What could be more - dare I say romantic - than sitting at the counter of a Parisian market restaurant sipping on natural wines and eating market fresh seafood and produce? Not just any market, but the oldest and one of the most charming markets in Paris.
Les Enfants Rouges is the oldest outdoor covered market in Paris, and has been around since 1635, though its current form as a gourmet food market did not begin until 2000 (after extensive campaigning by locals).
The market itself sells a beautiful array of colorful fresh fruits and vegetables. There's also seafood, meat, and a lovely cheese shop right around the corner.
Tucked inside the market is an amazing food section filled with excellent little restaurants. If you're OK with take-away, my favorite sandwich shop in Paris, chez Alain Miam Miam is located in the market.
If you want to grab a coveted seat inside the market, you'll likely have to line up.
Les Enfants du Marche is a tiny little restaurant (with at most a dozen or so seats) serving natural wines, seasonal produce, and various types of meats and seafood.
The market ambiance is decidedly casual, though the food is certainly higher end, with prices to match.
The menu is very seasonal, and changes frequently, thus the use of a blackboard.
Asparagus, peas, morels, pea shoots (34 EURO)
Fresh langoustine from Guilvinec (Brittany) France. (36 EUROS)
A beautiful piece of grilled bluefin tuna belly served with wild strawberries and side greens (market price, I think it was around 45 EUROS).
We showed up super early (like well before 12PM) to avoid the notorious long lines we had heard about. Sure enough, by the time we left around 1PM, the line was long and it was very very crowded! We're very thankful we were able to enjoy the restaurant during a less frenzied time.
Afterwards, we roamed around the market a bit (it's not very big), and just enjoyed the ambiance of the gourmet market in such a historic space.
Les Enfants du Marche and the surrounding Les Enfants Rouge market are certainly worth visiting. The air of the place just feels so Parisian. All of the food is very high quality and executed well. I will say that it's quite pricey, though the portion sizes are not small.
It's better to go early to enjoy the relaxed vibe. Otherwise, once it gets really crowded, it can get to be a bit overwhelming.Les Enfants du Marche Restaurant