10 places to be tempted
This temple of good taste is located on the ground floor of Le Bon Marché, Paris’s oldest department store, where its bakery, patisserie, butcher’s and cheese shop will all urge you to give in to gourmet temptation. Prices depend on the age and origin of the product, so you can just as easily enjoy a delicious pistachio macaroon for two euros as bankrupt yourself for a bottle of olive oil.
In patisserie, precision, taste and presentation are key, and Carl Marletti is past master at creating beautiful delicacies for greedy aesthetes. He made his mark at the Grand Hôtel Intercontinental, then opened his own boutique at the end of 2007. His creations (around €5 a piece) are exquisite and brightly coloured, often classic pastries lifted by floral notes – like the ‘Lily Valley’, a violet-scented St. Honoré cake.
Fans of the fashionable trend for preserving, head straight to Boco. The Ferniot brothers, inspired by their memories of their grandmother’s dishes, had the brilliant idea of capturing the recipes of top chefs in preserving jars and now dishes by Anne-Sophie Pic, Frédéric Bau, Christophe Michalak, Philippe Conticini and more are sitting pretty in glass containers (€4 to €9).
Causses, SoPi’s (SouthPigalle) new alimentation general extraordinaire, feels like an urban farm shop, offering a winning formula of simple quality, seasonal, produce (fruit ‘n’ veg, hams and cheeses), gourmet preserves and take-away breads, sandwiches and salads. If you’re into your OJ, there’s a fill your own bottle area next to the orange squeezing machine...
You’ll be hard-pushed to find thicker, creamier ice cream than at Martine Lambert’s parlour on Rue Cler, where Normandy lait cru (unpasteurised milk) and crème fraîche are used in most of her recipes. Her sorbets are top-notch too: since she opened her first boutique in Deauville in 1975, Lambert has selected the best fruits from around the world to ensure that her flavours are as intense and fruity as possible.
Creamy risottos from Piémont, oils from Beaujolais, chocolates by Pierre Marcolini, olives from M. Casanova and charcuterie from Bobosse and Conquet: the window of Jeanne A is enough to make you drool. It's next to the restaurant Chez Astier and named for its former owner, but has slowly found its own independence since it opened in 2010. All their products are spanking fresh, from Mediterranean neighbourhoods.
Père Claude’s three businesses are just a few steps away from each other: the historic restaurant, run by Père Claude himself since 1988, a delicatessen opened in 2009 and a bar, opened in May 2012 – these last two each owned by one of Claude's sons. The deli is top quality, its shelves loaded with carefully-sourced ingredients (rock salt, fine spices), gourmet conserves, sauces and homemade products.
Choux à la crème (profiteroles) are the latest fashionable patisserie craze to hit Paris after cookies, macaroons and cupcakes – specifically those cooked by Lauren Koumetz, a former pupil of Christophe Michalak, who opened Popelini (after the Italian creator of choux pastry) in the heart of the Marais in 2011.
Decadence permeates this elegant tearoom, from the 19th century-style interior and service to the labyrinthine corridors that lead to the toilets. While you bask in the warm glow of bygone wealth, indulge in tea, pastries (the pistachio pain au chocolat is heavenly) and, above all, the hot chocolate. It's a rich, bitter, velvety tar that will leave you in the requisite stupor for any lazy afternoon.