It’s food, glorious food, everywhere you look in Paris.
Besides the great, open-air food markets that only open two days a week in Paris, almost every neighborhood has at least one major food shop street where almost every conceivable type of food is sold. Since most Parisians have small kitchens and limited storage space, they tend to shop daily at their local food shops. Visitors get a real sense of how everyday Parisians shop when they visit these areas.
Here are the best food shop streets in Paris and their specialty shops, from a jam shop to a foie gras boutique to a pastry shop that sells only meringue desserts.
1. Rue Des Martyrs
A food shop street in a non-touristy neighborhood just below Montmartre, Rue des Martyrs may well boast more pastry and sweet shops than any other, with the last count at 14! New York Times writer Elaine Sciolino is so obsessed with Rue des Martyrs, she wrote a bestselling book about it in 2015 -- The Only Street in Paris.
La Chambre Aux Confitures
La Chambre aux Confitures is a boutique with over 100 flavors of jams, jellies, sweet and savory spreads, and honeys. Preserve flavors are divided into specific, seasonal, and fruit categories: summer yellow fruits, summer black fruits, summer red fruits, spring fruits, fall fruits, and winter citrus. Top favorites include strawberry and verbena, raspberry and passion fruit, apricot and lavender, blueberry with lime, and cassis and violet. All products are made in France with all-natural ingredients. They also sell wonderful gift packages featuring a set of four small jams in a nicely packaged box, just the right size to fit in your suitcase.
La Meringaie specializes in light-as-air meringue desserts with seasonal, fresh fruit toppings. All desserts are made on premise in an open kitchen, and spring and summer flavors featured this year are strawberry and cherry, raspberry and orange with a dark chocolate cream, and vanilla, rhubarb, and strawberry with pistachio bits.
Maison Henri Le Roux
Henri Le Roux invented the salted butter caramel in a tiny village in Brittany in the early 1970s, and as they say, the rest is history. Maison Henri Le Roux sells the original recipe caramels along with other flavors including yuzu, passion fruit, chocolate, cherry, and apple. The award-winning brand also produces excellent chocolates, including a matcha tea chocolate bar.
Popelini is a small chain of pastry shops selling only mini cream puffs. The adorable treats come in 15 flavors including dark chocolate, raspberry rose, pistachio cherry, praline, and passion fruit.
Sebastien Gaudard is a second-generation pastry and candy maker. His flagship shop is reminiscent of an old-fashioned confectionery shop, featuring pastries, chocolates, jams and jellies, and ice cream. Glass vitrines are filled with classic French pastries (no gimmicky flavors here), a freezer case has sorbets and ice cream cakes, and jars are filled with candies and confections. Look down at the optical illusion tile floor, but don’t stare too long. A stop here will be a treat for the eyes and your sweet tooth!
2. Rue Montorgueil
More like an open-air market than a formal street, Rue Montorgueil is a lively, pedestrian-only street teeming with food shops and cafes.
The oldest patisserie in Paris, Stohrer, was opened in 1730 by the pastry chef of King Louis XV. Nicolas Stohrer invented a number of classic French pastries, but his big claim to fame was Baba au Rhum, a rum-soaked cake that’s still popular today.
Today, Stohrer is not only a feast of pastries but also a haven for prepared, gourmet food. House-made quiches, foie gras in puff pastry, Burgundy snails, and fresh salmon with a mousseline sauce are just a few of the tempting dishes available to go. Once you select your savory menu, go for the famous pastries such as their eclairs, lemon tart, or Paris-Brest.
Make sure to look up at the magnificent crystal chandelier and hand-painted ceiling.
Fou De Patisserie
Fou de Patisserie, which means “crazy pastry,” is a concept store that celebrates the best patisserie chefs in France and puts them under one roof. The shop showcases three to four pastries from over 20 pastry chefs. The well-informed staff will tell you about each chef and their creations. Many of the pastries change seasonally, so there’s always new confections to be had. Pastry chefs whose creations are featured here include Pierre Herme, Pascal Lac, Cyril Lignac, and Catherine Kluger.
Technically located on a street just off of Rue Montorgueil, G. Detou is a supply shop for professional and serious home bakers and cooks. They stock an extensive variety of baking ingredients, cake decorations, and specialty foods. The floor-to-ceiling shelves are packed with dozens of varieties of international chocolate, tins of exotic oils, oversized bags of almonds, walnuts, and other nut varieties, cake decorating tools including multi-size pastry bag tips, jars of preserved fruits, and sacks of dried fruits. Make sure to bring an extra tote bag when you visit so you can stock up on all the goodies G. Detou has to offer.
Le Palais Du Fruits
A kaleidoscope of the freshest, most appealing, and vibrantly colorful fruits and vegetables are on display at Le Palais du Fruits. Pouring out onto the sidewalk are mounds of delectable strawberries, raspberries, miniature cantaloupes, spears of creamy, white asparagus, and tomatoes so shiny and perfect, they almost look fake.
Delitaly is a true Italian delicatessen, stocking deli meats, pasta, cheeses, and prepared foods.
Its vast selection of prepared antipasti includes green and black olives, stuffed peppers, marinated artichokes, buffalo mozzarella and tomato salad, and prosciutto-wrapped cheese. Stuffed fresh pasta including tortellini, ravioli, and cannelloni are available along with spaghetti and fettuccine. Hunks of pungent pecorino, parmesan, and gorgonzola are just a sampling of the wide variety of cheeses offered.
3. Rue Saint-Antoine
Another French food oasis in the Marais, Rue Saint Antoine, in a condensed span of three blocks, has four bakeries, a butcher, three fruit and vegetable stands, four wine shops, three chocolate shops, two cheese stores, and -- only in Paris -- two foie gras shops that are just five storefronts apart.
Ducs Des Gascogne
Ducs des Gascogne is a multi-award-winning shop specializing in foie gras. Jars and tins of goose liver and duck liver foie gras line the shelves on one side of the shop, and on the other side are different types of French pates including pork, country-style, vegetable, and chicken. Ducs des Gasgognes also carries an impressive variety of high-quality gourmet foods produced in France including Dijon and flavored mustards, jars of savory spreads, preserves, cooking oils, tins of cookies and madeleines, aperitifs and liqueurs, and dessert wines. Another plus is that when you purchase foie gras, the shop owner hands you an instruction sheet, in English, on how to serve and store the product. They also offer beautifully packaged gift baskets and boxes.
Boucherie Saint Paul
The intoxicating aroma of roasted chicken hits you a few storefronts away, before you even arrive at Boucherie Saint Paul. A state-of-the-art roasting machine has rows of chicken turning all day, and in the bottom of the rotisserie is a tray of potatoes that are cooked by the dripping of the chicken juices. The butcher will cut meat to order and will freshly grind chicken, turkey, and beef filets. Pre-assembled meat kebabs, carpaccio platters, and oven-ready roasts are also offered. Boucherie Saint Paul also sells organic chickens so fresh they still have the head and feathers on before you buy them.
Laurent Dubois is an award-winning cheesemonger, frequently voted one of the best cheese shops in Paris. Offering a selection of over 100 familiar and rare cheeses, it’s hard to pick one cheese, so break down and buy a few. Most of the well-informed and friendly staff speak English and are happy to make recommendations and share their in-depth knowledge of cheese. Laurent Dubois ages its own cheeses in cellars below the shop and prides itself in only stocking raw milk cheeses, mostly from small cheese producers. Other dairy products are sold at Laurent Dubois, including fresh, organic milk, yogurt, eggs, and butter.
Famille Mary exclusively celebrates the nectar of the gods, with an array of honey and honey-related products. Acacia, lemon, lavender, cherry, truffle, and eucalyptus are just a small smattering of the over 40 flavors of honey sold, and there’s even a Paris-made honey for sale. Bee pollen, beeswax soap, and Royal jelly are just a few of the products from cosmetic and skincare lines sold at Famille Mary.
- Almost all of the shops on these streets are open Tuesday to Saturday, all day, and Sunday until 1:30 p.m. Most close on Monday and a few of them close for lunch, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- Prepackaged tins, cartons, and jars of food products are legal to bring home to the U.S., but larger containers of liquid must be packed in your checked luggage.
- In addition to these food shops, don’t miss the nine best cafes to experience in Paris or these five superb pastry chefs and chocolatiers in Paris.