It is an experience to eat out, an adventure to go to the local food market,
and a fun errand to do groceries.
The market that I frequented is in the 16th arrondisement, on Rue de Passy, called De Passy Covered Market. You can pick up fresh fish and seafood, cheese from the fromageries, vegetables and fruits, meats, pastries, and ready-made foods. It isn't a very large market but if you are in the area, it is a good choice to visit if you want to pick up groceries.
If you get the chance to do grocery shopping, two of the biggest grocery stores are Monoprix and Franprix. Monoprix has their own line of products and creative packaging, similar to Loblaws or Provigo in Canada. Similarly, they are not the cheapest grocery store, but they do have sales (and generous wine samplings)! A random note that I discovered: buying chilled products (wine, pop, milk, eggs) cost more. If you don't need whatever you're getting to be cold right then and there, you can probably find those same products in an un-refrigerated aisle, and they'll be cheaper too.
Cheese and Wine
Cheese and wine are a French classic. What they say is true, wine is cheaper than water. There are shops everywhere where you can buy a bottle, and they're sold in all grocery stores too. You can find wine bottles in the store for 5 Euros or even less.
I ate here on my last night in Paris and it was the most memorable meal. Special thanks again to my friend Aurora for finding this place, I take no credit at all! This was the only photo that I dared to take with my huge camera, as everyone else there seemed to be locals. We were squeezed into a long row of tables along a wall, so tight that for us to get into our seats, the people that sandwiched us had to sway their bodies to allow us to squeeze in.
It is not a big restaurant, and every possible space that could be filled was filled. Cozy is the perfect word. And warm and welcoming. It was a very loud, very happy place. Roaring of laughter from one corner to the next. A long table in the middle with a family, their young children playing with each other.
Our row of tables were attached to each other so that it resembled a bier hall table, or a long picnic table. On my right, seemed to be a man on a date with the woman next to Aurora. On my left, a very sweet old married couple. The way the tables are set up make it a very intimate setting, and I am not only eating dinner with Aurora, but with the people around me. I can hear the entire conversations of my neighbours, and they can hear ours.
As they overheard our chat, the older woman piped into our conversation, and we ended up chatting the rest of the night with them (in French of course!) We weaved in and out of conversations with each other and they shared their advice, and the story of them. A lot of laughter was involved that night.
We both ordered a 3 course meal. I got ordered bourguinon, escargot, and creme brûlée. And of course, wine. The dinner was impeccable. The experience was irreplaceable.
Frogs Legs and Escargot
Frogs legs - taste like chicken.
Escargot - buttery, garlicky, and good.
You can find crepes everywhere. The best crepes are thin and crispy, and almost melt in your mouth.