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Druckenbrodt

Deciding where to live in Paris

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This is really just an excuse for people to name their favourite food markets! (Or to be more honest, a cheap attempt to get others to do my research work for me...)

I'm currently flat-hunting and ideally want to settle in the 10th - partly because it's handy for Eurostar trips back to London, but more essentially because I can be near my favourite food shopping street, the rue du Faubourg St Denis (not quaint, a bit grimy, not expensive, and with so much to explore, and lots of great green grocers; I can't live without easy access to good fruit and veg.) There's also the covered Marché St Quentin nr the Gare du Nord (also good for stocking up on German beer and poppy seeds) and another small covered market off rue du Chateau d'Eau, so I think the 10th rates about 9/10 in terms of my criteria. (Er, which are; not too expensive; a bit cosmopolitan - any nationality/ethnicity; good selection of fruit and veg; perhaps with good non-fancy 'local' cafés nearby...oh and since I'm indulging my fantasies here, a newsagent/kiosk within walking distance and perhaps also a florist. The latter two are not essential however.)

Anyone care to boast about their 'hood - and share its secrets?...

Where are the best (or even just good) little neighborhood markets? I'm not necessarily thinking of the famous ones like the organic one on Raspail, but the little hidden secrets you wouldn't even know about unless you lived next door?

In hungry anticipation...

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The 15th around rue Lecourbe - the market on ?Thursday mornings on avenue de Saxe, the fishmongers and fromageries on rue Lecourbe.

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I'd be interested to hear folks' ideas as well as I am thinking of moving part of the year to Paris and like Druckenbrodt I want to be close to a good market. Right now my preference is the Place Monge and Rue Poncelet markets.

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I love the rue Ordener and rue du Poteau markets (the former is twice a week along a normal street, the latter is a market street) in the 18th behind Montmartre, in the pretty, residential area around the Mairie du XVIIIe. The best food producers (butchers with whole sanglier hanging in season, excellent bakeries, fish, etc.).

Completely off everyone's radar and a really charming place to live.

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Clearly this is David's secret, but now that we are in the loop, I love the area around the Marche D'Aligre. They have a great cheese and beer shop in the covered market, as well as two great bio produce stands inside. There are two fantastic fish mongers on the street as well as Baron Rouge and La Gazetta for daily eats and drinks. The best part is that there are two outdoor foosball tables at the Park beside Ble Sucre. I can't imagine a better way to start my day then treats from Ble Sucre and a quick game of foosball.


"When planning big social gatherings at our home, I wait until the last minute to tell my wife. I figure she is going to worry either way, so I let her worry for two days rather than two weeks."
-EW

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Where are the best (or even just good) little neighborhood markets?

A few years ago on a trip, some friends rented an apartment near rue Daguerre in the 14th. We spent several evenings eating in after shopping along the way back from wherever it was we were during the day, and I had the feeling more than a few times that I could do a lot worse than to live nearby that street. Convenient to RER at Denfert-Rochereau, too.

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I love the rue Ordener and rue du Poteau markets (the former is twice a week along a normal street, the latter is a market street) in the 18th behind Montmartre, in the pretty, residential area around the Mairie du XVIIIe. The best food producers (butchers with whole sanglier hanging in season, excellent bakeries, fish, etc.).

Completely off everyone's radar and a really charming place to live.

Not off my radar, that's where I live and I think it's a nifty neighborhood. Three great wine shops, three fine butchers, two (used to be three) horsemeat stores, one OK not great fish monger, one coffee brulerie, one OK baker and dozens not so great, three Chinese take-outs, two Italian ones, one Greek (Cypriot my Greek pals tell me), plus all the fruit and veggies flowing into the street.

Not trendy like Thiebault in the 16th, nor bio like Batignolles and Raspail, not touristy like the Rue de Bac, but genuine.

Plus it's touted to be the area where the largest percentage of Parisians who live there were born there, giving it a real neighborhood feeling.

But the rotisseur does chalk up 25-30 turkeys every Thanksgiving, however, so there are some Yanks lurking about.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Great posts everyone! Keep 'em coming! Will be adjusting my de 'Particulier a Particulier' search accordingly... So far I think Ordener/Poteau gets my vote...maybe it even gets a 10/10. I have thought it was a tempting looking neighborhood when I've passed it in the past (as it were). I would add the overall standard of food shopping in the 18th is pretty impressive anyway, even away from the town hall. I found a very nice little green grocer with an impressive range run by a Chinese family on the rue Clignancourt not so long ago (at the top of the hill)

No Belleville fans here?

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I live in the 11th bordering the 20th and have two very nice markets within a five minute walk, but they are nothing worth crossing town for, just simple neighbourhood markets with a mix of stalls, some which are better than others. Sometimes on Sundays I will walk to the marché Aligre since they have things that I can't find in my market. The covered market is much more upscale than the street vendors whose prices are possibly the cheapest in Paris. Beware however that low prices can mean tasteless or even rotten vegetables. I once bought three mangos there which went from rock hard to rotten without ever being ripe.

Two other markets that I like are the marché des enfants rouges and the Bastille market.

I have also heard good things about the market near the Place des fetes in the 19th but haven’t been.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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Beware however that low prices can mean tasteless or even rotten vegetables.  I once bought three mangos there which went from rock hard to rotten without ever being ripe.  

That is a constant characteristic of Aligre market: never buy the cheap fruit offered in large quantities. Apart from that, it is an interesting market, especially the covered market, the North African shops nearby and the flea market (the only remaining flea market in town).

I am happy with the Place Monge market near my place but I often wish I lived closer to a cheaper, more ethnically diverse market. I regret not to be able to shop at Château-Rouge or Belleville more often. I do a lot of shopping in the 13e, a few bus stops away from my neighborhood.

For those who have the opportunity to go there or stay there, the Cours de Vincennes market (starting at Nation eastwards) is one of the largest and most interesting in Paris.


Edited by Ptipois (log)

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Oh, do I have a book for you. (Well, not literally)

Paris in a Basket: Markets - the Food and the People by Nicolle Meyer & Amanda Smith. Published by Konemann in 2000.

So, it's a bit long in the tooth now - not sure how much has changed.

The authors basically profile one market per arrondisement (their favourite) and have short blurbs about some of the other notable ones, and passing remarks about the lesser ones.

It's a big, heavy coffee table type thing. I bought mine on a remainder table two or three years ago for $8 or something. It's in English - not sure if they did a French edition or not.

They only deal with markets, and not the market streets such as Daguerre (home of what surely must be the world's largest accordian shop).

Lots of nice pictures, some recipes from market vendors, a bit of history about the markets etc.

I've mentioned it here before, but it seemed highly relevant to this thread, so I'm mentioning it again. Don't know how easy it would be to track down, either.

And I'm not a Parisian (did live by Col Fabien metro one summer long ago) and don't know how good a reference this book would make for those actually living there. If anybody living there has the book, or has even just had a good look at it - opinions please!

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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I have a flat in the 5eme, the two that I frequent:

Maubert Market in Place Maubert on Tuesday, Thursday, 7am. to 2.30 pm., Saturday, 7am. to 3pm. Metro: Maubert-Mutualite.

Monge Market in Place Monge on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, 7am. to 3pm. Metro: Place Monge.

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Beware however that low prices can mean tasteless or even rotten vegetables.  I once bought three mangos there which went from rock hard to rotten without ever being ripe. 

That is a constant characteristic of Aligre market:

I think that's a generalizable rule Pti; I bought some cherries at the height of the season dirt-cheap on the Rue St Denis and like Phyllis they were over the hill by morning.

Which brings me to the Poncelet market, which, if I were a rich man, ta da daddy dady da de dahdy da, I think I'd live near. The apartments around it and food therein are expensive but good. It's the #1 destination of the hunter-gatherer in our eating set.

No Belleville fans here?
Yes, when needing bok choy, Thai hot sauces and Viet Namese etc, great. But for me it's a schlep so I tend to go when the apetite demands such.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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John, I agree with you about the Poteau fishmonger. I shouldn't have said: "Fish." Better catches (so to speak) can be had a little further on, at Guy Môquet.

Another market I like is up in the heights of Ménilmontant on the rue des Pyrénées. It stretches toward a street near the church overlooking the métro Jourdain, which is a charming neighborhood, and actually the top of the rue de Belleville after Pyrénées has some good primeurs and a nice wine store called Ma Cave.

As far as prices go, I find Monge/Mouffetard very expensive for not necessarily better quality. I'm definitely someone who doesn't mind spending more for better quality, but when I'm spending more for the same or lower quality, I get annoyed... You can see at the place Monge market on Sundays a humongous line for the Korean primeurs, just because their prices are lower than all the astoundingly costly primeurs around. But I have never liked their produce.

My favorite stand at Monge is actually the Savoyard charcutier. All of his cheeses and sausages are great.

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As far as prices go, I find Monge/Mouffetard very expensive for not necessarily better quality. I'm definitely someone who doesn't mind spending more for better quality, but when I'm spending more for the same or lower quality, I get annoyed... You can see at the place Monge market on Sundays a humongous line for the Korean primeurs, just because their prices are lower than all the astoundingly costly primeurs around. But I have never liked their produce.

My favorite stand at Monge is actually the Savoyard charcutier. All of his cheeses and sausages are great.

Yes, the savoyard is good. The "Chinese primeurs" should not be mentioned as representative of Monge. I never go there. There are good producers like Marc Mascetti (he's cheap and has been known to give a whole extra bagful of free stuff every once in a while), Thierry (red-haired guy on the bank side of the market) who carries out-of-the-ordinary vegetables, some maraîchers who sell only their produce for a reasonable price, etc. Mr. Zamba, the Beninese potato man (a bit expensive but great potatoes, Roscoff onions, and fruit he imports directly from Africa).

However I think those small 5e markets are far less interesting that larger markets like Cours de Vincennes or the big covered markets in the East suburbs (Champigny, Le Perreux, Charenton, etc.).

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The 15th around rue Lecourbe - the market on ?Thursday mornings on avenue de Saxe, the fishmongers and fromageries on rue Lecourbe.

This was my primary market when I lived in the 15th, and I thought it was quite excellent.

One thing to add to your list of criteria might be access to the metro. I lived on rue Dulac quite near Montparnasse (many many lines radiate out from there, of course) and easy to catch other lines, too.


John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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For those who have the opportunity to go there or stay there, the Cours de Vincennes market (starting at Nation eastwards) is one of the largest and most interesting in Paris.

I am ashamed to say that I have lived within a 10 minute walk of this market for nearly three years and have never been because there is a market just at my doorstep. I will try to go this weekend. Merci Ptipois for the tip.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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I am ashamed to say that I have lived within a 10 minute walk of this market for nearly three years and have never been because there is a market just at my doorstep. I will try to go this weekend. Merci Ptipois for the tip.

You're welcome. Bring a cart and good walking shoes, it's huge.

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Ptipois, I am so glad that you mentioned the market at the cours de Vincennes. I have been twice now and even though I have the Marché Charonne at my doorstep on Saturday mornings, I think it's worth walking the extra few blocks to Nation. They have several produce vendors marked 'producteurs', which I assume means they grow their vegetables themselves. In any event, it was obvious that they were selling local vegetables and there was quite a difference in taste compared to the tasteless supermarket variety. They may not have the most exotic selection, but the greens I bought were amazing, the carrots full of flavor. They had beautiful cepes, shallots, and turnips. Definitely a reason to buy local and in season, it makes all of the difference in the world.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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Ptipois, I am so glad that you mentioned the market at the cours de Vincennes. I have been twice now and even though I have the Marché Charonne at my doorstep on Saturday mornings, I think it's worth walking the extra few blocks to Nation. They have several produce vendors marked 'producteurs', which  I assume means they grow their vegetables themselves.  In any event, it was obvious that they were selling local vegetables and there was quite a difference in taste compared to the tasteless supermarket variety.  They may not have the most exotic selection, but the greens I bought were amazing, the carrots full of flavor.  They had beautiful cepes, shallots, and turnips.  Definitely a reason to buy local and in season, it makes all of the difference in the world.

Ah cepes... wonderful veloute'.


John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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Ptipois, I am so glad that you mentioned the market at the cours de Vincennes. I have been twice now and even though I have the Marché Charonne at my doorstep on Saturday mornings, I think it's worth walking the extra few blocks to Nation. They have several produce vendors marked 'producteurs', which  I assume means they grow their vegetables themselves.  In any event, it was obvious that they were selling local vegetables and there was quite a difference in taste compared to the tasteless supermarket variety.  They may not have the most exotic selection, but the greens I bought were amazing, the carrots full of flavor.  They had beautiful cepes, shallots, and turnips.  Definitely a reason to buy local and in season, it makes all of the difference in the world.

Ah cepes... wonderful veloute'.

HOO BOY, did I have cepes at Le Clocher Pereire, two days ago, report coming.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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This month's Elle has an article on the D'Aligre with a list of their favorite places.


"When planning big social gatherings at our home, I wait until the last minute to tell my wife. I figure she is going to worry either way, so I let her worry for two days rather than two weeks."
-EW

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I've only been in Paris for a little over a year and I currently live in the 6th arr. near St. Germain des Pres. I tend to travel to markets since I haven't really seen anything particularly good for veg/fruit near me. (Although I cannot recommend Fromagerie 31 on Rue Seine highly enough... sent there by the Derniere Goute people) I have tried Place Maubert, Raspail and a variety of others in the 5th, 6th and 7th. I liked the bio stand at Place Maubert, but really nothing else.

These days I am occasionally schlepping all the way to Ave Pres. Wilson (between Alma Marceau and Iena) on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I was sent there by a friend you is in the restaurant biz and he mentioned several haute gastro chefs do some shopping there. I also got the tip from the chefs at Mon Vieil Ami who sent me to Thielbaut whose stand is there. I should mention at this point that I am a tomato snob. I grew my own (and froze enough to cover the winter) when I lived in Pennsylvania. I developed a taste for the heirloom tom sliced while still warm from the sun, so I'm pretty difficult to please on that front. I've been combing Paris for a decent tomato for a while now. I had been hoping to find one this September and I did find some good ones at the bio stand in the Ave Pres. Wilson market. I was not happy with Thiebault's toms. They weren't ripe. Not his fault - I don't see how he could get them ripe with the weather the Paris region has been plagued with this summer (I understand the agriculteurs are all complaining about it). To be fair, I have tried Thielbaut's lettuces, cauliflower and other Brassicaceae and found them very, very good (including the occasional slug and cabbage lopper, great signs that his veg is grown without the use of heavy duty chemical weapons). My biggest problem is that you have to be very, very brave to try to buy anything from that stand on Saturday morning after 10 am - you'd be competing with mobs of Parisians buying a little of everything from his mile long stall.

I would be very interested if anyone else has seen great tomatoes (especially heirlooms aka "tomates a l'ancienne") elsewhere.

Back to the Pres Wilson marche: I've also seen live gambas this fall (and live langoustines in the early summer) at a couple poissonnerie stands. The prices are insane for these special crustaceans, but live is not the kind of thing you see every day. I bought a couple live gambas last week just to try and they were indeed to die for (I had to use a lid after one leaped out of the frying pan!). This brings me to the big downside of this market. It is expensive.... but then again it is in the 16th.

I have not been happy with the Grande Epicerie for a few months now... it is great for a supermarket but it is still a supermarket. I have found better veg, fruits, meat and fish elsewhere. I still go there for their 1/2 bottles of Bruno Paillard champs which is priced lower than anywhere else I have looked (14 euros per half; and yes, I like halves because it makes two glasses.... perfect apperos for two) and since it is close to me, I'll also go for the odd oddball "exotic" thing I know they are likely to have.

-CavePullum

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