There are many excellent markets in the city, and it is often possible to find a stand specializing in organic produce, but the Raspail Organic market [Métro Rennes, Sunday, 9h to 15h] offers much more.
For starters it’s all organic, and even heavily biodynamic so there is a lot to choose from. But it is also a haven of vegan delights that are perfect for a day’s picnicking or for loading up the pantry at home. Here are a few of my favorite things at the market.
English Muffins: A small stand run by a French woman and American man offers this breakfast delight whole grain and dairy-free.
The vanilla and chocolate stand: lovely vanilla green tea, vanilla beans, other interesting vanilla derivatives and a variety of robust chocolates.
Mediterranean food: This always-busy stand offers a wide range of hot food like a great paella and always satisfying “galettes de pois chiche” [chick-pea pancakes] that they offer with a selection of sauces. I usually go for the tofu pistou.
Orange Juice: It’s not the cheapest in town but it’s very good and my kids love watching the amazing Willy Wonka-esque machine that makes it.
Seaweed guy: You can buy a wide range of sea vegetables and also he makes some nice spreads.
South American Superfoods stand: Maca, yacón, açerola, cacao nibs and other foods to boost your diet. For sure my favorite stand.
Herb stand: I track down hard-to-find herbs like loveage (livèche) and often enjoy a wheatgrass shot to get the energy to make my way through the hundreds of shoppers.
Jam: From the basics to the fancier fruits the jam man never disappoints and is not at all stingy with his free samples.
Nuts and dried fruit: A great stand which has a wide range of bulk goods.
Vegan pastry stand: I am in shock with delight to be able to eat pastry in Paris each time I stop by here. If you are at the market and see a blonde woman in shock… it’s probably me. Please say bonjour!
Biodynamic stand: My recommendation for the best stand to get your produce is the stand about half way down the market with the Demeter signs and the longest line! The line moves fast, the stall-holders are really nice and it’s worth the wait.
PROS: Everything is organic and it’s not far from the Luxembourg Gardens for a Sunday in the park.
CONS: My kids sometimes have to cover their faces to make it past the smell of the meat, fish and cheese stands. Don’t rule out encountering a pig head.