Paris may be the gastronomical capital of the world, with no shortage of quality restaurants, brasseries and cafés, but it is difficult to avoid a trip to the supermarket during your stay. Whether you need to whip up a euro saving dinner, need some emergency basics or want to stock up on traditional French items, INSIDR is on hand to demystify supermarchés in Paris.
WANT MORE FREE PRATICAL PARIS TIPS?
- Please don’t be alarmed if you get your bag checked before entering a supermarket, that’s quite normal here in Paris
- You are obliged to purchase your own plastic bags (they often cost around 5 cents) or bring them with you
- Customer service in Supermarkets isn't quite like it is in the States or elsewhere, you're have to pack your own groceries at the cash register.
- You often, but not always, have to weigh your fruit and vegetables- don’t find that out too late when you’re already at check out!
- Be warned that most grocery stores close before 9 or 10 PM and—apart from a handful of Franprix stores—are rarely open on Sunday.
- Store brands are consistently cheaper than name brands, though the quality is not remarkably different.
- If you are set on buying organic, Monoprix offers a large organic range which may be cheaper than shopping at an organic store.
Here are the most common supermarchés that you will come across in Paris, with information about their price range, size, where they can be found and what produce they tend to sell...
The Franprix supermarket chain with the most stores in Paris. You will find at least one Franprix in almost every arrondissement. Whilst this store is not particularly budget, they do stock the brand “Leader Price”, one of the cheapest store brands available. This store is ideal for basic grocery needs. Many Franprix stores are even open on Sundays and until 10 PM at night, which is rare in France!
Carrefour offers a large selection of brands in its stores. Within central Paris the stores are smaller, but just outside the peripheric are many large scale Carrefours, comparable to Walmart. These stores will sell a range of groceries, electronics, house hold items and occasionally clothing.
Up for a more classy and prestigious grocery shopping experience? Galeries Lafayette could be an exquisite choice for you. Fine quality on a huge diversity of international deli and fresh produce is surely guaranteed, plus an indoor market place including fishmongers, oyster bar, foie gras stands… You name it! Feeling cosy but still fancy quality items? Their home delivery services would fit your wish for a Sunday lie-in.
If you’re looking for a glam grocery shop experience, Dia definitely shouldn’t be on your ‘to visit list’. Whilst this grocery shop may be considered a bit of a dive to some, you can still find what you need, and often at the fraction of the cost. Their fresh produce is a little hit and miss and the layout of the shops tend to resemble a maze!
Picard is the grocery store exclusively selling frozen goods. The quality is usually very good, so if you’re looking for freezer friendly cheat meals, Picard is not a bad shout! Prices vary, but are reasonable for the quality.
Monoprix is another very common supermarket in Paris. There are a number of larger Monoprix markets in central Paris which sell a large range of brands and products and often have a home furnishings, cosmetics and electronics section. Monoprix also sells its own clothing line which is good quality, up to the latest Parisian trends, but rather expensive. Boulangeries can also be found in some Monoprix stores. There are also smaller Monoprix markets called Daily’ Monop dotted around Paris. Although they sell various brands, Monoprix is one of the more upmarket, expensive grocery stores in Paris.
Lidl is a favourite budget grocery store with Parisians, meaning they can often be very busy! Lidl is very affordable and tends to have a good selection of seasonal fruit and vegetables. Whilst Lidl has many of the basics, and also a great “on offer” range, they don’t have everything, so you may have to do a top up shop elsewhere.
Naturalia is a popular bio food store with many branches in Paris. They usually stock a good range of produce from fresh bio fruit and vegetables, dried fruit and nuts, meats and fish, bio cosmetics and medication. The price range is expensive, but not more than you would expect from a bio store in a capital city!
Bio c’Bon may be marginally cheaper than Natualia but still fairly pricey. They have a good selection of produce and hard to find items for special diets.
Markets are still a popular way of sourcing your groceries in Paris. There are many markets that take place all around the city of varying quality and price range and are a great way to purchase, seasonal and local produce. Check out our article about the best markets in Paris.
DON'T LET THE TIPS STOP THERE!