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Best grocery stores/markets in Paris?

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San Francisco...
posts: 6
reviews: 28
Best grocery stores/markets in Paris?

My boyfriend and I will be spending a long weekend in Paris in mid-July. We are on a budget, so we're planning on buying several of our meals in grocery stores for picnics. I'm sure that there are many great groceries stores and markets in Paris, but do any stand out as really exceptional in terms of quality or selection? Particularly ones that would be close to major tourist attractions?

Also I am wondering, are there any unique food items in particular that we might want to check out? We are from the Bay Area so we can get freshly baked breads and great wines and cheeses at home. These seem to be the most commonly mentioned picnic foods, but I'm wondering if there are other specialities we could try?

Boston...
posts: 12,885
reviews: 12
1. Re: Best grocery stores/markets in Paris?

You know, instead of shopping in grocery stores, you can eat very inexpensively buy purchasing a quiche, savory tart or a delicious ham and cheese sandwich (among other kinds) on a baguette from most boulangeries around the city.

Ethnic food can be incredibly inexpensive, Moroccan, Thai, Vietnamese all are easily found in Paris.

There are also take-out places (tratteurs) that, if you buy only what you'll eat, can be very reasonably priced as well. You can buy a bottle of wine for less than a bottle of soda and enjoy a nicer meal than you'd buy in a supermarket.

Crepes are another option for inexpensive dining. None of this is to say that you shouldn't buy food in a supermarket, just that you have other options for inexpensive eating. Enjoy your trip.

Sydney, Australia
posts: 20,284
reviews: 53
2. Re: Best grocery stores/markets in Paris?

Actually, any half decent supermarket with have very good fresh food and delicatessen counters, with amazing hams and terrines by the slice, cut to order, beautiful cheeses and olives, wine already chilled, fresh fruit etc.

There are also street markets where the food will be wonderful and these are part of your visit itself. You just need to find the days they are open.

Particular foods. I love the terrines for picnic food. You could also look at foie gras products and other products such as rillettes for spreading on your baguette. There are more cheeses than you have dreamed of I think

http://tinyurl.com/btlb42w

Food such as duck is very popular, either the magret (breast supreme) or the confit leg. You may see the seafood stalls outside some restaurants where they prepare fresh shellfish to go inside to the patrons all piled high.

http://tinyurl.com/cnxk4zh

Raspberries, fraises au bois (tiny wood strawberries), currants, tiny fresh vegetables, bunches of asparagus,

http://tinyurl.com/covjtwb

If you are in the centre of Paris, as a treat, have a look at some of the food shops there, especially places like Fauchon and Hediard, where the pre-prepared food and groceries for the very rich are an absolute delight. Then buy elsewhere if you are on a budget.

Denver, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Paris, Denver
posts: 5,091
reviews: 19
3. Re: Best grocery stores/markets in Paris?

another vote for a visit to gourmet shops like Fauchon.

another (huge) vote for crepes (especially at a small creperie. especially if they sell the buckwheat type - galettes) and boulangeries.... Although I'm not a fan of the pre made sandwiches, it just seems like a lot of mayo, not a lot of filling and the brea just isn't as good? I don't know I'm very picky though!

Also make sure to try some desserts - YUM! That's where I really let loose. Although my bf got such a croissant addiction that he bought a few extra to take with him to London :-)))

Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris
posts: 4,108
reviews: 23
4. Re: Best grocery stores/markets in Paris?

La Grande Epicerie on the Left Bank (part of the Bon Marché department store) is an extremely nice but somewhat pricey store that is very interesting to visit even if you aren't shopping for groceries (although going there may make you hungry). The gourmet grocery at Galeries Lafayette is also very nice. Fauchon is a gourmet food shop rather than a grocery store in the usual sense.

Even an ordinary Parisian supermarket will have a much better choice of foods than a typical American supermarket, however. For example, even a tiny family-run store might still have more than a dozen kinds of cheese on sale.

Phoenix, Arizona
posts: 220
reviews: 7
5. Re: Best grocery stores/markets in Paris?

Easily found markets are Monoprix, Carrefour, Franprix G20. But street markets are in abundance too and make for wonderful picnic shopping.

Here's a fun and useful link about Parisian grocery shopping:

parisperfect.com/blog/…

This link from the paris.fr site lists open air markets! There are many and they are wonderful!!

http://equipement.paris.fr/?tid=289

Finally, the Patricia Wells site has lots of information, and importantly, a food glossary PDF that you can take along on a smart phone:

http://patriciawells.com/glossary/

Penticton, Canada
posts: 5,801
reviews: 5
6. Re: Best grocery stores/markets in Paris?

The OP posts "We are on a budget, so ..."

and I then see Fauchon, Bon Marché and Gallerie LaFayette gourmet for suggestions, which I thought were at the expensive range. Am I missing something here? Can I get budget food at the latter?

the big blue marble
posts: 13,668
reviews: 35
7. Re: Best grocery stores/markets in Paris?

The street markets all over the city fantastic and affordable. There is a good Monoprix at the La Motte Picquet metro, just behind the above ground metro tracks and not far from the Eiffel Tower.

Try the raw milk cheeeses, which are not available if the Bay Area. The strawberries you get here, especially served with a bit of creme fraiche, are like nothing you've had at home. Also, the white breads, are still way better (I'm from SF).

Sydney, Australia
posts: 20,284
reviews: 53
8. Re: Best grocery stores/markets in Paris?

cbaarch, I did say look, then buy elsewhere and so did others.

My "buying" experience at Hediard was 125gm of ground coffee. The gentleman treated me with great respect, discussed my tastes in coffee, selected and ground the coffee and then gave me a receipt. I then had to go to the payment counter and pay for my purchase and they in turn gave me a receipt. Back to the original counter to collect my purchase in its pretty bag.

I can only surmise it dates from a time when madame sat and chatted to her friends while the servants ran around getting all the goodies, bringing the slips back to her to pay and then running off to pick up all the purchases. And of course the servers did not need to soil their hands by handling money as well as food.

It was fun to experience though.

Phoenix, Arizona
posts: 220
reviews: 7
9. Re: Best grocery stores/markets in Paris?

cbaarch, I would not call it budget food because kilo per kilo these places are more expensive than the grocery shops, but it's very easy to buy enough to feed and satisfy two. And when I say satisfy, I mean filling the belly and feeding the soul with a variety of tastes. That said, it's also easy to be lured in by the incredible assortments and beautiful arrangements and end up over-spending.

Tampa, Florida
posts: 31,561
reviews: 9
10. Re: Best grocery stores/markets in Paris?

The short answer is that no, Fauchon, Hediard, and GL are not in any way considered budget alternatives, and going there to get ideas is also going there to be led into temptation. You can get the same items for considerably less anywhere else on the city.

If you're truly on a budget, those are really not the aisles you want to wander.