Paris: The Market at Rue Mouffetard +

Local Market – Rue de la Glaciere: A small local market with all the essentials. Quaint, but only if you’re staying there. It’s not enough to make a special trip for if you are staying away from this area.

If you stay at the apartment at Rue de la Glaciere these are some of the things you’ll see at their market every Wednesday and Saturday morning:

Market: Rue Mouffetard:
Or, you can take the green line from La Glaciere to Place d’ Italia, then transfer to the pink line and get off at Place Monge. A short walk and you’re on the infamous Rue Mouffetard. Famous for it’s market, this street is one of the oldest in Paris – part of the original Roman road via Lyon. It’s narrow (wouldn’t want to drive it, but people do drive on the upper half – the bottom is a pedestrian only zone) at only 18 feet wide, but full of character.

The first thing I noticed was not one, but two fondue restaurants sitting opposite each other -both very inviting. If you like fondue, you’ll find a lot of nice little restaurants here serving exactly that. There’s also a nice creperie (crepe shop) at the north end of the street. When you get to the Mouffe from Place Monge, north will be to your right, and the market to the south is to your left.

There are some nice shops and restaurants at the north end so if you have time, it’s worth strolling up that way about 10 minutes. The boutiques full of cute French fashion are not horribly expensive and there is a good bookstore (with an inexpensive French/English dictionary) and a fabulous hat/accessory shop in that direction.

The old buildings are fun and have a great history, so if you want to know more before you go, it’s worth a little research. A little digging will yield interesting background info into some of the addresses and the church at the southern end.

The people all over the Mouffe area were all very friendly. In every shop, they were helpful. Every shop that we went into took Visa and most of the shop keepers spoke enough English for us to communicate.

The market at the Rue Mouffetard is not the traditional market in the sense that things are not brought to that location in a temporary setting. Unlike the market in Sittard the shops established here allow themselves to spill out onto the busy street creating a sort of open market for the locals who shop there and the tourists who come to gawk at the chocolates, cheeses, and hanging ducks. Only at the very end, in front of old church, can you find just a couple produce stands set up on rickety tables and awnings with no permanent structure to shelter them.

Granted, as tourists, we aren’t generally going to stock up on fresh ducks and cheeses that will spoil on the drive home, but tourist or not, there is a lot to see and still quite a few things you will enjoy looking at. Along with the beautiful boutiques, you’ll find two very inviting chocolate shops, a fantastic wine shop, a jewelry store, a gourmet food shop with olive oil and bruscetta toppings, and l’occitaine – a really nice perfumerie with lotions and soaps as well.

If you do have the luxury of a kitchen where you are staying then this place would be the place to shop for dinner. You’ll find a great cheese shop right next to the wine shop, two meat shops with freshly plucked ducks, geese, and chickens hanging by their feet, rabbits and fois gras, a seafood shop with everything traditional and everything exotic – just as fun to photograph as to shop at.

At the end of the market portion of the Rue, you’ll find an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables and a nice flower shop tucked into an alley with beautiful bouquets for your table. Add a dessert from one of the bakeries and you’ll have a meal fit for royalty.

If you enjoy markets and shopping, go here. If you enjoy history and architecture, go here. If you want to eat fondue or some delicious crepes, stop by here. Or, if you just want to take a walk and take photographs of everything you see, you’ll find plenty here to keep your camera busy.

Shops:

L Occitane
– #130at the south (busier) end: A beautiful shop filled with perfumes, soaps, and lotions with unique scents and beautiful gift items. This is a company that is from France and is named after a southern border region where France, Italy, and Spain collide called Occitania.

L ‘Arbre Du Voyageur – #55: A beautiful little bookstore where you can find sweet children’s books, art books, and, the more practical, pocket-sized French-English dictionary for only 5.50E.

** Though I failed to grab business cards from every shop in which I stepped, between #55 and #25, you’ll find several accessory shops that are must goes if you are a woman and appreciate scarves and hats. You’ll also find a a few nice boutiques. That is a nice little stretch. Down near L’ Occitane, you’ll find more food related shops including the cheeses, the wine, and two great chocolate shops. Oh… and the olive oil place too. Yep – basically, go, relax, take your time, and do the whole street. It’s yummy.

Restaurants:

Assiette Aux Fromages – #25: Delicious fondues and intense desserts in a cozy atmosphere with friendly staff and really reasonable prices. I was happy here.

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