Rue Mouffetard Market
Market street vs Street market
Rue Mouffetard is both a market street, and a street
market. What does that mean?
Parisians have always been keen on fresh foods, and being
in the city access has been limited since medieval times.
Every day farmers and producers from the agricultural lands
around the city would come into particular streets to sell
their wares. Hence a market within a street.
But with the growing civilization of the city there have
been rules set about market cleanliness and behavior for
hundreds of years, and gradually market stalls were cleaned
up and producers moved into shop fronts. These streets
full of shops selling fresh produce are Market streets
and while Paris has many it is without doubt that rue Mouffetard
is the premier market street of the city.
In his novel A Movable Feast the American author
Ernest Hemmingway called the street a "that wonderful
narrow crowded market street which led into the Place
Contrescarpe". To him it was a market street,
but then he lived in the northern part just steps from Place
Contrescarpe, while the street stalls of the produce
market are at the far southern end at Square Saint-Médard.
While you are there don't miss a look inside the church
itself, appreciate the fountain in the center of the traffic
circle and of course pop in to the Mouff branch of The
House of Androuet, the premier fromageries of Paris.
Don't just look at the 200 types of cheese, but step back
and observe the beautiful painted exterior of the building
itself at 134 rue Mouffetard.
Market stalls often close when at lunch and do not open
again in the afternoon so mornings are the best time to
visit. Before 9am shops will have not opened, indeed
some won't be fully operational until 10am.
Completely closed on Sunday afternoon and on
the whole of Monday the market does operate all other
days, however it is most interesting by far to visit when
it is open on Saturday and Sunday morning when the
local population visit to shop. On the weekends the whole
street throbs with activity as people shop, drink, converse
and enjoy themselves.
Map / Location
At the southern end of the street, right outside the
church, is where you will find the market stalls selling
produce. But of course don't miss walking up the street
to see the many other shops of the market street many of
which have open air frontages with stalls in the pedestrian
street extending the market experience for hundreds of meters.
Closest Metro stop to the market stalls is
Censier - Daubenton. The closest bus line is