Marché Président Wilson is Noted for its Quality Food:
If you love food, you’ll most certainly love the markets in Paris. Of the food markets that we visited in Paris, the Marché Président Wilson on Avenue du Président Wilson is my favourite. This large market in the 16th arrondissement has beautiful flowers, the freshest of fruits and vegetables, seafood, mouth-watering bread and cheeses, pasta, olives, cooked food and more.
There are many markets in Paris and shopping at the food markets is an integral part of everyday life in the capital. Each arrondissement has at least a couple of market days a week and Parisians prefer to shop at the markets, rather than in supermarkets. You get the freshest of produce at the markets and shoppers usually like buying food from their favourite vendors. The stallholders are experts in their produce and are happy to give advice on what’s in season, how long you can store a certain food and some interesting or best ways to prepare the food in question. For the locals, going to the market is also quite a social event and shoppers and vendors exchange information about their respective families or grumble about the state of affairs in the country.
Marché Président Wilson
Marché Président Wilson is in the museum district and as such it is also a tourist attraction. It is also in the embassy district and the market is noted for its quality. You’ll see the most amazing range of food here, some more exotic than others. If you arrive at the Alma-Marceau Metro end of the market, the first stalls you’ll encounter are the flower vendors with beautiful cut flowers and pot plants.
Just past the flower stalls is the fruit and vegetable section. It’s the asparagus season and there are plentiful supplies of green and white asparagus. The artichokes look spectacular. Although I’m not yet a fan of the way the French eat the leaves, they do look good and tempting enough to buy. The bright red ox-heart tomatoes add colour contrast to the artichokes and they look great as well.
The fish and seafood section is impressive. Here is an opportunity to get to know the French names for a wide range of fish. Some like Maquereux and Thon are obvious, but others like Saint Pierre (John Dory), Carrelet (Plaice), Dorade (Bream) and Espadon (Swordfish) are more obscure, if you don’t speak French.
If you’re heading to the park for a picnic, the fresh baguettes are hard to resist and of course there’s plenty of delicious cheeses to choose from. The sandwich stall offers a range of meat fillings. Seafood paella and roast chicken are just some of the prepared foods that you can buy for your gourmet picnic. The olive vendor cleverly offers you tastings of the various olives, in the hope that you’ll buy some. It always works on me and I end up buying too much. For those who prefer seafood, there’s also plenty of oysters, cooked prawns and smoked salmon available.
Visiting Marché Président Wilson
Even if you’re not shopping for food, Marché Président Wilson is a nice market to visit for its colourful produce and atmosphere. We even managed to buy ourselves a hat each and the prices are very reasonable. On another visit, I found a pair of nice jeans and a woollen cape.
After the markets, there are a few museums you can visit in the area or make your way to the Seine for a promenade.
The Marché President Wilson is open on Wednesdays from 7:00 am to 2:30 and on Saturdays from 07:00 to 15:00.
Note: It’s better to go earlier as some of the stalls do start packing up before closing time.
Marché Président Wilson
Avenue du Président Wilson (between Rue Debrousse and the Place d’Iéna)
How to get there:
Métro: Ligne 9 ( M° Iéna). The Alma Marceau metro stop is at the other end of the market.