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The French Market is a market and series of commercial buildings spanning 6 blocks in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Founded in 1791 as a Native American trading post, the market is the oldest of its kind in the United States. It began where "Cafe du Monde" currently stands and has been rebuilt and renovated multiple times since its original "meat market" purposes. Originally, "the Meat Market" was the only place within the French Quarter that could sell meat, only after meat was being sold elsewhere, did its name change to the "French Market"
It stretches just inland from the Mississippi River in the section of the French Quarter downriver from Jackson Square, with the famous Café du Monde at the upriver end, down to the flea market stalls across from the New Orleans Mint building.
While part of this space has been dedicated as a market since 1791 (earlier city markets were at different locations), the oldest structures in the market date to about 1813. Major renovations were done by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s.
Rebuilding and renovations have continued into the 21st century. Much of the area formerly housing arcades of roofed but walless merchant stands now houses shops and restaurants separated by doors and walls, and catering to the tourism industry.
The food stands here include cafés, bars, traditional New Orleans crawfish and other seafood, Cajun food, Creole cooking, desserts, fruits, vegetables, and more. The French Market is also known for hosting some annual events including the French Quarter Festival, Jazz Fest, The French Market Creole Tomato Festival, and the Seafood Festival.
The flea market is especially busy on weekends. Free musical events are often given in the French Market. The New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park office and visitor's center is in the French Market.
The market is included on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail.
- Official website
- Market French Market on Facebook
- French Market historical note on Nutrias.org
- French Market on FrenchQuarter.com
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