any affordable paris restaurants?

Jun 7th, 2004, 10:39 PM
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any affordable paris restaurants?

It was very interesting reading all the recommendations of places to eat in Paris. However, nobody said anything about price. We are traveling with our two older daughters so we can't afford terribly expensive meals out for four people. However, we want to experience a few special meals. Is it possible to do so for $25 per person? Somehow I have trouble spending much more than $100 for ONE meal for our family! Does anyone have any recommendations or am I expecting too much?
alfiesquestion is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 02:41 AM
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With drinks I'd imagine you'd find it difficult to have a three course meal on that budget. You could always go to fast food type chains which would come well under budget. However, 100-150USD for four adults isn't really that expensive for some well cooked food in a capital city. Maybe skip lunch - after all I never bother with lunch on holiday - and just do dinner?
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 03:07 AM
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I think it's very possible to have some decent meals for 25 Euros per person, which is a little more than $30 U.S., but I also like to warn people about the penny-wise and pound foolishness of trying to wring the last few hundred dollars out of their trip budgets. By all means, enjoy the house wines and stay out of the obviously spendy establishments unless you're looking for a splurge. Take advantage of a nice day for a picnic in the park or crepes on the fly at some point when it fits into your activities -- either of which will cost you far less than $25 per person. Consider going to two meals per day instead of three, as m_kingdom2 suggests, which is very sensible. But I would argue against setting an arbitrary limit on any given meal. That is actually a moving target dependent on exchange rates because $25 U.S. was a lot more a few years ago compared to right now. Work with the overall average; not by individual meals.
Flyboy is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 05:50 AM
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Great advice, that, work with the average. A picnic in a park or even in the hotel room can be fun, even when just based on good bread, cheese, and some cured meats (and wine of course.)
On another dinner, spend a bit more if the cafe appeals to you.

One good source of info on value-priced meals in Paris is "Cheap Eats in Paris" by Gustafson.
elaine is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 06:35 AM
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You might try Cafe du Marche on rue Cler in the 7th. Dinner with a bottle of wine was about $18 and the food was pretty good. Sometimes, "special" is what you make of it. Good luck.
Jun 8th, 2004, 06:47 AM
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I am experiencing the same dilemma as yours as I have an upcoming trip with my children. So I have created a 4-page spreadsheet with a variety of listings of restaurants, bistros, brasseries, cafes, tea rooms, boulangeries in all the arrondissments of Paris - all within your price range (listed). It also lists kids' restaurants such as Hippopotamus & McDonald's which may or may not suit you but I find it handy for kids tastes and (ahem!) an easy reference for bathroom breaks. It also references books where you might find additional info. E-mail me if you'd like a copy. I'd be happy to share.

Beatchick is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 07:52 AM
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No problem! Look for the prix-fixe menus; many restaurants offer them, especially at lunch. Some even offer a glass of wine along with a two or three course meal. Plus the many cafes; it seems that there is one at every street corner in the residential areas, will meet your price limits easily. You failed to say where you are staying, if it is in the 7th try Le Bistrot du 7eme; 16 euros gets you a complete three course lunch or dinner. JP
oakglen is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 08:07 AM
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Hi alfie,

Some places we visited a few weeks ago.

Le Grille St Germaine,
Rue Guisard corner of Rue Mabillon. A typical bistro with good food at low to moderate prices. Prix Fixe dinner about 16E. House white wine was a modest Chablis, 12E.

Leon Bruxelles
Bld St Germaine was a pleasant experience ? 14E for the menu (Moules et frites), with a Belgian waffle for dessert.

opposite no 14 Rue de Deux Ponts ? . Quiche and salad ? 9E. Very good split pea soup ? 5E.

Find of the week: Gelato at Amorino ? 47 Rue St Louis en Lille. As good as any we had in Italy. They also have a shop at 4 Rue de Buci.

Le Bistro d? Henri, 16 rue Princesse. Small, homey place serving French comfort food. Entrée + Plat about 20E. Desserts 6-7E. House wines were modest ? 9E. Avoid the duck in orange sauce ? much too fatty.

Lunch at the Musee Jacquemart-Andre quiche and dessert ? 14.5E, salads 9E, desserts 6E. Beautiful dining room.

Brasserie Balzar for dinner ? about 20E pp with wine. The service was good and the food was even better,
Note: The Flo Group offers a 20% discount is you make reservations over the internet. See

Lunch at Meteora, a Greek restaurant on the Rue de la Huchette ? 9E tourist menu. Good Retsina for 15E.
Lots of Greek restaurants on this street.

Vesuvio, an Italian restaurant on Bld St Germaine across the street from St Germaine-des-Pres. Very friendly, pleasant place with a wood-burning pizza oven. Dinner was just like in Italy - 80E for 4 with wine. We returned for another dinner, and were given a complimentary glass of kir because we were ?regulars?.

Le Vagenende, 142 Bld St Germain. Belle Epoque décor. Very proper service, good (not exceptional) food. The room is the draw. Prices from 11E.

Hope this helps.
ira is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 09:36 AM
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Of course it is possible to eat very well on that budget of $25 each. We are taking all our children and spouses to Paris in October and that will be our budget.
Ira gave you great ideas. If you search for a thread about rue Cler restaurants I put a post there. Come back if you can't find it and I'll paste it up again.
Another possibility is to eat at a nice place for lunch--we ate at La Coupole for a lovely lunch. cheaper than dinner. Then go to a cafe for dinner--or get some food at a traiteur, or have soup and a salad somewhere.
If you like mussels there is a line of restaurants across from the Gare du Nord that we visit every trip that serve wonderful mussels (and probably other things) for around 10€.
All the menues are posted for restaurants and brasseries--and the good part is that tax and tip are included so you know exactly how much it will be.
And Flyboy has a good point--things average out. A picnic in the park having a panini and then dinner. Breakfast can be the real budget breaker in my opinion. Unless it is included at your hotel it is expensive (usually 6-8€ or more). You can do better finding a nearby cafe or pastry shop.
Rest assured, on your budget you will eat VERY well. We do it every trip.
Okay just to save you looking here is a list. Most are in the 7th.
Les Olivades - 41 Av. Segur 7eme -Metro Ecole Militaire -Provencal food.

La Coupole - 102 Blvd. Montparnasse 14th - we went for lunch and had our best cassoulet (so far!). Beautiful art deco room. Popular with businessmen.

Au Pied de Cochon 6 rue Coquilliere 1er - Near Les Halles and St. Eustache. THE best onion soup!!
Open 24/7.

Le Vieux Bistro - across from the side of Notre Dame. Recommended by a knowledgeable friend.

La Florimond--19 av. de la Motte-Picquet 7eme Metro Ecole Militaire. Maybe our favorite. The owner chef came to our table to explain all the dishes.

Le Clos des Gourmets - 16 av. Rapp 7eme Metro Alma-Marceau In the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Excellent prix fixe at 175FF (~25Euro).

Le Jules Verne - Phone, 01-45-55-61-44?a definite splurge.

For mussels--There are of course lots of places to have them--husband had some at Brasserie Balzar
49 rue des Ecoles near the Sorbonne.
Our favorite place to go for mussels however is across from the Gare du Nord--there are 4 or 5 restaurants there that serve them--Also these are open 24 hours because of the station and are good for an early dinner. There is also a chain of restaurants --Leon de Bruxelles - that specialize in mussels but they have little charm to them (but good mussels)
Le Petit Troquet - 28 rue de l?Exposition 7eme

L?Ecluse - 15 Quai des Grands Augustins Good wine bar

Bofinger - near Pl. de Bastille. Apparently an elegant Art Deco room?lunch would be more affordable
Bistrot du 7eme ? 59 blvd. Latour Mauborg. The bargain?16€ prixe fixe and a nice wine list
Auberge de Champ de Mars?near Le Petit Troquet?VERY cheap?maybe 15€.
La Terrasse?brasserie right at the Ecole Militaire Metro.

Gretchen is online now  
Jun 8th, 2004, 09:38 AM
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I have no idea what the ? marks are--I am not questioning it!!
Gretchen is online now  
Jun 8th, 2004, 10:46 AM
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I think the ?-marks replace symbols like apostrophes or quotes...
Travelnut is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 10:49 AM
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The ? marks come in when you compose in Word and paste directly into the post box. You can get around it by composing in Notepad.
Thanks for the tips everyone.
WillTravel is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 11:25 AM
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I composed on site. Anyway, so it is.
Gretchen is online now  
Jun 8th, 2004, 06:57 PM
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Hey thanks for the advice everybody. Traveling with 4 people isn't cheap. Of course, we knew that but still want to save what we can without sacrificing the experience. So I really appreciate all the suggestions of affordable places to eat. Hope I can return the favor when we get back.
Thanks, Bob
alfiesquestion is offline  
Jun 8th, 2004, 08:27 PM
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I highly recommend Le Grand Cafe by the Opera Gardiner. The food is wonderful and prepared at your table, the place is fantanstic--all stained glass, and it's in your price range. Check out their We took our daughter there when she was 13, and we all loved it.
artlover is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 09:38 AM
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Just a bit of an update to Gretchen's excellent list: Le Clos des Gourmets is now at least 30 euros for dinner, Le P'Tit Troquet is 29 euros and Le Bistrot du 7eme is now 17 euros..these are all based on our trip last month. We had stopped by Le Vieux Bistro as a friend of mine had also recommended it, and there is no prix fixe posted in the window. Plats seemed to be in the high teens to twenties (euros), so a meal here without prix fixe could easily run to 30 euros unless you have only the main course. My friend have raved about the boeuf bourgignon, but we skipped it based on the prices and lack of prix fixe (which we prefer).
Sherrala is offline  
Jun 9th, 2004, 09:47 AM
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Glad for the update on prices. Florimond had gone up a bit when we were last there. But advice to alfie--if you do the cafe breakfast thing, a light lunch, you can still spend the bit more on dinner and come out on an affordable budget. We try to spend about $100/day for 2 on our food and usually do pretty well. Don't forget about eating your large meal at lunch. I see no reason to go to the rue Huchette restaurants where the food is indeed cheap--but it is not a dining experience you can have at a nice restaurant.
Gretchen is online now  
Jun 9th, 2004, 10:30 AM
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25 Euro per person is doable. We stayed in the Sorbonne area. There was a street with a dozen plus restaurants. There were many restaurants with posted "Menu deals" from 16 euros. Even with local wine from a pitchet you should have budget to spare. (I can't remember the name of the street, but it was very near the Seine).
Jun 9th, 2004, 11:16 AM
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That is rue Huchette.
Gretchen is online now  
Jul 13th, 2004, 04:53 PM
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I just updated my 4-page spreadsheet and it is now expanded to 6 pages if anyone would interested in having it!

Beatchick is offline  

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