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Paris on a REAL budget

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first time going to Paris. From what I've seen on this board, the prices are over our heads. Can anyone please help with dinners for 2 that would be in the 50-70 euro range? we are not expecting incredible, memorable meals, just good food. Thanks in advance to all of you awesome experts.

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  1. Honestly, the best thing to do is to follow your nose... all this hubbub from people who "collect" starred restaurants irks me to no end. I rarely know the names of the places I eat, I just think it smells good, I ask what I'm smelling, and I eat it... the café on the corner of rue de la Michodière and avenue du 4 Septembre, for example, and Madeleine 7 in the place de la Madeleine; the Alsatian restaurant in the shopping centre at La Défense (!) and Au Sergent Recruteur -- not fancy, not exciting, not worthy of a page in someone's travel memoir whose expense account is too big, but solid, good food.

    If you trust your nose, you won't fail.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      Agreed. Part of the joy of travelling and eating is making your own discoveries. While I may have a few places noted from these and other sites and guidebooks, I'd much rather blaze my own trails and eat along the way. Also, the best way to save some money eating is to have your big meal for lunch, when the same items are less expensive than at dinner.

      1. re: Eric Eto

        We're going to Paris in September and there are 1 or 2 places that I think I might want to visit, but like Eric above, I also like to make my own discoveries. We'll be staying in an apartment, and probably out every day all day. We're also on a budget and I think we'll end up having the bigger meal at lunch, and then collapse in the apartment at night with a bottle of wine and whatever else we've picked up to nosh on. I can't wait!

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      fai jay (fai jackson)

      Maurice Naughton lives a part of the year in Paris on a tight budget, find his posts the usual way for some good advice. I would advise La Venise--L'Entrecote, in the 6th arr. for an inexpensive and tasty steak frites. I think you can eat for two in that price range at Pied au Fouet in the 7th arr. However, you should splurge one night--maybe L'Os a Moelle at around 100 Euros for two or their adjunct Le Cave across the street which is less expensive. And there is just the walking around in the neighbourhood looking for interesting places and taking a shot. You may find a hidden gem. Bon Voyage and let us know about your trip. We all live vicariously.

      1 Reply
      1. re: fai jay (fai jackson)

        Near L'Entrecote, on the rue Saint Benoit, is Le Petit Saint Benoit:


        Le Petit Saint Benoît
        4, rue Saint-Benoît 75006
        Saint Germain des Prés
        + 33 (0) 1 42 60 27 92
        12h - 22h30 open every day except Sunday
        *Cash only
        *No reservations!


      2. You should be able to pull that budget off at many of the usual suspects (bistros) mentioned here if you pass on desserts, cognacs and coffee, and or pass on wine.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Busk

          Many places will be fine for you. You can try La Regalade in the 14th, which is a place you need to book about a week ahead, but you're not limited at all.

        2. Please try this and report back:

          Years ago I had the pleasure of eating Chez La Vielle (the Old Woman's Place), where Adrienne presided over difficult to find cuisine des meres (mother's cooking). Her little bistro became a bit of a cult and celebrities rushed to her table. Never cheap, but always reasonable. Even before she retired, her longtime assistant Marie Jose Cervoni took over the kitchen.

          Now Adrienne has certainly retired, and Marie Jose opened up her own place called Chez Adrienne in honor of her mentor (although I believe it still might say Chez La Vieille on the outside). At any rate, this change has happened quite recently and I would be surprised if the quality is markedly different. Still, I will not be going to Paris anytime soon, so I hope you will try to discover the amazing pleasures of her rustic French cooking. I can only say that this is not a recent rec, so I can't be positive about it.

          Chez Adrienne
          37 r. de l'arbre sec
          Paris 1

          1. p
            Peter Cherches

            I just mentioned this on another thread above. If you can read French, get a Guide Routard. It's a backpacker's guide book series, but they are a great source of good budget restaurant recommendations (something I'd never say about Let's Go or Lonely Planet).

            Link: http://petercherches.blogspot.com

            1. We love Perraudin, and it's well within your limits for a good dinner, including wine. Another good one within your limits is Baracane, near the Place des Vosges.

              Le Perraudin
              157, rue Saint Jacques 75005
              Tel: 01 46 33 15 75

              38, rue des Tournelles 75004
              01 42 71 43 33


              1. h
                Howard Daniels

                thank you all for your help. Rest assured I will report back.

                1. m
                  Maurice Naughton

                  There's a wonderful neighborhood bistrot in the 12th at the corner of the rue de Lyon and the avenue Ledru-Rollin, half way between the place de la Bastille and the Gare de Lyon.

                  The owner-chef, Bertrand, offers a four-course menu for less than 30 Euros. He speaks excellent English, having worked at a restaurant in Toronto for some time. Very warm and friendly, although the tables are really tight. He's a good cook, too. His wife, Celine, oozes charm and is very pretty. She's in charge of the front of the house.

                  The place is tiny, and a reservation might be wise.

                  It's called A la Biche au Bois.

                  1. there are tons of places
                    one is A la biche au bois
                    another Astier rue J.P. timbaud
                    another is a place in montmartre that specializes in "les salades geants"
                    calle le relais gascon on rue Abessess

                    there are tons and tons of places,.. just not in the touristy center.

                    Try a great place called L'express in the 11th on rue chemin vert. its near Pere Lachaise. the chef is english, so maybe its a parisian version of a "gastropub"

                    A fun yet full of americans place in the center is Le coude fou on Rue Bourg tibourg.

                    Try a place on the canal st martin called "le poisson rouge"

                    also in the left bank
                    Fish la Boissoionarire.. run by the guy who owns the wine store called la dernier goutte. (near odeon) dont know the exact street.

                    1. Not to mention that you can eat at the Grand Louvre (which has a star) for lunch (three courses and house wine) for that amount, and it's really quite tasty.

                      1. I found Au C'Amelot to be incredibly reasonable (prix fixe - maybe 30 euros?) and very, very good. Menu changes daily.

                        au C'AMELOT. 50, rue Amelot 75011 Paris. telephone.

                        1. If you don't want any bad surprise, have a look at the Bistrot de Breteuil, 7th arr.

                          33 €/pp for a 3-course meal (lunch or dinner), incl. an aperitif, a bottle of wine for two and coffee.
                          Several choices per course as well as always a daily special, too.

                          PS: It's a small chain with a couple of restos all over the city with similar menus.

                          1. Great inexpensive Alsatian is l'alsaco, rue condorcet 9th. It's out of the way, neighborhood type place. small, noisy. and the owner (Klaus) is PRESENT!!very present! but he has the finest selection of wines alcohols, cheeses and meats for small producers in Alsace all at very reasonable prices and the choucroute is huge and cheap. And for what it's worth I've seen Patricia Wells in there a few times..

                            1. Thanks for posting this question. Our teen leaves for Paris soon, first timer and the suggestions here are outstanding.

                              Thank you!