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I am going to be spending a few weeks in France renting a house, so I was wondering if there are any online or other service that rate local supermarket chains or grocery stores in France.

US has Consumer Reports which rates chains overall and Yelp to review the individual locations. Yelp is available in France since it bought Cityvox but the information is still pretty scarce.

So is there something that can supplement this information?

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    Do you need to know anything in particular about each supermarket? Would an answer listing supermarkets with good services be sufficient? – Nathan Shoesmith Jun 1 '16 at 17:17
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    What details though? – Nathan Shoesmith Jun 1 '16 at 17:19
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    Grand Frais is a national treasure. E Leclerc is the best supermarket. The market (saturday mornings, etc) in Beaune is obviously world-famous. (But incredibly overpriced - the very many famous chefs in the area go straight to Grand Frais, the one by the autoroute exit.) You need to explain what you're looking for in a supermarket, Karlson. Why not state the town youa re in or near and we'll tell you the best or closest! – Fattie Jun 1 '16 at 17:36
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    Hi Karlson, that does not really exist. You will find it incredibly different. Regarding price, if you shop price, cancel the holiday now and go to Sussex or Alabama instead :) E. Leclerc is the best supermarket, by far. You won't be disappointed. Note that the worst "ordinary" supermarket in France has staggeringly better food than the "gourmet" chains (eg, WholeFoods) in the US. Carrefour is also good. the Mousquetaires, Intermarche, one is a bit more discount. Given that you are on holiday and spending thousands to get there it is unlikely you will pass E Leclerc as a tourist... – Fattie Jun 1 '16 at 17:44
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    Finally, if you literally want to know "Who is the best butcher" or "Which is the best greengrocer" I mean those are questions of national importance; it would be as difficult as saying "What's a good white wine in Meursault" you know!! The only answer would be a big argument. Try a few in your village and the other villages. For most visitors, the biggest question is "Which is the best boulangerie", you can live there for six years and debate it every day, with great pleasure. I hope, you enjoy! – Fattie Jun 1 '16 at 17:53
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Food in France is very "local". As said before you will not find a centralized listing of what is on offer and where. You need to ask the locals, the owners of your vacation house, the tourist office where you can shop and for what. There are several large supermarkets where I stay in France and there is very little between them, the one I prefer has a great butcher counter but that's due to the staff, and might not be the same in other areas. If you are set on organic foods then you should ask for health shops or "vitamin" shops that usually sell a good range of veggies and fruits but it's not cheap. I don't find that supermarkets carry a lot of organic produce. When looking at markets, I have learned to distinguish between those who sell fresh produce but from all over to those whose focus is very local from small farmers using less intensive methods. Again some research on a local level is necessary. I hope this helps.

  • Care to list a few that you know carry more local fare? – Karlson Jun 1 '16 at 18:29
  • Hi, Where I go the most local are cooperatives regrouping local farmer produce. You would have to ask locally (tourist office?) to see if there is an equivalent. In my "Super U" supermarket I find local eggs and meat from local farms and then a small selection of organic produce and organic shelf stable products. – CCazes Jun 1 '16 at 18:38
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    What do you mean about food being very local? France is actually home to some huge retail chains (Carrefour, E.Leclerc, Auchain...) and big-box stores are more common there than in many neighbouring European countries. And they obviously carry organic food nowadays, at least in the bigger stores. – Relaxed Jun 1 '16 at 18:40
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    @Relaxed: Those two factors are not mutually exclusive. At least in Germany, large retail chains are very wide-spread. Each of the chains standardizes their stores in many aspects, and much information about the stores, current offers, etc. is available online. At the same time, the stores are subject to quite some variation, depending on individual factors such as size of the store and possibly also individual decisions of the respective manager. As a consequence, I usually find it impossible to find out whether a particular product is available in a particular store without going there. – O. R. Mapper Jun 1 '16 at 19:26
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    "vitamin" shops? If anyone asked me for a vitamin shop in France I would not be able to locate even a single one. For organic food, ask for organic shops ("bio" in French). Anyone will be able to direct you to one. – Vince Jun 1 '16 at 19:48
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You have several ways to buy food in France : - go for small stores like butcher and baker. Those usually offer the best quality but the price could be expensive. - go to the supermarket. You have small, medium and hypermarket. The bigger the supermarket is, the more choice you'll have. Supermarket offer a selection of local products and national brand products. Pricing is usually the cheapest and quality can vary. You'll also find organic (bio) shopd but price are really expensive. - go to the fresh market that you'll find twice a week in most of the towns. You'll find there freshest products usually coming directly from the farm.

Few advices to eat good food : - buy local products rather than products coming from the other side of the earth. You'll find a lot of fruits coming from a lot of foreign countries. They have traveled a lot so I let it to you to guess what they are made of to be able to absorb the travel delay... - ask the locals. People will be delighted to give you directions to the best shop. - ask the store staff, they will also give you ideas to discover seasonnal good products. - check the shops where is a queue up to the exit, this is usually a good sign. - check for awards. Best shops received awards and are usually very proud to highlight those. Shops without awards aren't necessary bad but shops that received awards are definitely good.

You'll find some reviews on Google local business listing and also the pages jaunes but usually not a lot. So rather ask locals. You will see them walking with their little caddy in the street in the morning.

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