Located on the old roman road Rue Vaugirard , this bakery/badly stocked grocery store called Monoprix is situated on one of the dirtiest and crowded streets of the 15th arrondissement. People frequently use the beautiful 70's building to the right to urinate because it has a nice private two inch niche in it, so feel free to pee if you have the need.
If the smells fail to charm you, the noise might be musique to your ears. The taxi stand across the street has an intercom and you'll often hear the beautiful melodic french language of love being screamed by a French taxi driver trying to understand the address of a customer. The air is filled with the lovely sounds of two different types of sirens because the hospital and police station are just a hop skip and a jump down the street (so you can fit a visit there into your schedule. Maybe steal a baguette or step in front of a truck so you can get a ride and have a more authentic parisian expérience). Add the motorcycles, buses and honking cars to the mix, and you feel like you have been transported to a French movie set. Just magical.
The generic outside is so charming and French. If you are color blind it might even resemble the colors of le grapau français. (I don't know, I'm not color blind yet!).
Real Parisians call it Monop. In Paris people are busy and they don't have time to pronounce whole words. McDonalds is referred to as McDo and Chipotle is referred to as Chipo.
Le pain bio (organic bread) is a little more expensive but it is worth every last centimes because it tastes like salty cardboard. See these croissants? They have managed to take something made with oodles of yummy butter and turn it into a soggy throat clogging bit of French heaven.
Throw in something extra and you will get to take home your very own Monoprix bag! What a great souvenir! I just hope you don't have a list of things to get to complete a recipe. You are 99% guaranteed never to find everything you need. (Not just at Monop, but at all grocery stores).
So next time you spend a warm spring day in Paris inside a darkened room watching the terribly subtitled French reality show The Vrai Housewives (French housewives living in Beverly Hills) and stumble outside at 11 pm looking for something to shove in your face, don't be triste. Unlike most stores in France, this one is a unique special snowflake and stays open until midnight. Je suis en retard!
**my sarcasm has bitten me in the ass. I thought the store was just extra ridiculously understocked, which I why I wrote this. Turns out they are closing. No more open until midnight store for me! I already miss it all the time every time I forget something and just want to pop down and grab it.