From Sud de France:
On the ‘singular island’, you go to the market for provender and people, not for the architecture. The 1970s-era market building with its three-story parking garage is not attractively laid out. But who cares? Hearty company and quality produce are what you come for. The butcher is organic, the fruit and vegetable stalls are as beautifully arranged as those of Barcelona, and the fish sellers display tuna and sardines freshly caught by local fishermen.
People come from Montpellier and even Marseille to buy their fish fresh from one of the five market sellers, or oysters and mussels from the Étang de Thau! So wander around the 75 stalls: fruits and vegetables, fancy groceries, Cianni’s classic tielles (seafood pasties), cheese, the pasta and Italian products of Sète’s transalpine immigration – and much more. But there is also the authentic atmosphere of the bistros where Sète’s residents come to drink coffee, read the paper, or take an aperitif. Some settle in for a full lunch at the dining stalls, with their convivial and genuine local fare.
• Every day, 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Les halles, boulevard Gambetta, Sète. www.halles-sete.com