Montreal’s Jean-Talon Market

Why are public markets so much more fun than a supermarket? The produce is at least a step closer to the farm, I suppose. But more than that, there is a color and bustle, a liveliness, that is infectious.

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In Montreal, we love to visit the Jean-Talon Market, in the Little Italy section on the north side of the city.

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Never mind eating, the colorful produce is a visual feast. How could you look at all those peppers and tomatoes without smiling?

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Jean-Talon is one of Montreal’s oldest public markets, going back to 1933. Generations have grown up buying and selling there.

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Try to find mushrooms like these at a supermarket.

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This little girl looks like she is wondering if these vegetables might taste as good as her popsicle. They do look like as if they could be candy.

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We bought some fresh Quebec strawberries to eat in the car. They were delicious.

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There is music to hear as well as sights to see. These two were playing Andean music. The guy on the right was playing the guitar, pipes, and a drum simultaneously. Quite a virtuoso performance.

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The peches de L’Ontario were also juicy and good.

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Plenty of enticing ready-to-eat food can be found at Jean-Talon. Judy and I bought hot sausages (Croatian, if I remember right) on rolls from this stand. They were spicy and yummy.

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The mix of people is as interesting as the mix of produce.

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Worried about running out of garlic? Fear not.

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Do you have a favorite public or outdoor market?

51 Comments on “Montreal’s Jean-Talon Market

  1. Looks good! You have reminded me I want to go to the local market again in the next big city to us. It’s twice a week, and worth a drive now and then, with lots of fresh produce, herbs, flowers and plants too. The only negative side is that I always spend a fortune there! πŸ˜‰

  2. What a great market…I couldn’t get over the colours of the peppers, the strawberries (had to put on my glasses to see if they were tomatoes or strawberries) and the garlic! Wow.! I wonder if it is grown around Montreal? I like to know what kind of fertilizer go onto garlic.
    Thanks for that post, very interesting and I’ll pass it on to a few people….Canberra (Australia) where we live …has some great markets too, but this one is hard to beat.

  3. What a great market! We have a city market on Main Street in Greenville on Saturday mornings throughout the growing season with wonderful produce, including wild and cultivated mushrooms, plus organic meats and seafood from the coast. Not so many peppers, though!

  4. Goodness, that market looks wonderful! Is part of it indoors? It looks as though there is a roof. We have several outdoor farmers’ markets throughout the growing season. For somewhere fairly near at hand, Cincinnati’s Findlay Market is probably most like this one in Montreal. Always a joy to visit.

  5. I have never been to a market such as this. This looks like something unreal. Like a set in a movie of how markets are supposed to be. Fabulous. I would have a difficult time figuring out what to buy. Everything looks so good.

  6. A feast for the eyes! And you are right. Markets are so much more fun than grocery store. The ambience? The visuals? We have farmers’ markets in Maine, but nothing that comes close to the one you featured on your post.

    • I suspect that the best farmers’ markets are in bigger cities. The one in St. Paul MN is really great, and there is one in downtown Chicago during the summer that is worth seeing.

      • I will be sure to visit a market should I venture to a big city πŸ˜‰

  7. Great photos, Judy! I live near Montreal’s Atwater Market. It isn’t as big as Jean Talon but it is equally enjoyable, with vegetables, meats, cheese and all sorts of other things

  8. I visited markets similar to this in Budapest and Vienna. Both were incredible. The heartbeat of a city pules through its markets. They’re always the best places to visit.

  9. Markets are always so much more vibrant and exciting than sterile supermarkets. What amazing peppers and tomatoes there! It looks fabulous.

  10. I love to go to public markets! The French Market in New Orleans is my favorite one. Madison has a famous Farmers Market, but I find it too busy and packed with strollers and pets, with not enough space to walk by. But it’s fun to check it out every once in a while. Looks like the Montreal market was colorful and full of quality produce!

    • I know what you mean about the Madison farmers market at the square. We used to go to a smaller market on the west side, much less crowded and overwhelming.

  11. When we visit anywhere, it is the markets that attract us most, even more than art galleries and museums. I don’t have a favourite except perhaps the market by the Rialto in Venice.

  12. We have dozens of small farmers markets here, but nothing as fabulous as this. It is still fun to go to the smaller markets, though – there seems to be a vibrant, colourful atmosphere with them as well.

  13. Great post! While I’ve been to Montreal many times I’ve never been to this market. Will definitely be seeking it out next time!

    Glad you tasted the Ontario peaches. We’ve had three baskets this year, which is a lot of peaches for two people, but they were so delicious I couldn’t stop buying them!

  14. Our latest visit from a three-year-old had her plucking a pepper and eating it like a popsicle. A young lady with taste. That market is an eyeful, for sure.

  15. Just look at all that produce! How vibrant and enticing! I just love these markets and really dislike supermarkets as everything is so sterile….oh…those mushrooms!!! How I love mushrooms!
    I love “popsicle”, here they are lollyice’s…
    I wouldn’t be buying the foie gras though, it’s been banned in most places in the

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