New Orleans French Market
is a treasure trove of history, having existed on the same site since 1791. The Market began as a Native American trading post and has gone through many incarnations since that time; it’s America’s oldest continuously operating public market and plays a significant role in the local economy.
The French Market is five blocks long, composed of a Farmer’s Market, community Flea Market, restaurants and shops, and hosts events throughout the year including festivals, live music and cooking demonstrations.
The Farmer’s Market boasts nine restaurants and cafes, in addition to craft vendors and an abundance of seasonal fruits and vegetables. One place you won’t want to miss is the World's Famous N'awlins Cafe' & Spice Emporium, where you’ll find authentic Cajun and Creole dishes in addition to city's largest selection of spices, coffees, teas, hot sauces and Louisiana entree' mixes.
Another great place to visit in the Farmer’s Market is Big Easy Mugshots, the gallery of local photographer Sara Elmore, whose photos of New Orleans, the French Quarter and the flora and fauna of southern Louisiana make memorable souvenirs.
Vendors from all over the world sell their wares at the Flea Market; there are traditional items such as antiques and clothing as well as jewelry, art and crafts. The French Market Corporation describes it as “a market of diversity and a community of culture”.
Tourist reviews indicate that the Flea Market is a great place for trinkets and souvenirs at a lower cost than you’ll find in the traditional shops, but visitors also note that there are a lot of mass-produced, kitschy articles to dig through. One reviewer was thrilled to find true New Orleans-made items: an alligator tooth necklace and some alligator jerky.
Restaurants and Shops
In addition to the markets above, there are also two shopping areas: the Shops at the Colonnade and the Shops at the Upper Pontalba. Both of these shopping areas are comprised mostly of local businesses, including jewelry, home accessories, and art galleries.
The French Market is open daily from 9:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M., 365 days a year