Where can you find, under a single roof, whole bars of luxury-grade chocolate from Valrhona or truffles from Michel Cluizel, a good bottle of truffle oil, a few chanterelle mushrooms, and a box or two of your favorite white tea from Kusmi or Mariage Freres? Since I've lived in Paris, it's become something of a tradition for me to stock up on such goodies at Paris's gourmet food markets for holiday gifts. Coveted markets include the Grande Epicerie at the Bon Marché Department Store, nestled on the left bank between Saint-Germain-des-Pres and the Musee d'Orsay. Crossing over the Seine to the right bank, try perusing the luxury grocery, bakery or wine shop at Fauchon on Place de la Madeleine, which first opened its doors in 1886, or head over a few blocks to Lafayette Gourmet, the foodie's treasure trove at department store Galeries Lafayette. Whether you just want to sample some excellent cheese, buy a good vintage, or find a few special holiday gifts from Paris, you can't go wrong by taking a whirl at one of these temples to good food.
- About.com Culinary Travel's Guide to Gourmet Food Shopping in Paris
- Temporary Paris Food Markets by Arrondissement
- Best Permanent Market Streets in Paris
- Top Paris Chocolate Shops
- Best Bakeries in Paris
- Complete Guide to Food and Dining in Paris
Image credit: The fresh produce stand at La Grande Epicerie Market in Paris. The photo was taken by About.com Paris Travel reader "Rln", one of the winners of our 2010 Paris Foodie Photo Contest.