This historic market takes its name from the 16th-century orphanage that used to occupy the site; the red of the children’s clothes indicated they had been donated by Christian charities. Although the orphanage closed before the revolution, the imposing wooden edifice survived and was reopened as a deluxe food market in 2000 after extensive campaigning from locals. Now something of a tourist hotspot, the market also boasts a handful of first-rate restaurants.
If you’re looking for a classy, time-worn curio to remind you of Paris across oceans and continents, you could do worse than a trip to one of its many brilliant flea markets. At once atmospheric and oddly beautiful, the sprawling stalls of St-Ouen and Montreuil brim with souvenir-worthy goods, while the quainter Brocante des Abbesses does so on a much smaller scale.
For exquisitely fresh grub – admittedly slightly less transportable, but ideal if you’ve got an Airbnb fridge to stock up – there are also innumerable excellent food markets in Paris that can deliver. Historic locations at Bastille and Aligre, plus trendier newcomers like the Marché des Enfants-Rouges, offer a great way to meet producers and sample new flavours. But almost every neighbourhood has its own seasoned stallholders – to track down your local marché, check out the comprehensive and up-to-date listings on the Mairie de Paris website. And remember: whether antiques, bric-à-brac, food or parakeets, when taking pictures, it’s always polite to ask first.
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