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Oct 27, 2007 11:27 PM

Paris on a budget?

Hi all--

I've been reading the recommendations and they have been helpful. My question is this...what are your recommendations for eating in Paris on a budget but still enjoying the Parisian experience? (of course understanding that the dollar to euro exchange sucks).

I will be in Paris Nov 13-15. I'd like to aim for $100 per day or less, and I think thats doable, but wanted to get ideas advice and any specific recommendations you might have. We are staying in the 18th but I feel comfortable with being able to get around the city using public transportation.

Thanks for any thoughts or advice.

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  1. Are you sure you want to stay in the 18th? Well, at least you'll have a lot of bargains up there.
    My recommendation would be to go to any finer dining spots for lunch, as it's usually cheaper. You may be able to get away with lunch for 25-35 euros. At least one day, you should do a nice/fanicer lunch. Try L'Epi Dupin...their prix fixe lunch includes a glass of wine and a coffee. Really great!!
    You can get away with grabbing a croissant or baguette for breakfast from the bakery and eating in your hotel room, then stopping at a cafe for a coffee or tea later. Don't pay for breakfast at the cafe.
    Also consider street food like crepes for lunch and just have a seat on a park bench. The weather could be a problem...it is the rainy season.
    Also consider visiting the markets for some roasted chicken. Pick up a bottle of wine, a baguette and bring it back to wherever you are staying. Wine and chicken are staples in Paris!
    For cheaper dining options, visit the 5th. Lots of students there, and the prices reflect that. Also, in the 7th, there are a number of places around the Am. Univ. of Paris that are well priced.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChicagoKat

      We are travelling on a package so the 18th is where the hotel is, I didn't really have much choice in the matter, thanks for your advice! It sounds a lot like what I was planning, good to have my ideas echoed by someone with experience

    2. Dear Caseykay68 - I was planning on posting an identical message! We will also be in Paris November 15 -17 and I have been reading these boards dreaming of the lovely meals. However, with the dollar/euro exchange rate, we must be really careful with our budget. Hope you don't mind me jumping in on your post.

      Our hotel is in the 5th - across the street from the Pantheon. We plan to spend one day at the Louvre, 1 day trip to Versailles, and 1 day just walking around. Any more recommendations on restaurants in the 5th?

      Not to sound negative on the advice, as the bread, cheese, crepes on the park bench sound fun, but the weather may prohibit that. Second, we have a tiny hotel room with only a bed, so not sure about eating roast chicken and a baguette on the bed - too many crumbs.

      Ethnic food is okay....Just really want decent food.

      Thanks for the L'Epi Dupin recommendation. and thanks in advance for other recommendations!


      2 Replies
      1. re: debkamp

        Hello - It is very possible to do a nice restaurant for dinner or to do a nice lunch, if you are careful about the other meals of the day. In the 5th, there is a restaurant called Le Petit Pontoise. I believe we had a dinner for two, with a bottle of wine, for like 80.00/euros. There are many restaurants in Paris where this is possible. Of course, you may not want to do this everyday as then you would basically be saving all of your budget for one meal. But, I think if one is to go to Paris, it is nice to enjoy a lunch or dinner in one of the many great bistros in the city.

        Also, there are many great bakeries in the 5th where you can pick up something for breakfast.

        1. re: debkamp

          No problem at all...I am so looking forward to it, we will both have to report back on our trips.

        2. Cafe Mouffetard on the rue Mouffetard (5me) has divine breakfast food... the very best brioche I've ever eaten and gorgeous croissants and pain complet as well... all house made.

          One of my favorite places for dinner is Les Fontaines on the rue Soufflot between Blvd. St. Michel and rue St. Jacques. It looks more like a bar from the outside, but inside they serve really delicious, reasonably priced food.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ChefJune

            ChefJune, do you have an address or a cross street for Cafe Mouffetard? Based on your enthusiastic recommendations, their croissants are on my 'to try' list for my upcoming trip

            (I tried a Google search and PagesJaune and could not come up with it.)


            1. re: shortstop

              I don't have the book with me, but I can check tonight. However, it's down near the base of the street, where the market is located.

          2. I agree with the idea of just picking up a pastry for your breakfast ... no matter how cold it is (and I doubt it will be prohibitively so), you can still walk with it - kill two birds with one stone - get breakfast and see beautiful Paris while having breakfast. I'd also recommend having a falafel for lunch one day at one of the places on Rue Rossiers. Delicious, and it will set you back less than 6 euros. I had a fabulous lunch at Fish (in the 5th on Rue Seine) for around 40 euros - starter, main and dessert cheese plate, and a glass of wine to go with each course.

            A wonderful free thing to do is walking around Pere Lachaise cemetery.

            Hope you have a great time.

            1. To stay within your budget, you should plan to have a nice lunch each day and a simple dinner. Ze Kitchen Galerie in th 6th is a wonderful lunch choice, One day you could have a cheap lunch and have dinner at l'Os a Moelle in the 15th. 5 courses for 36 euros and the food is wonderful. Reasonable wine list too.

              Wine tip: Stay away from Burgundy and Bordeaux. Overpriced. Choose wines from the south and southwest (Rhone valley, Provence, and Languedoc). Much better value.