Rue Cler Market Street (Paris)
Rue de Grenelle to avenue de la Motte Picquet, 7th arr.
Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 6pm; Sunday Morning
(see pp. 94-95 in Markets of Paris 2nd ed.)
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One of the best known and well-regarded market streets for food shopping in Paris is rue Cler. It’s in the 7th arrondissement and runs along the mostly cobblestone pedestrian street rue Cler, between rue de Grenelle and avenue de la Motte Picquet.
It wasn’t far from the apartment where we lived last year, and we went often for fruits, cheeses, charcuterie, and flowers. Even shoes. I bought a pair of blue velvet slippers–very French. Deborah Madison, cookbook author, mentioned to me she food shopped on rue Cler when she visited Paris. Many who come to visit or live in that neighborhood claim it as their favorite market.
When I returned to Paris recently, it was my first destination (within 4 hours of landing!). I stocked up on essentials such as pink peonies and aged Comté cheese.
For foie gras, cured meats, and other foods, peek into Jeusselin, which has been around since 1937 and continues to live up to its reputation. Next to it is La Fromagerie, a cheese shop many say is one of the best in the city.
My friend Patricia buys cheeses there as presents to bring back home to the States, and says that if you ask them they will wrap the cheeses well to survive the trip. I’ve never had the willpower to leave them intact as gifts, so I wouldn’t know. But I’m sure she’s right. One of my favorite shops, however, for food gifts that are sealed and otherwise safe from my prying fingers is L’Épicerie Fine, just off rue Cler along one of the intersecting streets.
Across the street from the cheese shop is another of my favorite stops, Davoli, a superb delicatessen with a range of temptations. It’s known for cured meats and Italian specialties, many of which come from the family owners’ native region of Reggio-Emilia in Italy. Each day they sell warm homemade specialties from their cases out front, and many a meal have come from their trays. I’ve bought flowers at Cler Fleurs and Floralies, so often in fact that one of the women who works there starts suggesting bunches of Rananculus buttercups before my asking.
Several cafés offer a good spot to meet friends or simply relax for a drink or meal and continue people-watching from a different vantage point.
On my recent stroll along rue Cler, children bicycled and adults pedaled scooters while others lugged market baskets brimming with fresh strawberries and local asparagus that they picked up at several greengrocers along the street.
A friend recommended the ice creams and sorbets at Martine Lambert. I devoured two smooth-tasting scoops of nuit de chine before they had a chance to melt.
The rue Cler street market is open Tuesday through Saturday from about 10 to 6, and Sunday morning.