French Immersion in Paris: Foodie Related Vocabulary & Best Food Markets

french lessons in paris.jpg


French Immersion In Paris: The top 4 food markets and useful foodie related vocabulary to know.

Did you know there are over 10,000 food markets in France?  Paris is a city that has a food market for everybody and the epicentre of all things French. It is not just the capital of France but of the nation’s cuisine as well. There is no better way to experience French culture than through its food. One culinary tradition that is particularly charming for visitors and expats is shopping for fresh goods at the outdoor food markets. The markets are a perfect opportunity to experience quintessential French food, as well as fragrant spices of a diverse cultural blend of countries. Today, I’ll share with you some useful expressions relating to all things food. Including what I believe are the top 4 food markets to visit. With our immersive French lessons for Paris lovers tour,  a market visit is a lot of fun and can be a rewarding experience.

I have listed the most useful French expressions when chatting with the market vendors further down. Be sure not to miss it.

french markets

Marche PlaceMonge

Marché Place Monge: 5th arrondissement

At the heart of the Latin quarter, Marché Monge has been running since 1921! The market offers a vast choice of fruits and vegetables. Best of all, there are two fish vendors selling fresh products straight from the shores of Normandy. A nice selection of wines and cheeses are also available.  Take advantage of the friendly atmosphere surrounding the neighbourhood, where even the merchants are smiling.

Here is the link for more info

photo credit

photo credit

Marche Organic

Marché Biologique Raspail: 6th arrondissement 

Located on the Boulevard Raspail in the 6th arrondissement, the Marché Raspail is one of the most popular markets on the Left Bank. It is also less than 20 minutes’ walk from the Jardin du Luxembourg and only eight minutes from the Musée d’Orsay. This open-air market has been running since 1920 and usually has around 40 fruit, vegetable, bakery, and takeaway food stalls. On Sundays, the market turns into an organic haven, and its English bakery stall is especially popular. Always very busy, the Marché Raspail is worth visiting for its bustling atmosphere and is an ideal location for a quick lunch.  Look out for the Bio Organic sign and read more about Bio Organic food here

Here is the link for more info

french immersion Marché_des_Enfants-Rouges.jpg

Marché des Enfants Rouges

Marché des Enfants Rouges: 3rd arrondissement

Our favourite, Marché des Enfants Rouges: in the 3rd arrondissement One of Paris’s most famous indoor markets, the Marché des Enfants Rouges is located in what was once a 16th-century orphanage. The name originates in the colour of the children’s red clothes. Red, is an indicator that the clothing had been donated by Christian charities. The market was opened in 2000, and now hosts a wide variety of food stalls, including Lebanese, Japanese, and gorgeous African cuisine. Organic food stalls, fishmongers, and florists can also be found here, making this market an atmospheric place to spend a day shopping or enjoying fresh street food on one of the many terraces. Surrounding the market are some quirky shops and restaurants that are also worth a look.

Here is a link for more info

Marche D'aligre

Marché Rue d’Aligre: 11th arrondissement

Spreading from the Place d’Aligre in the 12th arrondissement, this outdoor market sells vintage clothes, bric-a-brac, take-away food and fresh produce and is a regular shopping spot for locals. The market also joins onto the covered Marché Beauvau, another of Paris’s old indoor markets known for its various cooked food stalls. Speciality cheeses and butchers are popular here, with local and seasonal produce given priority. The Aligre market is good-value, with flourishing trade on Saturday mornings, and has the added benefit of being near to the Bastille area restaurants such as Le Charolais and Le Baron Rouge.

Here is a link with more info

photo credit  Igor Ovsyannykov  

photo credit Igor Ovsyannykov 

Below are some useful phrases to get you started when at the food markets (French for beginners):

When you wish to ask for something:

 "Je voudrais": I would like

"Je vais prendre": I will have

"Est-ce que vous avez": do you have


It is useful to know how to ask for a quantity, especially at the food markets: 

"Un kilo de": a kilo of

"Un demi-kilo": half a kilo

"La moitié": half

"Une dizaine": dozen

"Un peu plus": a little bit more

"Un peu moins": a little bit less


Naturally, the markets are where food is sold in various shapes: 

"Un morceau of": a piece of

"Une tranche de": a slice of

"Une barquette de": a punnet of (such as strawberries and raspberries)


Feel confident asking for the price: 

"C’est combien s’il vous plait?": how much is it please?

"Quel est le prix de?": what is the price of?

photo credit cold_penguin1952

photo credit cold_penguin1952


Useful Expressions when paying: 

"Vous acceptez la carte?" do you accept a credit card? (vendors sometimes accept card payments for a total amount above 15€)

"J’ai seulement un billet de": I only have a note

"J’ai seulement une pièce de": I only have a coin of

"Je n’ai pas de monnaie": I do not have change

"C’est cher": it’s expensive

"C’est bon marché": it’s a bargain

What are other common expressions you might expect to hear in a food market? 

"C’est tout?": is that all

"Et avec ceci?": and with this?

"Vous désirez autre chose?": would you like something else?

French immersion in Paris: a French course in a food market

There is no better destination than Paris for foodie lovers! With French à La Carte - your private French teacher in Paris, embark upon a tour of 2 hours during which you will learn useful vocabulary to do your shopping at the food market. With our French language courses in Paris, our focus in on quality “one on one” time, with your private French tutor.

Click here to get in touch to discuss your needs.

Here is a taste of what to expect:

Before we hit the markets, the first part of the lesson takes place in a quiet Parisian café, perfect for concentration. With your dedicated private French teacher, you will practice the names of goods for sale and how to correctly pronounce them. You’ll learn the correct pronunciation of fruits and vegetables as well as the main French cheeses and meat. Be able to ask a serving size and shape, and the quantity you would like to buy. Confidently learn how you will ask how to pay.

Your private French tutor will be by your side to correct you when necessary. It is an enriching culinary experience and something you will fondly remember long after you return home. And if you have recently moved to Paris, it is an ideal way to confidently communicate in your new city.

Learn French in Paris and immerse yourself in the City of Light

If you want to learn French in Paris and would like to immerse yourself in Paris while practising your French speaking skills, French à La Carte offers immersion in French to all Paris lovers in a personalised way. Live like a Parisian for a few hours with personalized private French lessons on a one to one basis.Try our off the beaten track themed tours and feel like a true Parisian for a few hours! Here are a few tantalising examples of our other French courses in Paris:

• Cosmopolitan Paris: The picturesque and popular districts of Belleville and Menilmontant.

• Timeless Paris: The little-known Latin Quarter. •

Mythical Paris: The Saint-Germain-des-Prés district of Paris’ artists, an iconic neighbourhood from the early 20th century onwards.

• Paris Village: The hidden places of Montmartre.

• Trendy Paris: Le Marais off the beaten track.

• 19th Century Paris: The arcades and covered passages of the Grand Boulevards


Get in touch to discuss your needs.