Prices at McDonalds in Paris . . .

Mar 2nd, 2001, 10:22 AM
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Prices at McDonalds in Paris . . .

I know, I know. Why travel to Paris only to eat at McDonalds.

We'll be traveling with one 7-year old and one teenager and we're on a very tight budget which I'm still working on.

The kids love McDonalds, and if they won't eat bread and cheese or any of the other wonderful foods in Paris, we've promised them they can eat at McDonalds.

How do prices compare to US and do they have the same things.

Mar 2nd, 2001, 11:06 AM
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Well, this is admitting that I did actually eat at McDonalds's while in Paris on my last visit, so......

They basically had everything that is served at the McD's here in the states, but with different names. They did have a few more offerings in the dessert catagory. One thing was this chocolate rice crispy, brownie type cookie, which was better than any McD's cookie I've ever had here. Also, I thought the prices were about the same.
Mar 2nd, 2001, 11:17 AM
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Look at BigMac price comparison at
According to it, a BigMac costs on average $2.43 in US and FF17.50 ($2.48) in France, so very similar.
Mar 2nd, 2001, 11:28 AM
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You have kids that won't eat bread?!!! A lot of parents bias their kids about foreign food I've noticed; I'm not saying you are doing that but I've seen posts in travel forums (on here, I think) about how parents warn the kids that in France they eat snails, etc, inducing fear in them, and emphasize how different the food is, etc.--one guy claimed to force his kids to eat snails as a testrun before going (I'm not kidding). This reflects ignorance to me of French cuisine, not to mention bad psychology and just kind of dumbness. French food is not that different in large part, if you are telling your kids it's going to be so weird already, maybe you should just stop talking about it and not act like it's any big deal, because it's not. French food is not that bizarre at all, a lot of it is very ordinary (roast chicken, steak, French fries, etc). IN any case, I don't know exact prices but it seems to me McDonalds is about 25-33 pct more expensive in Paris than in US (what isn't), and they do have about the same things, so no problem there. I think a Big Mac is about 20F, for example. Actually, I like McDonald's as you can pop in to get a small Evian to carry-away real easy, cheap coffee if you just want a cup rather than to loll around in a cafe, and I like their ice cream sundaes very much. I haven't really eaten the regular food there in years, but it tastes about like in US, they have good standardization all over the world. You can get beer there, too, I like that, and they are nonsmoking, so many people like that, and usu (but not always) decently clean restrooms--some of them will not let people off the street in the restrooms, and I don't blame them, the ones in the main tourist areas give you a code for the restroom when you buy something. Anyway, you can best you will not be alone as McDonalds is actually real popular with French young people and it is usu. packed (too packed). I really don't think you want to eat dinner there, but maybe lunch. I think you are worrying too much about this and may not realize that there are tons of fast-food restaurants in Paris, not just McDonalds, if that's what you want--pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken? (think so), and hamburger chain restaurants like Hard Rock Cafe which would be somewhat better than McD I would think. hmmm. Chicago Meatpackers, Hippopotamus, gyro places, lots of places with fast junk food, even French junk food (like a Croque Monsieur which is just a fatty ham/cheese grilled sandwich). There is another hamburger chain called Quick there which I think is British because the food is even worse than McDonalds IMO. I think there have been numerous posts on here about places to eat with kids in Paris; I believe Zagat's restaurant guide is supposed to have a good section on that. Here is a good URL on Paris fastfood restaurants:
Mar 2nd, 2001, 11:56 AM
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I never thought I'd eat at a McDonald's in Paris but it was the only place open one morning while we were waiting for our bus tour to start (right by the Lourve). We just walked around the block looking for some place to have a quick cup of coffee and there it was.

We got the best deal - Sucre Breakfast - why it was called sugar breakfast I have no idea but it was coffee, two pancakes, toasted english muffin and orange juice for 10f which at that time was about $1.42. Not bad for a quick breakfast. I would have rather had a sugar crepe, choc eclair, bread or some pastry but it was convenient and cheap so we went for it.

As far as their regular menu goes I have no idea because I wasn't looking but it seemed to me they had all the usual stuff. They are pretty standardized the world over and with the great exchange rate right now the prices should be pretty reasonable. There's another one on Champs Elysees that was packed when we walked by. Just looking in the window you could see it was wall to wall people. There are too many other options to hassle that!

Encourage your kids to try new things as I'm sure you will. But I know sometimes they just need a fix of comfort foods. There's plenty of street vendors, french fries and pizza places to keep them going.

Try going to the grocery store as well. They might get a kick out of that. It's fun to look at the different packaging for the same things we have or try something new you've never seen before. The street markets have fabulous fresh fruit too!

Have a great time!
Mar 2nd, 2001, 12:47 PM
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McDonald's is no help to a tight budget; it is more expensive than in the U.S. There are lots of pizza places, sandwich shops and gyro shops. Many Italian and Chinese restaurants, and the dishes are those found in U.S. restaurants. I even saw **shudder** Frito-Lay bean dip in a minimart.
Baguette crust can be a bit overwhelming for a kid, but there are other breads with softer crusts. Not all French cheese is stinky or runny; many are cheddar-like in consistency and flavor. Try Nutella and peanut butter on bread (Reese's peanut butter cup in a sandwich). Learn the 'real' translations of French food, like cassoulet is a really good version of franks and beans, or boeuf bourguignon is beef stew; croque monsieur is a grilled cheese sandwich; croque madame is a grilled cheese and ham sandwich. For chicken, look for the word poulet (hen) vs coq (rooster) which is very good, but gamier/darker than the chicken we're used to.
Mar 2nd, 2001, 12:55 PM
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As a regular Paris visitor I can say tha everything you find on the menu here is on their's, with a few extras. I have to admit we have eaten at McDonald's a few times too (my husband's niece's kids love it and they live there). The VERY best part about it is that there is no smoking allowed which is heaven to those of us who are allergic to smoke. The restrooms are pretty decent too! I would not eat dinner there as someone else said, but for a quick snack or to quench the craving for french fries why not? They are very popular with the French young people too. Off hrs are a better bet in most of the tourist locations (they also have them at the airport - CDG anyway, I know because we grabbed coffee and scones there one morning on they way home). There are plenty of pizza places, etc. too so the kids won't be limited to McDonald's and you never know, they might surprise you and enjoy a "French meal" too. Actually, one of the best meals we ever had in Paris was Chinese food .. go figure!
Mar 2nd, 2001, 01:21 PM
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Eating at McDonald's or Burger King or other chains occasionally in Europe is no cause for shame. The restrooms are clean, the caramel sundaes are good (I don't think US McDonald's have them?), drinking beer in a fast food place is a novelty, and we all want the familiar once in awhile. Plus kids need a break when traveling.
Mar 2nd, 2001, 01:22 PM
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Another thing to consider to feed kids is crepes from street vendors - they come with all kinds of fillings - Nutella, chocolate, banana, jam, cheese etc. and they're less than $2 each.
Finger food, not too expensive, VERY FRENCH, and lots of very accessible flavors for more "conservative" tastes. (I don't want to offend anybody)
Have your kids learn words like fromage, configure, sucre, buerre et sucre, miel etc before you go, so they can order their own.
Mar 2nd, 2001, 01:27 PM
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I think Elvira has her croques backwards, the Monsieur is ham/cheese, the Madame just cheese. In January we stopped at a McDs in Limoux, nothing else was open and if they were they were overbooked (it was carnival weekend) and they have a version of the Monsieur called a McDo. Pretty good with fries and a Strasbourg beer.
Mar 2nd, 2001, 02:44 PM
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I have to agree with Richard but for one point. A few years ago I ordered a croque monsieur at Fauchon's cafeteria. It was a plain grilled ham and cheese. Later I noticed a picture of a croque madame and that was a grilled cheese with a grilled egg on top, looking like one yellow woman's breast. Don't they make them like that anymore?
Mar 2nd, 2001, 02:58 PM
dan woodlief
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I had a croque madame in Brussels about 6 years ago, and it was basically a croque monsieur (ham and cheese) with egg on top.
Mar 2nd, 2001, 03:48 PM
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Yes. The croque madame is a croque monsieur (cheese and ham) with an egg on top.
Mar 2nd, 2001, 06:16 PM
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oh man, how come I never ever have seen a McD's with breakfast? I gotta start looking harder.
Mar 2nd, 2001, 07:53 PM
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I can't believe you people!!!! I would starve before eating at a McDonalds in Paris. Paris is about FOOD. If your going to eat at McDonalds, stay at home.
Mar 2nd, 2001, 10:39 PM
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Hey Joy:

I actually have a photo that I have mislaid somewhere of the menu and prices at the Champs Elysee McDonald's. I recall about $5.00, i.e. 30ff for a big Mac. Our sons, then 8 and 10, wanted to have their picture taken outside the window, right next to the menu in French. This is after posing in front of SO many monuments. Gourmands in the making, they held out for true Parisian fare while in Paris.

On the other hand, the McDonald's somewhere in the outskirts of the Loire, on our way back to Paris after 10 days of Chateaux and long lunches, was a welcome sight to all of us. Great burgers with Dijon (although we will be avoiding beef this summer), and nice cold Heinekens (for T and me). The boys got milk shakes. So, there's a time and a place for everything. The French McFare runs about twice the price that we're used to. And that particular McDonalds was a godsend, both for our wallets and for our itinerary that day.
Mar 3rd, 2001, 04:02 AM
cheap eating
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If your genuine motive is to find a cheap way to eat, the best thing to do is just get a few groceries: fruit, juices, bread, cold cuts, cheeses, yogurt, a tomato, a pepper, olives, nuts, etc. from a street market or from a variety of single-purpose food stores and fix your own light meals. For a step up in price, go to bakeries that have a few take-out lunch items like little onion pizzas, savory tarts. Fairly good French bread is similar to good French or Italian or Italian bread available from ethnic or special food stores at home in US, and commercial French bread is mediocre and similar to the better quality but not great bakery bread at home. The truly great bread is probably better than the best at home. French cheeses are wonderful and incredibly varied. Anyone who eats SOME kind of cheese will find some to like in France. Unless the children have had an extremely limited diet of school cafeteria food, frozen dinners, and fast-food restaurant food at home, and are unaccustomed to good home cooking and fresh foods they should not find the food in France very strange at all. Then again, if all they've ever had is BAD food, maybe they will find that food is more interesting than they ever thought it might be.
Mar 3rd, 2001, 05:58 AM
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Hello All, My husband and I were walking down the Champs and noticed the big McD's....curiosity won out over taste and we had to do the "American in Paris". Needless to say, I had the one of the worse cases of the heartburn ever! "Baguette and cheese" any day for me...he can eat McD's...ugh. Judy
May 12th, 2002, 10:58 PM
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Please stay within the topic. Joy's questions was prices at McD in Paris. I am fed up with some people making remarks like "eat at McD, better off staying at home"
May 13th, 2002, 01:36 AM
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And Joy asked her question 14 months ago.

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