Rue de Levis is a quaint neighbourhood market street that serves two distinct neighbourhoods in the 17th arrondissement. The well- heeled, chi-chi residents of the Plaine- Monceau and the hip Bobos of the Batignolles. It’s where both worlds converge and do their daily shopping.
Rue de Levis boasts not a couple, but seven boulangeries within it’s proximity. The smell of baked breads permeate the morning air of this market street, with people lining up at their preferred boulangeries, mornings and evenings, to get their fill of their daily bread. Which in France to do without, is sacrilegious. Personal favorites of mine are Arnaud Delmontel for his Renaissance baguette and pain au chocolat. And on Tuesdays, when he is closed, I will venture further down Rue de Levis to Leonie for some yummy kouign d’amann and viennoiseries.
Several boucheries that line this street hawk their roast chickens, charcuterie, Alsatian choucroute (sauerkraut) and saucsisses up and down this charming street. The sight of roast chickens turning on their spit with hot fat dripping down on lovely roasted potatoes is a sight, and smell, to behold.
There is but one seafood store on Rue de Levis. But boy, what a gem she is- La Fine Maree. Their gorgeous seafood is artfully displayed on ice and seaweed tangles. Order a plateau de Fruits de Mer and get to see what artistry they can conjure. Choose from their displays, your seafood of choice, and they will assemble a plateau that will sure to dazzle. These gents deserve a round of applause. Come Christmas and New Years, you’ll see them shucking oysters over beds of ice, while it’s zero degrees out, with occasional interludes of hand dunking in warm water, to keep them going. My heroes!
Green grocers with an abundance of overflowing, colourful produce, try to catch your eye with their artful displays, or by shouting out the daily offers. The local florists have buckets of flowers in every pretty shade, lined up side by side, surely not edible, but still a feast for the eyes.
Chocolate shops, gourmet patisseries, and fromageries, including well-known Androuet, dot this market street. Wine shops are abound, with friendly merchants ever ready to share some advice. Speciality shops like Grand Espagne for Spanish Pata Negra Bellota, Macis for spices and gourmet gifts, Oliviers et Co for olive oil, Famille Mary for honey and several tea shops including Kusmi, Palais des Thes and La Route du The, all grace this market street, making it convenient for souvenir shopping.
And let’s not forget Monoprix, which straddles the beginning of Rue de Levis on both sides; one side for clothing and home wares and the other for food. Because, after all, all good streets deserve a Monoprix. (Fodder for another post.)
And lastly, there’s Le Dome de Villiers. This magnificent brasserie sits at the beginning of Rue de Levis and with it’s large terrace, provides patrons the perfect spot for their apero hour to people watch and of course, be seen. While not enthusiastic about their food, I highly recommend a cafe, or a glass of wine on their terrace and indulge in a little people watching. La vie est belle!