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Cheap eats/inexpensive restaurants


Margaret Pilgrim
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Well i guess the topic tells most of the story, but not all of it. I am a student who has been lucky enough to escape not only school, but the restaurant that i work as a chef at, for a week at the beginning of January. I am headed over to Holland to visit a girl that i met over the summer and take her on a surprise trip to Paris. The only problem is that I am not going to be able to spend an exorbitant sum on food, which is one of the many reasons i decided to take her there. So i am hoping that ya'll can provide me with some reccomendations for excellent brasseries, bistros, etc. that are less expensive, or have less expensive options. Since we will likely only go out to eat three or four nights I am guessing on being able to spend sixty to eighty euros for dinner and a bottle of wine(i am hoping that this is not too little, i have not done a whole lot of research yet) for most of the nights with one night being a splurge at a two star place. If I need to spend more so be it, i doubt i will get to make a trip like this again. So if anyone has some ideas about places with great food that fit the parameters I would be beyond obliged. Oh, and I am admittedly bad at using the search feature so if these questions have been asked before my apologies. Thanks so much,

Casey Fannin

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Hi Casey,

60-80€ is actually not such a bad buget. I rarely go to places which are much more that 30€ for the menu (3-courses) and these are some of the best restaurants in Paris.

Here is a thread to which should list a lot of places. I'm sure there are others.

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...&hl=inexpensive

This week's Figaroscope lists restaurants they recommend under 30€ and I'm sure John will list them in his Digest early next week. Most of the places they list have been discussed here before: L'Ami Jean, Chez Michel, Bistro Paul Bert, Le Temps au Temps, L'Ourcine, L'Avant Gout, La Regalade, La Cerisaie, Le Trouquet, Ribouldinge, Astier and more....

Have an amazing time and please let us know where you end up going.

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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Inexpensive restos, student places, cheap eats, ethnic spots

A compendium of existing threads

This is one of a series of compendia that seeks to provide information available in prior threads on eGullet. Please feel free to add links to additional threads or posts or to add suggestions.

Under 30

Cheap but classy

Poor student

Tight budget

Sandwiches

Tartines

Ethnic foodsd

Chinese

Least expensive Michelin starred restos

Falafel

For students near the Gare du Nord

Cheap eats

Good value

Cooking schools, cheap eats

Paris on the Cheap

Eating cheap

Vietnamese

Good, cheap

On a shoestring

Inexpensive

Edited by John Talbott (log)

John Talbott

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I am admittedly bad at using the search feature so if these questions have been asked before my apologies. 

This is more of a posting to all on the France Forum who have difficulty searching than a response to you Casey, but here are some wise words (minimally edited) on searching on eGullet that were written by Pam Reiss on Pastry & Baking a few days ago:

It took me quite a while to figure out how to get better search results.  Rather than using the 'site search' box, I'm going to recommend using the other searching method.  At the very top of each screen you should see a row of links: ImageGullet,. The Daily Gullet, RecipeGullet, Help, Search, Members and Calendar.  Clicking on the search link up at the top will take you to a Search Form which allows for more specific searching.  You can search for specific terms within topics or just in the titles.  You can search all of the forums or just choose certain ones.

Using this link, I entered "wedding cakes" into the Search by Keywords box, then under Search Where I selected "Pastry and Baking" and to the right of that I clicked on 'Search titles only' - leaving everything else as is.  The results are here. 

Now, without the quotation marks around "wedding cakes", there were over 5 pages of results.  The quotation marks will help narrow down the search - and selecting 'titles only' will keep it to topics specifically about the items you're searching for.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Hi Casey,

60-80€ is actually not such a bad buget.  I rarely go to places which are much more that 30€ for the menu (3-courses) and these are some of the best restaurants in Paris.

As usual Felice has come up with a wonderfully prompt response and your budget is that which many of us try to stay near.
Here is a thread to which should list a lot of places.  I'm sure there are others.
Indeed, I just put up a compedium of existing threads and there are a lot. We have posted these compendia as a shortcut so one doesn't need to perform extensive searches; there may be others here to help you have a successful visit.
This week's Figaroscope lists restaurants they recommend under 30€
Correct, I will do during or after the weekend.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Now something you might think about is the fact that when you order the 'menu' you might be getting a whole lot of food, maybe more than you want to be eating. Remember that eating several courses is a recipe for being sleepy after dinner - translation: When you take a girl to Paris for the weekend you want to maintain as much energy as possible after dinner, yes? So choose a good place, but when you go, instead of being tempted to take entree, plat principal, followed by fromage or dessert, with wine, water, and coffee, just order one plat from the carte.

For example, I am seriously low on funds at the moment but I really need to get out at lunch to break up my writing day. I really wanted to try this new little bistro that's just been taken over by a chef that spent his formative years in the Bocuse brasseries. So I went there, and instead of taking a menu, I ordered only a plat. In American restaurants, the house special can often cost more than dishes on the menu, meaning it's special, thus more expensive. In France, the plat du jour is going to almost always be cheaper. Eating just one plat really is often enough. I splurged on a glass of house white, ended up taking a house dessert, and the total for my bill was only €12,50.

If you want the wine / cheese experience which invariably is neccesary on suprise trips to Paris, buy your wine at a Monoprix one evening and pick out your cheese at one of the many fromageries. Enjoy it with fresh bread either in a beautiful outdoor setting or in your room. For anyone traveling at autumn time, you might add some of the different grape varieties that are offered just about now, since we are in the midst of the harvest for those. The grape varieties all have their unique special flavors.

At dinner, you'll see that the plats may be a bit more than €8 or €10 like they are at lunch, but still much less than a menu.

Good luck and have fun!

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Now something you might think about is the fact that when you order the 'menu' you might be getting a whole lot of food, maybe more than you want to be eating. 

If

I think it also depends on the type of restaurant. In Paris, I'm normally able to eat three-courses without feeling stuffed and I'm pretty tiny. The menu (meaning a set-price menu) is also often less expensive than ordering à la carte. Some restaurants are realising that people no longer want three-course meals though and have menus which offer either entrée, plat (appetiser and main course) or plat, dessert (main course with dessert) for a fixed price. Many of the places I listed above only have a menu for a set price.

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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Now something you might think about is the fact that when you order the 'menu' you might be getting a whole lot of food, maybe more than you want to be eating.  Remember that eating several courses is a recipe for being sleepy after dinner -

I've said it before and I'll repeat it; the answer to the quantity and price dilemmas is to eat at lunch and snack at night. My friend the food critic and I had a very fine lunch today with 3 courses, wine and coffee for 81.20; I am not stuffed at all; we walked afterwards a bit; and I'm ready for a very light bit of cheese tonight.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Now something you might think about is the fact that when you order the 'menu' you might be getting a whole lot of food, maybe more than you want to be eating.  Remember that eating several courses is a recipe for being sleepy after dinner -

I've said it before and I'll repeat it; the answer to the quantity and price dilemmas is to eat at lunch and snack at night. My friend the food critic and I had a very fine lunch today with 3 courses, wine and coffee for 81.20; I am not stuffed at all; we walked afterwards a bit; and I'm ready for a very light bit of cheese tonight.

I wholly agree with John, lunch is the thing to do. Most of the time.

For reasons of romance maybe take what you've saved and have a special dinner one evening.

The question now becomes this: What is 'the' most romantic restaurant in Paris? Since I don't live there anymore I'm not qualified to answer.

My canidate would be "Toit de Passey", but I don't think it exists anymore. It had great food, ambience and drop dead georgeous views across the rooftops to the Eiffel Tower. I asked my wife to marry me there 18 years ago.

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The question now becomes this: What is 'the' most romantic restaurant in Paris? Since I don't live there anymore I'm not qualified to answer.

My canidate would be "Toit de Passey", but I don't think it exists anymore. It had great food, ambience and drop dead georgeous views across the rooftops to the Eiffel Tower. I asked my wife to marry me there 18 years ago.

Let's discuss this on a new thread and keep this for cheap eats for a poor student. I've asked Dave to start it because I think it's a great idea, and next to ice, should generate a lot of nostalgic and not so nostalgic responses. I'm ready. Go Dave!

John Talbott

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As an occasional visitor to Paris, I have a different viewpoint. We almost always have a light lunch either at a cafe or a picnic/eat at the apt., and big dinner because dinner is the primary entertainment for the night. If you have house wine and stick to the good relatively inexpensive places, you can stay within your budget even at dinner.

In addition to the places already mentioned (and I would second Le Troquet), I would put in a word for Le Clos Des Gourmets, 16 Ave Rapp, in the 7th. The last time I was there, the 3 course lunch was 29E and the 3 course dinner was 33E. It seems like it should cost more for the quality and the surroundings.

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In the same vein as Carlsbad's comments, when I'm back in Paris after trekking in the outer regions and find myself down to my last euros but still want to eat good cuisine (after all I'm in Paris), then I start frequenting the excellent delis in town and bringing warm food back to my hotel. I have a favorite, but the name escapes me, in Rue du Bac, just a few doors from the corner of Blvd St. Germain. But there are plenty of these types of places in the city.

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I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for all the excellent reccomendations. I think that a couple of days we are going to go for the big lunch/light dinner combination, hopefully save some money and maybe use the savings for a night or two at a starred place. I will say though, the idea of wine and cheese for dinner does appeal, especially since i dont get to see this girl alll that often. Nor do I ever really get good cheese, but thats another matter altogether.....Once again, thanks for all ya'lls imput, if anyone has more suggestions I am taking copious notes and would love to hear them.

Casey

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  • 2 months later...

Dear Egulleters,

I have a friend who is hosting a group of friends in Paris tomorrow. They are on a tight budget and are looking for restos/bistros/brasseries where they can enjoy a nice dinner for undner 30 euros per person including wine. Any thoughts?

They are staying in the 7th near Ecole Militaire. It's a tough order I know especially with the short notice... any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

ChickenLuv

Yo soy como el chile verde... piquante pero sabroso
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Dear Egulleters,

I have a friend who is hosting a group of friends in Paris tomorrow. They are on a tight budget and are looking for restos/bistros/brasseries where they can enjoy a nice dinner for undner 30 euros per person including wine. Any thoughts?

They are staying in the 7th near Ecole Militaire. It's a tough order I know especially with the short notice... any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

ChickenLuv

Interesting you should ask. Le Point today published a huge list of places for under 30 E.

From among them, I'd have them try, eg call and see if they have room, Ripaille, Troquet, Bistral, Papilles, Astier, Cerisaie, Cafe Constant, Cave est Restaurant + Les Symples de l'Os a Moelle but forget wine for that price. And tell them to eat at lunch when those prices could be reachable and include wine.

All coordinates of these can be found in the Digest or other threads.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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  • 1 month later...
I am taking three 18 year olds (from semi-rural Georgia, no less) to France for ten days. We're spending three full days in Paris before heading to Provence for a week.

The challenge: They are all on very very tight budgets. I'm thinking about 10 Euro a dinner, 15 tops. I'm thinking we could splurge one night... to 20.

Well, I just picked up a book that's right up the valley of this search; 365 restaurants whose menus run 7-12 euros. It's Le Guide des Restaurants a moins de 12 euros, Author Guy le Vavasseur, Publisher de l'If, 12 euros at FNAC. While I'm familiar with very few of them, I have eaten at one nearby and it wasn't disgraceful.

John Talbott

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  • 9 months later...

I'll be heading to Paris for the first time this Christmas but since I'm kinda on a student budget, was wonderin' if anyone could give me some good recommendations about where to eat. Especially at night.

So far I already plan to visit all the boulangeries and patisseries I've read so much about up until now. And I suppose bistros and brasseries would be my best bets for good and affordable meals. But I was also thinking of splurging on one meal while in Paris.

I've read great reviews on Spring, but unfortunately i think they're full-booked till January (according to their blog anyway). 40 euros for 4 courses at such quality would've been great!

Is there anything similar?

Thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

A student - Jean-Baptiste Bourgeon - in Web Radio du Gout has written of branche, exotic, inexpensive restos suitable for students that include:

Le New Nioulaville in the 11th, La Galerie, Le Bazar Egyptien and other places along the Rue de Lappe, in the 11th, and Tang Freres in the 13th.

John Talbott

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  • 1 month later...

I'm sometimes accused of "ruining" places by spilling the beans/revealing secrets/etc., but have I gotta deal for you and do they deserve all the credit they've gotten so far. How about a one-star (should be - once they get more flowers and Anglo-Asiatic customers and chase the locals out) meal for 17 €? Today it was a terrine of fish, bar with haricots and if I'm not mistaken, a huge portion of mashed potatoes and a tarte du jour (today it looked like apples or pears).

However, for non-back-packers - look at this - today Colette and I had the 29 € menu, which served up one of the most inventive meals of my last three here at Le Clocher Periere, for coordinates and prior meals please see here and here. Rare raw and cooked urchins, incredible veggie risotto, lievre with its liver, divine scallops, Ossau-Iraty cheese and an over the top moelleux of chocolate, plus coffee = 77 €.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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How about soup a volonté for 12 € and a 3-course menu (day or night) for 20 €, with a glass of wine for 6 €? (Pssst: the chef trained with Roland Durans at Passiflore and this place is "unknown" and about to go to the bigtime - trust me, the big boys will descend soon and then we're talking Benoit prices.) But for now, send your backpacking nephews and nieces immediately to L’Entêtée, 4, rue Danville in the 14th, 01.40.47.56.81, closed Sundays and Mondays. Great grub! Sorry Margaret, Gary, et al., that I destroyed this "secret place." And for old folks the 30 € menu-carte ain't bad. 2nd most inventive cooking of the Fall/Winter.

My full review/report will be posted Jan 7 or thereabout.

John Talbott

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  • 1 month later...

in march we are headed to paris for a four day vacation on the way to our son and daughter-in law's house in nice. we have rented an aartment in the marais area and hope to move about paris to take in the museums, parc, etc. i hope the weather will be better than three years ago when we were there in december. but now i would love to hear from you where to eat without breaking the bank. we may concentrate on lunch and eat supper chez nous. i am mostly looking for 30 euro prix fixe of good quality. any suggestions? also will love to do one place for around 100 euro for two. i hope this price is not too constraining. we do love ethnic food and know that sometimes the least expensive restos are ethnic. so, we are open to all suggestions.

btw, to john talbot -the link for cheap eats does not work. a few of the other links on the compendium are also not functioning

a bientot

alienor

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in march we are headed to paris for a four day vacation on  the way to our son and daughter-in law's house in nice.  we have rented an aartment in the marais area and hope to move about paris to take in the museums, parc, etc.  i hope the weather will be better than three years ago when  we were there in december.  but now i would love to hear from you where to eat without breaking the bank.  we may concentrate on lunch and eat supper chez nous.  i am mostly looking for 30 euro prix fixe of good quality.  any suggestions?  also will love to do one place for around 100 euro for two.  i hope this price is not too constraining.  we do love ethnic food and know that sometimes the least expensive restos are ethnic.  so, we are open to all suggestions.

btw, to john talbot -the link for cheap eats does not work. a few of the other links on the compendium are also not functioning

a bientot

alienor

Thanks for informing me; in the merging/purging effort we undertook, links were busted; in the meantime, if you search for Cheap, Student, Inexpensive and Marais and Euro (as in 30 Euro) you'll get some back topics. I'll get on this ASAP.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Cafe des Musees and Brezh in the Marais are both in the price range. The first has a prix fixe around 20-25 euros. The second makes the best galettes (buckwheat crepes) I have tasted.

Tried the first in July and thought it good value. Tried the second last night.

Both get packed so reservations are a must.

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Cafe des Musees and Brezh in the Marais are both in the price range.  The first has a prix fixe around 20-25 euros.  The second makes the best galettes (buckwheat crepes) I have tasted. 

Tried the first in July and thought it good value.  Tried the second last night. 

Both get packed so reservations are a must.

You need a reservation for Breizh, to eat crepes?

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