Friday, 28 August 2009

Where is supermarket?

When I welcome people to the apartment, I show them round and ask whether they think they'll be cooking or not (to know whether to explain how our smart induction hob works, for example). The replies vary (my favourite was "No way, I'm on holiday!" which is fair enough), but recently one person asked if there is a supermarket nearby. The answer is: not one, five! Each has its pros and cons, and amusingly they all used to be something different...

The G20 is probably the nearest, and open every day except Sunday until 9pm. I believe that the G stands fror grimy. It's my least favourite: fairly big but cramped, not great produce, however it's cheap(ish). If you just need basics, this will probably do.

For years (ever since I've been visiting Paris, and that's quite a while), the G20 was a huge lighting shop. I think the guy finally retired a couple of years ago.

Next step up would be Franprix, open from 8.30am - 9pm and even Sundays from 9am - 8pm! It looks tiny from the outside (see top photo) but inside they've made it colourfully 'hip' and 'designer'. The presentation is much better and it's not too dear.

This Franprix used to be a Shopi supermarket. Shopi has now moved slightly north, just next to the Arts et Métiers métro station, into what used to be the offices of an insurance company. They are also open seven days a week from 8.30am to... 10pm! (although on Sundays they open at 10am instead). I haven't been in, but as it's brand new it's quite smart.

However, there are even smarter options, albeit at a price. Opposite the Pompidou Centre is a Monop' (a scaled-down version of the slightly-upmarket Monoprix supermarkets). The store is fairly large and on two floors, and sells very good quality products. Obviously, being placed where it is, the prices are kinda high, but they do have some interesting produce (for taking back home for example) and a large snacks section on the ground floor, which is good if you want to avoid the cost of a restaurant at lunchtime.

It's closed Sundays but open every other day from 9am until midnight! Very handy if you have a craving for something late in the evening. The place used to be a postcard and bookstore, and before that - way, way back - it was even a nightclub where I mixed a few times!

By the way, Monop' sells a fair bit of organic produce, but our preferred supermarket for that (and our favourite of all the supermarkets probably), is the BioCoop. It's very close to the apartment, and we wrote a whole article about it here a while ago.

They are open every day except Sundays from 10am - 8pm and the place used to be just a standard, boring old mini-market, but for some reason that never caught on. I love going to BioCoop for their tarts, wine and wicked Sour Cream and Chilli organic crisps from Sweden (?) that rip the roof of your mouth off!

All these supermarket are marked on our map of incredibly useful and interesting things near the apartment. You can click here to see the map, or remember these addresses that also lead there:

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