The French Market: A New Orleans Institution

The French Market: A New Orleans Institution

Sarah Coffey
Jul 26, 2010

Store History

  • Founded: 1770s
  • Founded by: Native American traders
  • Headquarters: New Orleans, Louisiana

Founded by Native American traders in the 1770s, the French Market is America's oldest farmers market. It moved to its current location in 1791 and has been serving the city for over 200 years — surviving wars, fires, and hurricanes along the way.

It's really more than just a market — it's a whole small district of its own, with 6 blocks of shops, restaurants, flea markets, and farmers market vendors. The farmers market was recently renovated and is now open daily from 9 am to 6 pm. Vendors in the covered walkways sell produce, baked goods, cheese, and seafood.

Cafés and restaurants operate within the market, the most famous being the Café du Monde. The "original French market coffee stand," it's been in operation since the 1860s — for the full experience, order a Café Au Lait made with roasted and ground Chicory, which gives the coffee a chocolate-like flavor.

At the other end of the building is a flea market, open 7 days a week. It's busiest on weekends, when vendors fill the stalls with vintage clothing, art, jewelry, crafts, and fabrics. Although you'll find more knick knacks than furniture, it's a good place to look for vintage tablecloths, napkins, and patterned fabrics.

• 1008 North Peters St.
• New Orleans, LA 70116
• (504) 522-2621

Photos: French Market, New Orleans

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