The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

Part of our first day in Montreal was spent strolling up and down the aisles of Marche Jean Talon, a public market located in the city’s Little Italy district. Window shopping; I can take it or leave it. That is unless we’re at a farmer’s market. Then I’m all in, as I was when we went to the Jean Talon Public Market.

Jean Talon is a gastronomic playland, an amusement park that excites all the senses; the vibrant colors of flowers, pungent perfume of the cheesemonger, the crunch of a crusty loaf of bread, the warmth of a cup of cappuccino cradled in you palm and a myriad of tastes, from the sweet maple syrup candies to a savory crepe of mushrooms, bechamel, ham, and cheese.


Opened in 1933, Marche Jean Talon is one of Montreal’s oldest public markets.

Below: Colorful bouquets and plants offered by the flower merchants. 




Marche Jean Talon is a half acre of purveyors of deliciousness. We came away with some creamy goat cheese, salami from the charcuterie, brilliant red strawberries, a loaf of bread and croissants.

While in Montreal we stayed in an apartment in a pleasant working class neighborhood on the outskirts of the gay village district. The apartment has a little back porch with table and chairs and this is where I took breakfast while Cora slept in. Breakfast always consisted of coffee, the savory pleasures that we brought home from Jean Talon, a good book and the quiet of the morning.


Strawberries, goat cheese a chocolate croissant and coffee.

To leave Jean Talon without a full and groaning grocery bag would be a shame. But even if you do come away with nothing in hand, the sights, sounds and smells will leave a lasting impression. IMG_0731-3IMG_0727IMG_0735IMG_0852IMG_0737

19 thoughts on “Friday Fotos: Marche Jean Talon, Montreal, Canada

  1. Kyung Lee says:

    What a delightful part of your stay! Love your breakfast menue AND routine!

    1. Paulie says:

      Kyung, I could not begin to describe how good that cheese was. I miss it!

  2. johnlmalone says:

    such gorgeous, warming colours

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you John. It is a very warming place – especially for the appetite.

  3. Wow! Those colours! Mouthwatering!

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you and thank you for visiting.

  4. Sheree says:

    I love markets and your photos reveal this one was really fantastic

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you Sheree. It is a fantastic place. A must see for anyone visiting Montreal.

      1. Sheree says:

        Montreal and Quebec are on my bucket list

  5. Prior... says:

    I enjoyed your post here – the way you describe the grocery bag as groaning was fun… and when we travel / my hubs usually has coffee and early morning While I sleep in too! And your breakfast plate from the store connected so well to
    How you worded it earlier in the post. ☺️

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you so much for visiting and commenting. Jean Talon was one of the highlights of the trip. I just wish that we had a similar market in our area that was open every day.
      The arrangement that we have with our spouses is pretty great isn’t it. I can go out and take pictures, guilt free because I know that part of her vacation highlight is sleeping in and relaxing.

      1. Prior... says:

        Thanks for the nice reply – and wishing you a good day

  6. Oh, My! If I ever get there, I am visiting this market for sure! Those flowers are exquisite and brought a huge smile to my face. Thank you for adding more beauty and happiness to my day 🙂

    1. Paulie says:

      Jean Talon is a must. Anyone who visits should take along a big shopping bag and an appetite for having a meal there. There’s a wonderful creperie in the market. Or you can just buy a variety of foods from different purveyors and sit at one of the many tables.

  7. Beautiful pictures , certainly on of the most interesting markets

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you. I enjoyed your own post on the relevance of public markets. On point.

  8. eden baylee says:

    Hi Paul, Since I’m waiting for your next post (political or otherwise), I thought to tour your travels. How ironic I find you in Montreal, my birthplace, and you were there the last time I was — 2019. I go every year to visit my mother, at least once, but 2020 was a fuck up as you know. My mom lives right in the Chinatown area, so I don’t go to Jean Talon market since we are there only for a few days.

    What a superb treat to see it through your eyes, though.

    I LOVE pictures of food, especially of markets. To me, food markets speak to the life of a city and its people. The French know their garlic too. It’s different than what you’d get in a regular supermarket. Normally, it’s grown organically and is much more flavourful than the stuff in supermarkets or Chinatown.

    I love the flowers, the coleus, and mangos 🥭. The Ataulfo varietal is my fave — the flat one that’s yellow and a bit smaller. SO GOOD! I imagine you could probably get many of these exotic fruits in the SF Chinatown.

    I’m really thrilled you enjoyed your time in Montreal. I hope you hauled back some maple syrup if you like the stuff. I’m not a huge fan of sweets, so I’d never eat a chocolate croissant for breakfast, but I’d happily have 2 regular ones with tons of butter! And coffee. And a huge fruit bowl. And cheese.

    Did you have bagels while in Montreal? It’s a specialty because they still make them in wood-burning ovens. Unbelievably good, and I don’t even like bread products.

    Going to skip around your blog some more now. 😀

    1. Paulie says:

      Hi Eden,
      One would think that San Francisco would have a dedicated market like Jean Talon but it doesn’t. There’s a wonderful farmer’s market on Saturdays near the bayfront but nothing daily.

      Mangoes are a big deal with Cora. Most of the mangoes we get here come from Mexico and she usually harrumphs that the mangoes from Pampanga in the PI are the best in the world. I’ve mentioned to her, at the risk of a harrumph, about having read that the best mangoes hail from India.

      Besides the large Chinese community in SF, in our immediate area we have large Asian Pacific Islander and Mexican communities so we’re able to easily get some ethnic foods nearby.

      I did bring back some maple syrup. Still have the empty bottle. I tried to bring back a bottle of maple vinaigrette but I accidently put it in my carry on. I’m sure it graced the table of a TSA agent.

      I got the maple vinaigrette because we had dinner at a restaurant in Montreal called Lemeac, known for its French food. The salad with maple vinaigrette was unforgettable. My snooty persona did a post about that dining experience.

      Another place we ate near the Old Port was called Maison Christian Faure, a pastry school with a small dining room that serves savories as well as pastries.

      It was so good we went there twice for lunch. The salade nicoise was wonderful and the pastries? Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous (meant in a good way).

      Your breakfast sounds pretty darn good. I had croissants the one morning. Other mornings I had some nice crusty bread.

      Thanks for visiting again Eden. I’m hungry – gotta go. 😋

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