the capital because it is the only one to offer such a varied and qualitative catering offer.

©Le Marais Mood

And to think what is the oldest covered market in Paris almost turned into a parking lot... It was the time when Jacques Chirac was at Paris town hall. After its closure in 1994, the municipality intended to carry out a lucrative real estate operation to park cars on several floors! A second “assassination of Paris” (*) in short, after that, in 1971, of the Baltard pavilions at Les Halles, under the Pompidou presidency.

©Le Marais Mood

Fortunately, after a campaign led by director Bernard Tavernier and reasonable Marais residents, it reopened in November 2000, almost four hundred years after its creation. Built in 1615 at the request of Louis XIII, the market was then used to supply le Marais and the aristocratic Place Royale, today's Place des Vosges.

250 years ago, this wooden market hall, equipped with a well and a stable, was called the “red children’s market”. A reference to the orphanage that the sister of François I had opened, not far from there, in 1534, and whose residents were dressed in red.

Entrance to the Marché des Enfants-Rouges, in 1907, Houbron

Interior of the Marché des Enfants-Rouges, in 1907, Houbron

The market is today a must-see in the Marais, just like the Picasso museum or the Place des Vosges. A “must see” for tourists who enjoy meeting local residents who come to stock up on cheeses, fruits and vegetables, meats, fish and flowers in a harmonious melting pot.

In terms of catering, there is plenty of choice: French cuisine or elsewhere, the offer is wide. At Taeko's, the delicious bentos transport us to Tokyo. Right next door, the Afro-Caribbean soursop offers excellent accras, bokits and even chicken yassas. At the Farmer's Burger, even the Americans recognize that on this side of the Atlantic, we know how to do it! Right in front, here is Alain Miam-Miam and its legendary pantagruelian sandwiches.

©Le Marais Mood

Further still, the Moroccan caterer – a family business run by people from Agadir – caters to the youngest: at ten euros for a chicken tagine and 13 for royal couscous, we eat cheap, good and balanced. And at Bio Wagner, along one of the two entrances on the right, everything is “organic”. There is also a Italy, of good reputation, a Lebanese and a handful of other French addresses.

©Le Marais Mood

To the Children of the Market, Mika, who arrived six years ago, has established the reputation of his gourmet counter where you eat for 30 or 60 euros, or more, depending on the wine (organic or natural). This Parisian born in the Halles district sums up his ambition thus: “To perpetuate the tradition of the market as it once existed in the Halles of Paris [before their transfer to Rungis]. »

Right next door and in the same price range, The Butcher of Paris – which is celebrating its two years – resurrects the tradition of the “merry butchers of La Villette” dear to Boris Vian. Here, you can buy your meat and take it home or eat it on site.

©Le Marais Mood

Here we prepare and cook the meat on site. And customers eat on blocks which serve as tables. The barbaque comes directly from French producers, just like the wines, chosen by the boss. In short, it smells good of the land. At a table, Matt, an American regular who lives in Paris and works in finance cannot believe so much French genius: “France is wonderful. The Enfants Rouges market is exceptional. I regularly cross the Seine from the 7th arrondissement to come here. It's awesome ! »

Less brilliant, however, are the toilets on the market, far from impeccable. Neither the town hall nor the market traders consider it useful to raise them to the level of the commercial offer which is otherwise without fault, or almost. Odd…

(*) The expression comes from the French historian Louis Chevalier (1911-2001), author of The Assassination of Paris (Editions Ivrea) who compares the disappearance of the market halls to a homicide in the capital.

The Red Children's Market
39 rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
Tuesday to Saturday from 8 p.m. to 20 p.m.
Sunday from 8:30 p.m. to 17 p.m.

©Le Marais Mood

Text: Axel G

07.05.24

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Oysters and fish: P'tit Mousse knows his job

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Why bother going to Wepler or La Coupole, when there is P'tit Mousse? Both an oyster bar and a fish restaurant, this address on Rue Rambuteau advantageously replaces the Parisian brasseries on Place Clichy and Boulevard Montparnasse.

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WHAAAAAAAT?!

 

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