France--cost of food/dining out

Nov 14th, 2007, 05:51 PM
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France--cost of food/dining out

Trying to work within our budget and wondering how expensive France is to dine out or get food at grocery stores. What is the normal cost for just a regular dinner (no drinks) at somewhere inexpensive--are we talking 25 Euros per person --more or less?? Will be eating at B & B's for breakfast, and picnicing for lunch. We live in California where things are pretty expensive but not sure what to expect in France--may have to reduce the number of days we are there if meals are outrageously expensive in order to cut costs--any info will be helpful
bornintheusa is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 06:04 PM
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If you go for the prix fixe, you probably can get a meal for less than 25€. Keep in mind that this includes tips and taxes. My French friends do not feel that it is necessary to add anything to the final bill. Meals outside Paris will tend to be cheaper than in Paris itself.
Michael is online now  
Nov 14th, 2007, 07:19 PM
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You should be just fine with an average of 25 euro per person for dinner, especially with no drinks.
Seamus is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 07:49 PM
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You need to have flash player installed to see the catalogue and prices

Are you in a state of shock now or just hungry
logos999 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 08:03 PM
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It sounds like you are doing about the same thing we did in 06. We ate lunch out and had a picnic in the evening. We usually spent less than 25 Euro per person, more like 20 Euros. We didn't visit very many large cities which help hold the cost down. You can read about our trip and what our budget was here:
dgassa is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 08:15 PM
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We found places for decent meals
in the 12-15 euro range without
drinks on the boul St Germain.


ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 09:41 PM
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If you're really budget strapped, I'd cut meals before I'd cut days. In other words, eat picnic dinners, too, every alternate night. I agree you can eat at a pretty nice restaurant for 25EUR apiece.
Nov 15th, 2007, 03:43 AM
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Hi B,

>We live in California where things are pretty expensive...

You will find that dining out in France (not Paris) cheap.

Paris will be about what you are used to.

Where will you be?

ira is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 05:05 AM
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I find that meals in restaurants in Paris are comparable to cities in the States (maybe less than NY). Remember, when looking at prices, that 15% gratuity is included in the price.

All restaurants have their carte posted outside. And, as many others here have said, avoid the places with menus translated into English, Japanese, etc. I can't even understand them half the time, and have to refer to the French menu to see what I'm really getting.

Don't even think of reducing the number of days. There are lots of options.
toupary6 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 05:26 AM
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As a European i can add that although the tip is already included in the bill, people usually leave the change (a few % will do) on the table when the service was good.
When the service was so so or even worse, just take the change with you.

Another thing thats different from dining in the US.
In Europe they we take our time.
Don't expect the waiter coming over with the check while youre still eating dessert.
Bertorelli is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 06:41 AM
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I agree that 25 euros should cover a prix fix dinner, without wine and without coffee, which is also pricey after dinner. In Paris the Marais is a good area; try to stay off the main Boulevards whose many restaurants tend not to be the best. Try Polidor in the 5th Arr. We had planned to picnic most lunches on our last visit in March, but the weather was too windy, cold, damp to do so-- we therefore had to eat inside and wanted wine to warm up with -- what can you do?! Enjoy!
aliced is online now  
Nov 15th, 2007, 03:42 PM
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Thanks for all of your great comments-- no way do we want to cut days so you have all set our minds at ease over the cost and will just find cheaper places to eat or picnic!!!

ira--we will be a week in Paris in an apartment and then driving all around the rest of Paris for the last two weeks!!!
bornintheusa is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 08:13 PM
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I'm from L.A. area and have been going to Paris for 3-plus decades and personally find meals in Paris more expensive than meals here and I don't eat at any fancy places in Paris. I'll be renting an apartment in the spring which will help me get around the high meal costs. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 08:15 AM
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4/6 Taxi tip 5.00 e
Café des Arts 7.40 e(drinks
L’Insulaire 38.00 e (dinner
Café Bonaparte 13.50 e drinks
La Taverne 10.40 e (drinks

4/7 Café Corona 22.50 e (drinks
Brasseris St Lo 20.00 e (drinks Brasseris St Lo 49.90 e (dinner

4/8 Cafe ??? 9.20 e (coffee
Café Rive Droit 24.50 e drinks Hellenis 46.00 e (dinner
Les Deux Magots 20.00 e (drinks

4/9 8.85 e (stamps
20.00 e (Paris Walks for two
Le Bourbon 38.50 e (dinner
Relais Odeon 19.80 e (drinks Labourdine Paris 22.50 e (drinks Marriage Freres 75.00 e (tea

4/10 Montmartre
13.00 e (drinks
12.00 e (drinks
15.00 e (drinks
4.00 e (sandwich
Le Poulbot 54.00 e (dinner
12.00 e (drinks
S N D SARL 36.80 e

4/11 Museum 18.00 e
Baron Rouge 7.20 e (drinks
Le Diplomate 39.00 e (dinner

Le Bonaparte 23.60 e (drinks
La Faye 29.10 e (lunch
Magots 14.70 e (drinks

14.00 e (bibleotech
7.80 e (drinks
Pre de Clare 25.00 e (drinks
Le Select 43.00 e (dinner

4/14 Shuttle to airport 32.00 e

Peter_krynicki is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 11:05 AM
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Here's a cheap brunch (plus entrance fee to the museum):

Musée des Arts et Métiers: The Sunday brunch, all you can eat, costs 15€ per person including juices, bottled water and coffee, but excluding wine. It is quite nice, with a variety of salads, cold cuts and pastries. I recommend it.
Michael is online now  
Nov 16th, 2007, 11:22 AM
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Of course you can eat in Paris at a reasonable cost. try "Au Bougnat" at 26 Rue Chanoisse(about 2 blocks from Notre Dame). Also "Le Fleur en Ile" next to the bridge on St. Loius en I'lle. Just 2 examples of small bistros that are more fun than the large restaurants. Our favorite,"Marco Polo" at 8 Rue de Conde(near the Odeon)--probably a bit more than 25, but not much.
TPAYT is online now  
Nov 16th, 2007, 11:34 AM
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1. You wrote you'd be a week in Paris then driving "all around the rest of Paris" for 2 weeks. Assume you meant around the rest of France???

2. Outside Paris, good meals at LOW prices are easily found.

Yes, you can find expensive meals anywhere and everywhere in France.

But on our last few trips, esp Sept/ Oct 2006 and 2007, we had some wonderful 25 E meals.

3. Moreover, a couple of these were grand, old-fashioned and ceremonious examples of small-town "cuisine classique" -- a style of food and a style of service for which you would pay a fortune in NA, IF you could find it.

4. If you are willing to picnic in the evening: Have a nice 3-course lunch (formule du jour) in a good restaurant - unlikely to cost more than 15-20 E max.

And of course you can pay much less:

One of our best lunches was in the Dordogne at a rural "relais", where a lunch of home-made soup (they simply placed the huge tureen on the table), crudites and charcuterie, a meat course and dessert (with a half bottle of wine) cost 12 E per person.

Or this lunch for 2 (40 E total) in the southern oyster capital Bouzigues:
24 Bouzigues oysters
8 ecrevisses (crayfish)
12 raw mussels
4 sea snails
4 oysters gratinees
8 mussels gratinees
1 bottle of Picpoul
bread, aioli etc

tedgale is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 12:46 PM
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Ah memory lane. Here is our Oct 6 2007 dinner, a 29 e menu from one of our favourite restaurants, Le Raisin in humble Pont de Vaux east of Macon:

1. Amuse gueule: salmon tartare on toast; a gougere (cheese puff pastry); and something fried and peanut-y

2. Entree: "Comme une brandade" - perch filet over a concassee of tomato, garnished with peeled tomato slices and olive puree; olive oil and some salad, the whole sprinkled with finely chopped chives and dill

3. Main course: "Rouelle" (roulade) of free-range chicken stuffed with duck, on a rich bed of sauce, with leeks, peas, white beans and a "gateau d'herbes" -- a spinach flan, topped with crisped tomato skin

4. Entremet: Pommes parmentier -- a saute pan of tiny potato pancakes, to be eaten salted or sweetened, as you prefer

5.Cheeses: Epoisse, Bleu de Bresse, Crottin affine, Roblochon, plus pain d'epices -- spice bread -- and whole walnuts to crack

6. Pre-dessert: A creme brulee "aux fleurs d'orange" -- ie flavoured with orange water

7. Frozen (glace) nougat praline with a mango sorbet and chocolate sauce, with "agrumes": pineapple, orange and kiwi slices

8. Post-dessert/ friandises, served with or without coffee: Almond tuile, citron tart, red fruit jellies, chocolate/ pistachio fudge and a lemon mini-muffin

tedgale is offline  
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