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Cheap eating places in Paris

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Nov 5th, 2012, 07:54 AM
  #1
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Cheap eating places in Paris

Hi guys,

I've recently joined Fodor's after searching for Paris and found really helpful comments on what to do there. I'm from South Africa and it will be my first time visiting Paris. I will be in Paris for seven days in December during the Christmas period; and I will be staying with a guy that I met on Airbnb (praying he doesn't cancel on me).

And because of the exchange rate I see that the money that I've saved is not going to be enough for dinner out everynight . But I would like to try out a few restaurants (3 x dinner) on a budget please. Can you recommend something reasonable? I'm going alone so I don't have to worry about someone's stomach. I don't drink wine so that shouldn't be included.

Thanks for your help.
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Nov 5th, 2012, 08:02 AM
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I find lots of cheap meals in Paris. First I tend to go for my big meal at lunch, one can often get a 2. or 3 course set menu for under 20 euros.
Also many cafes serve simple meals of large meal salads or grilled sandwiches, for under 15 euros.

I eat most other meals out and about, street crepes( under 5-6 euros , stuffed with ham and cheese are a favorite) , from bakeries you can get good sandwiches or quiches.

Avoid eating anywhere that there is a view of a tourist site you will pay for the view. Same with cafes near tourist sites.
Some chain places sell decent meals, I like Leon de Bruxelles for mussels. Huge pot of mussels and all the bread you can eat.

By law all eating establishments must display their menues outside so you can check out prices and offereing before you go in and sit down.
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Nov 5th, 2012, 08:12 AM
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What IS your budget==what is cheap? You can eat very well and on a budget.
Know that at breakfast, for example, if you sit at a table rather than standing at the bar, it will cost more.
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Nov 5th, 2012, 08:19 AM
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You should really say what area you're staying in since there are many inexpensive eateries and there is no need to go across town just for one restaurant. Also please state how much you want to spend for dinner since "cheap" is a relative term. What type of foods do you eat such as Asian, Italian, fish, etc. so people can get an idea of what you want.

The best thing is to wander around your area and look at menus and decide what you want to eat and how much you want to pay.
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Nov 5th, 2012, 08:20 AM
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As noted in some other threads, I have a list called "A Selection of 80 Inexpensive and Good Parisian Restaurants (French Cuisine Only)" published by Paris Eiffel Tower News around 2006 (so may not be completely up to date). We have liked the handful on the list we have tried so far. I don't see it anymore on their Web site, so if you want the pdf file (22 pages, by arrondissement) email me at [email protected]
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Nov 5th, 2012, 08:55 AM
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You can eat cheaply on the street, but I don't really consider that dining, not in Paris. You'll find that lunch will be the least expensive meal, dinner is usually 50% more expensive, and that's without adding the cost of a glass of wine.

As noted, most restaurants and Brasseries today offer a fixed price for lunch, a Formule (Plat + Desert), or a Plat du Jour (main dish) at a reasonable cost. Some offer two dishes, others three. Stay away from Brasseries located on the corner of a main street, or one that caters to tourist. Coffee will set you back anywhere from €2,50 to €4,50, often more expensive than a glass of wine. And if you want water, ask for a carafe, tap water, at no cost. Every restaurante offers it, some without asking, some in their own designer carafes.

You can actually dine very well if you search around. The famous Fontaine de Mars, one of our favorites, offers a lunch menu Monday to Friday, but can be expensive at night. We had an excellent late lunch a few days ago at Pasco, 74 Boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg at rue Chevert. And Fish (la Boissonnerie), 69 rue de Seine, is always a good bet for a decently priced lunch. They have also opened a new place across the street, Semilla (€23 lunch menu), and you can always stand in line for one of the sandwiches at the popular Cosi next door, which also belongs to the owners of Fish, Juan Sanchez and Drew Harre.

If you have an iPhone, you may want to download "A Food Lover's Guide to Paris" by Patricia Wells. It's an excellent source of where to dine in the city of light.
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Nov 5th, 2012, 09:04 AM
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Paris has thousands and thousands of places to eat, at all price ranges. Since we don't know where you're staying or what you actually want to spend, or what you consider a meal, it's useless to point out specifics. Without details, this is a question with no useful answer. Just go, wander around, and find places with appealing food at a price you can afford. It's impossible to starve in Paris, even if you're on a strict budget. In addition to restaurants, cafés, bistros, brasseries, etc., around every corner there are alimentaires, Monoprix, Franprix, other chains, crèpe stands, and ethnic places offering cheap food. It won't be an issue.
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Nov 5th, 2012, 10:29 AM
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Flunch is great for cheap eats. They are all over France.

Here is a link to find your closest one. Some of the branches seemed to have been smartened up recently and the menus improved.

http://www.flunch.fr/restaurants/carte-restaurant.aspx

Chartier is a famous restaurant, quite inexpensive and very typically French.

http://www.restaurant-chartier.com/w...filsdesans.php

But as others have said, you'll find loads of other places, alot of restaurants don't have websites.
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Nov 5th, 2012, 11:29 AM
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Might have some ideas if you say where you will be staying and your budget, as others suggest. I really wouldn't worry about it, you'll see cheaper places just walking around most likely, but I guess that does depend on your expectations which is why we ask.
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Nov 5th, 2012, 03:06 PM
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At lunch, follow office workers.

At Leon de Bruxelles (chain), you get a huge pot of mussels, as noted above, and all the french fries (chips, pommes frites) you can eat.

Bakeries have prepared sandwiches at lunch time at very reasonable prices. Buy one and stash it for dinner, then eat lunch as others suggest at a cafe or small restaurant.

Will you have a student ID of any sort? There are good discounts for students at and near universities.
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Nov 5th, 2012, 04:48 PM
  #11
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I hope you are not allergic to shellfish. What other fodorites say about Leon de Bruxelles is absolutely true. A huge pot of mussels and french fries.

You may want to read what Matt Cross, from the New York Times travel guide, wrote about his experience with "Frugal Paris". His tips seem to have inspired quite a few people travelling on a budget. (As an update, the "churrasqueria" he mentions in his article is currently under new owners.)

http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/06/28...pagewanted=all
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Nov 6th, 2012, 04:34 AM
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You can't go wrong with crepes. L'Avant Comptoir sells them out of their window and they are huge! Great for lunch. Breakfast is always a pain au chocolat from a local bakery, which is inexpensive.

Be aware that in restaurants, you may want to specify tap water (l'eau du robinet). Many sell pricey bottled water and if you don't want to get that, you will want to ask for tap water. The tap water in Paris is good.

Cafes must post prices so check it out before you go in. The plat du jour is usually very reasonably priced and a great value. Check out what is nearby your hotel/apartment. Just avoid the spots right around tourist spots.

Also, if you are at a cafe, you will likely want to go to the counter to order and enjoy your coffee or drink. Usually prices at the counter are less expensive than table service.
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Nov 6th, 2012, 05:06 AM
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Rue du Fer, off Mouffetard has good cheap lunches. I find the prices equal to the Latin Quarter but the food is much better.
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Nov 6th, 2012, 05:10 AM
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Sorry I just retread your post and notice that you are requesting dinner recommendations and not lunch. Why don't you tell us where you are staying. Is there a link to this Airbnb?
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Nov 7th, 2012, 07:57 AM
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Hi so sorry for not responding and thank you all for responding. I will be staying at Avenue de la République, Aubervilliers, Île-de-France. The guy said its close to the Metro. I know I'm naive but I had to go where in Metro or not. Just had to do this trip (not point in dreaming about it).

Right now the exchange rate is 20 euros to the Rand is around R300. So I don't want to be spending more than that per night. I also don't want to resort to MacDonald.

I'm not allergic to anything and I eat everything as long as it tastes good! Oh accept for hot stuff. So maybe not Indian food.

Again thank you guys, I feel warm inside because there are so many people who want to help me. Even here at my work place everyone is willing to help. It's going to be a great trip!
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Nov 7th, 2012, 12:26 PM
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Hang on...I hope you realize that Aubervilliers isn't even IN Paris. It's a suburb, near Saint-Denis. Paris itself has a gazillion métro stops - why did you need to outside Paris to be near a métro? Any place that's actually IN Paris is usually no more than a few blocks from a métro. It's true that there are two métro stops in Aubervilliers, but why would you want to "commute" to and from Paris when you could actually be there?

And it probably changes the food/eating equation as well, though maybe in your favor as far as prices go. I doubt anyone here knows much about where to eat in Aubervilliers.
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Nov 7th, 2012, 12:26 PM
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Rue du Fer off Mouffetard does have a bunch of cheap restaurants, a little better ambience than rue de la Huchette, etc, but that IS the Latin Qtr. I've noticed in various posts that people refer to the Latin Qtr as something that I think they mean just a couple of streets near the Seine off place St Michel, for example. Which is why it's a problem when people denigrate hotels or restuarants in "the Latin Quarter" because you never know what they are really referring to. The entire 5th arrondisement is usually called the Latin Qtr and there is actually a branch of the Sorbonne down near rue Moufftard, for exmple. I call the 6th St Germain, but I think parts of it right near bd St Michel can be called the Latin Qtr, also.

It's too bad you aren't staying in Paris, so that's a problem, lots of travel. Are you aware that isn't in Paris? It's a northern suburb, I don't think it's that nice but what do I know, it is cheap. It's near the end of metro line 7, past Paris city limits.

Okay, given that location, if yo uwant to eat in Paris, I'd suggest you limit yourself to restaurants out that direction for convenience. Line 7 is direct to the Opera, then Louvre and all the way over to the Mouffetard area, actually, coincidentally. But you can transfer and maybe eat in places in the 11th arrondisement or Bastille area with one transfer. The logistics are really a challenge to me to know what to recommend that would be worth it. So you don't want to spend more than 20 euro for dinner?

There probably are some cheaper places in the 11th but I don't know the best to recommend. That budget is a challenge for me. I mean I know you can eat for that, but I don't know of any place convenient to that area where you'd go out of your way to recommend it at that price point.
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Nov 7th, 2012, 01:56 PM
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Cheap = main meal at lunch
Less cheap = main meal at dinner

No getting around it
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Nov 8th, 2012, 01:11 AM
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Hi guys, still appreciate the help. Remember that I'm there to sleep and nothing more. Where I'm staying it's about 30 to 40 minute ride to the center of the city via a Metro. So that can't be a problem.

And yes maybe this has turned out well for me re the food.
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Nov 8th, 2012, 05:10 AM
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If you're staying in Aubervillers I imagine you'll find food/restaurant prices much cheaper there than in Paris. If you're close to the métro stop on Avenue de la République then you're not at all far from the 19th arrondissement and you'll find cheaper food prices there than in the center of Paris.
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