Best of the Belly - Les Halles food tour
Saturday, July 21, 2012 from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM (CEST)
About this neighborhood: The Les Halles neighborhood is both the heart and belly of Paris, located in the center of the city and once home to the country's largest food marketplace. Vendors have been hawking their wares here since the 12th century, but the real action took place between 1870 and 1971 when more than 20% of all food consumed in France flowed through the towering glass and iron pavillions (halles) that stood on this site. The novelist Emile Zola profiled this bustling (and filthy) market culture in his 1873 masterpiece "Le Ventre de Paris" (The Belly of Paris). The market was moved in 1971 to a suburb just south of the city (Rungis), but the incredible food shops that grew up around this area still remain.
What we'll taste: We'll visit these old-school butchers, cheesemongers and charcuterie shops, as well as the incredible cookware shop where Julia Child used to buy her gleaming copper pots, and we'll also take a look at how modern young chefs and food artisans (bakers, spice merchants) are breathing new life into this historically food-obsessed neighborhood. Copious tastings at every stop (maybe not the copper pots...) are included in the price.
Les Halles in pictures:
A look at Les Halles through a video we made with Food & Wine magazine.
The Saint-Eustache church, site of the original Les Halles marketplace.
Cheese by bike? The new way to shop Les Halles.
Pink chickens, blue roosters, and yellow ducks for sale at a Les Halles butcher shop.
The original fast-food takeout, from a Les Halles traiteur.
Our meeting point in front of Starbucks at 21 Rue Petits Carreaux, 75002.
Nearby attractions: the Louvre, the Pompidou Center, the Seine river, the Saint-Eustache church.
- See a calendar showing all upcoming group tours
- Learn more about our private tour and larger group tour options
A refund of 75% is available for those who need to cancel with at least 24 hours advance notice. For those who cancel with less than 24 hours notice, only the unspent tasting fee will be refunded. Our Tasting Tours run rain or shine. Clients who arrive more than 20 minutes late without calling or not at all (no-shows) will be treated as cancellations with less than 24 hours notice.
When & Where
Paris by Mouth
Paris by Mouth is "the definitive blog on the city's food and wine scene," according to The Wall Street Journal.
In addition to writing, our contributors also lead tasting tours through some of the best food neighborhoods and shops in town.
We hope to break bread with you soon!