We don’t know about you, but we have very strong opinions about grocery stores. We love a good Aldi trip, especially if we’re needing to wow some guests (or ourselves) with a fine charcuterie board, then there’s always Trader Joes for when we need a good piece (or ten) of chocolate, something frozen that tastes gourmet, or a fun, new spice to add to the rack. But if you ever find yourself in Paris, we insist as a fellow grocery store junkie, that you visit La Grande Epicerie de Paris, and we’ll tell you why.
(image via: paris info)
The Grande Epicerie has been described as a “foodie’s paradise”, and while we wouldn’t consider ourselves foodies, per se, we do love and appreciate food. In 1852 the Bon Marche opened its doors for the first time as a department store, but for the last 50 years, it’s been this massive, over the top, incredible grocery store attracting visitors from all over the globe. The store began its transition in the early 1920s when it started offering teas and preserves from a small counter. Then in the 1970s, the store made a full transition from a department store to a grocery store. The really cool thing about this grocery store is that it isn’t a place to simply nab your bread, cheese, eggs, milk, and even baked goods, but this store sells some of the most exclusive and gourmet items.
As you can imagine there are ~many~ floors to this store, so let’s start with the main one. Once you enter the store you’ll see rows and rows (and rows and rows and rows) of dry goods, local produce, exotic produce, tea, coffee, and bottled water.
(image via: time out)
Next, you’ll come across a produce truck. Yes, an entire produce truck in the grocery store beautifully displaying fruits and vegetables, nearby is where you’ll find the herbs and spices. Now, if you’re impressed by the selection at Trader Joe’s, then you’ll be speechless at the selection at the Grande Epicerie.
One section you absolutely don’t want to skip? The cheese counter. We genuinely don’t have words for the cheese selection, it’s every possible cheese you could imagine and more.
Something that sets this store apart from so many others, aside from, you know, several floors of goods, is that you can have a snack at certain specialty counters. So if you’re shopping and decide that some charcuterie and wine sound good, then you can totally have that. And in our experience, the staff at Aldi tends to frown upon this.
We aren’t done yet.
The lower level consists of wine and liquor. If you’re a little unsure about what to pick, no fear, sommeliers are standing by to offer their professional advice. (Because of course they are!) If wine or liquor isn’t really your thing, there’s also a massive beer collection. (What, you thought there wasn’t?)
(image via: la grand epicerie)
If you’re feeling like a snack simply won’t do, you can grab a fresh, seasonal meal at the full-blown restaurant located in the central atrium, under the skylight. And if you really like what you’re eating, you can nab all of the ingredients right there in the store! So the next time you find yourself in Paris, take a stroll around La Grande Epicerie. You won’t regret it.