Paris Shopping: Buy French kitchenware with the locals

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Bargain shopping at La Vaissellerie. Photos by Theadora Brack.
Bargain shopping at La Vaissellerie. Photos by Theadora Brack.

By Theadora Brack in Paris-

Like snowflakes, the truly sensational Soldes by Paris (annual winter sale) has recently returned to Paris, so why not outfit your kitchen with a few French classics?

Here are my favorite hot spots for picking up kitchenware, guaranteed to make you the toast of the town! So shop to it, Cheapos!

1. Let’s dish at La Vaissellerie

La Vaissellerie is a Cheapo's cup of tea.

La Vaissellerie is a Cheapo’s cup of tea.

Beloved chain La Vaissellerie has five locations peppered throughout the city. For your bargain shopping pleasure, may I suggest starting out at the shop at 85 rue de Rennes (Metro Saint-Sulpice). Here you’ll find baskets of porcelain tableware, wedged in between towering stacks of dinner plates.

Slashed prices are usually hand-written in thick black dry marker across each dish in a Zorro-like fashion. Keep your eyes peeled for iconic French beauties such as ramekins, espresso cups, soufflé dishes, brightly colored café saucers, soup bowls, tarte and quiche pans, all costing just a few euros!

2. Get your kitsch-on at Porte de Vanves flea market

If you, too, believe that minor scratches and dents add value (for love of mana!), the Porte de Vanves flea market is definitely the hunting ground for you. Cheapos, the selection is beyond belief. Several stalls are even dedicated to cookware and table settings gone just to name a few. (Arrive early, though, because this flea market starts to shut down at noon.)

3. What would Julia Child do?

For culinary sakes, she’d haunt the aisles of kitchen-equipment specialist E. Dehillerin! “Thunderstruck!” was her description of the heated encounter. The attraction was instant, mutual, and long lasting.

Located at 18 Rue Coquillière (Metro: Les Halles), the centuries-old shop’s gleam has not dulled the least bit. Though not a Cheapo haven in the price tag sense, you’ll find the shop’s stock possesses all the right ingredients for dreamy window-shopping. So take in its vast collection of cookware in bright copper, cast iron, and glossy enamel, too, while mulling slowly over endless gastronomical possibilities.

Also, check out Julia’s photograph behind the cash register. Julia’s own kitchen, along with the actual culinary tools she purchased at Dehillerin, is now on display at Smithsonian!

Forever pinching from my favorite French Chef, this has been Theadora Brack! Bon appétit, Cheapos!

(And bravo Meryl Streep!!!)

About the author

Theadora Brack

About the author: Theadora Brack is a writer working in Paris. Her fiction has appeared in more than 30 literary publications, including 3AM International, The Smoking Poet, Beloit Fiction Journal, Mid-American Review, and the Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal.

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5 thoughts on “Paris Shopping: Buy French kitchenware with the locals”

  1. Looking for twisted handle jam spoons – sit on side of small jam dish on “hook” – saw them at A. Simon’s – can’t find a web site???? Any ideas?

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  2. Just watched Julia and Julie again (second time, on DVD) and have to put in a vote for Meryl Streep to win the Oscar for that performance. God!! she was great! And an Oscar too, for the person who made her appear to be 6’3″ tall.

    My favorite Paris cheap-o souvenirs are found more in the grocery stores. Last time I was there Ed had Belgian chocolates for one euro a box. I always get a big bag of herbes de Provence for €1.69 to bring home and interesting spices such as Coucous flavoring. At Monoprix I buy apperitif’s to share with my friends later.

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  3. La Vaissellerie – another tip. They have a “frequent shopper” card that you can get. Every time you make a purchase (I forget the amount), they punch the card. After a certain amount of visits, they extend you a discount.

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