When it comes to the age-old struggle between eating in and eating out, Paris is no exception. Restaurants are top notch, with prices to match. Cooking your own meals (if you’re lucky enough to have access to a kitchen) or even picnicking outside will save you loads of euros.
However, tourists might find it difficult to navigate the many chains of supermarkets in Paris. Here are the names to know if you’re ready to visit a supermarché.
The chain with the most supermarkets in Paris, Franprix has at least one store in almost every neighborhood. Stores carry the brand “Leader Price,” one of the cheapest store brands available. Franprix offers decent produce, frozen selections and general grocery needs. Many locations are even open on Sundays and until 10 PM at night! This is by far the most popular supermarket choice.
The Walmart of France, Carrefour offers a huge variety of brand name and generic goods. Smaller Carrefour markets within Paris and larger Carrefour superstores just outside of the city limits are sure to please the most ardent grocery store addict.
When it comes to hit or miss, Dia (formerly Ed), the dive bar of grocery stores, is the place to be. Don’t count on the freshest produce, but there are definitely cheap products available if you’re not picky.
While not the cheapest place to shop, Picard does offer an excellent selection of exclusively frozen goods (this is a good market if you have a freezer). You can get almost anything frozen for reasonable prices, considering the great quality. We recommend sampling the cupcakes…
Whenever anyone asks where to buy something, Monoprix is usually a good answer. Comparable to Target in the US, Monoprix also doubles as a great grocery store with inexpensive Monoprix brand products. Every arrondissement has at least one large Monoprix store in addition to smaller shops, called Daily Monop’, for a quick sandwich or can of beans.
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. Plus, brands such as Leader Price and Monoprix now offer organic goods, so even organic shoppers can find a deal!
Do you have a favorite grocery store or supermarket in Paris? Tell us about it!