Jean-Talon Market

7070 Avenue Henri-Julien, Montréal, QC H2S 3S3, Canada

After Toronto, Montréal is the Canadian city with the largest population of residents of Italian descent. For more than a century, the community has been centered in one of the city’s most charming neighborhoods, Little Italy. The way to the heart of this neighborhood is arguably through its stomach or, rather, the Jean-Talon Market, where residents have come to buy produce and stock their pantries since 1933. Even if you aren’t shopping for fresh vegetables or fruits, it’s a good place to come to sample Québecois products and buy gifts like local jams, jellies, and maple products to take back home.

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Pack Your Picnic Basket

Tucked away in Montreal’s Little Italy, the Jean-Talon Market is served by more than 300 vendors during the busy summer season. Jean-Talon vendors offer everything from bread, cheese, wine, truffles, meat, fish and baked goods. It’s a great place to stock up on picnic supplies before heading off for an afternoon on Mount Royal.

At the Marché Jean-Talon in Montréal

Montréal’s Marché Jean-Talon has been around since the 1930s—it’s one of the largest and oldest farmers’ markets still operating in North America. In the city’s “Petite Italie” neighborhood, it’s the best place on the island to get fresh produce and people-watch. Brush up on your French, and get ready to smile and taste your way through the colorful corridors. On my wife’s first trip to Montréal, this was one of her favorite spots. for more information:

Fruits d'été: Summer Market Color, Up North

Of North America’s largest remaining farmers’ markets, Montréal’s Marché Jean-Talon is one of my wife’s favorite spots. The freshness of the produce, the pleasant twang of the vendors’ Québecois accents, the abundance of color, taste, and texture... And since the market is in the “Petite Italie” neighborhood, after smiling and sampling your way through the offerings, you can refuel with a cappuccino in a nearby café, eavesdropping on local conversations—if you speak Italian. But first, brush up on a few French phrases. English is also spoken, but the local lingo is always appreciated. A brief language lesson on the berries above: strawberry—fraise gooseberry—groseille blackberry—mûre raspberry—framboise blueberry—bleuet For more information: To get there by subway, both the Jean-Talon and De Castelnau métro stations are nearby.

Come Get a Taste: Venez y Goûter

Summer at the Jean Talon Market in Montréal—come and get a taste of what’s fresh, what’s in season, and what’s colorful. Located in the city’s “Petite Italie” neighborhood, this farmer’s market is one of North America’s largest, which makes sense, since Montréal is one of North America’s best cities for gourmets and gourmands. To get there by subway, both the Jean-Talon and De Castelnau métro stations are nearby.

Searching for spuds in Montréal: "frite alors!"

Tintin, the ever-young Belgian reporter, sitting on a spud reading with horror the headline: ‘French Fry Recipe Stolen!’ No worries, though--great fries can be found all over Canada’s second largest city; “Frites Alors” is a Montréal chain that serves eclectic burgers and Belgian-style frites along with très québecois “poutine”...with local brews and Belgian beer, bien sûr... In addition to the sit-down restaurants throughout the city, you can check out their stand inside the Marché Jean-Talon, (where I took this picture)--one of North America’s largest outdoor farmer’s markets, located in Montréal’s Little Italy. Grab a paper-cone filled with these crispy morsels of golden perfection and wander the seemingly endless aisles offering Québec’s fresh bounty...

La Fournee des Sucreries de L'erable a.k.a. Maple sugar pie!

I love markets. They just bring such joy to the day. I like finding little shops --those mom and pop finds--that you wouldn’t find anywhere else but the market. La Fournee is definitely one of those places in Montreal‘s beloved Jean Talon Market. My insider food guide told me this is THE place to get maple sugar pie and even after a day at the sugar shack, it did not disappoint! You can get a itty bitty mini pie so you’re not in too much of a sugar coma. It’s just the right pick-me-up for an afternoon or a lovely hostess gift for a dinner. Bon Appetit!

Jerry's Favorite Treat: Fresh Sausage on a Stick

Whenever we visit Montreal, we always visit Marche Jean Talon within the first day or two of our trip. Why? Because Jerry needs his sausage-on-a-stick fix. We also go for the eggs, the berries, fresh asparagus, crepes, coffee, mushrooms, and more. But that is another story. This story is about sausage. We have two favorite spots in the market that are conveniently within a couple stalls from each other. La Volailler du Marche offers 100% natural sausages made from boar, beef, pork, chicken, duck, deer, and lamb. The sausage can be purchased as single 2-inch lengths on a stick or as a “kebab” with 8 different types of sausage on the stick. We opted for the 8-on-a-stick which was a good way to sample all the different types of sausage they sell. Balkani’s serves large “hot dog” sized grilled sausage. They are served either on a bun or on a stick. Varieties vary. Today’s offering were “spicy” or “sweet”. Jerry opted for spicy. The sausage was juicy and full of flavor. Just the right meal for a cold, rainy day in Montreal.

The Magical Jean-Talon Market

Tucked away in a part of the city that can only be described as the “Brooklyn” of Montreal, the Jean-Talon market is exceptional for its flower and plant selections that make you feel as if you’re entering a magical garden. Many of the fruit and vegetable stands offer samples of their produce, so don’t hesitate to try before you purchase (and try, and try, and try…) Snack on delectable crêpes from Crêperie du Marché as you wander through les fleurs, and pick up a bottle of speciality Canadian wine from Vignoble de la rivière du Chêne. Oh, and don’t worry about your abysmal French skills because most everyone speaks English–but don’t forget to say merci for the food and wine!

Marché Jean-Talon

The jewel in Montreal’s outdoor markets crown, Jean-Talon was among the first in the city when it was founded in 1933, when the area was just fields and the market a shed used to sell the harvest. Today it’s a bustling international food emporium that’s half open air, half covered and heated during winter. Come here for one of the city’s largest cheese shops, a store entirely dedicated to Quebec foodstuffs, one of the city’s best Mexican eateries, and stall after stall of the best produce you’re likely to get, both local and imported.

A Taste of Quebec at Jean-Talon Market

Jean-Talon Market lies in Montreal’s Little Italy, but it wouldn’t be easy to pinpoint given the market’s cultural variety. Losing yourself among the up to 300 vendors sounds like a tasty afternoon, but there are a few Quebec specialties the adventurous eater shouldn’t miss. I tried mushrooms and blueberries foraged on farms outside Montreal. We snacked on raw Salicornia, a salty succulent that grows in marshy areas. Finally, we tasted the creamy, complex contentment of stinky unpasteurized cheese — so good it’s illegal in the rest of North America.

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