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Paris: Best shopping for kitchen gadgets?

ponocat Dec 26, 2008 05:21 PM

Where is the best place in Paris to buy kitchen equipment? I don't mean appliances, I mean hand tools and plates & small stuff.

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  1. souphie Dec 26, 2008 11:03 PM

    Dehillerin. For plates and China, that's everyone's call depending on the budget and style, from Chinatown to Bernardaud. But for Kitchen supplies, Dehillerin is the only address to know. Rue Coquillère.

    3 Replies
    1. re: souphie
      o
      Oakglen Dec 27, 2008 06:38 AM

      You can also order on-line, which in my experience just about doubles the cost due to packing and shipping expenses. But be careful, Dehillerin is addictive; we have enough of their pots and pans for two lifetimes.

      1. re: Oakglen
        RandyB Dec 27, 2008 09:28 PM

        Dehillerin is one place, but not necessarily the cheapest. In the same general area (St. Etienne and rue Montmartre) are Mora, Bovida, and one other whose name escapes me for the moment. There is also the BHV, a big department store near the Hotel de Ville.

        As for ordering online, I've actually found the opposite of what Oakglen has. Many French-made cooking utensils are cheaper when ordered in the US. For example, the largest producer is Matfer. The Mora store is the same ownership. Yet you will pay less if you order Matfer products from http://www.culinarycookware.com.

        1. re: RandyB
          souphie Dec 28, 2008 03:47 AM

          Sounds like pure VAT difference to me.

          In my experience, Dehillerin is by far the cheapest in the area, way cheaper than Bovida or BHV. It is, as Oakglen says, pretty addictive.

    2. ChefJune Dec 28, 2008 07:10 AM

      for even the casual foodie, Dehillerin is a must-do place. Even if you can resist the urge to splurge.

      Although it costs a lot to ship your purchases home to US, I've found its worth it for the shoddy way the airlines treat your parcels in transit on the passenger jets.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ChefJune
        RandyB Dec 28, 2008 03:47 PM

        The third shop in the rue Montmartre area is A. Simon. I realize that Dehillerin has a long-time following. But I suggest you check out the other three before you assume that Dehillerin is always cheapest or has the best quality in each type of item. I'll agree that Bovida is the most expensive.

        1. re: RandyB
          Delucacheesemonger Dec 29, 2008 02:46 PM

          I agree, there are many shops in the area from Dehillerin up towards Rue Reamur that sell, e.g., uniforms, buttermolds, etc, that are more varied than Dehillerin. Copper, yes, their basement holds wonderful treasures as does the rest of the store, but the surrounding streets holds equally great treasures. there is a ribbon shop 2 blocks away that is legendary all over the world. Take the time and explore.

          1. re: RandyB
            Cookingthebooks Dec 30, 2008 01:33 AM

            I agree on visiting all three -- for example, in my Great Hunt for Cheesecloth 2008, Dehillerin had nothing. I ended up finding it at A. Simon.

            I also found the sales clerks at Dehillerin very unhelpful and prone to upselling (which I detest). I asked them for a steamer and their only suggestion cost 70 Euros. I asked for cheesecloth and they didn't have any, didn't know when they'd be getting any, and couldn't recommend any other shop in the neighborhood that might have some. I know Dehillerin has lots of fans, but I won't be going back there anytime soon.

        2. s
          spacesasha Dec 30, 2008 05:37 AM

          My experience is the kitchen equipment is much less expensive in the US. I highly suggest you do some comparative shopping before you go. I have lived in Europe for six years and I still buy all of the my high quality kitchen ware in the US including French and German brands.

          2 Replies
          1. re: spacesasha
            Delucacheesemonger Jan 3, 2009 07:23 AM

            That may be true, but most of my kitchen stuff is used. Every trip l bring back old copper and some old carbon steel knives on my return picked up in Flea markets. Very inexpensive in comparison with new and lovely patina is huge bonus, do the same in US though, like antique anything.

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger
              ponocat Jan 16, 2009 05:03 AM

              Well, I have returned from my wonderful visit to Paris and, thanks to you all above, I had a great shopping experience. This note is to report back. But, first, let me explain what we were looking for. We were in search of salt and pepper grinders without any metal parts. (We live near the ocean and metal corrodes within months.) Over the past decade we had been though no less that 6 sets of grinders, all of which claimed to have warranties against corrosion. (Yes, we often used the warranties to get new ones, but what is the point of doing this over and over?) We started with Dehillerin.

              Dehillerin is dusty and old with lots of pots and pans, but relatively few hand implements. The aisles are narrow and it is hard to make it past other shoppers, let alone get to the desk to pay. The experience was fun, even if a bit frustrating, simply because the store is so incredibly non-user-friendly, but jam-packed with wonderful cookware–especially copper and cast iron pots and pans. We didn’t find the grinders, but succumbed to buying a gorgeous copper/stainless steel roasting pan.

              Second we tried Mora, which was much better organized and easier to shop in than Dehillerin. As Dehillerin seems to emphasize pots and pans, Mora slants toward bakeware and cake/pastry-related items. No grinders of the right kind.

              Bovida was third. It was open and airy, with items distributed over three floors. Again, the emphasis was on baking items as compared to pots and pans. The prices were significantly higher in Bovida than Mora on the five or six items I had priced there.

              Last we went to BHV. Wow! There is a really extensive selection of kitchen hand tools here. I found what we’d been searching for—all ceramic grinders (they’re made by WMF). I couldn’t stop myself; I went on a spree and got several items.

              Each store has its own definite character and your advice was excellent. It was a joy to visit them all.

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