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Sunday shopping in Paris after 2 PM


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As we were walking and shopping around and on the avenue d'Ivry in the 13th this afternoon it occured to me that I've often wondered where to shop if I'm really stuck and forget to go to the street market in the AM and want something outside the realm of my three pan-Asian traiteurs, two flower shops, boulangeries and one "Arab 7/11." So as another helpful resource for our "Eating, Shopping and Staying" topic, I'll start off by saying that certainly Tang, the Paris Store and various other places on the Avenue d'Ivry are in full flower Sundays.

John Talbott

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And the drugstore on the Champs Elysées. On some sundays Wal-Mart like hypermarkets outside Paris are open. And of course a number of Hediards, Lenotre, Flo traiteur and Dalloyaus -- won't cost much more than Tang+Taxi. Also, in the ethnic range, there are the pakistanese shops on top of the rue du faubourg Saint Denis, but they don't have their place in a food lovers forum.

Chinatown is clearly the place to go on sundays afternoon, imo.

Edited by julot-les-pinceaux (log)
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Why don't the Pakistani shops along rue Cail have a place in a food forum? I get my supplies of spices, murukku snacks, Milo, Ovaltine, coconut milk and 'English' biscuits like Digestives and Fig Rolls at the Cash & Carry. Prices are much cheaper than Bon Marché's.

Rue St Anne in the 2e is good for Korean and Japanese groceries. ACE Mart is the best known, and at weekends there is a 10% discount on most items. Open till 10 pm. My other favourite Korean grocer is HANA foods at rue Letellier in the 15th.

The drugstore along Champs Elysee is called Publicis. Good for books, wines and snack-type foods, as well as whimsy clothes and accessories.

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It just occured to me that there's a terra becoming cognita, between the Gares (du Nord + de l'Est) and Marx Dormoy that has a host of ethnic places open Sunday afternoons.

As for

Why don't the Pakistani shops along rue Cail have a place in a food forum?
I'd encourage you to start one. Since I've recently decided that it's OK to eat non-French food in the PM and w/e's, I'd be delighted to chime in.

John

John Talbott

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Why don't the Pakistani shops along rue Cail have a place in a food forum? I get my supplies of spices, murukku snacks, Milo, Ovaltine, coconut milk and 'English' biscuits like Digestives and Fig Rolls at the Cash & Carry. Prices are much cheaper than Bon Marché's.

I love the shops in this area, not only along rue Cail but on rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis from gare du Nord to Marx-Dormoy, and along rue Perdonnet and rue Louis-Blanc. Not many of them are Pakistani though. More or them are Sri-Lankan and that is why you get weird spice mixes, strangely-colored drinks and vinegars made from unknown fruit (particularly at the Louis-Blanc shops). Like Tang, they seem to import more new stuff each time I go there.

A portion of the lower part of rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis (between gare du Nord and Porte-Saint-Denis) also has some Tamoul and Srilankan shops, including those in the Passage Brady. It is also a great street for Turkish food shops and restaurants, some gourmet food stores, Yugoslavian groceries (rue du Château-d'Eau) and halal butchers. In fact the rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis is a food shopper's heaven.

The drugstore along Champs Elysee is called Publicis. Good for books, wines and snack-type foods, as well as whimsy clothes and accessories.

Publicis is actually the name of the advertising company that created those "drugstores" in the mid-1960s. There used to be several of them in Paris (the most famous being the one at Saint-Germain-des-Prés, now an Emporio Armani), with one at each end of the Champs-Elysées, and some of them in provincial cities also (I remember the one in Nice). Now I believe the one at the top of the Champs is the only one left. The Sixties and Seventies were their big era. They were pretty fantastic places back then.

Edited by Ptipois (log)
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Chinatown is clearly the place to  go on sundays afternoon, imo.

There is actually more than one Chinatown in Paris. The biggest and most organised is in the area along Avenue d'Ivry and Avenue Choissy. Most of the shops are run by former Cambodians/Kampucheans and Vietnamese. Tang Freres and Paris Stores and the smaller shops are excellent for Asian foods, one can even get fermented shrimps (cincaluk) and new harvest rice in addition to the usuals like lemongrass, sauces, fresh coconuts etc. I do a big shop at Tang Freres every three Saturday mornings, before 9.30 am if possible, any later and the whole place goes crazy.

The next best known is in the part of Belleville closest to the metro station of the same name, here the shops import almost everything from mainland China. The owners hail from the Wenzhou area not exactly well known for their cuisine but we get stuff like dried rice cakes, Lau Gan Ma sauces and Chinese books and DVDs for my daughter. There are a few tofu shops along rue Rampal, my favourite is Les Delices; here the tofu is sweet and fresh.

The third Chinatown is in the sebastopol-st denis area but I have never actually shopped there. On Sundays the shops and restaurants are closed. Les Pates Vivantes is a fairly new pulled-noodle joint in rue de Fauborg Montmarte, it is open Sunday evenings.

I am a Malaysian Chinese and even in Paris, I need to get my fix of Asian food so we have tried many ethnic places in the 15 months that we've been living here. Sadly the only places that are good falls mostly into Korean and a handful of tiny sushi or noodle joints. For mainland Chinese food I go to Le Jardin Mandchourie in rue Vivaldi like every six months. As for other Chinese food I wait until I get to London, all the rest like Likafo, Sinorama, Mirama do not do it for us. though in a pinch I might settle for any cafe along Belleville. Thai: my favourite is Krua Thai in rue Montparnasse. There is also a small traiteur near Porte Maillot called Chez Chung which every Singaporean knows about because Singapore Airlines staff staying at the nearby Meridien hotel have been eating there for nearly 20 years and teaching them how to cook Singapore style fishball noodles, chicken with prawn paste and even sauteed kangkong. As for Indian I've tried a few places (vege and non-vege) from the budget ones along rue Cail and its environs as well as upmarket places like Ratn and honestly do not like any of them, the exception is Archana on rue Telegraph but it is rather far from where I live. The best thing about all these places are that they are open during the weekends.

Edited by tonkichi (log)
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Very valuable information, tonkichi. Thank you.

I can add a little more you could use: there are other (small) Chinatowns in Paris. One is the Arts-et-Métiers/rue au Maire/rue des Gravilliers, roughly between the métro Arts-et-Métiers and the mairie du IIIe arrondissement. This is the oldest Chinatown in Paris, dating back to the 1920s, primitively inhabited by Wenzhou people and, decades later, occupied by more recent waves of Wenzhou people. The food is simple, oily, very much like what you get in the Shanghai region (that is to say, not really the best in China) but sometimes it can be really tasty.

Another Chinatown, not as ancient but not recent either, is in the vicinity of La Chapelle. The last time I heard about it was about fifteen years ago and I haven't explored it since. I don't even know if it is still around.

There are a few remants of yet another primitive Chinatown in Paris, around the place Maubert. Mostly Vietnamese, that is where the first Vietnamese immigrants settled back in the 50s. There are still a few food shops (Thanh Binh, Sou Quan) and a good concentration of restaurants, but the heyday was some 30 to 40 years ago.

I have shopped at one Chinese food market around rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis and Sébastopol, I believe it is on rue d'Enghien or rue des Petites-Ecuries. Mostly products from mainland China, a bit messy, which somewhat sounds like home. There are a few Chinese restaurants around there, particularly a "Restaurant de Chengdu" serving Sichuan food, but it is not so good as it used to be.

Koreatown tends to be around the Front de Seine and the upper part of the 15e arrondissement.

Iranian food stores are along the rue des Entrepreneurs in the same area (15e).

I agree about the poor quality of the food at Paris Indian restaurants, including the cheapie ones between gare du Nord and Marx Dormoy. There are some nice snack shops though like Ganesha Corner on rue Cail, good chai and rotis. And the food shopping is terrific in that area. Best rasgullas I have found in Paris are sold in the lower part of rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis, in a Pakistani cafeteria right near the Arch.

There is a Turkish soup bar in the same street that I have to try someday... they even have tripe soup. Yum!

Edited by Ptipois (log)
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Thank you both Pti and tonkitchi: I'll try to work on separating the shopping from eating places since I think they both deserve their own topics. And, we should really get topics going on different Asian cuisines, since even in Paris, places like the fine Lao Lane Xang 2 and not so fine 3 traiteurs in my block have a blend of Viet-Thai-Chinese-Lao dishes.

And I'd love, tonkichi, to hear more about Malaysian food here.

Host's Note:

I've moved most of the restaurant info to a new topic on Ethnic restos in Paris so we can concentrate on Shopping on Sundays after 2 PM here.

John

Edited by John Talbott (log)

John Talbott

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