Best Supermarket in Pairs
Since living in Paris we have moved a few times and along the way have used all of the Paris supermarket chains. There are some that have great value but not great produce, and then there are others that have great produce but are a little more expensive.
Depending on where you are situated will most likely narrow you choice down considerably. Usually where ever you are living you will be surrounded by two of the major chains that are listed below and from there you will easily be able to decide on a favourite. As for the Best supermarket in Paris, this will come down to whether you think cost of food is better or quality of food is better.
Something you should be aware of before you head to the grocery store in Paris is that you will have to pay for bags at most Paris supermarkets. It got to the point where we purchased a small canvas trolley with wheels.
The supermarket chain G20 is open from Monday to Saturday. Most of the G20 stores have the possibility of delivery if for a small fee however we spent over 100euro one time and they gave us free delivery. They usually have a small rang of option however are for the most part on the cheap side.
The supermarket Picard in Paris is by far our favourite place to shop. We practically lived of their cheese pasta and frozen meals. When you walk into the Picard grocery store you will notice the sudden chill in the air. This is because all of their meals are frozen food. If you are as lazy as we were sometimes then you will love it. It is by far cheaper to buy fresh produce and make you meals from scratch but I was quite happy to pay a few extra euros to have it quick and microwavable.
In Paris the supermarket Franprix is usually quite small and don’t have much variety as far as brands go. They usually have what every you need however if your picky about what brand you choose then you may strike out. As far as price goes I would say it’s on par with Monoprix but a little more expensive than Carrefour. Sometimes you will even notice an extremely small corner store which is branded Franprix. These have not much selection and are quite pricy however can be good as a last resort if other stores are not open.
The range of products is very close to the range you will find a Monoprix but we always found that out shopping bill was less whenever we shopped here. So this is our Shopping market of choice. After shopping here we would then stop by Picard on the way home to grab some frozen stuff. Prior to 2012 the Carrefour supermarket chain in Paris was very militaristic with every store having exactly the same products. However in 2012 they employed a new boss at the Carrefour headquarters. His immediate change was to give more choice to the individual mangers of each store to choose specific foods which correlates with the local cuisine. So depending on which store you go to you may see a little difference in products.
The Monoprix supermarket chain in Paris is by far the best around. They have the largest variety of food, brands and gourmet products. A full service Monoprix will have a butcher and so forth. In saying that they are the most expensive as well not by a lot but are marginally expensive overall and when you do a large shop you will see the difference in your end price. You will also find small Monop supermarkets which are more like a small Franprix.
Dia vs Lidl vs Leader Price
The reason I have listed the Lidl supermarket, Dia Supermarket and Leader price supermarkets together is because they are all chains of discount supermarkets in France. They can be extremely crowded at times and have large lines for people trying to capitalize on discounts. Lidl is the cheapest all round choice out of the three with Dia at a close second. You are more likely to find a Dia in your neighbourhood as there are more than 90 spread out around the city of Paris.
The difference between Lidl and Dia is that Lidl always has low set prices compared to Dia which offers amazing discounts however these discounts are only temporary. Leading price is worth mentioning as they have just about the same range of foods as the other two mentioned but are not quite as cheap however if it’s the only one in your neighbourhood then maybe you could try it out.
Small Shopping Markets and Corner Stores
You will notice on every corner and most streets there are corner stores which may be open later than most other stores and have quite a small range of food. In fact usually they have a larger rang of alcohol than food. However we mostly used these stores when they were more convenient for example if we were walking past on the way home or if all the stores were closed and they were our last resort. If you are in the neighbourhood long enough you can build up a good relationship with the owner and it makes the experience much more enjoyable.
Tip: When you visit most of these stores don’t expect a very good reception as they are just minimum wage workers and probably really wanting to go home and to make it worst you probably don’t speak much French. One of the things I found quite interesting is that in most of these stores they have a seat that the shop attendants are sitting on while hey process your order. I just found this quite strange as I come from Australia and here you always get a person who is over the top happy and they would never be allowed to sit down while they are packing your bags.
So I will let you make up your own mind as to which is the best supermarket in Paris and hopefully I have given you enough information to make an educated decision. As for my wife and I we mostly liked to do our large shops at Carrefour or Monoprix if Carrefour was not open. We also loved to use Picard as much as we could. If it was past closing time then we would simply find a corner store and pay a high price for very small range but I guess beggars can’t be choosers.