French Market

Stop 7 of 7 on French Quarter Street Food tour

The French Market is a notable location right at the edge of the French Quarter. The market was built in 1791 and has continued to be a historic and important location for the people of New Orleans. Throughout its years the market has changed with each new government, starting as a Native American trading post right on the banks of the Mississippi, and converted by the Spanish into a covered public market on the riverfront. In 1788, a great fire that consumed most of New Orleans destroyed the market. The new covered market was completed around the site of the present French Market in 1791. The market was destroyed again in the Hurricane of 1812 and would not be rebuilt until 1813. Since then the market has been greatly altered, but it still stands as part of the French Market complex. Through the centuries, immigrants from Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean opened their own tables in the market offering part of their local cuisine to the passerby.

From 1936 – 1937, a major renovation was undertaken by the WPA and the city of New Orleans. Rebuilding a new Bazaar Market, wholesale seafood, adding to the Butcher Market and a New Farmers Market. To help with sanitation, new refrigeration and sanitation systems were updated for the sale of meat and fish. Through the years there have been many changes, disasters, and renovations, but the French Market has stayed strong through it all and is still open to the public today. Though the market has been demolished, moved, expanded and redesigned, it still shows the intricate history of New Orleans. The market has become a location that is visited by millions of locals and visitors of New Orleans every year. The French Market is America’s oldest public market that is one of the main attractions to tourist every year.

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