The only thing better than eating in Paris? Shopping for provisions to recreate your favorite meal once you're back home.
Parisians are uncompromising on their food stores, as they are on all other matters, making this an amazing city for foodies to shop.
On the Left Bank, this venerable department store has a fantastic food section called La Grande Épicerie. In French, épicerie means "grocery store", and indeed this is a supermarket. But you can find things here that even the best-stocked market may lack at home -- for instance, a mind-boggling array of mustards, a huge choice of dried mushrooms, and a complete line of highly coveted Christine Ferber confitures, or jams. Look for confiture de quetsches, made of special plums from Alsace, and confiture de framboise à la violette, made of raspberries and violets. (38 rue de Sèvres, 01-44-39-81-00.)
On the Right Bank? Then you'll want to visit Galeries Lafayette's Gourmet department -- which is also one of Paris' best bargains for lunch. Also see this round-up of Paris' best gourmet supermarkets.
Dubernet Foie Gras
This Left Bank shop is known for having some of the best foie gras in the city. They make theirs from both goose and duck liver, and carry all kinds of delicacies foie-related, including pâtés, sausages, rilettes, and more. Many products available in easy-to-pack containers. (2 Rue Augereau, 01-45-55-50-71.)
Can't get enough foie? Try Le 114 Faubourg restaurant at Hotel le Bristol, which serves foie gras in many creative ways.
Parisians love their honey, in all its many varieties, and so there are several stores in the city that sell nothing but miel. At Les Abeilles, which means "the bees," you'll find honey from bees that gorged on the lavender in Provence, from bees that buzzed around chestnut tree blossoms, or even from bees that live in the city of Paris itself. (City bees gather their nectar from blooms in window boxes and the city parks.) For instance, try "Opera Honey," made from bees that live in the beautiful Paris Opera building.
When you're at this Left Bank shop, also pick up honey mustard, honey nougat, honey candy and pain d'épices, which is similar to gingerbread. (21 Rue de La Butte-Aux-Cailles, 01-45-81-43-48.)
Tip: On the Right Bank, head to La Maison du Miel, or "House of Honey".
E. Dehillerin, a classic French cookware shop on the Right Bank, has been around since 1820, serving both professional and at-home chefs. It's hard to resist the store's gorgeous line of copper pots, but you might find their madeleine cookie molds easier to pack. (18 and 20, rue Coquillière, 01-42-36-53-13.)
Ladurée has several locations in Paris, but the store on the Right Bank's famous Champs Elysées is so beautiful, it almost overshadows the delicious confections on offer inside. Almost, but not quite.Ladurée is known for its macarons, which are a traditional French pastry made of egg whites, powdered almonds and sugar, sandwiched around a sweet ganache, jam or butter cream. (These are very different from the coconut confection called a "macaroon.") Ladurée is credited with inventing the modern macaron, and they offer them in many flavors: chocolate, vanilla, coffee, rose petal, pistachio, salted butter caramel, and more. (75 avenue des Champs Elysées, 01-40-75-08-75.)
At first glance, Fauchon, on the Right Bank, seems an utterly modern gourmet food shop. The décor is chic and contemporary, in a palette of hot pink and black. But that's the result of a 2007 face lift. In fact, Fauchon is one of the grande dames of the Parisian food scene -- it's been around since 1886, specializing in baked goods, wine, teas and all products gourmet. Today, it's a great spot to taste and to buy French cheese and wine, and it also has a comprehensive range of French and international oils, honey, jams, salt, cookies, baked goods and so on. Many products come in very packable small sizes, perfect for souvenirs to bring to your lucky friends. (24-26 Place de Madeleine, 01-70-39-38-00.)
Jacques Genin has long been considered one of the best chocolatiers in Paris, but until recently, his creations were only available to fine restaurants and luxury hotels. Chocolate lovers rejoiced when he opened his first retail location on the Right Bank in late 2008. Genin makes lovely chocolate, of course, but people seem to entirely lose their composure over his caramels. (133 rue de Turenne, 01-45-77-29-01.)
- 10 more ways to satisfy your sweet tooth with chocolate and macaron in Paris.
- Learn why Paris is a relative newcomer to the world of fine chocolate—and how to enjoy chocolate in the most traditionally French way.