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Gourmet Paris


aris – the city that embodies beauty and romance

– is truly a feast for the senses. It is especially a city

to taste; an espresso and croissant at a sidewalk

café, a simple picnic of fresh bread, cheese and

local wine, exploring the fruit and vegetable markets and

perhaps a sweet indulgence at one of the city’s legendary

chocolate shops…

In the introduction to

A Moveable Feast

, his book of

recollections of 1920s Paris, Ernest Hemingway wrote: “If you

are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then

wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for

Paris is a moveable feast.”

For the French, eating is as much a way of life as staying

alive, and the purchase of the varied and abundant regional

produce is all part of the “art de vivre”. Unlike many cities,

Paris doesn’t really have a shopping centre and whenever they

can, locals prefer not to stock up at the supermarket for the

week, but to shop carefully at various food shops for the next

meal or two.

Almost every neighbourhood has its own market streets

that usually contain a boulangerie, charcuterie, fromagerie,

a cave à vins, épicerie, patisserie, and usually at least one

confiserie for chocolates and sweets.

It may seem a less efficient way to do the grocery

shopping but there are benefits. These are social occasions,

which give Parisians an opportunity to bump into someone

they know, share stories and catch up on the latest gossip.

The food merchants also take a loving interest in their

produce. The fruit and vegetable merchant knows which

potato variety is best suited to a gratin or the cheesemonger

will let you taste the cheeses first so that you can decide

before you buy.

Fancy restaurants are fine, but you can’t beat the epicurean

delights of a Paris gourmet picnic, even on a sunny day in

winter, enjoyed in one of the city’s many beautiful parks,

squares or open spaces. Follow in the Parisian tradition and

shop like the locals for the foods you need while exploring

and discovering hidden parts of the city.


Forget fine-dining restaurants: there's a feast to be discovered in the local shops

and markets of this most delicious of cities

Wo r d s : A n d r e w M a r s h a l l P h o t s : K a r i n R i i k o n e n



Travel Writer

Andrew has

been a freelance

travel writer and


since 1990, and

has travelled to

over 50 countries

to cover a

diverse range of

travel features

for various


around the world