If you gave me the choice of importing one thing from Paris, to Melbourne, I’d probably choose Monoprix.
Sure, the Eiffel Tower is nice, but I think it’d feel a little out of place in the Carlton Gardens. I did consider the metro system, but I’ve gotta admit, I quite like the trams. So yes, I think my choice is Monoprix.
There is quite a range of options to choose from when approaching the task of grocery shopping in Paris. Lidl and Leader Price exist at the lower end of the scale, and whilst I wouldn’t recommend their own brand cheeses, when you’re out of toilet paper at midday on a Sunday, they can be a lifesaver.
For more of a bulk-shop (unusual in itself in Paris – who has the fridge space?), if you live near to the edges of Paris you might find a Carrefour Market. The added advantage here is that the ‘International Section’ (like, where you might find the soy sauce) is afforded an entire aisle.
Further out still, at La Defense (not technically Paris, but hey the metro runs there) you encounter Auchan, a giant hypermarché with an entire level dedicated solely to drinks.
Franprix is an interesting one for me. When I first moved to Paris these small-sized chain stores leaned more towards budget than luxury, and had a tired décor to match. However, over the course of 6 months things began to change – Franprix got a colourful, modern facelift (and a few price rises to match).
Where once my local, somewhat sad-looking (not to mention the rather worrying presence of not one but 3 security guards) Leader Price had stood, now a sleek, busy Franprix was in it’s place.
If you don’t mind paying slightly more for your groceries, Monoprix is for you. There is just something about that neon-pink ‘M’ that calls out to me like a beacon. The selection of groceries is great, their deli amazing – I’d even go so far as to say that the rillettes d’oie de chez Monoprix are the best in Paris. And better yet, they have an entire department dedicated to toiletries, makeup and possibly my favourite part – clothing.
Now I know what you’re thinking, clothes shopping and grocery shopping shouldn’t go together. I mean, what could you possibly buy at a grocery store that would be wearable, let alone fashionable? Friends, you forget – this is Paris. Even the supermarket clothes are chic.
And just to prove my point, here’s me in a Monoprix cashmere bonnet:
Monoprix image courtesy of MyTangerineDreams on Flickr.
Leader Price image courtesy of Romain Maury on Flickr.
New Franprix image courtesy of Marshall Segal on Flickr.
Neon M image courtesy of cbertel on Flickr.