7070 Henri-Julien Avenue
Brief Description: Jean-Talon Market is a large farmer’s market in the Little Italy neighbourhood of Montréal. The market is jam-packed with fresh produce, as well as specialized vendors, cafes and food stands.
Spending time meandering through food markets is one of my favourite ways to past the time when visiting a new city. Markets provide such a great insight into the local people, the culture and, of course, the weird and wonderful cuisines of the area. Although I didn’t see anything weird or wacky whilst I was at Jean-Talon, it was still a great place to spend a few hours. From my research, it appears that Jean-Talon is like the older, rougher brother to the trendier Atwater Marché (another market in Montréal) but I didn’t make it to Atwater, so I can’t really compare the two.
The market is easily accessible from the metro line, making it a quick and easy journey from almost anywhere in the city, and you will be well rewarded if you make the journey. Rows and rows of produce stands make up the core of the market but you will also find coffee shops that serve up good, strong coffee, proud local producers of treats from Quebec and deli’s that are bursting with different cheeses and imported delicacies.
One of our most exciting finds, which was actually a suggestion from a local, was Premiére Moisson – the finest, most drool-inducing bakery that I’ve come across in a long time. Everything looked absolutely incredible! Surprisingly, we were able to abstain from the mother-of-all-carb-blowouts and we stopped at just one pastry each and a dessert to share. Don’t think that I am not regretting this decision! Even two weeks later, I still cannot stop thinking about the au pain raisin that I was fortunate enough to indulge in. I have not been able to find an au pain raisin of this calibre for years. I was in pure calorie ecstasy, captivated by the buttery pastry that was melting in my mouth and the sweetness of the glaze that tantalized each and every one of my taste buds.
And, if this wasn’t enough for my happy little taste buds, we then sat back at one of the cafes and sipped on cappuccinos that were of European standard (read: first-class) whilst watching the hustle and bustle of the market. Bliss…this is what holidays are all about!
Final Thoughts: I love a trip to the markets! Being surrounded by all that quality fresh produce and people that love food is incredibly inspiring. There is a definite focus on fresh produce so, in my opinion, it isn’t on par with Granville Island (gotta love Granville!!) but it is still worth a visit.