A Great Morning in Paris: Convention Market

Beautiful and plump tomatoes at the Convention Market, Paris

I started my last day of meetings in Paris a combination of underslept and undercaffeinated, a byproduct of tossing and turning until the wee hours of the night and then sleeping through my alarm. Racing to my first meeting I passed the unmistakable metal skeletons of market about to go up and made a mental note to return after I was done.

Crawling outward from Convention metro, the market was a slice of the life I knew in Aix-en-Provence, somehow present in the heart of Paris. Fresh fruits and vegetables, fishmen screaming at passersby to stop “if you ever want to eat well again”, gesticulating wildly to punctuate their prose. Inexplicably grumpy cheese vendors (can too much cheese make you grumpy? Not in my experience!), friendly butchers. All the stereotypes from my year in the sunny south, brought back to life on a cold, grey morning in November.  Tiptoeing through the narrow space between sideway and street, easily pushed aside by the women stopping to buy their meat for the day, I took my time going through the Convention market. I was late for my next meeting, but when I unpackaged some fresh cheese to share after my sales pitch, they completely understood. The market called.

Convention Market in Paris

Convention Market in Paris

The cheese stand, minus grumpy-cheese-lady, who not only refused to be in the picture but also told me that she disapproved at how little cheese I was buying, shaking her head at me in disappointment as I handed over my Euros..

In each of the places I visit, the food and markets draw me in, speaking volumes in their own subtle way about the society balanced around them. In France, the many food stalls, the convivial call-and-answer between vendors, the hand-panted signs juxtaposed on a cosmopolitan boulevard in Paris all contribute to a market culture slowly fading under the weight of our modern world. For a brief moment, I forgot about all the fast food joints nearby and the crisp dampness of the day and merely drifted through the market, a smile on my face.

Markets are a guarantee pick-me-up.

Convention Market in Paris
Beginning of the market near Convention Metro.

Aloof vegetable seller in Paris' Convention market.
The aloof vegetable-seller. (To me, he drawled “What? Only pictures and no vegetables to buy? How sad.”)

The dedicated oyster-shucker in Paris' Convention market.
The dedicated oyster-shucker.

Shrimp in Paris' Convention market.
Bright orange shrimp.

Smoked mackerel at the Convention Market, Paris
Glimmering smoked mackerel.

Beautiful and plump tomatoes at the Convention Market, Paris
Plump and delicious tomatoes (these I did try – but not from aloof-vegetable-man).

Bright red mini radishes.
Bright red mini-radishes.

Fresh sea urchins at Paris' Convention market.
Fresh sea urchin.

The friendly butcher in Paris' Convention market.
The friendly butcher.

Chocolate and fish, friends at last in Paris' Convention market.
And one of my favourite photos, chocolate and fish, together at last in Paris.

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How to Get to Convention Market in Paris

Take the Metro on Line 12 to Convention station and walk along Rue de la Convention, between rue Alain-Chartier and rue de l’Abbé-Groult.
Market runs Tuesday and Thursday, 7:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m and Sunday, 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
For more markets of Paris, see this list (sorted by arrondissement) from Discover France.


13 thoughts on “A Great Morning in Paris: Convention Market”

  1. I’ve never seen radishes like that before. As a radish connoisseur I’m going to have to get my hands on some of those.

    And the aloof vegetable seller kind of creeps me out :)

  2. Great pics! I adore food markets–I agree that they show a real glimpse of the culture. I remember walking around Paris and admiring how they had individual bread shops, butcher shops, cheese shops, markets–very few big grocery stores. And so much fresh food! The cheese station looks amazing (despite the grumpy lady). I have to say, though–the sea urchins look a bit nasty!

  3. Shawn: I was a bit fixated on the radishes, not going to lie. The seller was both creepy and haughty all at once – dangerous combo if you’re trying to sell stuff, no?

    Emily: Not a huge fan of sea urchin either. I keep trying it again and thinking I’ll change my mind but it hasn’t happened yet. :)

    Kirstin: How long will you be spending in Paris?

    Jeff: Sadly, I can’t remember….

  4. I love Paris markets! But they always get on me for taking photos and not buying enough–it’s hard as a solo traveler to buy enough to satisfy them!

  5. Wow, those market salespeople really like to apply the old guilt trip don’t they? Not buying enough cheese, only taking pictures instead of buying vegetables. Good grief. I love your description of the “grumpy cheese lady”.

  6. Thank you for the information. We are visiting Paris now and staying in the Convention area. We always visit markets on our trips and appreciate you mentioning the days and times


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