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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.
Read more about food in Paris
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
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
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.
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.
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
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 (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)
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!
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.
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
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
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.