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Cost of Food in Paris

Old Oct 30th, 2003, 09:21 AM
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Cost of Food in Paris

While preparing for a trip to Paris, does anyone know how much should meal expenses run per day in US dollars? Breakfast is covered. We are not big eaters and do not have fancy tastes. We will most likely stay in the center of town somewhere.

Thank you.
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Old Oct 30th, 2003, 09:26 AM
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cheaper than ny or washington, dc.
better wine for the money, too.
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Old Oct 30th, 2003, 09:31 AM
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Golf
I agree with Mark!!
Plus...Paris also has some terrific Street Food!
Just returned from London...much more expensive!!
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Old Oct 30th, 2003, 09:38 AM
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in paris proper there are some very good gourmet food shops to buy quiches, cheeses, meats,wine, breads, pastries...we used them two or three times when we were either dead tired or in a hurry and wanted to eat on the run and once for a picnic...the food was excellent and of very high quality. also in our neighborhood (the 16th arr)we had all the neighborhood shops (butcher, baker, candlestick maker, etc) we ate great!once i bought a rotisserie chicken for us $10- i am sure twice as much as his locals, but it was wonderful...and yes the street crepes are quite good! happy eating!
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Old Oct 30th, 2003, 10:42 AM
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Hi golferb,

Last April we generally spent about 50E for dinner for 2 which would include 2 courses (main course and either dessert or starter), wine, coffee, and water. There are lots of reasonably-priced restaurants in Paris where you can get decent food. Just avoid the tourist traps. You can eat at creperies for much less than 50E for 2 people. All restaurants post their menus with prices.

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Old Oct 30th, 2003, 10:42 AM
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I'm glad to hear Mark's and Bailey's responses, because I was very worried about this too, especially since I had thought 1 euro=1 dollar and this is not the case! I live in New York and it's very easy to eat well for cheap, so I'm heartened that it's possible in Paris too!
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Old Oct 30th, 2003, 10:52 AM
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Paris and France are the bargain destinations of the world in my opinion. We do like to eat well but not in "starred" restaurants necessarily. OUr food budget for 2 is about $100/day including breakfast. You can eat at very nice neighborhood bistros and restaurants for this without really needing to do the food shops--unless you want a picnic in the park. The food offered in these is quite beautiful however.
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Old Oct 30th, 2003, 11:10 AM
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See S. Gustafson's "Cheap Eats in Paris"
 
Old Oct 30th, 2003, 11:16 AM
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For starters want to save about 5 or even 10 euro per meal? Do what many Parisians do, drink the tap water instead of bottled.
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Old Oct 30th, 2003, 02:11 PM
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I agree with the estimates of about 25-30 euro for a dinner and about what you might spend in the US in big cities, as long as you aren't picky or want something fancy, as you said. I don't eat from street vendors or crepes, either, I eat sitting down in cafes/restaurants. I don't usually order bottled water, either, but even when I do it has never cost 10 euro, but only a couple euro. You can certainly save on things by that, though.
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Old Oct 30th, 2003, 02:51 PM
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Good thing you have breakfast covered. We were there this Fall and had a hard time paying $15 (after the exchange) for what was basically 2 rolls and 2 coffees, no refills. However, the atmosphere, weather and general fact that it was breakfast in Paris did help when paying the bill. If you watch what you order, $100.00 should definitely get you both through the day.
 
Old Oct 30th, 2003, 02:55 PM
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I agree with those who say that dining in Paris is comparable to many U.S. cities and therefore not horribly expensive. It's actually a better value because on average, the standards for flavor and presentation are just plain higher in Paris than most other places you can go. Check out the posted menus and you'll have at least a comparative idea of what you'll encounter at a given establishment. Walking a few blocks or taking a metro ride away from the well-beaten tourist attractions will frequently produce interesting dining experiences and significantly lower costs, too.
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Old Oct 30th, 2003, 03:39 PM
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Agree with many on availablilty of reasonably priced meals - keep an eye out for posted menus and you will do fine! Take time to experience as many different tastes as you can find! I always look for things that I won't be able to find at home (unless it involves non-skeletal meat /organs).

I would recommend checking out Rick Steves books - they focus on places where the locals eat and with a variety of price ranges. Some of our best local meals were found in the pages of Ricks books. (Had some airline executives in Nice, France ask us how we found this little out of the way place that they knew about - fantastic meal for 2 with wine for 25 euro!)

For a bite on the run, you cannot go wrong with so many WONDERFUL bakeries (boulangeries) available! And with so many cheeses to choose from (look for a fromagerie) all you need is a bottle of wine and a place to share it! Long tasty baguettes go for the equivilant of 75 cents American.

And hey, if things get really tight, or you want to blow a bit more on dinner, you can always bag up a baguette / croissant, frommage, jambon and fruit at breakfast and cover lunch with that breakfast that's already paid for!
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Old Oct 30th, 2003, 04:37 PM
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You'll have lots of options, from brown bagging with things you pick up in local shops and stores to moderately priced bistros to high end restaurants. To economize, look for the daily specials. Most places will offer "Menu a 15 euro" (...20 euro, 30 euro, etc.) which is a prix fixe multicourse dinner where you may have a choice of appetizer, entree and dessert. You may not exactly get the best Paris has to offer, but it's usually at least decent. And by all means order tap water (specify "un pichet d'eau", pronouced 'pi-shay dough')for a carafe of tap water or you may well get bottled water, sometimes at steep prices.
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Old Oct 30th, 2003, 05:49 PM
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One of the best inexpensive meals we had in Paris was at a "pizzaria". I don't know if this applies to all of them, but we ordered large salads with wine...totally scrumptious for about 10 euros each. (We were in a pizzaria in that small street behind Cafe Marie next to St. Sulpice).

Another inexpensive favorite was moules et frites.
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Old Oct 30th, 2003, 07:36 PM
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I also agree that you can eat better and for less in Paris than many cities in the US (another thing to remember is that the tip is included in the price). There are a lot of restaurents that attact the tourists and I am not all that impressed by them. Over the years I have found a couple of restaurents that are not that well known by the tourists, have great food and priced reasonably.

One of my favorites is La Table d'Aligre and it is located a few blocks behind the new opera at Bastille. Three course meal for about 23 euro. Every time I have been there the menu was different. Excellent food and a creative menu. I do not feel that I could find a meal that would compare where I live in Michigan for twice the price. They also serve a lunch. I would recommend a reservation for the evening meal

La table d'Aligre
11, place d'Aligre
75012 Paris
01 43 07 84 88
Metro: Ledru Rollin
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Old Oct 30th, 2003, 08:07 PM
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We never spend more than $70 on a high rolling day in Paris for the two of us. Eat on the Left Bank. There are many very reasonable cafes and bistros near the universities (Latin Quarter). Find the Sorbonne and follow the students (and professors).

You can also get picnic supplies in the markets although you may not get the weather to cooperate right now.

As mentioned above, restaurants are required to post their menu outside, so check the menu and eat where you find the price and the food to you tastes. Don't be shy about looking and walking away. Parisians do it all the time.

We have occasionally discovered that after a very large lunch we don't need dinner either. If you're there for the food, that isn't a good idea, but if you are there to see things and soak up the ambiance, it's okay to skip a meal.

Have a grand time!
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Old Oct 30th, 2003, 08:59 PM
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I live in NYC and find dining a bargain in Paris. It's easy to get a three course meal with wine for under $40. a person, and that's in a lovely restaurant.

I always bring a Zagat Guide with me to Paris and keep it handy so when I walk past a restaurant that looks interesing, I look it up to make sure it's not gotten really bad reviews.
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Old Oct 31st, 2003, 06:20 AM
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If we even had any restaurants in my area as good as the ones in Paris, they'd cost twice as much. I have never eaten a dinner in Paris for more than 30 euro, many for less, and I have almost never been disappointed.
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Old Oct 31st, 2003, 07:28 AM
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FLUNCH! FLUNCH all-you-can-eat buffets are all over Paris. Here for about 10 euros you can help yourself to unlimited amounts of everything, salads, veggies, except for main courses, where you get a limited amount of meat and wine or drinks are extra. But anyone there's lots of good ordinary French food - kind of like Old Country Buffet and at a reasonable price and you need not deal with an oft surly waiter or have 15% gratuity tagged onto your meal. Now I appreciate folks wanting to spend 50 euros for a great French meal, but if on a budget and just want good food and lots of it, FLUNCH it!
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