On my recent trip to Montreal, a definite highlight for me was the Marché Jean Talon. Normally when I travel, seeking out local markets is one of the first things I do either before or as soon as I arrive. Nothing like a little food shopping action to totally immerse yourself in the (food) culture of a city.
Opened in 1933 and located in Montreal’s “Little Italy” area, the Market operates year round, yes even during Montreal’s cold winters (when walls are placed around the open-air market area). The area surrounding the Market houses other specialty food businesses too.
As well as fruits and vegetables the market features vendors and stores specialising in meats, fish, cheese, baked goods, breads, natural and health foods, flowers, plants, sweets and confections, cooking supplies, cookbooks, wine, spices and oils as well as Québec-specific products.
The largest public market in Montreal, Jean Talon’s offerings have a very local focus – the “fleur de lys” on the price sign signifying that the produce is grown locally in Québec. There are also products from across Canada and some imported but I did notice the majority of the stalls selling either local or Canadian products. In the summer months there are some 300 vendors so you certainly have a lot of choice!
It’s certainly a feast for the eyes…
If you’re lacking a little culinary inspiration, head straight to the Librairie Gourmande for a cookbook fix (in French and English).
And I mean what’s a market without cheese…
And a little something sweet all the way from Portugal…
With a lil something typically Québecois… (Mmm… maple treats!)
And because not all sweet things are meant to be eaten…
The (admittedly chilly) morning we visited, the market was still fairly empty around 10.30am. Certainly there were a few locals there actually doing their shopping for the week, but very few tourists, though I imagine this would not have been the case on a warm summer’s morning. In any case, rain or shine, sun or snow, the market remains open and is a fine place to plunge yourself into the local food culture.
Marché Jean Talon
7070 Avenue Henri Julien
Tél: 514 277-1588
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday and Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.