Richard Nahem, an ex-New Yorker living in Paris, leads private insider tours showing visitors the Paris most of them never see on their own (www.eyepreferparistours.com), and also writes a popular insider's blog at www.eyepreferparis.com.
Many of the top gourmet and food shops in Paris are situated on the historic Place de la Madeleine. The Madeleine Church, the anchor of the square, is a neo-classical Roman temple and originally started as a shrine to the battles Napoleon had won but the project was abandoned after he was exiled. It was designated as a church devoted to Mary Magdalene by King Louis XVIII and completed in 1828.
Here is a list of the yummiest gourmet shops.
Only in Paris could you have an entire shop devoted to mustard. Maille, one of the oldest mustard brands in France, has its origins in Marseille when distiller Antoine Maille set up his first mustard tap in 1723. Today the shop carries over 60 flavors, including exotic flavors such as raspberry basil, Thai spices, Cassis, chestnut, cherry and almond, and celery and truffle. Classic mustards are still dispensed the old fashioned way by tap and packaged in ceramic jars with a cork lid, a great keepsake or gift. The shop also carries a line of vinegars and oils, plus mustard serving accessories including wooden teaspoons, painted ceramic mustard pots, tea towels and aprons.
6 Place de la Madeleine, 75008
Founded in 1886 by Auguste Fauchon, Fauchon is one of the leading luxury gourmet shops in Paris and around the world. With two outlets adjacent to each other, one shop carries mostly packaged products with their signature colors of hot pink and black, including chocolates, biscuits, cookies, candies, tea, coffee, jellies, jams, and mustard. The other offers an extensive line of prepared and takeout foods, including cakes and pastries, appetizers, quiches, cheeses, caviar, hams, patés, and a bread bakery, plus tables to eat the prepared foods. A restaurant, café, and cocktail lounge are also on the premises.
24-26, 30 Place de la Madeleine, 75008
Step into the world of one of the most prized foods in the world, caviar at Kaspia. Stocking the finest caviars since 1927, the shop has Beluga, Ossestra, and Baeri imported from Italy and Bulgaria. Smoked salmon, crab, foie gras, vodka, and Iberian ham are also for sale. The elegant restaurant has an Art Nouveau décor.
17 Place de la Madeleine, 75008
Maison de Truffe
Next door to Kaspia is another decadent food offering, truffles. The rare and sought-after delicacy is well represented at Maison de Truffe. Truffle varieties sold include Burgundy, White Alba, Black, and Summer. A restaurant and tasting room offers a selection of dishes prepared with truffles.
19 Place de la Madeleine, 75008
An institution synonymous with luxury gourmet food, Hediard is the quintessential upscale Parisian food shop. The bold black and red striped insignia is prominent on the boxes and tins of packaged foods such as biscuits, condiments, teas, confections, chocolates, and spices. The fresh food counters offer premium quality fruits and vegetables, take out and prepared foods, pastries, cheeses, and foie gras. The boutique also has an extensive wine cellar and restaurant.
21 Place de la Madeleine, 75008