Lyon, France: FABULOUS St. Antoine Outdoor Food Market
Bonjour! Welcome to St. Antoine Market!
Also by this Author (protagonist in this novel was born in Lyon)
Fresh Local Produce
We've been in France's gastronomic capital for several months and our taste buds have definitely been tickled. There is a staggering variety of world cuisines. Since I LOVE to cook, I take great pleasure in visiting the daily market along the river.
The first market we visited upon arrival is the most famous in the city: "Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse." Inside we found several eateries, and I noticed many people enjoying raw oysters, sausages and other culinary delights. I have a sneaky suspicion that ever since this market was re-inaugurated with the name of the one of the world's most famous chefs, prices skyrocketed. While I did spot some good caviar and live lobsters in a tank, along with some specialty items, everything else seemed pretty basic (for example, the produce was average- no better than what I had seen at the supermarket). Two things that turned me off about this place: 1. I noticed many non-Lyonnais and 2. NO French housewives were shopping there. Perhaps it was the time of day (2-3pm).
The second market we visited (and this is the one I shop at daily) is at Quai St. Antoine. I was overjoyed to see many French housewives. Fresh produce, baked goods, wines, cheeses, flowers, artisan products (handmade soaps, wooden kitchen items, etc) can be purchased at decent prices. There are butchers and fishmongers, as well as international products like pasta, mozzarella and peccorino form Italy, and bolinhos de bacalhau and pasteis de nata from Portugal.
On weekends, several vendors are set up to sell rotisserie chickens complete with roasted potatoes. This is a particularly popular Sunday lunch since it was King Louis XIV who said that every man in his kingdom should have a chicken in his pot once a week (Sunday). We tried one of the chickens with potatoes and it was melt in your mouth delicious. We even bought some white wine and bread at the market, too. An affordable, easy meal (that gets repeated often on Sundays in our home).
The third market we visited was at the top of Croix-Rousse. The Sunday market there seemed to specialize in organic and artisan products, in addition to carrying the traditional products (like the St. Antoine). It was lovely, especially considering the panoramic view all around us.
The vendors at the markets are friendly, helpful and patient with foreigners who do not speak French. This is a MUST see when in Lyon! As always, thank you for reading!
C. De Melo
Author & Artist