Located in the 7th arrondissement this street market is the must see
for any food lover. There is everything from fruit and vegetable stands (Halles Bosquet) to flower stands to my favorite CHEESE (La FermetteFromagerie) there are cafes, bakeries, butchers and chocolate shops! A one stop shop for anything and everything you could possibly dream of. Shopping a market like Rue Cler is not simply shopping in Paris…it is an experience. It’s a time to socialize, to purchase groceries for that day (lets face it, kitchens are small in Europe and that equals small refrigerators so a lot of things are purchased daily or every other day to ensure freshness), to smell the fruits and vegetables and get a euphoric vision of how to treat them and love them in the kitchen. The food in Paris is just…well, better. The French actually refer to our American strawberries as “plastic” – at first I didn’t understand this but when we actually bought some of their strawberries – well, lets just say I don’t really eat them here in the states anymore. The strawberries in Paris are deep red in color, all the way through…no bitter white center and the tops look like fresh little trees, not wilted and dead. They were sweet and delicate – AND THAT’S JUST THE STRAWBERRIES!
You could easily spend a half a day strolling Rue Cler trying samples, buying items to take back home (I bought some fresh vanilla beans, Herbs de Provence, jams and jellies – just make sure everything over 3.4 oz is in your CHECKED bags at the airport.) or picking up items to keep in your hotel or flat for snacking late at night. I found all the shop owners to be very pleasant and they just loved and adored that I was an American trying my best to speak French. They would laugh with me, talk to me about their food and why it was such good quality and share samples. This was where I tried my first authentic baguette…when you’re in Paris walking around you will notice an abundance of people literally carrying a full size baguette in a paper sleeve that they picked up from the bakery minutes ago and just taking bites out of it as they get to where they’re going – when in Paris, do as the Parisians do…I bought a fresh baked baguette from the bakery and I do believe it was love at first bite. I’m embarrassed to admit that I refused to share (even with my son – way to teach him how to share mom!). As if the baguette wasn’t filling enough, we found an outside cafe to sit and had lemon and sugar crepes and people-watched as all the Parisians went about their busy day buying groceries and socializing with the fish monger over a table of freshly caught fish from the English Channel. I really could go on about Rue Cler for a couple more paragraphs…but I’ll spare you from it. As you could probably tell, I absolutely adored this famous little street and everything it contained. It makes for a tranquil afternoon of enjoying company and stuffing your face with everything delicious.
For a list of all the shops on Rue Cler click here.