The Best Places to Purchase Copper Cookware in France

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If you’re on a vacation (or a “holiday” for my UK readers) to Europe, you may happen to have the opportunity to purchase some copper cookware while visiting France. If you’re not so lucky, please don’t fret. Premium cookware is also available via the internet – check out my guide for assistance.

I was lucky enough to load up (mostly) secondhand pieces – I love my tin-lined pans! – when my husband was stationed at the NATO headquarters just across the border in Belgium.

Copper Pots and Pans hanging on chateu wall in Normandy
Copper cooking vessels line a wall of an old Chateau in Normandy.

Copper pots, pans, and other vessels are also commonly available both secondhand and new in the other western European countries. But I really don’t have any experience with these locations, at least as far as cookware goes, so I’m sticking to France. Perhaps some of you may have some knowledge to share in other locations? If so, please feel free to add your input below.

Shopping in Paris

The first and most obvious place to check is the world famous (at least in cooking circles) E. Dehillerin Boutique, located at 18 et 20 rue Coquillière 75001 in Paris. I would highly recommend bringing a native French speaker with you.

A Tip: Make friends with a Dutch person – many of them speak four or five languages. Most of the clerks at Dehillerin speak a little English, but I wouldn’t try to pass off some iffy French you learned in high school. In my experience, the French stereotype runs strong at this store. That being said, it is definitely worth a visit.

Another Piece of Advice: Don’t try to visit during lunch, as they are closed. You’ll find that as you work your way from north to south in western Europe, the “living to work and working to live” philosophy does a 180 with the French somewhere in the middle. They do, however, take mealtimes very seriously.

E. Dehillerin Professional Chef store in Paris
E. Dehillerin’s storefront.

While at Dehillerin’s, if you like tinned rather than stainless steel linings, I insist that you look at their Extra Fort examples. These will be the thicker pieces – 3 millimeters thick, and most of them were probably made 30 or more years ago.

Usually, these were crafted by Mauviel but stamped with Dehillerin’s mark. You will probably need to employ a little cajoling to get the clerk to show you these – they will often try to sell the newer, thinner stuff instead.

Mauviel M’heritage 9-piece 2.5mm Copper Cookware Set with Cast Stainless Steel Handles, available on Amazon

I don’t know if there is higher commission on these pieces or if they are just hoarding some of the older, thicker pieces that they can’t easily replace.

Inside of E. Dehillerin in Paris showing copper pots and pans
Inside E. Dehillerin.

Another shop that is nearby is La Bovida. (I believe they have multiple locations but I’m not sure, as my French is lousy!) The location that I’m familiar with is located at 36 Rue Montmartre, 75001 Paris and it’s in the same district as E. Dehillerin. They, too, have a pretty decent inventory, which also includes a few lesser-known makers that aren’t available at E. Dehllerin.

La Bovida's Storefront in Paris
La Bovida’s storefront in Paris.

Outside the City

Another copper cookware mecca worth considering is the Village of Villeneuve in Normandy, the traditional home of French coppersmiths, where a small cottage industry still exists.

Villeneuve, France - the traditional home of French coppersmiths
Villeneuve in Normandy.

The absolute best thing to do when you are here – if you like tinned copper instead of stainless, if you’ve got the time, and if you don’t mind used pieces – is to get out amongst the flea markets, junk shops, and antique stores and dig around. This is where the real gold lies, and the real savings begin.

It is possible to find some of the old, nice and thick copperware here. You can look for makers such as the now defunct Gaillard, whose pieces are legendary. But don’t be afraid to buy some unmarked pieces.

Copperware at a fleemarket in Nice France
Copperware at a flea market in Nice, France.

Most of the older vessels were never stamped, or if they were, they were stamped by the seller and not the manufacturer. Look for thickness of materials and good craftsmanship instead.

Maximizing Savings

Not on the hunt for copper? If you are looking for other forms of cookware such as porcelain-coated cast iron, it is definitely cheaper to get it in the US or your home country – especially once you factor in the VAT (20%) and additional luggage fees.Also, if you are looking for the more common type of copper cookware and are set on stainless lined like the set pictured above (which is quite good), you may not save too much money. It may be easier to purchase a set from somewhere like Williams-Sonoma, or for the least hassle, just order from Amazon.

In my own case, I was lucky enough on my travels to be able to load up on the good stuff, thanks to free shipping for the family’s household goods via the US Army.

Wishing you good cooking and good eating!

Cheers,
Lynne

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About Lynne Jaques

Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!

7 thoughts on “The Best Places to Purchase Copper Cookware in France

  1. Really love this article. I need get some pots and pans when I visit! How much on average do you save buying there as say the US and how good are the finds on the used market?

    Thanks

    Brenda

  2. Brenda,

    Wish shopping pre-owned expect to pay around 10- 30% of new US prices including the additional baggage fees. Plus there a many different items available from now defunct makers that you just can’t by anymore and which aren’t readily available in the US or Canada.

    As for new, expect about 80% with the additional baggage fees of what you could purchased the item for the American market. Again, there are some new items at the various merchants that you can’t easily find outside of western Europe. If you are looking to buy the more common items new, I don’t really think it is worth buying and having to pack the items around with you and then fight the ticket counter for a reasonable rate.

    Hope that helps
    Cheers
    Lynne

    • Lynne,
      I will be going to UK, about 45 miles south of london, and maybe taking a ferry to Dieppe, France. Would you know of any shoppes near there to purchase copper cookware?

  3. Well I have never been to France, or used copper cookware, but that does not mean that I do not appreciate and love the article. It sounds like copper cookware is a lot more common and popular than I would have guessed, and it is also cool that it has the old world ties to it. If there were something to put on a list of cookware that I would want to try, this would certainly be on there. Maybe someday I will be so lucky, but until then, thank you for sharing.

  4. Hi Lynne

    I’m shopping for 2 copper tin pans to cook socca/farinata in a pizza oven.

    I searched for this pan on the 2 online stores in Paris mentioned in your blog but didn’t find anything.

    Maybe I need to find an online store in the south of France where socca is popular.

    Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank You

    Derryl

    • Thanks for your question, Derryl. You’re right- the copper discs used to make socca/farinata can be incredibly hard to find, possibly because this specialty dish is typically made in a wood-fired oven that lots of restaurateurs might own, but you don’t see as many of them in private residences these days.

      Since this is a southern French/Italian dish, I agree that you may have more luck with your shopping in the south of France. Unfortunately, some favorites (like Jaffier Parsi in Avignon) have closed permanently. If you’re shopping online, try Bottega del Rame on Amazon. It also looks like Artimondo’s online store (based in the UK) sells one. The online French garage sale known as Brocabrac might be worth a shot as well.

      Some chefs suggest diverging from the traditional copper- a baking steel, pizza stone, or even cast iron should work nicely. But we understand- the real deal is what you’re after, and that’s made of copper! Keep in mind that tin-lined copper should never be used in pizza ovens, which reach very high temperatures.

      Best of luck in your search. Please do let us know how it goes. 🙂

  5. I picked up an E. Dehillerin’s 6′ skillet at a second-hand store. The previous owner must have cooked something Metalic in it, I had it sandblasted. It is pure Copper, my question to you is, is there a way to have this Tin plated? Or should I just use it as is?

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