First opened in 1933, Jean-Talon Market (Marché Jean-Talon) is a local institution. Montrealers come to shop farm-fresh ingredients, from Quebec-reared pork and seafood from the country’s east cost to colorful vegetables, everything from purple carrots to orange cauliflower and strangely shaped gourds—all of which are artfully stacked in sellers’ stalls.
Jean-Talon Market offers a top-notch farmers market experience in Montreal. Some Montreal food tours make stops at the market, guiding participants as they sample Quebec-grown crops and artisan goodies. Many food tours combine a visit to Jean-Talon Market with a tour of the surrounding Little Italy neighborhood, as well as the Mile-Ex and Mile End districts, which are known for hip dining, craft beer, and third-wave coffee shops.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Jean-Talon Market is a must for foodies and photographers thanks to its colorful produce displays.
- The market has bathrooms, water fountains, and seating.
- Bring cash as many vendors don’t accept cards. While there is an ATM, lines form during busy periods.
How to Get There
Underground and outdoor parking is available at the market, but unless you plan on buying more than you can carry, it’s best to come by public transit. The nearest metro stations are Jean-Talon (Blue and Orange lines) and De Castelnau (Blue Line), both of which are about five minutes away on foot.
When to Get There
Jean-Talon is open year-round. During winter, walls are erected to protect the covered part of the market from the elements. In warmer months, the walls are removed, and extra open-air stalls are added. On Thursday-Sunday between June and October, the streets around the market are closed to traffic and fill with strollers, shoppers, and buskers.
What to Eat at the Market
Arrive hungry so you can taste a diverse range of Canadian produce at Jean-Talon Market. Start at the produce stalls, where samples of fresh fruit such as mangos, strawberries, and mandarins are often available. Pick up some regional specialties, perhaps native fiddlehead ferns, tourtière (meat pie), cretons (pork spread), or any number of Quebec cheeses. Try La Boite aux Huitres for palate-cleansing oysters or indulge in sweet baked goods at Joe La Croûte bakery.