When I'm in Paris I usually stay in the area around La Madeleine so that I entered already in the past at Fauchon by curiosity and again this year after they renovated the premises.
Personally if preferred the former décor but that does not change the quality of the food.
I pretend to be a rational "homo economicus" so that I have some questions about the relationship between the prices at Fauchon and the quality.
Best example for me is Champagne. Well known commercial brands of Champagne are sold in France and outside at about 25 - 30 €/bottle in any shop large or small.
Fauchon prefers to sell the superior types like the "milésimés". Their prices start at 50 € and can reach 400 €. I never drunk such a quality but I doubt that a bottle Champagne at 250 € is 10 times better in taste than a standard brand at 25 €.
A professor of micro-economy will explain that the curve price/quality is an exponential one. A slight gain in quality corresponds to an important increase in price.
Now I prefer 10 bottles good standard quality to one, maybe superior quality, at 250 €.
I can share the 10 bottles with friends!
I got a shock when I saw that they were selling chocolates at 100 €/kg. In Belgium best chocolates (pralines) sell at 40 - 50 €/kg. With the difference you could buy a return ticket on the Thalys train to Brussels and buy there your chocolates.
I had never set foot in this store until my wife brought me. I was amazed at the amount of items they carried: chocolates, candy, tea, coffee, wine, honey, sea salts, jam etc. My wife has particular tastes so it was nice to see her finding items she loves.
By the time we were done shopping there were two large baskets full of items: sea salts, apricot jams, strawberry jam, caramels, candied orange peel, tea and some chocolates with pistachio nuts. I managed to stuff all of this in our luggage for the trip home.
I must say that I really loved the jam; very good with large pieces of fruit thoughout. The sea salts were verynice and I honestly had no idea there were so many varieties and uses for the stuff.
While you’re in the area, be sure to head over to Fauchon, Paris’ super up-scale specialty food store. This is definitely not the place to go for a cheap snack—for most travelers, most items will be cost-prohibitive. Even if you don’t end up buying anything, it’s worth it just for the store displays which are among the city’s best, and that’s saying something here. For me, these windows are almost like museums, and the store’s distinctive hot pink-and-black signature colors really look great.
What to buy: Anything.
Fauchon is another historic food shop on the Place de la Madeleine, and like Hédiard is one of the oldest specialty food shops in Paris, except that this one opened 32 years later in 1886,
During the holidays they dress up the windows beautifully. I was in Paris for Valentine's Day in 2006, so the shop was all decked out in fuschia and black!
Photo: February 2006
What to buy: Many of the same type of items you'd find at Hédiard: champagne, wine, chocolate. I'm not sure what the real differences are but you can't shop in one without shopping in the other.
What to pay: Wide range of prices for all tastes & budgets.
Fauchon is the "grocery store" for elegant Paris. It has graced Place de la Madeleine since 1886. Only the finest in spices, wines, meats, vegetables, chocolates etc... will do. And now they are emphasizing "traiteur" or takeout with their purchase of FLO Prestige.
On the right of the photo-collage is one of their ads for their "s'emporter" -- on the left is a nicely cooked lobster!
What to buy: Whatever your heart desires [and your budget can bear!]:)
Yes, believe what you see.
The stuff on the right is snails.
As a lot of French people, I do not like this dish and I never eat it.
What to buy: I prefer the "Oeufs en gelée aux truffes et aux morilles" (eggs in gelly with truffles and morel (mushroom)).
What to pay: 7 euros for one egg in gelly (1.40 euro in my supermarket !!!)
Several shops in a corner of Place de la Madeleine.
The food presented at the frontwindows make your mouth watering.
What to buy: Cakes, jam, cooked meals, pates, sausages.
Everything is good.
You can also have a "degustation-lunch" for 46?.
What to pay: The good food is expensive. You will verify that by Fauchon.
May as well stop in here, especially if you are in the area. Though Fauchon didn’t seem quite as inviting as Hediard (personal tastes I guess) I will always drop by both of these shops when ever I am in Paris. Yes a little pricey, but it is still fun to look.
What to buy: The Delicatessen section had some of the most unbelievable looking pastry I have EVER seen. There were a few treats that I would swear were actually plastic, not actual edible heaven.
What to pay: The lowest priced item I found was about 8.oo Euro for a bar of chocolate. Prices go up from there.
Fauchon has long been the empress of Parisian food emporiums, although there is a sense of riding on their reputation now that they are owned by a large conglomerate.
This picture shows both the elegance of the "figaroo" tart and the famous Fauchon pink.
What to buy: I tend to buy mustards, teas and spices as they are portable, but there isn't much in the luxury food category that you can't get here.
What to pay: Too much
Fauchon has every luxury food item imaginable. Just check out the window display in this photo. When I was there, it was a few days before Easter and they had lots of chocolate easter eggs, bunnies, etc.
What to buy: Chocolates, spices, tea, jam, wine, anything wonderful to eat.
What to pay: Not really much more than the average specialty store.
Fauchon is comparable to a gourmet foodstore with a patissierie adjacent to the main store.
The store features teas, preserves, cookies, and candies. But being a high-end store you will be able to buy caviar, foie gras, and truffles as well. They also have a wine cellar.
The way they package and present their items is very attractive.
What to buy: The preserves and the cookies are quite good.
What to pay: Being high-end the prices are quite expensive and vary for each item.