Buying your food at the local markets is one of the best way to immerse yourself in French culture. Going to the market is an enjoyable way to discover local specialties, as well as meet people from this area of France.
Here is a list of the markets in the area surrounding our houses - with some descriptions of our favorites. We have organised them by the day of the week they occur. As you will notice, the large majority of markets tend to be clustered on the weekends. Unless otherwise mentioned, all of these markets go from around 8:00 to 11:30 am.
The big market in Beaune is on Saturday, and it is a fabulous way to see this beautiful little medieval town in full swing. The market takes place right in the centre of town - and is spread between the Place Carnot and the Place de La Halle which is right beside the entrance to the Hospice. The market spills into some of the side streets as well; don't hesitate to explore!
It is very difficult to get lost in Beaune and many people speak English and can give you directions. Don't miss going into the newly renovated "Halles" to admire the variety of meats and cheeses sold. This is where the famous wine auction is held in November.
This market is right downtown in the covered market "Halles". Have a look at your map before you leave home to get an idea of where to go. Or, you can just ask any friendly Dijonnais, "Où se trouve le marché?" and they will point you in the right direction.
Dijon has several big parkades in the centre of town for you to park in, look for digital signs around town that tell you how many spaces are left in each. This market is a rarity as it lasts all day Saturday (although it does close for lunch between 12:00-2:30).
Follow the Nationale heading South after Beaune. This is a fun outing which allows you to discover a lesser known part of the Côte D'Or. Chagny is just on the border between the department of the Côte D'Or and the neighbouring department of the Sâone et Loire (we're still in Burgundy though!). Stalls line the main street and spread out into a couple of neighbouring squares. Don't hesitate to stop in at one of the many cafés along the main street - authentic french atmosphere guaranteed! Don't be surprised if you see many people sipping on a glass of wine at 10:00 am.
About a 1 hour and a half drive away. This is mine and Franck's favorite market lately. It is non-touristy, colourful and animated. It is situated in an area of Burgundy known as La Bresse. The drive to Louhans winds through the picturesque countryside, and it is fascinating to see the differences in architecture and landscape. This market is about as authentically French as you can get. The town of Louhans is really worth a visit as well, particularly the medieval main street where the market takes place. The market is even more animated than usual on the first Monday of every month, as there is an animal market as well as the regular food & poultry market.
Follow the Nationale South after Beaune - about 30 minutes away, just before you get to Chagny. I haven't been to this market, but Nolay is frequently chosen as one of the most beautiful villages in the Côte D'Or. I would definitely give this one a try if you don't want to venture as far as Louhans, or want to explore the Côte de Beaune.
The Wednesday market in Beaune is usually quite small, but on nice (i.e warm) days there tends to be more stands. A good place to stock up if your provisions are getting low mid-week and you absolutely want to stock up at a market. However, for the real market experience, the Saturday market in Beaune is far more animated.
The markets on Thursdays are a little further afield. Again, there is a smaller market in Chagny (see “Sunday” markets). Otherwise, there are markets in Arnay-le-Duc and Santenay.
This market takes place in the main street of this small town. You will not be able to park in the centre, so try to find a spot in any of the parking spaces which surround the main street. A good market close by to stock up on fresh food for the weekend. Have a look at the ivy-covered belltower - or Beffroi in the main street which rings every hour. Listen to the bells, their sound is lovely and delicate. This belltower dates from 1619.
Going to this market, which happens in the main place of the village, is a nice way to discover this interesting village in the Côte de Beaune. Meursault is a large and quite picturesque village, and specializes in world-renowned white wines. You also can weave through the world-famous wine village of Pommard and Volnay on your way there or back.
Here is a more exhaustive list of markets for the whole of Burgundy. It is organized by department so that you can use it as you are planning day trips from one of our place.