It’s a sunny Saturday morning and you might be wondering what to do with your day. Montreal is world-renowned for its restaurants per capita, its variety of festivals and increasingly, its markets. Here are a few special places worthy of your fresh food fantasies!
The Jean-Talon market is one of the more well-known markets in Montreal. It is conveniently located, near, you guessed it, the Jean-Talon metro. It is nestled in Montreal’s Little Italy just blocks away from the bustle of boulevard St-Laurent. This market is not a place for souvenirs and therefore is not packed with tourists. What you will find here is a fresh variety of local produce, flowers, cheese, fish, pastries, etc. Many of the stalls offer samples of food for you to taste as you walk around and check out the different products and prices.
If you find the sheer quantity of choices overwhelming, bring a recipe that requires fresh local produce with you. And as you shop for what you need, you will get an idea of other things you may buy now or at a future visit.
The Atwater market, which has been open since 1933, is located beside the beautiful cycling paths along the Lachine Canal. It is central, close to the Lionel-Groulx metro and has free parking. The Atwater market has indoor and outdoor shops, filled with rare oils and vinegars, cheeses, meats, flowers and the like. The market has many lunch offers, so if you are looking for a place that has already prepared some of that fresh produce, Atwater market is the perfect place to skip the restaurant but still eat out. Another benefit of this beautiful market is that it has stalls open in the winter offering maple syrup treats.
The Maisonneauve Market is small and sweet. It is often overlooked because many people opt for the bigger Jean-Talon or Atwater Markets. The Maisonneuve Market, located in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district, is set beside a former 20th century agriculture market and assembly. Although the market has not gained the popularity of the bigger ones, it has been steadily open for many years, focusing on fresh local vegetables and fruit. If you are looking for a place that will fulfill your culinary cravings but is removed from the busy crowds, this quaint and well-stocked market is perfect for you!
While the well-known major markets are busy and filled with what seems like endless choices, sometimes stopping by the smaller, quieter markets is the better option. Santropol Roulant, a Montreal organization which uses food to build community and break through social and economic boundaries, sells food from their urban gardens on the corner of Milton and Ste-Famille on Thursdays. If you stop by this stand, not only will you buy Montreal-grown food but you will have a chance to learn more about the different ways in which Montrealers are working to make the city a more food secure place.
The second mini-market worth stopping by is Little Burgundy Citizen’s Market. Located on 1845 rue Saint-Jacques, the Little Burgundy Citizen’s Market seeks to provide a space for local growers to sell their produce. Because the area lacks a real grocery, this spot has become a bit of a gem for locals who would otherwise not have access to fresh and healthy food.
Whether you want to buy fresh produce or just take in beautiful sights and smells, head over to the closest farmers market for the ultimate in fresh, healthy, tasty and fun food. Bon appetit!