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Jan 9, 2011 12:12 AM

Asian markets in Paris

I'm going to be living in Paris for a short while and was hoping for some recommendations of (East) Asian food markets to buy my usual provisions. I'm staying in the 5eme but don't mind travelling for my shopping.
It may be that this area has been covered before but my searches were not fruitful so links to threads also (always!) welcome.
Thanks in advance.

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  1. For the 5th, there are several Asian markets on Place Maubert.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Parigi

      Thank you for the address-- I was certain I had seen shops before in the area.

    2. The Tang Freres chain at Place d'Italie and beyond. Many on Av. de Choisy and Av, d'Ivry in the 13th.

      1. Several zones in Paris:
        Three superettes on place Maubert indeed, two down the stairs immediately after the crossing (with your back to place Maubert) and one on the left hand sidewalk of rue Lagrange (Thanh Binh Jeune). They also have a small choice of Indian (Patak's), Carribean and Japanese stuff.
        One large Chinatown inscribed in the triangle avenue de Choisy-avenue d'Ivry-boulevard des maréchaux (where the tram runs), that is the epicenter for the area is larger, extending to place d'Italie, avenue d'Italie and rue Nationale.
        Along the main arteries, walking up from the métro stations (porte-de-choisy and porte-d'ivry):

        Avenue de Choisy, a great little market near the Tricotin restaurant (good vegetables), and another one across the avenue, a bit to the back. Further up you've got Dong Nam (excellent fresh vegetables) then Exo-Store on the right side. Plus some butcher shops and pastry shops (a nice Chinese one just past Exo-Store). Exo-Store is good for fruit and there's a small Japanese and Korean section. Further up on the left side, Kawa is an import store with kitchen utensils, china, teaware, and some dried stuff like bulk noodles or dried mushrooms. (Same owners have L'Empire des Thés, avenue d'Ivry, one of the best retail tea stores in Paris.)
        Finally there is another Tang Frères, fairly large, at the North end of Avenue de Choisy, near place d'Italie.

        Avenue d'Ivry: one supermarket immediately on the left side, vegetables always look a bit tired. More interesting: on the right side, Paris Store, two levels. China, utensils and other items on top level, food at street level. Messy but interesting, particularly for meat, fish, condiments, grocery items, etc. Fruit and veg. not so great.
        Right next to it, at the end of a small covered hallway, a small branch of Tang Frères which is not bad.
        Immediately past that, the big Tang Frères warehouse with everything you may wish for, fresh herbs and green vegs a must, fruit not so great. Excellent place to stock on cheap meat and long-keeping vegetables like onions, potatoes, cabbage, cocoyam, good choice of bottled sauces and medicinal stuff.
        Then on the left sidewalk, at the corner of a pedestrian alley that connects to avenue de Choisy: Big Store, same ownership as Exo-Store and specialized in fruit, mostly imported from Thailand.
        There is also a really good Asian grocery store on rue Caillaux, between avenue de Choisy and avenue d'Italie. They have some hard-to-find, good-quality fruit and vegetables.
        And there's a good Vietnamese market on the "dalle des Olympiades", accessible either from rue de Tolbiac or avenue d'Ivry (take the escalator right next to the small Tang Frères that is right near the Paris Store, walk straight on, turn left).

        You might also want to check the more remote neighborhoods:
        - the Belleville area for more Chinese stuff (a lot from continental China),
        - the gare du Nord-La Chapelle area for South Asian products (a bit more on passage Brady),
        - Barbès, Aligre and Belleville for halal, Maghrebi and Middle Eastern stuff,
        - the lower part of rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis for Turkish products,
        - a tiny area of the 15e (near Charles Michels) for Iranian groceries; some Korean stores also in that area,
        - Around the Château-Rouge métro station, the Subsaharan African market area (rue Polonceau, rue Dejean, rue Doudeauville, etc.
        - Pockets of Chinese markets (run by Wenzhou immigrants) are also to be found in the 93. Particularly in Aubervilliers (métro Quatre-Chemins), they do have things you won't find elsewhere. You'll also find African shops there (Maghreb and Subsaharan) and good Tunisian boulangers-pâtissiers near the métro station.

        13 Replies
        1. re: Ptipois

          Bravo Ptipois!!!! Your coverage of Asian markets is above excellent! You hit my favorites around Maubert and of course Tang, in addition to the African markets. I did not know about the Korean and Iranian ones in the 15th. nor about Aubervilliers, so I thank you for that information. Out of curiousity, what might I find there that I would not find elsewhere?

            1. re: Parigi

              For instance, the Aubervilliers stores sometimes carry plastic bamboo (a.k.a. water bamboo). I never found that elsewhere in the région parisienne.

              I forgot to mention the Wenzhou stores near Arts-et-Métiers (rue au Maire and around) and a fairly large one on one of the streets perpendicular to rue du Faubourg-St-Denis (rue d'Enghien or rue de Paradis, one of these). Careful, these places - like the Aubervilliers ones - are distinctly less tidy than their Chinatown counterparts, be warned before rushing to the meat section or the "rayon frais". On the other hand, if you're looking for frozen turtle, you're at the right place.

              1. re: Ptipois

                It's rue de l'Echiquier. There's also another smaller family run one higher up on Faubourg St Denis near Urfa Durum which is incredible - in a "romanesque", but not culinary way.

                1. re: vielleanglaise

                  I also go to the rue de l'Echiquier market. But what Pti politely calls (not) tidy is something else. I thought I had a lot of tolerance re the cleanliness issue in such markets, but the Wenzhou markets on rue au Maire (contrepéterie on Réaumur?) and the one on rue de l'Echiquier are truly testing. The latter has had a gaping leak on the ceiling pouring water onto the market section for years now. We have nicknamed the store Alien.

                  "incredible - in a "romanesque", but not culinary way."
                  OK, I'll stop if you stop.

                  1. re: Parigi

                    I refer to the store on the rue de l'Echiquier to give the address that Pitipois made a stab of supplying, not to recommend it.

                    "Romanesque" refers to the shop that's just next door to 'Pizza Grilll Istanbul' on the rue du Faubourg St Denis. There are numerous reasons for my employing this adjective - the eight year old who sells you your bottle of whisky, the rolling papers (king size, s'il vous plait) for sale "à l'unité" , the owner of a nearby hipster bar who comes for a recreational brawl with some of the store's more uproarious clients, the presence of a live cockerel in the store ....But that have too little to do with food or eating, and as such have no place on these august and exclamation point filled boards. So I'll stop.

                    1. re: vielleanglaise

                      Was kidding! Don't stop!! Your msg is priceless!!!

          1. re: Ptipois

            Thank you for this wonderful list. Amazingly helpful!

            1. re: Ptipois

              To add to Ptipois' list, for Korean and Japanese groceries (I think these qualify as East Asian) there's also the rue Sainte Anne in the 1st and 2nd. On the "upper" part of rue Sainte Anne, there's the store HanShik - for mostly Korean products. A little further down and across the street, there's a Japanese grocery with a Japanese style "canteen" in the front (the groceries are at the back) (sorry, I don't know the name of the store). Recently, on the "lower" part of the rue Sainte Anne (next to the fire station - closer to avenue de l'Opera), there's a new store K-mart (or Korea Mart) where they sell both Korean and Japanese products (including a butcher's stand for Korean cuts of meat), and they also have a canteenish type of restaurant off to the side. This store is comparatively much larger than the other two.

              1. re: Katoon

                Yes indeed, the upper one is AceMart and used to be the only Korean market in the street. The "little further down" is Juji-Ya, also a place to get delicious bento. The groceries are somewhat upper-scale (good Japanese-grown rice). The large K-mart is wonderful for shopping, I love the butcher stand but I wasn't overly impressed by the canteen.
                Speaking of bentos, the Korean ones from Ace Bento (18 rue Thérèse) are good and generous, but the waiting line is a bit slow. I think there's another AceMart on rue Saint-Augustin but I'm not sure of the location, at any rate there's Workshop Isse on the same street, exceptional Japanese products but be prepared to spend at least 100 € if you're not cautious.

                1. re: Ptipois

                  This American food writer, sometimes-Japan resident/Paris-resident in the 17th thanks all of you mille fois for these excellent recommendations. I'd only gone to the section near Metro Pyramide for a quick okonomiyaki and provisions. (I focus on French food over here....) Ptipois: you are a treasure! BTW we have a small Korean market just off Square Batignolles, but it's all frozen or canned, and they do not have the good Niigata cultivar rice I like to eat and make sushi with....available at AceMart. Guess I'll be taking a break and going to find these other markets!

                  1. re: Chocobug

                    Korean markets (with Korean and Japanese products) are all over that part of the 2e arrondissement, there's another good one on rue d'Argenteuil (corner rue Saint-Roch) and of course there's the Japanese store Kioko on 2 levels, rue des Petits-Champs.