Visit to a Paris Market (Video)

Everyday in Paris (except on Mondays), there are glorious outdoor markets taking place in the various neighborhoods spread out across the city. Each market has its own distinct personality – and personalities – and like many residents of Paris, I like to do my shopping at an outdoor market.

As a dedicated market shopper, I find myself gravitating toward my favorite stands and sellers, such as the friendly gent who sells potatoes (and who wears just a t-shirt all year long, no matter how freezing cold it gets) and the people who come bearing gooey wedges of locally made Brie as well as unbelievably delicious crème fraîche, the kind you just can’t get anywhere else but in France. There are sturdy metal tables heaped with plenty of ice to keep all the pristine seafood and shellfish fresh, and come fall, when I don’t pick them myself, I rifle through bins of irregular apples to find just the right ones to bring home and caramelize in a warm tarte Tatin.

Some Parisians even take into consideration which market they’ll be close to when determining which neighborhood in Paris they want to live in. But outdoor markets aren’t just places to buy food; they act as social centers and once you get to know your market and the various stalls, and vendors, you develop favorites—even some who let you pick out your own apples! Here are some of mine.

[Video by Flow Films.]

Related Posts

Ready for Dessert (Tarte Tatin Recipe)

A Visit to Fouquet Chocolate and Confections (Video)

A Visit to Patrick Roger Chocolates (Video)

It’s Ready! (Video)

Roast Potimarron Recipe

Sardine Pâté Recipe

The Barbès Market

The Sunday Bastille Market



  • Thea
    December 16, 2011 5:10am

    I so enjoyed watching your video David! (basically what everyone else voiced-liked the choice of music also). I feel like you were having a conversation directly with me ;-) . I like how you advocate food looking natural and beautiful with imperfections as it should be, not the perfect Frankenfood we see everywhere! I also agree that even though we may eat with our eyes first, the flavour is what is most important.
    Thank you for sharing your lunch with us…now I’m hungry! lol. Looking forward to seeing more of your videos in the future ;-) Reply

  • Ann
    December 16, 2011 5:54am

    Such a great video, David! Thanks and hopefully there will be more to follow! Reply

  • Cathg1g2
    December 16, 2011 6:15am

    That was fun to watch, yum croissants, perfect way to start market shopping.
    Can’t wait to get to Paris for the New Year. Got your app and set to go! Reply

  • Sheila
    December 16, 2011 6:53am

    Please do more of this. A nice treat to your readers! How about doing one on the Christmas markets in Paris? Reply

  • December 16, 2011 6:58am

    Awesome video. Such a lovely personal touch. Thank you. Reply

  • December 16, 2011 7:12am

    Great video!
    Post more video in the future please :) Reply

  • Laura
    December 16, 2011 7:42am

    Love meeting you through your video! I love the simplicity of your cooking…it looks so delicious! More videos please. Reply

  • December 16, 2011 8:09am

    Aw I loved it! Thanks for sharing the video of the beautiful marketplace there (which I hope to visit someday), and the wonderful looking meals you created afterwards. I just made Tarte Tatin from a French cookbook I have, and was wondering if other people made theirs in a cast iron skillet… so I’m glad to see you doing so! Thanks again. Reply

  • Christina
    December 16, 2011 8:28am

    Thank you for the gift of this video – it actually brought tears to my eyes, so much do I miss that environment. It reminded me of an orgy of cooking I did two years ago in the exquisite village of Venasque. We followed the markets for two weeks and became quite friendly with many vendors – and, oh, the prosciutto type ham made with sanglier! The market I frequent in Paris is in the streets in and around rue de Seine.
    Joyeux Noël et bonne année 2012!
    Bainbridge Island, WA Reply

  • December 16, 2011 8:31am

    Love the video! You are such a good narrator as you’re shopping and cooking. Love your commentary. I vote for you having your own show! Reply

  • December 16, 2011 10:49am

    What about a TV show?
    you would be perfect.
    what was the spice combo with sesame, seaweed, pepper?
    Futomaki or something..? Reply

  • Haley
    December 16, 2011 10:56am

    Yes! I’ve been wanting to make tarte tatin for so long and now here is a little demonstration. Perfect.
    I really loved this video, everything about it was so beautiful and heartwarming, wonderfully representative of Autumn vibes. Reply

  • December 16, 2011 11:12am
    David Lebovitz

    Thanks everyone for your kind messages about the video. They’re really fun to do and I hope to do more in the future, but they also take a bit of time…plus my friend Mark, who makes them, lives in the states…however there will be more coming up, so stay tuned…!

    The market is the Richard Lenoir market in the Bastille; I tagged the post at the end with those two terms, which takes place Thursday and Sunday. It’s much more lively (ie: crowded) on Sunday but is fun any day. There are over a hundred markets in Paris but that one is one of the biggest, and some say, one of the best.

    A few asked which bakery the croissant was from, and I was at Au Levain du Marais, which is listed on my Paris Pastry App.

    A few years ago, I considered their croissant the best in Paris, and while a number of others have stepped forward with other contenders (in a city of over a thousand bakeries, it is a challenge to pin one down as “the best”, admittedly) – the one I had in the video was indeed, really good.

    I would not have wolfed it down if it wasn’t : ) Reply

  • karin
    December 16, 2011 12:08pm

    love the video…more please!! Reply

  • December 16, 2011 12:22pm

    More, more, more please! Great video. Casual, informative, great armchair traveling!
    Thank you! Reply

  • shandel
    December 16, 2011 12:39pm

    I must be the odd guy out, David I love reading your posts, that to me is your charm, your uniqueness, and frankly I didn’t love the video as much….. are you angling for a TV show or what?

    Nope, not angling for anything. I just like doing videos to share a bit more of Paris in a different way than I normally do on the blog. -dl Reply

  • Judith Basham
    December 16, 2011 2:41pm

    Would that be the Rue Cler Market? Great market! Reply

  • Jennifer Zielinska
    December 16, 2011 3:49pm


    I don’t even know you and I realize you have Romain, and I have my very own David, but I LOVE you! I love your blog, your videos, your take on food, your small European oven.

    Have a happy Christmas! Reply

  • Lori
    December 16, 2011 4:31pm

    Thanks for this video, David. Last March, I took 35 high school students to the Bastille market on Sunday morning. They had never experienced anything like it. It was such a pleasure to see their reactions to the produce, the vendors, the whole atmosphere. When your experience has been nothing but supermarkets, a visit like this can be a life changer. This will be on our future itineraries for sure!
    Joyeux Noël! Reply

  • Denise
    December 16, 2011 4:46pm

    Tout simplement j’adore. Please make some more video, I was there this fall and I miss it. Now I am going to try those recettes. Joyeux Noel. Reply

  • Susan Talbott
    December 16, 2011 5:38pm

    I loved your market video – and I plan to make the Sardine Pate when we get back to Paris after Christmas. Meantime, John is buying me your dessert book for Christmas –

    Warm regards,

    Sue Reply

  • Tags
    December 16, 2011 6:19pm

    Of course taste trumps sight. If you close your eyes you can paint your own picture, but just try eating with your schnoz and taste buds closed. Reply

  • mindy
    December 16, 2011 6:23pm

    awesome! more please (videos). Reply

  • December 16, 2011 6:45pm

    It’s official, I want you to video everywhere you go in Paris. I imagine something as mundane as filling the car with gas would be wonderful there.
    I loved watching your shopping trip to the open-air market, and I really enjoyed watching you cook. I can’t wait to watch more.
    One of your biggest stateside fans!
    aka – Reply

  • BelleD
    December 16, 2011 7:40pm

    What a lovely video. You cook the way I love to cook. More focus on flavor, less on looks. And that sardine pate looks delicious. Sardines are not hard to find in the SF Bay Area, just go into your local Asian supermarket. Unfortunately, they will not be clean and filleted like yours. But for that pate, I think I can move myself to cleaning them myself.

    This video was a lovely treat and I hope for more like it. Reply

  • December 16, 2011 8:09pm

    Loved the video, we love our farmer’s market here in Perth, Western Australia (yeah it’s a long way from Paris!) but it’s not quite the same as Bastille. The sardine paste is quite intriguing. :) Reply

  • stephanie
    December 16, 2011 8:58pm

    I would kill for the recipes for all of these dishes.

    P.S. your French is getting much better :) Reply

  • Pav
    December 16, 2011 9:17pm

    Love the video, please do more as it adds so much more to your site. After viewing how easy sardines are to cook, I’m not afraid to give a try. Reply

  • Michele
    December 16, 2011 10:22pm


    I’m totally feeling the Christmas Crush, and I’m so glad that I took the 6 minutes and 9 seconds to watch your video. It was so calm, soft, delicious and real. Just what I needed to find my center. Thank you! Reply

  • December 16, 2011 11:01pm

    I love your videos David! The menu looked daunting at first, but I can’t believe how easily your meal came together. Thanks for sharing, it’s always nice to visit your kitchen :) Reply

  • December 16, 2011 11:10pm

    What a wonderful video. So charming!

    I would love to know more information about how you put the video together. I am just learning how to put videos like this together and I find the process difficult and it’s seem tricky to make such a high quality video (great picture and sound quality, great framing, etc, the editing, the music)

    Would you be open to sharing how you make a high quality video like this? Reply

  • December 16, 2011 11:23pm

    I loved this video! I hope that this is one of many more to follow. It’s so nice to hear your voice, watch you cook and stroll through the markets. Reply

  • Margaret
    December 16, 2011 11:55pm

    David, love the Tse Tse gratin dish…. Reply

  • December 17, 2011 4:47am

    I adore this video, 6 min 9 sec of vicarious living at it’s best! Reply

  • December 17, 2011 5:16am


    …you had me at market, you threw me over the edge at galette…

    merci, merci…

    ;) Reply

  • December 17, 2011 7:07am

    David, I too loved this video! Simple ingredients but everything looks so delicious – this is the kind of cooking I would love to make standard in my home. Often we think that the more ingredients there are, the tastier the finished product will be. I look forward to seeing more videos in the future! Reply

  • Sheila
    December 17, 2011 7:16am

    The video on the Tarte Tatin made me grab my book and try making it! Yes, it was really easy to make! Made our family dinner special! Thanks David! Reply

  • December 17, 2011 7:48am

    I agree. It comes down to flavor, most of all! Loved the guided tour through the market. Excellent video! Reply

  • December 17, 2011 10:03am

    I like the video very much. Reply

  • Mitzi
    December 17, 2011 5:14pm

    I enjoyed watching your video and oddly enough, so did one of my dogs. As I watched your video on my laptop, he sat beside me on the couch and watched too. He was fascinated. Just thought I would let you know you have an appeal that transcends species. Reply

  • Natasha
    December 17, 2011 5:26pm

    Do more videos, they are delightful! Happy Holidays! Reply

  • December 17, 2011 5:51pm

    Loved your video! It was like the wabi sabi version of a cooking show, charming but not cheesy, informative but not exact, and proof that delicious food doesn’t have to come out of a fancy gourmet kitchen! The bits of conversation are like cooking in your own kitchen with a close friend. Post more s’il vous plait!

    Megan Reply

  • david
    December 17, 2011 7:29pm

    Love video too….
    Tous les ingrediens necessaires pour une cuisine simple , raffinee et conviviale: de tres bons produits du marche, un savoir faire, un BON couteau, et l envie gourmande de partager…

    Elle aurait aimer elle aussi….
    RIP Reply

  • Jan Wilder
    December 17, 2011 8:58pm

    Watched this video while waiting for your Fresh Ginger Cake to bake (second one this week)-it’s my new favorite recipe!!!

    I’m sure that others came away from watching the video feeling as I did…I love your life! Thank you for sharing Paris and your food sensibilities. And it was fun to see your kitchen. I cook in a very small space also! Reply

  • dlatt
    December 17, 2011 9:24pm

    quelle joie de vous voir!! hope to see many, many more videos – you are so lovable! oh, and i love your recipes too. :) Reply

  • Karen
    December 17, 2011 9:52pm

    David – just lovely (as usual). I think I will serve the sardine pate at my holiday party and bask in the compliments. Happy holidays. Reply

  • charlie
    December 17, 2011 11:29pm

    Fantastic. Hope there are many more. Reply

  • Li
    December 18, 2011 1:35am

    “You’re probably thinking, ‘this doesn’t look very good.’ But at some point bacon doesn’t look very good and we still love it, so bear with me.” And with that I fell in love with you sir. And, I’m in The Netherlands, and I too love shopping on the market. I have nicknames for all my favorite places (Paprika heaven, Awesome Chicken Dude, Cheese porn). Thanks for this! Reply

  • December 18, 2011 4:31am

    Love the video!!! :) I hope to see more. :) Reply

  • Celia
    December 18, 2011 6:20am

    Beautiful. Sincere. Tasty. Thank you for sharing such lovely snippets of your life in Paris. I haven’t made it there yet, but you always inspire me to save, save, save! Reply

  • Rene Flynn-Federspiel
    December 18, 2011 6:40am

    You are the most darling person in the world! I was recently in Paris, looking for Lebovitz inspiration in all things. This video brings to me the Paris that I missed. Thank you for all that you share about your life and the things that you love.
    -Rene Flynn-Federspiel Reply

  • Nicole
    December 18, 2011 7:21am

    I’ve been reading your blog for several years now, but have never commented. I really loved your video and think you should do more of them. It’s great to see how you relate to food–everything seems so natural. I love it. You experience food the way it’s supposed to be experienced. It reminds me of my Sicilian grandmother who would take the bus and subway to various green markets in NYC until she was 96. She loved food and loved to feed people. You remind me of her, in the best possible way. Thanks for such a great post and a great blog! Reply

  • December 18, 2011 10:34am

    La vidéo est formidable. Vous voici devenu Français, le menu pourrait être celui de ma table! Reply

  • Bernadette
    December 18, 2011 5:47pm

    Love your videos, David. . .like so many others, I’d love to see you on Cooking Channel perhaps someday (eh, not Food Network, ha). Looked like a beautiful morning to bundle up and head out for the croissant with that nice big basket! Reply

  • December 18, 2011 5:50pm

    I absolutely agree with Nicole! I have been following your blog for a couple years now as well. Your writing and recipes are fantastic, but it is always quite a treat when you do a video. I loved the video you released with your book– the one with the chocolate chip cookies. I IMMEDIATELY made the cookies after watching that video! I’ve remade those cookies so many times and I always think of that video when I am making them. (And I recently just re-made them for my blog as well.) This market video is excellent, too. I think the draw is really being able to see how you interact with food and people in Paris. Reply

  • Jin
    December 18, 2011 6:25pm

    Lovely video David! Thoroughly enjoyed watching it. Such vibrant colors! Reply

  • December 18, 2011 11:53pm

    David – I do hope you’ll do more videos – I love seeing a small, beautifully lit slice of your daily life via video. The relaxed pace of visiting the market, selecting what you want, and your simple preparations are a meditation in the flavors of your home city. Perfect. Thanks for sharing with us! Reply

  • December 19, 2011 2:25am

    What a perfect day and delicious meal. Thank you for sharing!

    I also hope you do more videos, David – you are quite engaging on camera, and it’s great to see you in action in your kitchen. Reply

  • Tim
    December 19, 2011 4:19am

    Wonderful video. The market reminded me of the market in Rome where I used to shop. I got hungry watching you cook and I want to try all of those dishes. I’ve also sent links to colleagues as an example of how a blog video should be done. Reply

  • nina
    December 20, 2011 12:38am

    I just returned from Paris and I can see you go to my favorite market, La Bastille.I love it! I bought a Breton homard that I cooked simmply boiled and served it witth melted butter. And for the first time ever, I got to go to the Marche de Noel @ Champs Elysees. Oh Boy!!! A foodie’s dream! I was amazed at the size of the “tartiflet” pans and the GIANT grills!! What a treat!
    Merry Christmas! Reply

  • JoAnn
    December 20, 2011 3:22am

    I hardly comment once, let alone twice. But I had to tell you…I had my husband, mother, and daughter watch your video. And not all at once. I loved it so much I kept saying “you gotta watch this!”. We spent a couple of weeks in Sicily a few years ago with American family visiting Sicilian family. It was extraordinary. The sentiment about food is so similar there and your video helped my show my mother why I’ve always loved Paris. Anyway, I just wanted you to know that everyone who I showed your video to said the same thing. Your food looked delicious as it was. Even those sardines! My mother loved your tiny and clearly well used kitchen. You charmed us all. Really. You’ve no idea how great that video was. And the piece de resistance is that my seventeen year old daughter said “I want to be his friend!”, which is exactly what I wrote to you in my earlier comment. Your fan base spans the generations! Reply

  • Jody
    December 20, 2011 4:26am

    I enjoyed the video. What a treat to be able to stroll through a French market without leaving my living room! Reply

  • Terri Mead
    December 20, 2011 5:14am

    Loved the clip. More please! Reply

  • Gabi Celli
    December 20, 2011 7:11pm

    What a beautiful video!!! Reply

  • Teresa F.
    December 20, 2011 8:25pm

    A well written and beautiful video! I went back and watched the others you’ve created. I really enjoy them and hope you’ll continue to share the work of the food artists in France on your site. Reply

  • December 21, 2011 2:38am

    All that food looks great, especially the sardine pate`. Yum! Reply

  • December 21, 2011 3:39am

    LOVED this video – food is so beautiful!

    Also loved your sardine comment about bacon. I love making sardine salads! Reply

  • Fabiana Bee
    December 21, 2011 5:16am

    I think I’m not the only one who really loved, adored…your video!! =)

    I loved your “façon” of doing it, showing the market and after all, working at the kitchen with an amazing menu!!

    C’est Parfait!!

    Fabiana Reply

  • Claire
    December 21, 2011 5:09pm

    David, loved the video! Please do more of them! Reply

  • December 22, 2011 12:14am

    I was wondering what was the cider you had in the video? We went to Spain earlier this year and enjoyed the ciders, we’re going to Paris for Christmas and I am hoping to taste French ciders.

    Thanks!! Reply

    • December 22, 2011 8:04am
      David Lebovitz

      It’s sold in glass bottles as apple cider, and has a low alcohol level. I buy it at the Bastille market apple vendor, but you can find it in grocery stores as well (and places that make crêpes too – which invariably offer several varieties.) There are plenty of brands, but I recommend the artisanal ones much better than the commercial ones. Reply

  • Mary
    December 22, 2011 1:15pm

    Love the video!! Such a treat to not only see a market but also watch you cook. I’m envious of how round your dough came out. I just made six pies in a row (Christmas presents) and none of them rolled out that nicely. Reply

  • clee
    December 22, 2011 10:52pm

    david, this is such a great video! i hope there will be more to come! i’ve been following your blog for years and it’s just really nice to see you in the flesh and to see bits of the paris you describe so well. Reply

  • TomDArch
    December 23, 2011 1:31am

    Fantastic! Of course, you (David) and your content were great. It takes a ton of hard work and time to plan, shoot and edit content that good (it looked pretty effortless, which is a mark of how good it was!)

    But I really want to compliment the video maker! Sure there were a few brief moments where the shallow focus was off… But overall, shot after shot was amazing – the light was fantastic, the composition of the shot was great.

    And the audio was great! As it should be, I didn’t realize how good the audio was until part way through – the speech was clear (both the English and the French), the ambient sounds and the sounds of cooking in your kitchen were full and natural, without being distracting! It’s tough to communicate just how difficult good audio is to capture and edit!

    (I just deleted a paragraph about why I don’t think that it would be a good idea to turn this in to a TV show (too much time distracting David, networks would want to water down the content, etc) but I’ll leave it at that so as to not tick anyone off. Basically – these little gems are too good for TV!) Reply

  • Joseph May
    December 23, 2011 1:33am

    I really enjoyed this video, hope you do more of them. Reply

  • Meme H.
    December 23, 2011 6:24am

    Hi David – Great video! Although I do think you are a little cruel to eat that wonderful croissant in front of all of us. We just got back from a November Paris trip, including a visit to the Bastille Market area and this brought it all back. We are so jealous, have another one this Saturday morning for us. Send more videos – we wish you all the best for 2012. Reply

  • Evy
    December 24, 2011 9:47pm

    I loved watching you shop at the market and then cook! After reading you for over a year–it was nice to see you in action and hear your voice!….You should do a cooking show or really a David in Paris show!
    Hope you have a great Christmas! Reply

  • Maryanne
    December 24, 2011 11:30pm

    I love the video, and can’t believe how much you packed into 6 minutes without any of it seeming rushed. Thank you so much for the little peek into Parisian markets. Reply

  • heather
    December 26, 2011 4:41pm

    I cook with my 2 year old son Levi in the mornings, and today I found your site while in search of a new granola recipe. What a special treat to find this little video of your shopping and cooking away. We were both mesmerized! Thank you for letting me take my son to Paris this morning. Reply

  • Siri
    December 27, 2011 2:00pm

    Time to have your own show David! you are so natural with camera and endearing personality. Loved the video and I hope you do more of them in the coming year.

    Wishing you a very Happy New Year. :-)

    Siri Reply

  • Dani
    December 29, 2011 3:18pm

    Dear David,

    I had tears of joy watching this video, made me want to go to Paris more… Please post more videos of your Paris life and recipes. Reply

  • Amanda
    December 30, 2011 9:47pm

    Yes! I agree with everyone else – more videos! Loved it! Oh what I would do to join you for a morning at the market and lunch after! We have a brand new cider here in Austin, TX called Austin Eastciders – it has all the fresh appleyness without the sweetness that more American ciders have. It’s delightful. Thank you for sharing your love of food and Paris with us!
    Warmest wishes for the New Year!
    Amanda Reply

  • michelle miller
    December 31, 2011 1:33am

    Dear David,

    I am coming to Paris Jan 14th, 2012 to celebrate my birthday! I am so inspired by the photography on your site and love this market video too.–I wish I spoke French as fluently as you do. The sardine spread made my mouth water. Thank you for sharing your life in Paris–the one that most of us only dream of. Reply

  • January 3, 2012 7:01pm

    It is January 3rd and after what seems like a month of non-stop eating I was feeling somewhat underwhelmed by planning this week’s menus. Watching your video and reading your words has re-inspired me to get out to the market and back into the kitchen to cook in a way that is thoughtful, simple and full of flavour. Just the push I needed. Thanks. Reply

  • Tanya
    January 5, 2012 9:53pm

    i don’t think i’ve ever commented here before but i just wanted to let you know that i loved your video. seeing the market and all the produce was amazing but seeing you cook in your kitchen was really special! you’re great on camera and it’d be really nice if you did more videos. Thanks David. Reply

  • January 5, 2012 9:57pm
    David Lebovitz

    Thanks! Am glad you liked the video. I enjoy doing them, although my filmmaker friend lives 6000 miles away, so it’s not possible to do as many as I’d like. However there are some in my archives, which I’ve listed at the end of the post (and in the Categories tab, in the sidebar)—but there will be more in the future, including one we just wrapped up. Reply

  • sharon mumby
    January 7, 2012 12:30am

    Ive been a fan of yours since the website had big green dots & brown type… many brownies later & baked apples that were never the same. I adore your sense of humour. I read The Sweet Life over & over because it made me laugh so much [the support hose OMG!]
    This is a Huge newsletter and no wonder it took you 57 hours, its as big as a website…
    I Loved seeing you walk through the market & cooking in your kitchen… you came across really well on camera, very relaxed, you’re a natural.
    Thanks always for your delightful creativity… bisous Reply

  • Margo Peck
    January 7, 2012 2:28am

    What a lovely respite from all that is going on in the world. I’m sending this link to friends and then going out to look for tarte tatin mold somewhere in Los Angeles. Reply

  • Eva
    January 7, 2012 9:04pm

    You are my hero! You have such a beautiful way of talking about food. You are an excellent teacher, and I am so glad to watch you on video. Reply

  • Maria
    January 8, 2012 5:57am

    David, love the video, make more. And by the way the dinner you cooked made me hungery for sardines, and the only thing I can get my hands on are cento canned sardines, but hey what ever works. Get a show, it was a fantastic , Reply

  • Janvier
    January 8, 2012 2:21pm

    David, this is my first time looking at your site. I have a pied a terre near the market you visited and go there once a month. Watching your video from home in England made me very home sick! Everything looks so beautiful. I guess you went there on a Thursday as I know it is so busy on a Sunday.
    Thank you for the lovely cooking.
    Janvier Reply

  • Heather
    January 11, 2012 4:20am

    Lovely, David! Glad to hear you have more in the pipeline. Thanks for the small window into your life. Reply

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