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Considering only food opportunities, where should I chose a 3 year apartment in Paris?

hychka Nov 2, 2010 02:51 PM

We have visited Paris annually to semi-annually for the past nearly ten years and stayed in a different apartment/ different neighborhood each time. We love to cook; it is our first choice. My wife is an excellent cook. But, we also love to find bargain lunchs and dinners. We particularly enjoy the trifecta of fine food, lots of fun and a bargain price. We also walk a lot everyday and need interesting things to see. Now we have reason to consider a 3 year stay. Some of you actually live in Paris while the rest of us can only pretend for a few days. In either case, and only considering food possibilities, where would you suggest that we focus our apartment hunt?

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    vielleanglaise RE: hychka Nov 2, 2010 03:03 PM

    Rue du Faubourg St Denis between the arch and the rue du Chateau d'eau. Central, great grocery shopping and fantstic neighbours.

    1 Reply
    1. re: vielleanglaise
      Parigi RE: vielleanglaise Nov 2, 2010 04:02 PM

      That part of the 10th - Anglaise's territory - has great butchers and funky sandwich shops and gourmet food stores.

      Hychka, I also chose my current apartment according to its nearness to the markets I like. I live in the bottom of rue des Martyrs - itself an excellent market street with Les Papilles Gourmandes and the two boulangeries Landemaine and Delmontel, and walking distance to the Aurore Capucine pastry shop and the Abaco candy store, also walking distance to the rue Lepic market, the excellent Anvers weekly market and the Cadet kosher market.

      I got Laidback hooked on this very intersection of the neighborhood, where one could lug home a great seafood platter (from Poissonnerie Blueue about 1 minute away) and enjoy it at home at a fraction of the resto price.

    2. PhilD RE: hychka Nov 2, 2010 03:55 PM

      We had the same dilemma a few years ago and settled on the 7eme (corner of rue du Bac and Bld St Germain) for us it was the concentration of high quality food shops plus the ease of getting to anywhere from a very central location. We had toyed with the 17eme (our relocation consultant was trying to save my company money) and are glad we resisted as whilst it was fun to stay there temporarily I think the distances across Paris to other areas would have been tiring.

      We ended up with freinds scattered across Paris and no-one seemed to be suffereing from a lack of good shops and restaurants. IMO I think each neighbourhood has its qualities in terms of style and ambiance and these are probably stronger reasons to choose an area than the food shops and restaurants as these are never a great distance from where you live in Paris (and my car stayed in he garage apart from trips to the country or mad dashes to CDG for early morning flights).

      Every area will do the staples well, and it is fun to venture forth to explore new areas and seek out treats. As we were very central our weekend shop would rarely be in one area as we would bounce around from specialist to specialist to stock up on treats, and strange as it may seem we found Bon Marche to be a good value supermarket for the basics and general groceries (i.e. Milk was no more expensive than Monoprix, and meat was often cheaper than other butchers) although you needed a will of iron to avoid splurging on treats. Sunday was often a stroll to Bastille market for veggies, a long boozy lunch, then a taxi back with all the shopping - heaven!

      3 Replies
      1. re: PhilD
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        parisjo RE: PhilD Nov 2, 2010 05:12 PM

        I hate all you guys!! :)

        Jo

        1. re: parisjo
          hill food RE: parisjo Nov 2, 2010 05:24 PM

          Jo: I hear ya' (personally I'm seething with a certain level of envy).

        2. re: PhilD
          mangeur RE: PhilD Nov 2, 2010 05:25 PM

          "the ease of getting to anywhere from a very central location"...."I think each neighbourhood has its qualities in terms of style and ambiance and these are probably stronger reasons to choose an area than the food shops and restaurants as these are never a great distance from where you live in Paris"...."it is fun to venture forth to explore new areas and seek out treats"

          I agree with Phil. I admit that we choose our area by its centrality and transportation options. But, Hychka, we know that you have a long presence in and relationship with Paris. You must have some favorite arrondisements by now. You will live well wherever you are happy and comfortable.

          (If I could afford it, I'd live on the Quai Malaquais, the intersection of buses 24, 27, 39, 95, 68, 69 and, in season, Balabus.)

        3. Busk RE: hychka Nov 2, 2010 05:57 PM

          It's tough to get the full package in one location, along with a decent renting or buying price. We're at Breguet Sabin near the Bastille, and that is pretty close to everything or has close direct metro or bus connections.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Busk
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            plafield RE: Busk Nov 2, 2010 06:16 PM

            Totally jealous!

          2. boredough RE: hychka Nov 2, 2010 07:31 PM

            I agree with PhilD - We lived for a few months on rue Dupin in the 6th - a block from the Grande Epicerie in Bon Marché - and loved shopping there as well as at the small shops on rue du Cherche Midi...And the outdoor markets on Blvd Raspail. Great neighborhood.

            1. souphie RE: hychka Nov 3, 2010 12:11 AM

              One vote for Parigi's neighborhood: typical Paris, lots of great food, lots of fun. But indeed around Bastille is pretty great too for everything you describe. The 7th and 6th are central and very rich, and in France this means good food but not cheap. The Ternes neighborhood also has wonderful food and wealthy inhabitants, so does the Marais by rue de Bretagne. I live in Paris and food is my absolute priority, but I wouldn't know where I'd prefer to live,

              1 Reply
              1. re: souphie
                souphie RE: souphie Nov 4, 2010 09:35 AM

                Correct that - I was by Place des Vosges today, and nothing, to me beats the magis of those old buildings.

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                Ptipois RE: hychka Nov 3, 2010 05:13 AM

                Anywhere... Particularly if you're there for three years. You'll have time to walk around a bit.

                Perhaps I'd stay clear of the Seizième though. But even then, there's a few good markets in those otherwise dead neighborhoods.

                (I would pick a neighborhood with the least wealthy inhabitants possible.)

                1 Reply
                1. re: Ptipois
                  souphie RE: Ptipois Nov 3, 2010 02:49 PM

                  Yes, the Passy market has quite a few wonders.

                2. John Talbott RE: hychka Nov 3, 2010 05:40 AM

                  Steve suggested this as a topic for John Talbott's Paris which I will do when some dust settles but off the top of my head I chose my place 22 years ago based on it being near friends, on a market street with good running routes (the PC) and not because of restaurants nearby - there were no great ones then vs now and because I knew with two Mertros nearby I could be at any eatery in town within 20-40 minutes now matter where.
                  I guess if my decision was based only on restaurants it would be in the areas the WSJ called the "hot new quarters" - the 11th, 15th or 17th.
                  If it were based only on markets - where we are now Duhesme/Poteau, near Poncelet or Batignolles.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: John Talbott
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                    Ptipois RE: John Talbott Nov 3, 2010 06:39 AM

                    In my modest opinion it makes no sense to move into a neighborhood for its restaurants. At the very most you might pick a neighborhood for its markets and food shopping. For restaurants, you just go find them where they are.

                    1. re: Ptipois
                      sunshine842 RE: Ptipois Nov 9, 2010 01:08 AM

                      Absolutely - It's a lot easier to sit in a great apartment in a nice neighborhood and complain about the lack of restaurants nearby than it is to live in a crummy apartment in a crappy neighborhood and hate every stinking minute of it, even though your favorite restaurant is around the corner.

                      The latter wears on your soul a lot faster than the prior.

                      1. re: sunshine842
                        Parigi RE: sunshine842 Nov 9, 2010 01:15 AM

                        I live in the middle of 4 markets and am practically next door to Q-Tea. In my forelife I must have been one tortured martyr.

                  2. Laidback RE: hychka Nov 4, 2010 03:12 AM

                    Hychka, like you I have rented apartments all over Paris for a number of years, central, not central, wealthy and working class and as of yet have liked them all and would return to each one(and do for re-visits to friendly merchants, bistros, etc.). I find one priority is the closeness to excellent transportation, followed by quietness at night. I can’t think of a single one that was not convenient to a market…Poteau, Ave. Saxe, Mouffetard, Rue de Levis, Poncelet, rue Martyrs, Ave. Wilson. Perhaps you should choose one close to your comfort level price-wise because the likelihood is that there will be good food possibilities wherever you choose.

                    "In either case, and only considering food possibilities, where would you suggest that we focus our apartment hunt? "

                    If this is your only criteria, perhaps you should get a commercial permit and stay at Rungis, but from your many informed posts, I suspect this is not the case..

                    1. mangeur RE: hychka Nov 4, 2010 07:39 AM

                      After all of the dust settles, I think my criteria would be the same as for any apartment: a fine bakery VERY close for morning breads and an open kiosk for the morning paper. These are the two things that annoyed most in several apartments: having to schlep out for croissants and to find a paper.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: mangeur
                        Parigi RE: mangeur Nov 4, 2010 07:42 AM

                        For Laidback and me - not that we live together (LB, pls don't sue me), - our morning choice is Landemaine or Delmontel or Moisan. Moison is about 1 minute walk, Landemaine 2 minutes, Delmontel 3.

                        1. re: Parigi
                          souphie RE: Parigi Nov 4, 2010 11:02 AM

                          But never, never, God forbid, Seurre.

                          1. re: souphie
                            Parigi RE: souphie Nov 4, 2010 11:17 AM

                            Don't, don't say that S-word !
                            I have been mainlining its apricot cake. Need an intervention direly.
                            When it is closed in January, where o where am I going to get my daily mini-galette des rois? Just shoot me now.

                      2. hychka RE: hychka Nov 9, 2010 06:51 AM

                        Thanks to each of you for your suggestions and comments. We are honored to have your advice.

                        I've refrained from adding more to the thread as things are still very much up in the air. And, extracting ourselves from the day-to-day will take some serious planning and effort...lots of loose ends we have put off for years.

                        However, your collective comments helped us recall our Paris apartments and neighborhoods along with their pluses and minuses.

                        Our experience is not as extensive as it could have been as we have only stayed in the more central arrondissements...1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and the eastern edge of the 15th and never yet in the same apartment twice. And, we have avoided summer and winter.

                        Our locations have had a good open air market nearby, some better than others. We have had no trouble getting to the restaurants suggested by friends and chowhounds. Being able to cart our stuff from a market and Monoprix on flat or down sloping ground and up an elevator has been a big plus. (Susan buys bottled water and I buy wine on each shopping tour so I pull a heavy load.)

                        A good kitchen is a must.

                        We enjoyed being close to two different Metro lines, except when the noise makes me want to close the balcony door on a pretty day or we can feel the train rumble through the building's support. Also, being close to the police, hospital or university tends to be noisy at night. The smell of dog, cat or human urine in common space has been a turn off...makes one lose his/her appetite.

                        I'm thinking that we need another "visit" before a three year stay.

                        1. hill food RE: hychka Nov 9, 2010 11:16 PM

                          I really hate all of you almost as much as I'm living vicariously through you.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: hill food
                            hychka RE: hill food Jan 16, 2011 06:32 PM

                            My daughter's assignment is still up in the air. (fortunately they are fighting for her! If Europe wins, we are going to Paris for sure.) We are thinking about another exploratory visit in May and are thinking 6th, 9th, 10th, 18th. Will these allow us to get to the foodie places you all love? Can we just stay local and love it all?

                            1. re: hychka
                              Parigi RE: hychka Jan 16, 2011 11:40 PM

                              Yes and yes.

                              1. re: hychka
                                hill food RE: hychka Jan 17, 2011 11:59 PM

                                now I hate you even more, when I've gone it's always been in Winter

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