- Paris Guide
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Uncover hidden gems along Rue Cler, one of Paris' most beloved market streets. Brimming with cafés, boulangeries and specialty shops, this is where local Parisians go for daily shopping.
The 7th arrondissement is home to rue Cler, one of the best market streets in Paris. Find a wonderful selection of specialty food stores, patisseries, butchers, delicatessens, cheese specialists, fishmongers, greengrocers, chocolate shops and cafés. Most of the street is a pedestrian area and still has its original cobblestones. This authentic market street is where the locals go to buy their favorite foods or to meet friends and enjoy sitting outside the many cafés while they watch the world go by.
Renting an apartment near rue Cler is one of the great pleasures of living in Paris, and we dare you to walk by without stopping at one of the patisseries to admire the jewel-like displays of tempting desserts. We recommend that children be assigned the challenge of choosing the daily dessert - fun and an unforgettable Parisian experience for them. The challenge will be to try each patisserie in the neighborhood before it's time to return home.
Location: rue Cler, 7th arrondissement
Opening Hours: Weekdays, all day Saturday and Sunday mornings. Many of the stores are closed on Mondays.
Rue Cler is especially convenient for the neighborhood because it is open on Sunday mornings, displaying the finest foods for the French families' Sunday lunch. Many families attend mass at St. Pierre du Gros Caillou on rue de Grenelle, then head to rue Cler for their baguettes, bottle of wine, cuts of meat, cheese and desserts for their traditional Sunday lunch, even selecting their Camembert and St. Felicien to the correct ripeness. You'll hear customers telling the merchants when they plan to eat the cheese, so they are carefully selected: "L'Epoisse pour demain s'il vous plait...le chevre c'est pour ce soir" ("We'll eat the Epoisse tomorrow and the goat's cheese tonight"). Get there early on Sundays to beat the crowds!
Start at the top of the street, near the Ecole Militaire Metro stop, on the corner of La Motte Piquet and rue Cler. There is a large post office with yellow signs on the corner. Don't miss the famous gourmet food shop, Lenotre, just ouside the metro on Ave de la Motte Piquet! (described below). Now start down the left side of rue Cler, after the Post Office.
Fruit and vegetable stand. One of the largest greengrocers on rue Cler. The competition among the fruit and vegetable merchants means prices are competitive. Always shop for their specials out front.
Deli Zius Gastonomia Italiana
Excellent Italian Specialties: you recognize it by the Olive trees outside. Delicious olives, pastas and other Italian specialties.
Oliviers and Co (O&CO)
This high quality group of stores is becoming known in the US, as their products are now distributed by Williams Sonoma. As their prices are significantly lower than in the US, it is worth stopping in and sampling their oils and specialties. We love their lemon flavored olive oil especially on salads; their basil flavored olive oil on grilled fish. www.oliviersandco.com
The Droguerie is not a drug store; it sells household goods from cleaning products, knives, mops and knives to shopping carts. They have a good selection of panniers or carts on wheels which everyone uses for their food shopping. There are new ones with special wheels to push it in front of you, like a pram and even one with two extra wheels, which allow you to roll up flights of stairs! This is a brilliant idea, since many apartments still have no elevators and lugging the shopping up the stairs every day is exhausting.
Chickens! The smells from this shop will make your mouth water and you may not get any further. This is a chicken brasserie; they cook flame roasted chickens, sold in bags which remain hot for an hour. You can buy whole chickens, breasts or legs so everyone can have their favorite meat.
Asian fast food shops are springing up everywhere in Paris ! I confess to eating there from time to time, especially because their tables always have room on warm days outside. The food is fine, but it just isn't the Hunan in San Francisco . They do a roaring trade for lunch, as even the French are taking shorter lunch breaks.
Parisians love flowers and rue Cler offers some of the nicest flower stands in the neighborhood.
Popular, family-owned cheese shop. We always approach rue Cler from rue St. Dominique, so tend to go to the other two fromageries, but La Fermette has an excellent selection and good prices.
Trendy cafe with good service. Busy all year long, and an "in" place to have your cafe or a light meal.
Cafe du Marche'
You are now on the corner of Rue du champ du Mars and Rue Cler. The Cafe du Marche' is one of the most popular cafe's in the neighborhood, with a covered area outside where you can eat winter and summer. Get there early, as you cannot reserve; it becomes very crowded especially with the chic people of the quartier. There are a number of daily specials on blackboards, at reasonable prices. It's a fun place to sit and people watch.
One of the four butcher shops on rue Cler. We find they all offer good quality and reasonable prices.
Les Quatre Saisons
Large greengrocer; as with the others, good prices due to the competition on the street.
Davoli - La Maison du Jambon
The lines leading onto the street indicate one of the best shops on rue Cler and in the quartier. This Italian delicatessen sells homemade specialties from Italian sausages and meats to pasta, Italian cheeses, side dishes such as roasted peppers, desserts and finally, the best Choucroute in Paris . This is an excellent dish for a cold day. Tell the salesman how many you’ll be feeding they’ll suggest the delicious sausages, ham and meats. Heat over a low flame and serve. The portions tend to be large, so keep that in mind for leftovers, or subtract a few people. Definitely go here early!
Nice flower vendor with a good selection of green plants. This is my favorite flower shop with the best prices.
La Sablaise Poissonerie
This is one of the finest fish merchants in Paris , with an enormous selection of everything from sea snails, to crab, to fresh fish from the Channel every day. Their displays alone make your mother water with an enormous selection of seafood on three large counters. My in-laws feel that I prepare too many of our meals from Picard, the frozen food store on rue de Grenelle. I feel that if I managed to grow up healthy in the 1950's on canned food and spam, then frozen food can't be too bad. When our children were born and my in-laws visit, my father in law goes there every day to buy a fresh sole for them. He chooses two whole fish and insists the poissonier skin and filet it in front of him so he is assured of its freshness. My son won his grandmother's heart when he told her at age six that she made best sole in the world. It is breaded with egg and quickly fried in butter.
One of the best butchers in the neighborhood. High quality meat, excellent selection and good advice on how to cook a cut of meat. At Christmas and New Years, they sell boar's heads and other specialties for this gourmet season! The French celebrate both holidays, but New Years is the most important for them, especially from a perspective of food. That's when you order your oysters and meats far in advance and prepare your best dishes for family and friends, for the Reveillon dinner!
A large greengrocer which I've enjoyed shopping at for 20 years. It is across the street from another greengrocer so there is good quality and prices stay competitive. As anywhere, try to buy their "specials" - whatever is displayed in quantity outside - and you are guaranteed the best flavors and prices. The country of origin must be posted; smell the differences between the small French melons and the ones from Spain .
The right side of Rue Cler is the East side of the street from rue de Grenelle.
There are two "supermarkets" on the street; FranPrix and Leader. Upscale small supermarket, good for the basics, from toothpaste to cereal. They have just remodeled FranPrix and it offers higher end specialty foods - great for finding gifts to bring home.
This wine shop is a good one and they do a good job recommending wine for a particular meal. Our favorite wine shop is at 145 rue St. Dominique where Julien does an excellent job. He knows his wines and offers good value for money. When we walk by, he signals Philippe if he has a good deal on red wine or Champagne . He is a character who roller blades to work and always wears sunglasses on his head; kind of a heartthrob in the quartier. When I first introduced my French husband to California wines in Napa Valley , he couldn't understand the American obsession with brand and price. Now I understand his point: in France , a good wine often means it is delicious and not too expensive. It does not have to be a famous brand with a high price tag.
We have been going to this cheese store for decades and love it. The lines outside on Sunday mornings can stretch down the block, so go early! The less expensive cheeses and basics such as eggs and better are usually sold at the counter outside. This is a real dairy store where you can find a delicious selection of butters from Normandy , yogurts and fresh eggs.
Excellent goats cheeses…everything is good!
The French are particular about food and eating cheese when it is perfectly ripe is one of their rules. They get to know their local cheese merchant, who will tell them which cheeses are in season or particularly good. For example, Beaufort is a delcious, grainy hard cow’s cheese. It has two seasons, but the best season is winter Beaufort, which is made from summer cow’s milk (when the grass in Normandy is greenest).
When you select a soft cheese, such as Camembert, Brie, Epoisse, St. Marcelin (the same as St. Felicien) or Neuchatel -- tell the salesperson when you plan to eat it. “Ce soir” or “Demain”, etc. Your specialist will squeeze the packages until they find the cheese that will be perfect (or ‘fait’) at the moment you want to savor it. It's really a treat! If you haven't had St. Felicien or Marcelin (same cheese), try it and make sure it's fait (ready to eat). It's so creamy you almost need a spoon and you will be back the next day for more.
These experiences are part of the joy of renting a Paris apartment, where you can live life like a Parisian.
Famille Mary - Miel et Nature
An excellent natural store, specializing in honeys. Also sells specialty breads made with honey and wonderful regional specialties. www.famillemary.fr
Increasingly popular, this Charcuterie sells all French specialties and is located across the street from Davoli. Their growing popularity and prepared casseroles and dishes make them a popular stop for locals. Specialties are displayed in the glass cases in front of the shop and they have won several awards for their sausages, which we recommend.
Belgian chocolates which are excellent and reasonably priced. Much better than Godiva which I find taste too waxy. There are some wonderful chocolate stores in the quartier, but this is a staple. To find a store in Paris , visit www.leonidas.com
This is the other supermarket on rue Cler and sells more bulk foods. Again, fine for all of your staples. An ugly store but good for basics.
This boulangere is on the corner; note the beautiful windows and original features. Good bread, including the flute and grain breads. Long lines just before lunch.
The smaller streets off rue Cler are home to many excellent speciality stores.
Friends of ours who live in the 17th tell us this is the only cheese store they will go to!
Located on rue du Champs du Mars, they sell Berthillion Ice Cream and will blend your favorite coffee beans.
Don't forget to stop at Lenôtre, the takeaway gourmet food shop on Ave. de la Motte Piquet, just before rue Cler. One of the best pastry makers and caterers in France, Lenôtre caters to Princes and Kings, from the Elysee’ Palace to the Grands Couturiers on Avenue Montaigne. It’s an experience to simply window shop, savoring the beautiful delicacies and pastries in the glass display cases. You’re not allowed to photograph for ‘pastry copyright’ reasons. I’ve never understand their policy since you can buy anything and photograph at home…but this is France.
Prices of meals range from a reasonable daily special to higher priced delicacies for that special meal. Every meal is fresh and marked clear instructions on how to heat and serve. The dishes are even garnished so you can set it on a porcelian dish, serve it with style and say you cooked it yourself! The staff are friendly and will hep you select the entire meal: from the salad section to the main dish area, to the cheese, wine and bread counters. Top it off at the dessert counter for that little something to finish your meal; their desserts are excellent. Do take your time as they are patient and understand the importance of eating a good meal. www.lenotre.fr
Kermourvian Butcher on rue de Grenelle: One of the best butchers in Paris.
Cheese shop on rue de Grenelle near Ave Bosquet. Delicious cheeses from small farms.
Picard: rue de Grenelle near rue Augereau. My favorite frozen food store in the world on rue de Grenelle.
The gourmet experience of the 7th arrondissement doesn't stop at rue Cler. The 7th arrondissement is surrounded by open air markets and for a true Parisian experience, you can't beat it.
Saxe-Breteuil Market: Thursday and Saturday from 7:00am to 2:30pm
Marche de Grenelle Market: Wednesday and Sunday from 7:00am to 2:30pm
Marche Ave President Wilson Market: Wednesday and Saturdays: 7:00am to 2:30pm
For more information, visit our our Paris Open Markets page.
Believe it or not, there’s a café on Rue Cler dedicated entirely to the art of whipped cream! It’s called Maison de la Chantilly and it’s fabulous. If you’re looking for a way to satisfy your sweet tooth, but you’ve already had your fill of traditional Parisian pastries, be sure to stop here for some light, fluffy, whipped goodness!
One of the pleasures of spending time in Paris is stumbling by chance on a wonderful flea market. That’s what happened recently on rue Cler when we went out to do a bit of food shopping on our favorite market street. Set up all along the street were stalls with all sorts of vintage and antique treasures to discover!
The famous market street, Rue Cler, already has individual shops dedicated to honey, chocolate and even whipped cream, so it was about time they made room for tea! Mariage Frères is arguably the finest and oldest tea brand in France, and perusing their shop is an exciting sensory experience. Come have a peek inside this fascinating tea emporium!