The French Market
A Freely Accessible Cultural Haven
Building on its current repertoire of free offerings, The French Market district continues to promote the role it has played in the economic growth of the city with regular free and accessible public activities.
The most recent addition to the free walking tour offerings is the French Quarter Culinary History tour. Guide Anna Gonzalez takes up to 16 people on a walk through the French Market District, an area that spans six blocks along the riverside. During the 45-minute tour, visitors learn about the French Market’s culinary influences and history – Market Development Manager for the Farmers Market, Elisa Munoz, greets the tour at the end for a brief talk about the ever-evolving eateries, daily vendor, cooking demonstrations and festivals.
Ensuring the history of the country’s oldest public market, founded in 1791, is available to all visitors, the French Market organization has long been offering two complimentary weekly walking tours – The French Market Tour and the Food and Music Tour – both speak to the history of the riverside district, landmarks, living and historical legends.
Often dubbed as more of a flea market, the Crescent City Farmers Market – which has a series of pop up markets throughout the city – transforms the French Market every Wednesday. From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Market is bustling, giving visitors a taste of what life in the markets might have once been like.
With live music filling the background, farmers sell local and seasonal produce, seafood, meat, bread and baked goods. Additionally, The Southern Food and Beverage Museum has partnered with the French Market, giving weekly cooking demonstrations with the freshest ingredients that can be found at that Wednesday’s markets offerings.
Further down the alley, local children’s performer Johnette Downing has a free monthly concert at the New Orleans Jazz Park Visitors Center where she showcases her repertoire of Louisiana songs and stories to families within an area that is steeped in history.
These regular add-ons not only bolster the French Quarter experience, but give visitors a taste for the flavors of Louisiana to whcih they may not otherwise be exposed.
Free Walking Tour details:
French Market Culinary History Tour departs from Tisket a Tasket Books and Gifts at 910 Decatur Street at 3 p.m. every Wednesday. No reservations required.
The French Market Tour departs from French Market arch on Ursulines Street at 10 a.m. every Monday. No reservation required.
Food and Music Tour departs from the Jazz Park Visitors Center in Dutch Alley at 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday. Reservations required.