The Jean-Talon Market has been a fixture in Montreal’s Little Italy since 1933. It’s a bustling public market that covers an entire city block and hosts more than 300 vendors. A foodie paradise, it has everything from fresh raw ingredients to prepared foods and baked goods, and it offers a chance to connect with local Quebec producers and regional products. If you’re visiting Montreal and have a kitchen in your rental, head to the market to find everything you need for amazing breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. For first time visitors, the market can be a little overwhelming so we’ve put together a short guide of some of the vendors you’ll want to check out.
Meats and Seafood
Les Cochons Tout Ronds is the place to go for pork. The made-in-Quebec products are excellent quality, gluten-free, and made with all natural casings. They have a great selection of dried cured meats that are perfect for a wine and cheese, an afternoon in the park, or just something to snack on. If you’re looking for meats other than pork, head on over to Boucherie Prince Noir for local, all natural and organic products including beef, pork, lamb, veal, bison, deer, chicken, turkey, pheasant, and more. It’s bright and clean with excellent service and fresh products.
Another great spot to check out is William J. Walter Saucissier, a Québécois family-owned company offering high-quality products with over 60 varieties from Italian sausages, French Toulouse, and Merguez, to a range of exciting flavours such as Blueberry Boar and Cider sausage, Goat Cheese and Mango sausage or Duck and Herbes de Provence.
For super fresh oysters, La Boite aux Huîtres is one of the favourite places in the city. During the winter months, you can find La Boite Aux Huîtres inside the Poissonerie Aqua Mare. As soon as the warm weather arrives, they have a partially covered outdoor stand where you can order from their superior variety and have them shucked to eat on the spot at their counter bar or take them home with you to shuck and enjoy later on.
Le Capitaine can’t be beaten for farm fresh eggs. The selection varies week to week, but often includes chicken eggs of all sizes, as well as duck, goose, guinea fowl, and quail.
Situated in the southeast corner of the market, Qui Lait Cru !?! offers more than 300 different varieties of cheese made from cow, goat, sheep, and buffalo milk—70% of which are locally produced. Another option, at the northern boundary of the market, just across ruelle Nord, is one of the market mainstays, Fromagerie Hamel (220, rue Jean-Talon East). As soon as you step inside the shop the lovely, pungent scent of cheese wafts towards you. This is a company that takes cheese seriously, and they have many types that are hard to find elsewhere and range from fresh curds to aged varieties.
Specialty Artisanal Stalls
Near the Mozart street entrance, Les Jardins Sauvages specializes in wild mushrooms and wild edible plants from Quebec. This time of year they often have fiddlehead ferns – a rare and wonderful spring season delicacy. And for all your spice needs just across the aisle is Épices de Cru, a family-owned spices company based in Montreal. They offer highest quality whole spices and loose leaf teas which they source directly from plantations and producers around the world.
Vegetables, Fruit, and Flowers
Finally, the western side of the market is crowded with produce and flower vendors where you will find an incredible selection and loads of free samples. There are so many choices here, and an ever-changing seasonal variety, so we suggest simply taking a wander to see what catches your eye or taste buds. Many of the stalls have local maple syrup for sale too, so don’t leave without some of Quebec’s most famous agricultural product.
Everything you need to know
Where: 7070 Henri Julien Ave
Hours: Sunday 7AM – 5PM, Monday to Wednesday 7AM – 6PM, Thursday & Friday 7AM – 8PM, Saturday 7AM – 6PM
Map: Follow this link for a handy map of the market stalls