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Specialty Food Shops in Paris: give me your experience.

I have a magnificant cooking book called "Culinaria France" which covers not only french recipes, but the history behind these regional, traditional recipes. So now, more than ever, I want to visit specialty food shops while in Paris. When I "Google" this (don't you just love how we've made this into a verb? It's like saying "Kleenex her nose, it's dripping" or "I Honda'd to work") anyway, when I searched for this, a hundred billion eleventy-trillion hits came up. So instead, from your own personal experience, tell me what specialty shops you visited and stand out in your memory(and where they were) that you wished you could walk into today to pick up some foods/candies/wines/etc. Oh yes, specifics here, staying 2 blocks north of Notre Dame, there in September, have a fridge/hot-plate/sink in our apartment, to say I love cheese is an understatement (when I die and go to my little corner of heaven, it'll be a Parisian Fromagerie), love wine and candies and breads/pastries... oh yes pastries (okay, my other in-heaven shop is a Patisserie ((even though it's hell on these hips!)) ... mouth is watering now... need to post this before I keep rambling on... oh and sausages... Oh, one last thing, have you been to the "Paris Fermier" farmers market? There's going to be one taking place while we're there and are going to attend it.

Posted by
1320 posts

Hi J-P - I have that book too! You can find a lot of what you're looking for at outdoor markets. The Sunday market at Boulevard Raspail is a good one and there are others. Also check out Rue Mouffetard. My favorite bakery is Gerard Mulot at 76 rue de Seine. The high end places like Fauchon and Hediard, both at Place de la Madeleine, are worth seeing. For sweets, Laduree on Rue Royale is wonderful. For chocolate, try La Maison du Chocolat. The department stores have food departments. And you can't go wrong with Monoprix. Enjoy!

Posted by
228 posts

Hi'ya Grier! Norm says Hi too! I'll write down each of those and keep them in my pocket as we walk around Paris! Thanks for the tips!

Posted by
1068 posts

I normally don't recommend anything on Rue Cler, but there is a cheese shop there that makes me SHIVER with delight and anticipation. I've taken pictures of it. I've had my husband pose in front of it - but could not keep him from drooling unattractively. That being said, even a regular-sized Monoprix (never mind the HUGE industrial ones that rival ANY gourmet shop in America) is a veritable cornucopia of meats and cheeses and condiments and breads that you could never ever find here in one place in the good old U. S. of A. Heck - the food halls at Galleries Lafayette made me almost cry. The spice mixes - in bulk - were intoxicating! The truffles - and cheeses - and chocolates - and mustards! Amazing! Oooh - I do adore la Boutique Maille, at 6 Place de la Madeleine. Yes, this is a MUSTARD shop. You will be bowled over. And Fauchon is INSANE. It's at 26 Place de la Madeleine (200 yards away from Maille). It isn't a specialty shop, per se - it's a place to spend all your money on the most luxurious goods imaginable.... foies gras, truffles, chocolates, cookies, coffees, oils and vinegars - and wine! And do go to your local market. Nothing beats a street market in Paris. Happy shopping - and eating!

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10340 posts

Kira named two of the biggies: Fauchon and the food hall at Galeries Lafayette. You'll cry the way Grier did. So you're Norm's partner. I thought at one point he was looking for a town outside Paris. What did you two decide on? Bets down in Bton

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524 posts

Jean Paul
Check out Paris-walks.com for their September walking tours. Occasionally they do a Chocolate Tour (Sept 8 at 10:30 AM) and a Taste of Paris Tour (Sept 15 at 10:30 AM). Tastings included! 25 Euro, reserve in advance by email. Once you arrive in Paris have your hotel confirm your Reservation and pay if you need to then. Great inexpensive walking tours with fun facts and great chance to get tastes of the "real" food Parisians buy. What a great way to meet the patrons! BTW, the regular Paris-Walks are 12 Euro, no reservations required, meet at a metro stop and have a 2 hour guided walk of a mini neighborhood. Great "budget" tours! Bobbie

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2030 posts

I like the La Grande Epicerie - associated with the Bon Marche department store in the St. Germaine area.

Posted by
1068 posts

I forgot two that I've shopped in and loved: Masion Dubernet (2 Rue Augereau). This is a chain, but it's great. It is basically a temple to foie gras, smoked salmon, pates, rilletes... gorgeous stuff. Pretty jaw-dropping. EX-PEN-SIVE. And Les Abeilles, at 21 Rue de la Butte aux Cailles. (Picture of the interior is here: http://www.qype.fr/place/1106729-Les-Abeilles-Paris/photos/2076384) They sell honey. And beeswax candles, and honey mustard, and honey vinegar, and HONEY. Awesome place. (I think it is also a chain, but this is the one we went to.)

Posted by
676 posts

Jean-Paul, better pack light in a BIG suitcase or 2 to bring back all your goodies!

Posted by
163 posts

I remember staying on Rue Cler ten years ago in the little hotel that Rick recommended then and the cheese being sold just as you went outside the door into the street. I still remember going out the door of the hotel and smelling the cheese immediately. I am getting motivated to go back to Paris. Thanks Jean-Paul. Happy Travels. Be sure to report back after you return and tell us your experiences.

Posted by
597 posts

You may want to look at the website of David Lebovitz, former pastry chef of Chez Panisse who has lived in Paris for several years. He has excellent suggestions. Plus, the blogger of Chocolate and Zucchini, has a book Edible Adventures in Paris which I have found wonderfully helpful for all types of food. You may want to go to your name sake, Jean Paul Hevin, who has the most appropriate name for what he does.

Posted by
56 posts

You must to visit all the small shops arround La Madeleine. It has everything. And, if you walk on La Rue de la Madeleine, one or two blocks, is located Lavinia, in my opinion one of the most intersting wine shop in the world devoted to France Mainly. I have Culinaria France too, It's a Must when you want to know France Cousine Good look!

Posted by
711 posts

Hi Jean -Paul, As Grier mentioned, the outdoor food markets are wonderful.Everyone has their favorites. They are such a part of life in Paris you really must go. Here are some of the ones we love... The President Wilson market ... Metro Iena , the Saxe Breteuill market, the Bastille market, rue Mouffetard, and Rue Cler.Most markets are 2 or more days a week with the bigger day being on Saturday for the weekend.We like to go photograph them and get our lunch....olives , a baguette, cheese, fruit, perhaps a dessert.....find a bench and eat and watch people. Go early. They get very crowded. We also have a great book we found on the markets with recipes and pictures. it is called...Paris in a Basket.It also tells the days , hours and metros to take to get to all of the markets.

Posted by
711 posts

Hi Jean -Paul, As Grier mentioned, the outdoor food markets are wonderful.Everyone has their favorites. They are such a part of life in Paris you really must go. Here are some of the ones we love... The President Wilson market ... Metro Iena , the Saxe Breteuill market, the Bastille market, rue Mouffetard, and Rue Cler.Most markets are 2 or more days a week with the bigger day being on Saturday for the weekend.We like to go photograph them and get our lunch....olives , a baguette, cheese, fruit, perhaps a dessert.....find a bench and eat and watch people. Go early. They get very crowded. We also have a great book we found on the markets with recipes and pictures. it is called...Paris in a Basket.It also tells the days , hours and metros to take to get to all of the markets.

Posted by
283 posts

Here are my suggestions: Bon Marche Grand Epicure (like it way better than Galleries Lafayette.) Maille Boutique In Isle San Louis there are three places: a great cheese shop, butcher and Berthillian ice cream shop. FOR BREAD: do not miss La Poillanemany think it is the best bread in the world. Easy to combine with Bon Marche. Any outdoor market, For a different experience, try the March de Alligrie(sp?) in the 12thvery ethinic. Monoprix is fun. I love French yogurt, salt (fleur de Sel is a whole lot less expensive and easy to bring back) L'Olivier for olive oil. They have the best aged (and pricey) balsamic vinegar I have ever tasted.
Wine is everywhere: Monoprix to various other choices. Google wine shops paristhere is an interactive map that lists some of the best. There is also a walk in RS Paris book that takes you to some of the most expensive and best food locations in Paris, including truffles, brandy, candy, etc. Look that up - it is great for a foodie. Also try David Lebovitz's blog. He is a pastry chef from Chez Panisse now living in Paris. He has tons of great ideas for food, especially sweets. Bon chance!

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175 posts

I second Sue's recommendation to look up David Lebovitz's bloghe has great recommendations for restaurants, chocolate shops, and other food shops. My favorites: Jean Paul Hevin or Michel Chaudun for chocolates, Josselin's for crepes (a restaurant, but still worthwhile), and Denise Acabo's shop in Montmartre for other wonderful candies. I didn't get in to other shops aside from Fauchon's and Laduree's, but Lebovitz probably has a nice selection for you to look at. Also, Ina Garten's French cookbook, "Barefoot in Paris," has an appendix with a list of her favorite places. That might give you some inspiration as well.

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3 posts

Hi Jean-Paul -- I suggest Laduree -- in Paris (2bis rue Guénégaud 75006 Paris ) -- it has great macaroons, pastries, candies, tea...oh and the food is also amazing. It's also great for purchasing presents for people.

Posted by
228 posts

WOW! Now that's alot of replies! Thanks so much, we'll have to step into at least a half dozen of these!