| Le Guide
Food, Drink & Other
In the Marais you can find everything from prepared foods like paté, roasted chicken and sandwiches to aged cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables as well as fine cuts of meat. There are several well-stocked supermarkets within a few blocks of the apartment as well as specialty shops that offer quality products with a more personal touch. The main food shopping street is rue Saint Antoine, beginning at the Metro St. Paul and continuing for about 6 blocks west (other shopping continues east on rue de Rivoli). However, we sometimes prefer the small, less commercial streets near our apartment for shopping.
There are three supermarkets within minutes of our apartment on rue Saint Antoine. The closest but smallest (FranPrix) is across from the metro station St. Paul, a slightly larger one (G20) is a couple of blocks further west, and the largest and best stocked one (Monoprix in the basement – open from 9:00 to 21:00 Monday to Saturday) is about 4 blocks further down the rue Saint Antoine – west towards the Bastille.
Bakeries (Boulangeries and Pâtisseries)
Several bakeries are located on rue Saint Antoine, the most well known being the chain Paul with stores throughout Paris .
Miss Manon is an excellent boulangerie and even better pâtisserie on the corner of rue Saint Antoine and rue Saint Paul . Try the Opèra or the St. Honoré pastry. For a more intimate experience and excellent almond croissants try Boulangerie Malineau on rue Vieille du Temple just off rue du Roi de Sicile (about two blocks from our apartment towards Hotel de Ville). Another branch of the same bakery is located at 26, rue Saint Paul .
Another favorite of ours is the Boulangerie Heurture (on the corner of rue du Bourg-Tibourg & rue de la Verrerie) carrying a variety of breads and savory pastries to tie you over to the next dinner. Best of all, though, are the ice-creams & sorbets – and no standing in line here (unlike the famous Berthillon) for more than a couple of minutes. Even better, they are available for take-out in ½ liter containers (try Pétal de Rose or Orange Sanguine).
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Specialty Food Shops
Two fromageries (cheese shops) are located on the main shopping street of rue Saint Antoine as are several boucheries (meat stores/butchers). Fromagerie P. Trotte (95, rue Saint Antoine) has a nice selection of goat cheeses as well as excellent yoghurt, cream and butter. The cheese shop named Fromagerie at 77, rue Saint Antoine has a wider variety of hard cheeses.
In Boucherie La Parisienne (73, rue Saint Antoine) you will find at least 10 varieties of poultry just in the outside display case (quail, guinea-fowl, Bresse chickens, etc...) and that’s before you step inside to review the day’s selection of meat, sausages and prepared foods (try the potato gratin for a quick to warm-up accompaniment to dinner). Friendly service & reasonable prices.
Boucherie A. Bequerel at 113, rue Saint Antoine has excellent roasted chicken and is open on Sundays from 9:30 to noon as is Pains & Olives at 73 rue Saint Antoine.
The aptly named Au Cheval du Marais sells horse meat among other items, located at 75, rue Saint Antoine. A kosher boucherie can be found at 13, rue Ferdinand Duval, a testament to the thriving orthodox Jewish community still present in the Marais.
There are also two shops that specialize in fresh fruits and vegetables, one called Verger St. Paul just beyond the church of Saint Paul on rue Saint Antoine and the other about two blocks further near the Monoprix supermarket.
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Tratteurs (Prepared Foods)
Most of the shops mentioned above offer a variety of prepared foods. In addition you will find several tratteurs offering Chinese and Japanese prepared foods on rue Saint Antoine as well as a couple of Pizza and Sandwich places. We can’t vouch for any of them since this is not the type of food that attracts us in Paris. We do however like the “poulets” that are expertly grilled in some of the tratteurs – with a salad, baguette (or a pre-baked potato gratin) and a bottle of wine it can make an easy and quick dinner when you get home exhausted from exploring Paris all day. The tratteurs are also a good source of prepared food for a picnic.
The following are worth a visit:
Jo Goldenberg at the corner of rue Ferdinand Duval and rue des Rosiers is the most famous kosher delicatessen in Paris . Stop by for herring, chopped liver, or any number of cured and smoked delicacies.
Fauchon – a branch of the famous Paris delicatessen on rue Saint Antoine/rue des Tournelles (close to the Bastille). Go only if you’re not hungry because the temptation is just too great. Wonderfully prepared sweet and savory foods. Great for the prepared luxury items on your dinner table.
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Wine and Liquors
In Paris , all supermarkets and food shops generally sell wine and beer. You can get relatively good quality wines there, certainly good enough for everyday consumption. However the quality and selection is limited and you might want to buy your wine in a specialty store where you’ll find more options and also excellent advice.
Fortunately, our immediate neighborhood has several high quality wine stores nearby, several on rue Saint Antoine.
Nicolas (a French chain) has an excellent selection of major producers as well as regional wines under its own label and has friendly, English-speaking staff. They are open daily from 9:30 to 20:30 and Sunday mornings from 9:30 to 13:00.
Another excellent wine store is the Cave Saint Antoine at 95, rue Saint Antoine.
For kosher wines, take a walk to Habiba wine shop/patisserie on the corner of rue des Rosiers and rue Pavée, closed Saturday but open on Sundays. There are several more options for wine and liquor stores in the Marais to explore.
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One of the first things we buy when getting to our apartment is a bunch of flowers – you may have noticed the many vases around the apartment. You will find the best prices and selection of flowers at the daily markets. However, one flower shop in our neighborhood is worth mentioning: Au Nom de la Rose, 87, rue Saint Antoine, sells roses only – really lovely bouquets. You can’t miss the shop with rose petals strewn along the sidewalk.
Cacao et Chocolat – One of three branches in Paris is located at 36, rue Vielle du Temple . Tempting combinations of chocolate and tea, exotic fruits, or spices. Lovely gift items – if you can bear to give them away.
Izrael – Spices, condiments, and table accessories from around the world is located on rue Francois Miron. Listed in almost every guidebook as a must see, this is also the place to go should you hanker for that particular something from your home country that is not stocked in the supermarkets (think Oreo cookies or Marmite).
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Department Store: BHV (Bazaar de l’Hotel de Ville)
The one and only in the neighborhood at rue de Rivoli and rue de la Verrerie (several blocks long) – only a short walk from our apartment.
If you need anything for the home, this department store will have it. In the basement you’ll find a very extensive hardware store – a veritable institution and famous all over Paris . Every doorknob, switch, handle, and gadget that was ever made in France will be here along with electricity converters, bulbs, nails, tools – you get the idea.
Recommendation : read the article in Adam Gopnik’s book “ Paris to the Moon” (in our library) about BHV: it’s hilarious and not far from the truth.
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Paris shops are mostly closed on Sundays. While it is best to buy everything you need on Saturday, should the need arise (and it will) it is good to know that several shops remain open on Sunday morning (till about noon ) on rue Saint Antoine as well as in the Jewish quarter of the Marais.
Some of the stores in the neighborhood with Sunday hours are:
- Miss Manon boulangerie (one bakery must be open every day of the week according to French law – this one is closed on Monday)
- Nicolas wines and liquors (until 1 PM only)
- Verger St. Paul vegetables/fruits (until 12 PM only)
- Kosher market Priton (6, rue des Rosiers)
Alimentaires – often called “Arabs” because immigrants from North Africa used to be the traditional owners of these stores - are often open seven days per week with late night hours. These grocery stores are the Parisian version of the 7/11 or the “Korean grocer” in the US . The closest one to our apartment is located on the corner of rue des Rosiers and rue Malher. A slightly larger and better stocked one can be found on rue du Roi de Sicile walking east towards Hotel de Ville.
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We love cooking – therefore we love markets. And Paris has an abundance of markets, all more or less well stocked depending on season, day and time of the week. You will get the freshest produce here in addition to local, regional, organic ingredients depending where you go and what season it is.
There are enough markets and information about markets to fill books. One of them we left for you in our library “Paris a Panier” ( Paris in a basket) that will give you the locations, days and operating times of the markets as well as stories and recipes.
Here are the local/semi-local ones that we recommend:
Richard Lenoir – definitely the best in the vicinity and one of the best in Paris . Held every Thursday and Sunday on Avenue Richard Lenoir, starting at the Bastille and reaching for several blocks up the avenue. A must for anybody who loves food, markets, or just colorful life.
Hotel de Ville – small, good quality but somewhat pricey behind the Hotel de Ville and across rue de Rivoli from Place Bourg-Tibourg. Most Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Montorgueil – this is a market street as opposed to the “roving” markets mentioned before. Always worth a visit, always great food to buy. In addition, there are a number of small but very good restaurants in the small streets nearby for a quick bite or extended dinner. One of our favorites: La Grille Montorgueil (at the bottom of the street) for old time bistrot cooking and atmosphere. Only caveat – it can get very busy in the summer months.
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