Everybody knows France's reputation for fine food and nowhere is it more apparent than on the streets of Paris. Food lovers who choose to study abroad in Paris will be in a true "foodie's paradise", with the access to the great food the city offers. From shopping in markets to dining in fine restaurants your experience will whatever you make of it.
The Great Food Markets of Paris
Parisians love their food and having wonderful fresh produce on their doorsteps daily is a high priority. Many districts will have their own markets, however the better-known ones are well worth a visit for anyone who comes to study abroad in the city.
One of the biggest is the twice-weekly Marché Bastille, on the Rue Richard Lenoir. It boasts stall after stall of great fish, free-range chicken and local cheeses. Wondrous mounds of fruit, olives and charcuterie are interspersed with stalls selling jewellery, bags and arts and crafts.
Ernest Hemingway wrote about the Marche Mouffetard in his novel, A Moveable Feast, where he described it as a "wonderful, narrow crowded market street" - and it certainly lives up to this description. It's surrounded by atmospheric buildings and is a great place to buy calorie-laden patisserie, paté and seafood. Marche Mouffetard runs into another great market, Marché Monge, so you get two for the price of one! Marché Monge is at the pricier end of the scale and its setting in the leafy Place Monge with its picturesque fountain makes it a great place to shop. If you're lucky you'll get stories with your food purchases, as the beekeeper will be selling his own honey and the fishmonger may regale you with tales of how he caught his fish. Much of the fruit and vegetables are organic and the market is well known for excellent bread.
For great food from other parts of the world the historic market of Marché des Enfants Rouges is well worth a visit for anyone in Paris to study abroad. It is named after the 16th century orphanage that used to be on the site, where the children's red clothes showed that they had been donated by Christian charities. The orphanage closed before the French Revolution but the building remained and was reopened as a market in 2000. Italian, African, Lebanese and Japanese food is among the world foods available and there are many other artisan and organic food stalls. It's a great place to get a takeaway lunch.
The pedestrianized Rue Montorgueil is only half occupied by a market, but don't let that put you off, as it is indeed a foodie's heaven. The market stalls will offer you fruit, vegetables and shellfish but alongside them you will find Charles Chocolatier, where you should sample a hot chocolate. Why not accompany it with a pastry from Stohrer, which is said to be the oldest pastry shop in Paris. Along with the cheese shops, rotisseries and wonderful bakers, this street is a must visit for any budding gourmand on an adventure to study abroad in Paris.
Paris will definitely leave you spoilt for choice for places to indulge your passion for food. Its markets are amongst the best in the world the city is a great place to spend time simply wandering and indulging your senses.
Angela Bowden works for EST (Equity School Travel), the UK's largest educational travel company, providing opportunities to study abroad. EST encompasses a wide range of learning opportunities in worldwide destinations.