Avignon’s Les Halles market is home to about 40 stalls, each selling some sort of Provençal goodies, from cheese and meats to oysters and foie gras, even rose petal-perfumed sea salt. There’s a wine bar and well-loved Italian stand too, and the popular market is easy to spot—its façade is covered in a frothy vegetable garden designed by botanist Patrick Blanc.
The best time to visit Les Halles? Local chefs (a different one each week) show up at 11 a.m. each Saturday to give cooking demonstrations using fresh ingredients picked up from the market that morning. The demonstrations are in French, but it’s easy enough to follow along. Private cooking classes also take place in Les Halles Market throughout the week, and there are workshops geared especially for children and sushi-making classes on Fridays.
At Place Pie in Avignon, Les Halles market has its own parking garage, which comes in handy on busy summer days. The market is open Tuesday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Saturday morning cooking demonstrations run from September through July. Avignon itself is about 50 miles (83 km) northwest of Aix-en-Provence, and regular buses run from the Avignon bus station on boulevard St-Roch to Marseille, Nice and Canne. Avignon is also on the Paris-Marseille and Paris-Montpellier rail line.