The colors of Montreal’s Marché Jean-Talon

Montreal’s Jean-Talon Market isn’t on many tourist maps, but at this time of year, it should be.

The stands are bursting with ripe blueberries, cherries and raspberries in every imaginable color. It’s quite a sight.

In Montreal, farm-to-table is more than a buzzword; we were told that residents really do shop here every day, and they take their food very seriously.

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There’s a network of these markets, which are open year-round, across the city. We saw two of them today — the largest, in Little Italy, and another on the west side of town.

One of the best ways to discover a new destination is to eat your way through it, but Montreal makes it easy with a place like Jean-Talon Market.

We are about to enjoy a simple meal of baguette, artisan cheese, Québec apples and wine, all purchased today from the market.

Here’s the view from Mount Royal Park this afternoon.

I wish we had more time here. This is a great town.

As always, I’ll have more on Montreal on National Geographic Traveler’s Intelligent Travel blog.

6 thoughts on “The colors of Montreal’s Marché Jean-Talon

  1. Hi Christopher – just wanted you to know that some of us read these articles too!   We’re not just interested in TSA shenanigans and crazy pet owners and scammy auto rental companies.  🙂

    I totally agree with you that the best way to dive into the culture of a new place is to try the local cuisine.  I’ve always said that – and it’s one of the reasons I’m a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain and his awesome Travel Channel show.  You can absorb more about the history and culture of a region by learning about their food than you can from any museum.  That’s one of my favorite parts of travel – eating regional foods that I wouldn’t find anywhere else.

    I happen to be a very adventurous eater. I’ll try almost anything once.  I’ve eaten birds-nest soup in Hong Kong; roasted suckling pig skin (babi guling) in Bali; frogs legs in France; breadfruit in Tahiti; espada fish in Madeira. I do have limits, though…I wouldn’t try cazu marza (maggot cheese) in Sardinia, or Indonesian sh*t-bean coffee (the beans are first eaten by civits, and then collected from their dung). Sorry, but anything that actually came out of the anus of a mammal is permanently off the menu for me.

    I’ve never been to Montreal. But if I ever go there, I will be sure to visit Marche Jean-Talon Market.  Thanks for spotlighting it!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read this story. It’s a departure from what normally appears on this site, but obviously important to me. Montreal was a great place to visit. I’m in Quebec City today, which is another great place, but I wish I’d had more time on the island.

      1. Glad you like the markets and all the great places Montreal has to offer visitors. But, from a resident, I gotta say with the taxes, the corruption and the never ending political fights, you aren’t missing anything by staying around too long. Enjoy Quebec City.

  2. If you havent left yet you should come have lunch at the Satay Bros at Atwater Market tomorrow, great food. The meat and cheese in this market will blow your mind.  The spice rooms in the basement will melt your face with the awesomeness of the smells.  Just like Jean Talon but with crazy variety in the types of shops at the market and wonderful outdoor dining.  You can also rent a boat in the canal just across the bridge behind the market.  Trust me. Grab some cheese, some fruit, some sausage, and some wine and sneak it in a backpack for a ride in an electric boat up the canal.  $40 bucks for a 4 person boat for 1 hour. 

    Trust me, do it! 

  3. Chris,

    Thanks for the idea! I’m in Montreal right now, on vacation, and the trip to Jean-Talon was perfect! If you have any hidden gems for Quebec City, I’d love a suggestion or two. My wife and I are jumping on the train this afternoon to head up there.

    1. I’m so glad you liked it. QC also has a market, but the highlight of our visit was Vieux-Québec and the cool restaurants in the lower part of town. I will have more on the Intelligent Travel blog in a few days.

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