When I first moved to Paris over a year ago, I went on an expedition to search for the best supermarkets in town. While it’s nice to head to a local French market from time to time, most of us aren’t available to shop from 8am-2pm.
One of the things I look for in a good supermarket is whether there is a good amount of fresh fruit and vegetables replenished on a daily basis. Second, the selection of hormone free viandes “meats”. Third, the general prices and Fidelity programs for accumulating points. And lastly, whether the items are produced/made in the country as France has one of the strictest food regulations in the world and you can rest assured that your chicken hasn’t been bleached.
Growing up in NYC, I had a lot of options but that didn’t necessarily mean good options. We always had the Farmers Market at Union Square, Manhattan but it wasn’t until Whole Foods made its way into my life that I actively sought for organic fresh produce and meats.
Here is a list of my favorite supermarkets in Paris.
La Retour à la Terre sells some of the freshest organic produce and meats sourced from France. Known for its seasonal produce, you won’t find tomatoes or fresh mint year-round but the food wasn’t frozen or on an airplane before it came to this store. While they are classified to be a smaller supermarket, La Retour has a wide range of vegan friendly options and a separate counter for bread and cheese. I especially like their baking section and poultry/meat section. You can expect to find turkey, pork, duck and all cuts of chicken and beef as well as a large assortment of veggie patties, tempah, tofu and vegetarian options. Subscribe to their fidelity card and receive 2% off each purchase after you spend €150 the month before. The discount increases when you spend €450 per month to 4%.
Monoprix is the largest supermarket chain in Paris and the most popular. They offer the best prices in Paris with a wide range of organic and non-organic products. The range of bio vegetables and fruit are limited and usually not sourced from France. Monoprix also sells their own branded products and the prices are quite agreeable when you need to pick up a bag of bio flour or honey. I usually head there to buy my toiletries and paper towels and my favorite hummus L’Atelier Blini. Recently, L’Atelier Blini released an organic hummus and tzatziki and its simply to die for. Monoprix has a small organic meats section which is often empty late in the day but replenished on a daily basis. You can also subscribe to the Fidelity program where you can accumulate points to offset your next purchase and receive coupons by mail. Monoprix has the most generous Fidelity program on the list as every purchase over €35 entitles you for 1% cash back on your next purchase.
Bio c’Bon offers a wide range of bio products produced in France and other European countries. You can find their stores throughout Paris with their visible green logo. The prices are consistent in each of the stores but the fresh produce quality can vary from store to store. There is a cheese and bread counter inside each of their stores with a limited meat section. The staff are very accommodating and friendly with most fluent in english. Bio c’Bon has a good dried fruits section with some delicious sour gummy bears made from fruit juice. For their Fidelity program, you receive €10 cash back on your next purchase after you spend €300.
Naturalia has slowly crept its way throughout Paris and opening stores left and right. The fresh produce is mostly from Spain and other EU countries. If I had to compare this supermarket with the others aforementioned, I would say that there are less items to choose from compared to La Retour à Terre, Monoprix or Bio c’Bon. The protein choices are limited as the refrigeration section tends to skew towards dairy products. Overall, Naturalia is a good place to grab a quick snack as they are often located in very central areas. The prices may be slightly higher than La Retour à la Terre or Bio c’Bon but there are more sales at Naturalia which drop their prices by 50cent to €1 on selected items. For the Fidelity program, you have to spend €500 to be eligible for 10% off your next purchase within a 2 month period.