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Best Cheap Eats in Paris


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07/03/22

Delicious Cheap Food in Paris

It is well known that Parisians are ‘bons gourmands,’ people who enjoy nice meals with fresh and quality produce. Also, eating out with friends or family is one of the main pleasures in Paris – especially if the food is good. However, sometimes we just need something on the go to fill our stomachs, without spending a fortune.

Luckily the city is well-populated by modest Parisian bistros, bakeries, and food trucks proposing a wide choice of cheap meals. Some of the best cheap eats in Paris are not typically Parisian or French, but they found a place in the Parisians’ hearts (and stomachs) over the years.

So what are Parisians’ most loved cheap foods? Keep on reading for the best cheap eats Paris has to offer and our best tips for eating cheaply in Paris.

French Omelette

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Best Cheap Eats, Paris

Here are our favorite picks to eat on the go, easy and quick Paris cheap eats that should not cost more than 10 EUR. This cheap food in Paris is perfect for budget travelers and those with busy sightseeing schedules. If you are a self-proclaimed foodie you have to taste some of them!

1. Café & Croissant

Cafe and Croissant

There is no better way to start the day than a café & croissant with your favorite newspaper in Paris. The café & croissant is one of the musts of any Parisian breakfast, and most of the hotels in the city propose it, together with fruits, juice, and delicious homemade jams. Later in the morning, you can also look for a typical Parisian café for a second round of café & croissant on the terrace.

2. French Omelet

French Omelette

Eggs, oil, salt, and the right ‘tour de main’ are the only ingredients to prepare a fantastic French omelet. Omelets can be folded around a filling such as cheese (very popular), spinach, or mushrooms. You can order a French omelet in brasseries and Parisian bistros.

3. Croque-Monsieur

Croque Monsieur

A croque-monsieur is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, usually with a top of béchamel sauce. You can find croque-monsieurs in most brasseries and some Parisian cafés and it is one of the most popular cheap meals in Paris. Some places serve the croque-monsieur with a small salad.

If you think a croque-monsieur won’t be enough for your busy sightseeing day, you can order a hearty croque-madame, which adds a fried egg on the top.

4. Burger 

street food paris

In Paris, there are burgers and BURGERS! This article talks about delicious burgers, far from the fast-food chains, made with local, fresh produce and so loved by locals.

Hipsters’ list of favorite names proposing incredible burgers includes Le Camion Qui Fume (66 Rue Oberkampf, Paris 11), Le Ruisseau (65 Rue du Ruisseau, Paris 18), or Blend (18 Rue Duphot, Paris 1). Still, you can find good and cheaper classic burgers on the menus of any Parisian bistro or in food markets like Le Marché des Enfants Rouges in Le Marais.

5. Kebab, Fallafel

Kebab at Rue des Rosiers

You can find a good fallafel everywhere in Paris, but many Parisians will agree that rue des Rosiers in Le Marais is the place to go for the best falafels.

Apart from the world-known L’As du Fallafel (34 Rue des Rosiers Paris 4, closed on Saturday), King Fallafel (26 Rue des Rosiers, Paris 4), Chez Hanna, (54 Rue des Rosiers, Paris 4), and MA-VA-MI (23 Rue des Rosiers, Paris 4) are also great (and cheaper) options located within meters of each other.

On warm and sunny days, we like to buy falafels and eat them at Jardin des Rosiers, a beautiful secluded garden accessible through a hidden passage on the same street.

6. Jambon-Beurre or Jambon-Fromage

jambon beurre

Jambon-beurre (also called Parisien) is the most Parisian of sandwiches, perfect for those who need something on the go for a couple of euros. You can buy your jambon-beurre or jambon-fromage in bakeries or in many Parisian cafés.

Basically, a jambon-beurre is a half Parisian baguette sliced open, spread with butter and some slices of  ‘jambon de Paris.’ According to some sources, 2 million jambon-beurre sandwiches are sold every day in France, so don’t underestimate the power of this Parisian sandwich!

A slightly sophisticated alternative to jambon-beurre is the jambon-fromage which comes with jambon de Paris and some cheese. A hot jambon-fromage sandwich is called ‘mixte,‘ but it is made with a different kind of bread.

7. Soupe à l’Ognion (French Onion Soup)

Onion Soup

If you are looking for famous food in Paris, you cannot miss a hot bowl of French onion soup. In the past, French onion soup was always related to poor or modest families, as onions were plentiful and easy to grow. Today, onion soup is an inexpensive and popular choice on the menus of brasseries and bistros, especially in Paris in wintertime.

The modern version of this soup is made of beef broth and caramelized onions and usually comes with melted comté cheese on top and croutons. Needless to say, the onion soup is delicious in the winter months when it is cold outside!

8. Fondue

Traditional Fondue
photo courtesy: Leila Victoria @leilavictoriam

Fondue is one of the best cheap eats Paris has to offer, especially because fondue is a shared meal with a group.

The traditional fondue is a boiling pot of melted cheese mixed with white wine. This pot is placed in the center of the table, cooking continuously over a little burner and waiting for you to dip your piece of bread in and eat.

Many restaurants in Paris propose fondue during the winter. Great places to eat a delicious fondue in Paris are Le Chalet Savoyard (58 Rue de Charonne, Paris 11), Les Fondus de la Raclette (109 Boulevard Raspail, Paris 14), Pain, Vin, Fromage (3 Rue Geoffroy-l’Aangevine, Paris 4), and Le Chalet d’Avron (108 Rue de Montreuil, Paris 11). You can also try to make fondue at home with the right tools. A fondue party is a great way to spend a cozy Saturday night with friends or family.

9. Moules-Frites

Moules - Frites

Moules-Frites (mussels + French fries) is another popular cheap food Paris has to offer, adopted from our Belgian neighbors. The food consists of cooked mussels (usually a kilogram per person) and French fries (only salt & pepper, no ketchup, mayonnaise, or mustard) served in separate containers.

You can eat moules-frites in many restaurants in Paris. There is a Belgian chain of restaurants called Léon specializing in moules-frites, with restaurants everywhere in the city. We personally like to go to La Petite Hostellerie (35 Rue de la Harpe, Paris 5), a little cozy restaurant in the Latin Quarter. La Petite Hostellerie proposes a set menu with moules-frites + a glass of beer (or wine) for 10 euros.

10. Cheap Indian Food in Paris

Indian food in Paris

Paris has its own piece of India in the 18th Arrondissement, not far from Montmartre. The streets surrounding the Gare du Nord are full of sari clothes, bling jewelry, Indian groceries, and, of course, restaurants with the best Indian Food in Paris.

Walk around, look at the menus and follow your nose to pick one; we are sure it will be a good choice. Little India in Paris, by the way, is also a great place for buying good and fresh Indian spices for half price as in other Paris neighborhoods.

11. Yummy Crêpes

Best Street Crêpes in Paris

Among the best cheap eats Paris offers, crêpes are always a favorite for visitors and locals. Even if they are originally from Brittany, Paris without crêpes wouldn’t be Paris!

Easy to prepare and veggie-friendly, crêpes are a few native street foods in Paris and France. You can eat cold or hot crêpes with a cup of coffee or tea, or just for an afternoon snack.

Crêpes come with lots of different fillings, being Nutella or fruit jams the most popular ones. You’ll see food trucks and street stands selling street crêpes everywhere in Paris, especially in Montmartre.

For a few more euros, you can eat crêpes in crêperies (here’s the list of best crêperies in Paris) or many restaurants. In general, crêperies are good cheap places to eat in Paris. For authentic Breton crêpes, go to any crêperie around the Gare Montparnasse.

Best Tips for Eating Cheaply in Paris

If you are looking for more tools for eating cheaply in Paris, here are our best tips and tricks to save some euros.

What is the cost of food in Paris?

On average, a non-touristy restaurant in Paris will charge between 15 and 25 Euros per set menu. Still, you can expect to pay more at trendier restaurants or restaurants in touristy areas.

Get Your Food To Go Instead of Sitting Down

Many casual restaurants in Paris will give you the option to eat your food there or take it to go (“sur place ou à emporter?”). The prices if you consume your food onsite will generally be higher than if you get it for takeout. So answer” à emporter s’il-vous-plait” (=to take away) and take it over to one of the many beautiful Paris parks for a picnic. Here’s the list of our favorite picnic spots in Paris.

Splurge at lunch, not at dinner 

Many restaurants in Paris offer a set menu for lunch. A set menu is cheaper than ordering “à la carte” and includes a starter, main course, and dessert. This can cost between 14 and 25 euros, but if you choose your restaurant wisely, this little splurge will be a meal to remember.

Get off the beaten path 

If you are looking for cheap restaurants in Paris without renouncing good quality, stay out of the tourist areas and central neighborhoods.

You can also ask the reception of your hotel for local suggestions. Interacting with local people and asking for their recommendations will give you some of the most fulfilling dining experiences while traveling!

Cook some of your meals

Staying in an apartment and cooking your meals will significantly reduce the cost of a trip to Paris. This will also allow you to visit some lovely markets in Paris to do the groceries, which means a much more immersive, authentic experience. Here are our best tips for renting an apartment in Paris.

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Best Cheap Eats in Paris

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  • Robert
    12/02/2017 at 11:29 pm

    I can’t believe we are yet to travel to Paris! Will definitely have to visit one day very soon. Love experiencing the local cuisine when traveling. Will definitely bookmark this article for future reference! Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos and travel inspiration! Glad I found your article on StumbleUpon! Rob 🙂

    • WorldInParis
      12/06/2017 at 1:49 pm

      If you enjoy local cuisine when traveling you will have a blast in Paris. There are lots of yummy things to eat and some of them are very cheap 🙂

  • Paige W
    11/15/2017 at 5:03 am

    Oh my gosh, you’ve got me drooling here in Cambodia for that amazing Parisian food! I agree that having a cafe and croissant is the perfect Paris way to start the day. Plus, croque monsieurs are amazing as well. I cannot wait to have some food in Paris asap!

    • WorldInParis
      11/17/2017 at 8:48 am

      Asian food is also very good! Different than Paris food but good 🙂

  • Megan Jerrard
    11/15/2017 at 3:13 am

    My mouth is watering from the feature photo. I do love a good croissant for breakfast, but you can’t beat eating one in France! Had no idea that croque-monsieur was a French food – I had one this morning with my good ol toasted sandwich maker in Australia! Traditional fondue is something I would travel all the way to Paris for … and crepes. Crepes too!

    • WorldInParis
      11/17/2017 at 8:49 am

      I agree that it is hard to beat French croissants. They try it, they try it hard in some countries but it is just not possible, lol

  • Jennifer
    11/14/2017 at 6:45 pm

    I absolutely love French onion soup. Unfortunately for me, it’s nearly impossible to find in Bordeaux (where I live)! I also love moules frittes and in the curry sauce is usually my favorite. And a ham and butter sandwich sounds odd to a lot of people, but good French butter can be like eating a creamy cheese. I love to grab a ham and butter baguette to take to the park for lunch, while reading for a bit.

    • WorldInParis
      11/14/2017 at 11:37 pm

      I don’t like butter so I pick the ham and cheese sandwich instead. No onion soup in Bordeaux? How come?! :-O

  • Silke
    11/13/2017 at 9:08 am

    There is one thing that I absolutely love about the French: They can cook! I dined in so many restaurants all around the country, touristy ones and not so touristy ones, and I was never, ever disappointed. What I find most intriguing is that the French have this skill to turn even simple dishes and cheap ingredients into something tasty and enjoyable. Take onion soup. Not many ingredients needed. Yet, it’s always a classic that never disappoints.

    • WorldInParis
      11/14/2017 at 11:38 pm

      Same with French omelette! Apart from this, I totally agree with the link France and good cooking, good for us!

  • anto
    11/12/2017 at 8:18 pm

    I love croque monsieurs, we actually call them tosti here. Plus we sometimes add pineapple too, and the typical sauce to eat it with is barbecue. I would not say no to a nice fondue either, by the way 🙂

    • WorldInParis
      11/14/2017 at 11:39 pm

      Hey, a croque monsieur with pineapple is not a croque monsieur any more 😛

  • Cody Biggers
    11/12/2017 at 10:23 am

    Loved the Croque Madam at Coquelicot in Montmartre. It was hard to choose anything else for breakfast. It was much heartier than the Croque Monsieur in the picture above!

    • WorldInParis
      11/17/2017 at 8:50 am

      Yes, croque madame’s egg on the top adds an extra boost on the breakfasts, lol 😉

  • Marcus and Mel
    11/11/2017 at 7:27 pm

    Some great suggestions, love french onion soup and the classic JAMBON-FROMAGE, what would the French do without ham and cheese. The quality and freshness of the local food you can get in Paris are very good.

    • WorldInParis
      11/17/2017 at 8:51 am

      Totally agree 🙂

  • Louise
    11/11/2017 at 4:04 pm

    I really enjoyed this post – so often I read about top-notch very pricey restaurants in Paris and lots of dishes with complicated names – it was really refreshing to read about the more basic but classic french dishes explained in a simple way. Great article!

    • WorldInParis
      11/18/2017 at 10:12 pm

      Thank you! Next time you go to Paris you know what to taste 😉

  • Janine Thomas
    11/11/2017 at 3:05 pm

    The food in Paris is amazing. My favourite is without a doubt moules-frites. I have to have at least one portion when I am in Paris 🙂

    • WorldInParis
      11/18/2017 at 10:12 pm

      I say the same thing every time I go to Paris 5 🙂

  • Hannah
    11/11/2017 at 3:01 pm

    I love eating and drinking in Paris – the variety is fantastic, and there are so many cheap options (compared to the UK). I loved this list, especially your tip on Moules Frites at La Petite Hostellerie! I’ve always had wonderful vietnamese food in Paris – at the little dumpling shops in the 5th – when I was backpacking in Paris in 1999, I lived on half a baguette from the hostel, and 6 dumplings and some carottes râpées 🙂 Can’t wait to be back in Paris for more of these yummy cheap eats!

    • WorldInParis
      11/18/2017 at 10:14 pm

      Yes, some great Vietnamese eats in Paris 5! My favorite one is Ho Chi Min, close to Place Monge. If interested, drop me a mail and I give you all the details 🙂

  • Fiona Maclean
    11/11/2017 at 12:27 pm

    I love croque-monsieur – so much better than a straight cheese toastie. And Moules Frites – I also like a steak frites, which is a little over the ‘cheap budget’ but so much nicer in Paris than in London

    • WorldInParis
      11/11/2017 at 2:58 pm

      It’s long time that I don’t eat a croque monsieur, I would like to have one right now! 🙂