What to buy in Paris: gourmet shopping, antiques, fashion
Your are visiting Paris and you’re looking for souvenirs or good deals? Read our guide about best things to buy in Paris.The most interesting items to track down in Paris are fashion, food, fine grocery and ‘style’, whether that means contemporary interior design or antique furniture.
If your cash supplies are running low, or your credit card is creaming in pain, you can always have a wonderful simply window-shopping. But beware ! Window-dressing is a real art in Paris, and shop-fronts are hard to resist.
Gourmet and food shopping in Paris
France is a country of natural riches, where chefs have invented the best ways to use its superb produce, and master pastry-makers have created the delicious cakes still enjoyed today.
Best fine grocery to buy
Its no surprise that Paris is a paradise for gourmets. The two main temples at which those gourmets worship are Fauchon (Place de la Madeleine, 8th arrondissement) and nearby Hédiard, whose founder in mid-1800s was the first to introduce tropical fruits to France. Fauchon sells honey made by bees from the Garnier Opera that have gathered pollen from the flower in the Tuilleries garden. Both establishments have a restaurant, and Fauchon also boasts a particularly hedonistic patisserie.
Bakeries and Pastry shops
French bread is renowned the world over, the sweet brioche was invented in Paris in 1690 but the baguette is a newer addition to the range, first appearing in the city in the 1960s. Poilâne (8 rue de cherche midi 75006 – St-Germain des près) is Paris’ favorite bakery , dating from 1936. Its famous round sourdough loaves are baked in woo-fired ovens and the bread is often mentioned by name on restaurant menu.
Anne of Austria first brought chocolate to Paris via Spain and the conquistadors. The manufacturer of chocolate liqueur and pastilles openend its doors in 1659, and became the ultimate in chic.
Nowadays, at Jadis et gourmande– 5 shops located at 88 bd du Port Royal in 5th (Port Royal) or rue des archives in the Marais (Mo St Paul ), avenue Roosevelt (Champs Elysée – Roosevelt), one rue Saint Placide and oen ru Boissy d’anglas near Madeleine ) – chocolate in all shapes and sizes is displayed on wooden shelves. The specialties include twists of plain milk chocolate with dried fruit, orange flavored chocolate in shape of crow and a chocolate birthday postcard complete with envelope.
A la mère de famille (35 rue du Feaubourg montmatre), the oldest chocolate factory in Paris, has a turn-of-the-century interior with blue and white tiles. It sells also traditional confectionery from the provinces, strictly only for those with a sweet tooth
read more about where to buy chocolate in Paris
Cheese lovers and connoisseurs will be in the heaven at Androuet (many shops: 134 rue mouftard 75005 in the Latin quarter or 37 rue verneuil 75007 near Saint Germain des près). Those highly acclaimed shops boast 150 variety of cheese from classic Camembert to the unusual Basque Lou Picadou, and sells delightful wooden selection boxes that are perfect for gifts . Of course cheese can be delivered in vacuum packaging for transport.
Markets – Buy food, cheese…
Parisian food markets date back to the Middle Ages, but many of them are still in the lifeblood of the capital. You will enjoy both the atmosphere and the wonderful produce. Try the Mouffetard market ( latin quarter) for fruit, vegetables and charcuterie, the Raspail organic market between rue du cherche-midi and rue de Rennes (St-Germain) for organically grown vegetables such as sqaush and Cinese cabbage, the belleville Market (Mo Belleville) for plantains, yarms and exotic fruits, and the incredible Asian supermarket of Tang frères (48 avenue d’Ivry 75013), in Chinese quarter, which is open on Sunday and everything Asian from kumquats and dim sum to bonsai.
Antiques in flea market or antiques shop
The oldest and most crowed of the Parisian flea markets is the Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen (Saint Ouen- Mo Porte de Clignancourt), which consists of several separates specialist markets, and is a favorite Sunday outing for local people all year round.
You can also go to Marché Aligre near Place de la Bastille a markets with many antiques. You can also find many antiques shop at Viaduc des Arts or Village Saint in the Marais neighborhood
Specialists shops in Paris – perfume, tableware
Luxury is the watch-word in Paris’ specialist shops. Guerlain (68 avenue des Champs Elysées ) is the most beautiful perfume shop in Paris, with original 1912 decor of marble and mirrors.
Many shops specialize in beautiful tableware, producing new collections twice a year. Gien (18 rue de l’Arcade Mo Madeleine) sells attractive patterned pieces from its earthenware factory and personalized and collectors’ plates. At la Maison Ivre ( 38 rue Jacob 75006 – Mo St Germain de Près) you’ll find handcrafted china in the vivid blue, yellow and green colors of Provence, as well as printed tablecloths.
Fashion and Clothes
For Haute Couture try the very the rue du Faubourg St Honoré, or rue montaigne ( the Golden Triangle).
There are many other fashion and clothing shopping places in Paris : The Marais , St Germain des Près and rue de Rennes, Montmartre.
Some of the most appealing shops in Paris are the smaller ones, owned and run by individual enthusiasts selling and eclectic range of goods but you can also opt for one of famous department store ( Le Printemps and Galeries Lafayettes at Opera – Haussmann quarter or BHV , Le bon marché…). Read our fashion and clothing shopping guide in Paris for more info.
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