There is a wide variety of supermarkets in Paris and its suburbs. Some are tiny and sell mainly prepackaged foods and a limited selection of fresh foods, while in others you may fill your kitchen, as well as buy furniture and clothing. In general, most shops are open until 8 or 9 pm from Monday-Saturday, although at least one shop in each chain is usually open on Sundays. Check the opening hours at your local grocery carefully, as some of the smaller ones still close for an hour or so around lunchtime. The large Monoprix at 52, ave des Champs Elysees is open until midnight.
Monoprix – http://www.monoprix.fr – These are often the largest super or hypermarkets in Parisian neighborhoods. Selling a wide range of foods (fresh, prepared, packaged) including their own brands (Monoprix Gourmet is a particularly good one), they also sell cosmetics, toiletries, clothing and household supplies. Most of the branches have their own bakeries, deli and cheese counters, fishmongers and hot food stations. This is an excellent place to find international foods, especially in the branches near the Opera, St Germain des Pres and Republique. They also deliver for a reasonable fee, and you can even do your shopping online and have it delivered to your house on the same day. Each neighborhood has at least one; go to the website and click on ‘trouver mon magasin’ to find a good map to yours.
Monop’ – These are smaller Monoprix stores which are open from 9 am to midnight. Based on the model of the convenience store, they are nonetheless stocked with much fresher food! This is not a 7-11 but a good shop that, while small, has much more convenient hours than most supermarkets. The Monops that are in business areas carry items for lunch on the go… most even have a microwave or two to heat up prepackaged meals. You’ll find these on the Monorpix website; when you click on ‘trouver mon magasin’ it will bring up your closest Monoprix as well as Monop’ stores.
Franprix – http://www.franprix.fr – This is another ubiquitous chain of supermarkets that you will find in almost every Parisian neighborhood. It is owned by the Leader Price chain of hypermarkets and carries that brand of food as well as other, larger brands. Smaller than Monoprix, most Franprix sell only food, toiletries and household products. Many of the smaller branches close for lunch. Check on the website to find the shop closest to you.
Dia – http://www.dia.fr This is a discount supermarket with some very good prices and a good level of quality. Do not be put off by the spartan interior as you’ll be able to find most of what you need. Some of the Ed supermarkets located close to tourist attractions also have a surprisingly good selection of imported foods.
Picard – http://www.picard.fr – Picard is a chain of frozen food stores, but is utterly unlike anything that you’ve seen before. The foods are delicious and beautifully prepared and presented. This is the ‘secret’ of many a talented French chef in whipping up gourmet meals at the last minute. There is at least one, usually more, per neighborhood. Check your local store hours as many branches close for lunch.
Carrefour Market – http://www.carrefour.fr – Recently, these smaller branches of the large suburban chain have been popping up all over Paris. Most of these carry a decent selection of fresh food as well as packaged and prepared options and home supplies. They are often open late (sometimes until 11pm) and also on Sundays. Depending on location, the international selection can be suprisingly ample.
Simply Market – http://www.simplymarket.fr – Part of the Auchan group, these well-lit supermarkets compete with low prices and plentiful, fresh produce departments.
Bio c’ Bon – Bio products are making their way into the French market although not with rapidity of the USA or other European countries. Bio c’ bon has 5 locations around paris offering products, food and household maintence items, from biological sources.
Les Nouveaux Robinson – A cooperative supermarket offering ecological and bio products with 11 stores in Paris and 5 in the close suburbs.
People may envision Parisians strolling around their neighborhoods, popping into a cheese shop, then the bakery and then leisurely walking home nibbling a baguette. That does happen, but it’s just as likely that today’s Parisians are zipping around one of the truly massive hypermarkets in the suburbs, filling their carts with everything from a turkey to a television. The French have perfected this idea and you may be stunned by the size of these stores. If it all gets to be too much, shop online and have it delivered to your home!
Auchan – http://www.auchan.fr – Auchan and its main rival, Carrefour, are really very similar. Both offer a staggering variety of food products, clothing, household items, electronics, etc and both have their own ‘house brands’ of excellent quality. Choosing one of the other will be mostly a matter of personal taste, and convenience to the location of your home.
Carrefour – http://www.carrefour.fr – Carrefour, as well as Auchan, is a good place to find a wide selection of international foods and products. There is a also a wide range of price points so if you’re on a budget, or indulging in a decadent dinner party, you’ll be sure to find what you need.
E. Leclerc – http://www.e-leclerc.com – Another hypermarket with locations in the Paris suburbs with a large selection of goods ranging from food to small appliances, butcher and seafood counters.