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Marche Des Enfants Rouges

39 rue de Bretagne,
Phone: 33-1-40-11-20-40

What was once an orphanage for children in the 16th century — orphans who were dressed in red, thus the Enfants Rouges part of the name — morphed (all the way back in 1615) into one of the funkiest global food courts in Paris.  (It also happens to be one of the oldest covered markets in Paris, too.)
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You may be in France, but you can eat like you’re in Lebanon, Japan, or Italy.  Although, I say skip the pizza (it’s mediocre at best) and head to the Moroccan stall, called Traiteur Morocain, for killer Tagines, like Chicken with Olives or Lamb with Almonds, and some of the fluffiest cous cous I’ve had.   Oh, and finish with their exemplary Baklava and Sweet Mint Tea.  I’m surprised at how decent the bento box is at the Japanese stall as well as the Karaage (aka fried chicken).  There’s finely spiced, Afro-Antiles grub and outstanding crepes from Chez Alain, a Breton guy who’s crepes are so good you’ll often find film cameras taping his magic.

chickensmarketWhat’s so great about this market is that there are so many tables to linger at over the ready-to-go bites and alcohol, so you can eat like you’re in a restaurant without the commitment.  And besides prepared foods, there also happens to be some great ingredients, especially the fruit and vegetables guy, who speaks good English, but will happily humor practicing your French with you (my kind of guy).  The only caveat is that it’s closed on Mondays.

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