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Paris for the Holidays (Dec 23-Jan 2)


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Paris for the Holidays (Dec 23-Jan 2)

JessicaAndSasha | | Dec 10, 2012 02:06 AM

The two of us, an engaged couple, are going to be spending Christmas and New Year's in Paris. We will be staying in Maisons-Alfort in a rented apartment for most of our visit, and on New Year's Eve we will move to a rented apartment in Menilmontant. Due to our somewhat limited budget and holiday closures, we will be focusing on food markets and cheese stores. Given a choice between a solid $30 lunch and an amazing $30 cheese, we would pick the cheese (every time). Will food markets have different hours on or around the holidays? We're planning to have picnics on New Year's Eve and day.
We've done some research, and we've picked out the following:

Food Markets:
Marche d'Aligre
St Quentin?
maybe Marché Notre Dame for our day trip to Versailles
possible day trip to St Denis

Cheese Shops

We would like to get oysters for New Year's Eve, and, based on a recent chowhound thread, we were considering just ordering them from a poissonnerie in our neighborhood.

As for restaurants, we're looking to eat out some of the time, and maybe on Christmas day if we can find a place. We would like to have two or three really nice meals at mid-range places (€25-50 a person), with solid rustic french food, at warm, cozy, quiet restaurants. We had a great meal at Le Hangar the last time we were in Paris. We'd prefer to prioritize large lunches over large dinners. Otherwise, we're considering cheaper, French-related cuisines, like Tunisian. We also want recommendations for fantastic merguez.

Cheaper Lunch/Dinners
Chez Lucie
La Taverne du Cap Vert et du Bresil - not really French at all, but we want to try Cape Verdian food
Chez Gladines - We love Basque food
Les Trois Freres

More Expensive Lunch/Dinners
Chez Josephine Dumonet
Au Petit Sud Ouest - we're obsessed with duck
Le Comptoir du Relais - early weekend lunch?

Should we go to Josephine Dumonet and Au Petit Sud Ouest for lunch or dinner?
Is there a good place to buy Ethiopian spices in Paris?
Also, since we're getting in mid-day on the Sunday before Christmas Eve, will there be any markets or cheese shops open on Sunday afternoon/Monday morning? We're having trouble finding anything and we want to stock up on food because a lot of restaurants are closed over Christmas.