Among the 82 Parisian markets, the Marché Saxe Breteuil is one of my favourites, Number Three ranking. It is located in the select 7th arrondissement on the wide pedestrian central reservation of the Avenue de Saxe: at one end, the Place de Breteuil and at the other end the Place de Fontenoy and the Ecole Militaire… and above all: the Eiffel Tower in the background!
The Marché Saxe Breteuil is made in the image of the local people: smart, calm and relaxed! Its two lanes of stands are wide and never crowded ; nobody pushes you and the stallholders do not shout at the customers. There is something of a holiday atmosphere: I love it!
And for a visitor passing through Paris what could be more authentic and magical than going to the market with a view on the Eiffel Tower?
Beautiful Fruit and Vegetables Stands
One is delighted by the beauty of the stands and the wide range and high quality of the fresh food products proposed. There are about 80 stallholders, most of them selling food. One can find a lot of fruit and vegetables including several market gardeners.
I have been delighted by two of them that I had never seen in any other market. The first one, ‘Le Bar aux saveurs’, offers a wide variety of lettuces, potatoes, mushrooms… Amazing! I have rarely seen so many herbs and leaves, including beetroot leaves or salsola and I could not help but buying a handful of each.
And the second one, ‘La Tomate d’Alençon’, only sells tomatoes, red, green or maroon, all organic and appetizing and at reasonable prices: 3,90€ a kilo of ‘Coeur de Boeuf’!
Meat, fish and cheese merchants
The fruit and vegetables stands are not the only ones to offer a wide range of refined and appetizing food. Indeed the Marché Saxe Breteuil has no less than three fishmongers’…
three luxury poulterers’ offering the best French poultry…
And of course several cheese merchants…
Bread and Delicatessen
As in any other open-air market the Marché Saxe Breteuil has its delicatessen stalls where one can buy local food either to cook or to take away for eating: Italian, Lebanese, West indian… I love their colours and smells!
Before leaving the market I also had a stop by the baker who sells traditional breads each more tasty and tempting than the other. And by the ‘Maison Naouri’ to buy some olives and dried fruit: I could not resist.
One can also find there several stands of non-food products, probably more than in many other Parisian open-air markets: Clothes and shoes of course, whether for adults or for kids, but also socks, belts, hats and jewels. One of my favourites, not to be not missed, is the stand of the jewelry designer: really beautiful… and affordable.
And if you wish to complete the fitting out and the decoration of your home, you can have a look at the dishes, tableware or tableclothes offered. These stands are located at the end of the market when one comes from the Place de Breteuil: the Eiffel Tower is not far away.
Shopping with a view on the Eiffel Tower
When one visits the Marché Saxe Breteuil, one must take time to admire the views on the top of the Eiffel Tower. The iron lady appears from time to time in the background when the space between the stands makes it possible. And at the end of the market one can see more than the top and is invited to keep walking on the Avenue de Saxe towards the Ecole Militaire.
The Marché Saxe Beteuil takes place twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays from 8am till 2pm. If you like peace and quiet, choose a sunny Thursday so as to experience at its best the relaxed and holiday atmosphere of the place. You will then do your shopping among the housewifes of the area -some of them together with their youngest children- looking for the most beautiful fresh food at the best price. Do the same and you will be back home with all you need to cook a good meal! But if you prefer a lively atmosphere I recommend you to do your shopping on a Saturday: the market will be more crowded, the customers more varied and the stallholders more joyful.
One more piece of advice, which applies to any Parisian open-air market: if you are looking for the widest choice and the most beautiful fresh food products, you have better come early while if you like to shop around for the best deals, you have better take advantage of the thirty minutes before the closing. I wish you a pleasant shopping!
Christine Bokobza – Good Morning Paris B&B – www.goodmorningparis.fr
Practical information: Marché Saxe-Breteuil – Avenue de Saxe 75007 Paris – On Thursdays and Saturdays from 8am till 2pm