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Feb 13, 2011 03:29 AM

Food shopping travel guides

My wife and I are travelling to France next year. We will be visiting Paris, Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Alsace. Our dining options will consist of a mixture of self catering and restaurants.

I was wondering if there are any recommended books on great food stores, including patisseries, charcuteries, boulangeries, boucheries and markets in provincial France?

We have found plenty of books specific to Paris, and they have been a great help, but the majority of books on provincial France seem to be a bit dated now.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.

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  1. the offices of tourism will be able to tell you the dates and times of the markets (including their websites, in most cases, many of which are available in English)

    I have an old book that I still refer to once in a while Edible France: A Traveler's Guide, Region by region guide to food, wine, shops, markets, and local specialties, by Glynn Christian, ISBN 1-56656-221-X

    It's not so hot for individual shops, but is very good for recommending the goodies to hunt out when in each region, including by season.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sunshine842

      Thanks for the info Sunshine. I had Glynn Christians book in my sights already, as it has had some good reviews.

    2. We are considering ordering this book for our upcoming France trip - "Eat Smart in France".

      We would love to see it first, though...

      1. "Paris in a Basket" is a workhorse volume on Paris' markets +.

        1. We're using, for Burgundy, David Downie's 2010 "Food Wine Burgundy" -- it lists and describes "terroir"-oriented organic farms selling to the public, many food shops and wineries, etc. -- as well as restaurants. And even in this rather confined context, he's a fine writer. (His book "Paris, Paris" is a favorite of mine.) I wish there was a similar book for Alsace . . . . -- Jake

          1. It's a pity Patricia Wells (or her staff) has never updated The Foodlovers Guide to France. I found it extremely helpful for up to 10 years after it was published (1987!) By now it is seriously outdated, but there are still quite a number of good recommendations. Needless to say many of the places in that book have long been defunct, but others are still going strong.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ChefJune

              For Paris, check out It's a fun site with restaurant reviews, interviews with chefs, etc. Also, the owner (American who has lived in France for 20 years) offers several small walking tours of Paris featuring local markets and purveyors of specialized food-related items.

              I'm taking two of her walking tours next month. Can't wait.