Air France Travel Guide toured Europe to find the best delicatessens. From Paris to London, Rome, Prague, Berlin and Stockholm, here is a selection of the best of them.
In Paris: La Maison Plisson, heaven for food lovers
La Maison Plisson chooses the products it uses in an eco-friendly manner according to their composition and origin: they say no to vegetables from the other side of the world, but yes to local distribution channels and organic ingredients. Shelves are full of excellent goods that you won't find anywhere else in the capital: cheeses, dairy, meat, produce, wine and bakery... Merely thinking about it makes your mouth water with excitement!
Behind large picture windows, or on the terrace in summer, La Maison Plisson is also a welcoming restaurant serving appropriately invigorating food. Dishes are all homemade for extra freshness. Grilled zucchini, spinach leaves, chick peas, grilled lemons, feta cheese, sunflower seeds and chicken and peas meatballs, how does that sound for a salad? Care for sweet bites? Then relish poached yellow peaches with Breton biscuits drenched in vanilla and vanilla-flavoured mascarpone, best accompanied with fresh squeezed fruit juice.
La Maison Plisson
93 Boulevard Beaumarchais
+33 (0)1 71 18 19 09
In London: Lina Stores, the story of an Italian family
Stop for a second in the Soho district in front of the charming pale green Lina Stores front. Settling in London more than one hundred years ago, Lina brought her love and passion for her homeland from Genoa. She opened a small grocer's shop and her adventure was met with success. It's been a family affair ever since: her children and then grandchildren have kept the grocery business going.
You may enter now. Inside, you'll find everything Italian you ever dreamt of in a grocer's shop worthy of the name. Everything is imported from the boot peninsula but pasta, homemade for more than 70 years now! Burrata, gnocchi, olive oil, ham... Everything you need to cook a delicious meal is at hand. Just like Italian warmth under the London sky.
18 Brewer Street
London W1F 0SH
+44 (0)20 7437 6482
In Rome: Castroni grocery-cafes, Roman hideouts
Umberto Castroni founded his business in 1932 and rapidly expanded all over Rome: Via Ottoviano, Via Nazionale, Via Frattina, Via Catania and around many other locations. In these grocer's shops, you'll find numerous Italian products like pasta, pesto, balsamic vinegar and olive oil, but also goods from around the world. Get your fill of tea, chocolate and spices that you aren't likely to find anywhere else. The various Castroni addresses have all seduced locals and they are always full of customers. Castroni shops have more to offer than mere groceries: they also roast coffee on the spot, which scent perfumes the place with a timeless feel. During your shopping spree in the grocer' shop, you'll overhear many Italians chatting, leaning at the bar with a cup of quality coffee in hand.
Via Ottaviano 55
+39 06 3972 3279
Castroni Via Nazionale
Via Nazionale 71
+39 06 4898 7474
Castroni Via Frattina
Via Frattina 79
+39 06 6992 1903
In Berlin: French feeling at Chez Gustave
Two steps away from the famous Alexanderplatz, the Chez Gustave deli is specialised in French produce. You'll therefore find some of the best wines from the other side of the Rhine: from Bordeaux reds to Alsace whites, there is something to please everyone. Terrines, saucissons and cheeses are carefully displayed on the blue, white and red shelves of the shop. Small oddity in the general landscape: you will notice the shop sells some pata negra, one of the very best smoked hams, but it comes straight from Spain!
A few wood tables are arranged across the shop for you to relax your legs while enjoying a typically French lunch. Indulge in a rich coq au vin or in a lighter Breton buckwheat pancake. Note that wine and cheese tastings are regularly organised. A perfect opportunity to have a great tome while trying quality products in a friendly atmosphere.
+49 (0)30 914 771 42
In Stockholm: deli, market style at Saluhall
At Saluhall (meaning covered market) in Ostermalms, 17 shopkeepers offer local produce. The entire location could thus be looked upon as a huge grocer's shop in itself, with different stands and specialities: meat, fish and seafood, produce, spices, chocolates, cheeses, pastries or freshly squeezed fruit juices... Everything you could ask for is at hand!
Some of the stands even turn into restaurants for you to eat in. The place is now a major stop for all Stockholm inhabitants who wish to shop for the best products available. With a wicker basket under the arm, you'll fill it to the brim by the time you exit Saluhall.
Please note that the market is currently being renovated to its former glory – dating back to 1888 – and that shopkeepers have therefore temporarily moved to the Ostermalmstorg, where you will find them all.
114 42 Stockholm
In Prague: Jan Paukert, an institution throughout the city
A true institution throughout the “city of 100 bell towers”, the Jan Paukert delicatessen has been opened since 1916. There, you'll find a large selection of Czech products, such as Prague hams and cheeses, Moravia wines and Karlovy Vary wafers. Their speciality though is the chlebicek – a small slice of bread with meat, seafood or other options – and they offer about twenty variants.
Jan Paukert is also a bakery that makes delicious pastries, sandwiches and bagels.
You can take a break at one of the few available tables and try one of the house specials. The shop doesn't look like much from outside, but it definitely is a must-go-to for anyone passing through Prague.
Rohanské nábřeží 671/15
110 00 Prague
+420 778 770 283