If you ask what Marché Jean-Talon is to people living in Montreal, they will direct you to the most diverse and well-loved market in all of the city. Tucked in the charming neighborhood of Little Italy, the open-air Jean-Talon Market is indeed the pride of Montreal. Marché Jean-Talon has been opened since 1933, and since, has become a significant force in Montreal’s culinary scene.
This is where several chefs from notable restaurants in the city purchase fresh ingredients for their masterpieces; and this is where you can find a grand selection of specialty-food shops and stalls that rarely disappoint food lovers. The truth is Jean-Talon is not the only thriving market in town. In fact, a number of tourists are attracted to the Atwater Market, a more upscale space that offers guests a farmer’s experience. But if you want to be where the locals go every week to shop, then Jean-Talon is the place to go.
Jean-Talon is absolutely swinging during summer, when extra stalls are set up and welcome shoppers. At this special period, the number of vendors can reach up to 300. But the fun does not end after summer as this marketplace is open year round. Even during winter, some stalls remain open and are covered under big heated tents.
Once you have found your way to the market, stroll around its three long aisles. The market is protected from the sun, and are lined with stalls selling fresh produce, flowers and all sorts of baked goods. After looking around, relax in one of the delis or café-restaurants and order your favorite drink and snack. Specialty sandwiches, tacos, crepes, ice cream, baguettes, coffee, fresh juices and beer are just some of the favorites among market goers. During the warm sunny days, choose to sit at one of the cafe patios to watch vendors and customers go about their day.
One of the most popular stores in Marché Jean-Talon is the Le Marché des Saveurs du Québec. This store is one of the few larger ones found in the market and in Little Italy. Le Marché des Saveurs du Québec has become popular due to the selling of a large collection of Quebec specialties like smoked meat, cider and wine. If you want to sample some of the best cheeses produced in Quebec all in one roof, don’t pass up the opportunity to drop by Marché des Saveurs du Québec.
Special stalls like the Olive & Épices are also not to be missed. As the name of the store suggests, it specializes in olive-based products like olive oil as well as other herbs and spices from different parts of the world. Other stores worth checking out especially you like sweet stuff are Intermiel, which sells honey and mead wines; and Havre-Aux-Glaces, which is known for their homemade ice cream. And if you want to take some maple products as gifts, then drop by Marcel Les Pommes.
Jean-Talon Market is situated in Montreal’s 7070 Henri-Julien Street. It is from open from 8am to 6pm Monday through Wednesday. Opening times on Thursday and Friday are 8am to 8pm; Saturday 8am to 6pm; and Sunday 8am to 5pm. You can easily spend the whole day in Marché Jean-Talon as there are many things here that will keep you from being bored. Come early and during weekdays if you want to beat the crowd; but the busy and livelier market atmosphere during the weekends may be something you want to experience.