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Best Cheap Food in Paris
It is well known that Parisians are “des bons gourmands”, people who enjoy nice meals with fresh, quality produce and eating out with friends or family is one of the main pleasures in Paris. 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 large choice of cheap meals. Some of the best cheap eats in Paris are not typically Parisian (or French) but over the years they found a place in the Parisians’ hearts (and stomachs).
Best Cheap Eats in Paris
What are Parisians’ most loved cheap eats? Here, our favorite picks to eat on the go, easy and quick Paris cheap eats which should not cost more than 10 €. This cheap food in Paris is perfect for budget travelers, but also for those with busy sightseeing schedules. If you are a self-proclaimed foodie you have to taste some of them!
1. Café & Croissant
In Paris, there is no better way to start the day than a cafe & croissant with your favorite newspaper. Most of the hotels in the city propose café and croissant for breakfast. You can also look for a typical Parisian cafe for a second café and croissant later in the morning.
2. French Omelet
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 or Parisian bistros.
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 cafes and it is a cheap and popular food in Paris.
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.
In Paris, there are burgers and BURGERS! In this article, we are talking about burgers far from the fast-food chains, made with local, fresh produce and so loved by Parisians.
Hipsters’ favorite names proposing incredible BURGERS include Le Camion qui Fume (66 Rue Oberkampf in Paris 11), Le Ruisseau (65 rue du Ruisseau in Paris 18), or Blend (18 rue Duphot in Paris 1), but 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 at Le Marais.
5. Kebab, Falafel
You can find good falafels everywhere in Paris but many Parisians will agree with me that rue des Rosiers in Le Marais, is the place to go for the best falafels.
Apart from the world-known L’As du Falafel (closed on Saturday), King Falafel, Chez Hanna and MA-VA-ME are also great options located within meters of each other.
On warm and sunny days, I like to buy my falafel and eat it at Jardin des Rosiers, a calm and beautiful secluded garden accessible through a hidden passage on the same street.
6. Jambon-Beurre or Jambon-Fromage
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.
Basically, a jambon-beurre is a half baguette sandwich 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 please don’t underestimate it!
A slightly sophisticated alternative to jambon-beurre (sorry, I don’t like butter) 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.
You can buy your jambon-beurre or jambon-fromage in bakeries or in many Parisian cafes.
7. Soupe à l’Ognion (French Onion Soup)
If you are looking for famous food in Paris, you cannot miss a hot bowl of French onion soup. French onion soup has always been related to poor or modest families as in the past onions were plentiful and easy to grow. Today the onion soup is a cheap and popular choice on the menus of brasseries and bistros.
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 especially good in the winter when it is cold outside.
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.
photo courtesy: Leila Victoria @leilavictoriam
Many restaurants in Paris propose fondue during the winter. With the right tools, you can also try to make fondue at home. A fondue party is a great way to spend a cozy Saturday night with friends or family.
Moules-Fritees (mussels + French fries) is another popular cheap food in Paris, adopted from ou Belgian neighbors. The food consists of cooked mussels (usually a kilogram per person) and French fries (without ketchup, mayonnaise or mustard) served in separate places.
You can eat moules-frittes in many restaurants in Paris. There is a Belgian chain of restaurants called Léon specializing in moules-frittes, with restaurants everywhere in the city. We personally like to go to La Petite Hostellerie, a little restaurant at rue de la Harpe in Paris 5. La Petite Hostellerie proposes a set menu with moules-frittes + a glass of beer (or wine) for 10 euros.
10. Cheap 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, have the look at the menus and just follow your nose to pick one, we are sure it will be a good choice. Little India in Paris is also a great place for buying good and fresh Indian spices for half price than in other neighborhoods of Paris.
11. Yummy Crêpes
We left one of the best cheap food in Paris for the end. Even if they are originally from Brittany, Paris without crêpes wouldn’t be Paris!
Easy to prepare and veggie-friendly, crêpes are one of the few native street foods in Paris and France. You can eat cold or hot crêpes, as a dessert 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 in Paris everywhere. Of course, you can also eat crêpes in crêperies (head here for the best crêpes in Paris) or in many restaurants but prices are higher than street crêpes. For authentic Breton crêpes, go to any crêperie around the Gare Montparnasse.
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