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Mar 17, 2007 06:44 AM

Stalking the elusive 20 euro Paris dinner

We have had some enjoyable experiences in those non-touristy, out-of-the-way places where locals may go for an inexpensive evening meal. And the food should be French! (Why go to Paris for Thai or Italian?) I would welcome additions to our list.

We like:
La Chaumine Normande, rue du Moulin-des-Pres
Polidor, rue Monsieur le Prince
Le Petit Keller, rue Keller
La Table d’Aligre, place d’Aligre
Resaturant de Bourgogne, rue de Vinaigriers

We are planning to try:
Le Colvert, Rue du Chateau
Restaurant L'Insulaire, rue Gregoire de Tours
Bistro du Peintre, Ave Ledru Rollin
Chez Germaine, rue Pierre Leroux
Bistro Melac, rue Leon Frot
Le Baribal, rue de Vaugirard
Le Petit Saint Benoit, rue Saint Benoit

And please, no suggestions for Chartier (in spite of the interesting ambience), unless you know some particular menu items which rise above the general level of the rest.

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  1. La Cave de l'Os a Moelle
    181, rue de Lourmel
    75015 Paris
    01 45 57 28 28
    M° Lourmel

    1. SemiMike,
      After your trip please report about the second part of your list as to whether or not they were as good as the ones you already like. Are the ones you like in order of your favorites?

      1. Melac is a wine bar but excellent fun. I might add to your list Le Baratin out in the 20th, but well worth the trip.

        4 Replies
        1. re: faijay

          Where is Le Baratin and what does it feature? I often stay in the 20th when I'm in Paris.

          I don't quite agree about only French restaurants, though. Thai and Italian might be poor examples (Thai has no roots in France, many "Thais" will be run by Vietnamese, and strangely enough, "Italians" by Algerians and other Maghrebians) but food with roots in former French colonies as served in Paris is undoubtably French, as much as foods from South Asia in London and Birmingham are British.

          It is always a fight for me to get the Paris friends out to a "French" restaurant, as they are either French or very assimilated people of varied backgrounds - most of them academics, researchers, freelance journalists and translators - and they tend to go for various forms of world food.

          1. re: lagatta

            Le Baratin--8, rue Jouye-Rouve, 01 43 49 39 70, Metro: Pyrenees. It is called a wine bar but the food is exceptional. The chef is a woman (Raquel Carena, an Italian from Argentina). It is in the Bellevue area and I highly recommend it. Being a wine bar, they have some interesting wines at very good prices. It is very popular so I would advise reservations. The food is a well-balanced mix of Mediterranean, French and Spanish. The plats du jour are usually very good.

            1. re: faijay

              Oh that sounds lovely - it also sounds like a place where one could get light tapas-type dishes, no?

              I think you mean the Belleville area - Pyrénées is a métro - and street in Belleville/Ménilmontant.

              One of my nicest times in Paris was spent at an apartment swap right in that area - there are a lot of trees on that street and it is high above the city centre so there is a lot of good air. There is also a street market on Pyrénées, and a larger market nearby at Place des fêtes. I sketched and painted watercolours every day at Père-Lachaise cemetery and took the Ménilmontant bus down into the city centre.

              Any chance there would be any meatless dishes at Le Baratin for my vegetarian friend?

              1. re: lagatta

                I found a site: with a great review of Le Baratin and many similar restaurants at the price point in this topic - of course, as I said, a lot of them have "ethnic" touches - but that is very much part of Paris. Has anyone eaten in Le Vieux Belleville? Sure, it is a bit of a theme restaurant - about the old working-class Belleville that spawned so many famous performers and its hearty food - but the food seems quite decent, according to reviews (obviously NOT innovative, but nostalgic).

                La Boulangerie sounds like a nice place - also has meal salads.

                This site is in French - you are welcome to ask me about anything you don't understand and are not able to get via internet translations.

        2. Had a wonderful bistro French dinner at Chez Janou near Place des Vosges. Very reasonable-mostly French neighborhood people, friendly and excellent food

          1 Reply
          1. re: An American Living in London

            It is good - need to book as it is very popular with groups of young french people.
            Renowned for its collection of Absinthe - worth trying at least once.

          2. I always go to l'Encrier, 55 rue Traversière in the 12th (metro Ledru-Rollin) -- they have good prix-fixe menus, intimate atmosphere, and great food