Category Archives: Specialty Shops

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Le Zingam

It appears to be run by bike messengers,” was what a friend said of charming, wood-paneled épicerie and greengrocer Le Zingam when it opened by Voltaire in 2014. And lo, indeed it is. But who says bike messengers can’t also have impeccable taste and wallet-friendly politics?

Longtime friends from the neighborhood Lelio Stettin and Sonny Lac offer rigorously-selected vegetables, cheeses, meats, eggs, craft beers, organic and natural wines, and tinned preserves – all of opulent quality at quasi-socialist prices. Lac formerly worked nearby at the quaint wine-bistrot Mélac, and his wine selection at Le Zingam is honest and simple, geared towards casual refreshment over geek reverence. The shop’s product selection overall is a work of low-key brilliance – from tomme de chevre to pancetta to yogurt pots, Le Zingam’s selections are laser-targeted to invite wholesale adoption into one’s habitual home meals. For any Parisians perturbed by the slow transformation of quality foodstuffs into luxuries in their city, Le Zingam – discerning, refined, and unpretentious – is a godsend.

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Fine l’Épicerie de Belleville

Founded in 2010 on rue de Tourtille, Cécile Boussarie’s gourmet food and wine shop moved around the corner in 2014 to its current, more prominent rue de Belleville location. Its bold, clean red sign belies the unpolished dowdiness of the shop’s interior, where teas, jams, vinegars, spices, potted meats, conserves, oils, and assorted trinkets line all available surfaces. In the middle of über-urban Belleville, it’s like walking into a deserted village gift shop.

At midday, Fine L’Épicerie de Belleville offers soups and sandwiches enjoyably enlivened with various low-key delicacies (dry Sicilian caper sausage, say, or spiced confit grape cream). Tables in the shop’s deep interior are a refuge from the street for lunchtime diners and the odd professional meeting. Along with cheese and charcuterie, Boussarie stocks a slightly haphazard range of inexpensive natural wine and craft beer. While not a tastemaking authority by any means, Fine L’Épicerie de Belleville remains a handy back-pocket address for things to bring to last-minute weeknight dinner parties and relatives’ birthday brunches.

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Ô Divin Epicerie

Naoufel Zaïm earned the loyalty of foodies willing to go the (literal) extra mile with his far-flung former Buttes Chaumont restaurant Ô Divin. That restaurant has closed and converted to table d’hôte service, available only for privatization upon demand. But one can still enjoy Zaïm’s winning hospitality, his sharp taste in natural wine, and his instinct for simplicity at Ô Divin Epicerie, his gem-stacked gourmet shop high on rue de Belleville. Chef Paul Houet offers a menagerie of meat products, all prepared in-house, from rillettes to merguez sausage to a variety of terrines. The wine selection includes some sought-after names and surpasses any other épicerie in the city both for value and quality. Sandwiches with sterling ingredients and the occasional prepared hot dish are available for take-out. And jostling for the rest of the shop’s limited space are Italian cheeses, artisanal olive oils, local honey, gourmet salt, canned meats, and all the other accoutrements of eating well. For those not lucky enough to live nearby, it’s worth the hike up rue de Belleville.

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prosciutto sandwich mmmozza via fb | parisbymouth.com

Mmmozza

Mmmozza has one of the bbbest selections of mozzarella that you’ll find in the city, ranging from tiny bocconcini, to a  baseball-sized burrata stuffed with black truffles, to an enormous braided rope of bufala mozzarella, hacked off by the slice. The skinny sliver of an Italian specialty shop has lines out the door at lunch for its messy, affordable sandwiches featuring fresh mozzarella, cured meats and vegetables, and arugula. When the weather is nice, there’s outdoor seating or you can chow down in the Square du Temple park directly opposite. A variety of imported prosciuttos and salamis, stuffed pastas, oils and vinegars, and a small but quality range of Italian wines are also available for purchase.

— Catherine Down, January 2016

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agnolotti pastificio passerini | parisbymouth.com

Pastificio Passerini

We have not yet reviewed this shop, but you can read more about the concept here. You’ll find practical information about location and hours on this page, along with links to other reviews. Feel free to share your own opinion in the comments.

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maison plisson photo via FB | parisbymouth.com

Maison Plisson

This sprawling 500m² space on the edge of the trendy Northern Marais does double duty. On one side, it’s an upscale market, boasting fresh fruits and vegetables, high quality cheeses, charcuterie, and deli items, as well as a bakery, an excellent selection of wines and a range of luxury local and imported grocery items. On the other, it’s a café, serving a small range of dishes made from ingredients sold next door. In a neighborhood surprisingly devoid of good grocery purveyors, the store is a revelation: The boulangerie turns out the best croissants for several blocks, the charcuterie is excellent and this is the go-to spot for top-notch pickles or proper English tea. With the Bastille market just around the corner customers might balk at the price of produce here, but if only kale will do, this is the store for you. In the café, the concise lunch menu offers very good – if overpriced – simple French classics. At a lower price point, and for smaller appetites, there’s also a nice selection of quiches, tartines and sandwiches.

— Emily Brookes, November 2015

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Boucherie Les Provinces butcher shop in Paris photo via FB | parisbymouth.com

Boucherie Les Provinces

Practical information

Address: 20 rue d’Aligre, 75012
Nearest transport: Ledru-Rollin (8)
Hours: Closed Monday; Open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch; Open Thursday & Friday for lunch and dinner
Reservations: Reservations not accepted,  but the restaurant can be booked for private parties at night
Telephone: 01 43 43 91 64
Average price for lunch: 20-39€
Average price for dinner: 20-39€
Style of cuisine: Rotisserie, Classic French
Website   Facebook

Reviews of interest

David Lebovitz (2014) “At boucherie Les Provinces, you won’t be blown away by the food, but you’ll have a good time, as we did, digging into our onglet steaks… While you likely won’t find Les Provinces listed in restaurant guides as a place to cross town for, I can’t think of a better way to spend a day in Paris than strolling around the Aligre market… before diving into a couple of steaks while knocking back a few glasses of red in the convivial atmosphere of boucherie Les Provinces.”

Le Fooding (2014) “When we’re feeling ravenous at the end of the Marché (d’Aligre), we head to the Boucherie des Provinces, choose a piece of well-matured meat and grab a table. Ten minutes later, the meat is out of the pan, in the company of sautéed new potatoes and salad, augmented by €9.80 of cooking fees. Hanger steak, veal filet, leg of lamb, pork ribs, andouillette, veal sweetbreads, or carpaccio and tartare, made using meat guaranteed to be in excellent shape by Christophe Dru, the son of the butcher and a student of the neighborhood star, Michel Brunon.”

Table à Découvert (2014) “Cette boucherie-restaurant plantée au milieu du marché d’Aligre est irrésistible… Les pommes de terre rattes confites (le seul accompagnement de la maison) sont divines. Un peu sucrées, dorées comme j’aime, un peu grasses aussi.”

Time Out (2013) “As you walk in, all the meat is displayed on the left as usual, with Aligre locals lining up to do their shopping, while the rest of the space is a jumble of tables and counters, heaving with hungry meat-eaters tucking into a giant entrecôte or côte de boeuf, sweet lamb chops or juicy pork ribs.”

L’Express (2013) “Sur place ou à emporter? On a le choix chez le boucher Christophe Dru. Ses pièces de boeuf français longuement maturées se déclinent en carpaccio, tartare, onglet, faux-filet et côte, que l’on déguste devant l’étal.”

Photo via Boucherie Les Provinces’ Facebook page

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Terroirs d’Avenir

Even if you haven’t been to Terroirs d’Avenir yet, odds are you’ve still tried one of their products. Alexandre Drouard and Samuel Nahon started Terroirs d’Avenir in 2008 to bring exceptional French products from small producers to Paris restaurants, revolutionizing our city’s dining scene along the way. After building a devoted clientele of chefs (among others: Daniel Rose (Spring), Braden Perkins (Verjus) and their current neighbor on the Rue de Nil, Grégory Marchand (Frenchie), Alexandre and Samuel opened the Terroirs d’Avenir shops in 2013. >> Read More