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May 21, 2008 07:20 AM

First Trip to Paris - Cheap Eats?

Visiting Paris next month for 3 days, my first trip - husband travels frequently there for work. Looking for inexpensive local restaurants for lunch and dinner. We may spluge for one meal. I've heard good things about Spring where the chef is American I believe.

We are staying in the Bastille area (10eme) but don't mind walking or taking the Metro. My husband was commenting yesterday that he hasn't heard me mention any must-do restaurants in Paris so I thought I needed to start my research!

Any suggestions, help is very much appreciated!

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  1. For the inexpensive parts of a Paris trip our favourite for lunch especially is Cafe Med on St Louis en L'lsle.

    Not many tables so be early!

    Great value and the food does not disapoint - usually around 18 euros with wine and coffee.

    4 Replies
    1. re: nealrover

      Whereabouts is Cafe Med? Is it on rue Saint Louis en l'ile or off on one of the side streets? We'll be staying on the island for 3 weeks in late June so any tips regarding St Louis en ile would be greatly appreciated.

      1. re: Aleta

        Yes it is on Rue Saint Louis en L'isle.
        Near the end of the street at the Isle de la Cite end a few doors down from Bertillon Ice cream on the corner.
        A group of us had a very reasonable lunch next door to Cafe Med at an italian restaurant - Sens'o.
        It must have been OK as we were there so long the waiter went home!
        The beauty of this island is that it has a local community also so you have at least 2 boulangeries,food & wine shops,cheese shops,butchers etc.. so another really enjoyable way of having lunch here is to buy from them and sit in the parks behind Notre Dame.
        Really lovely on a warm pleasant day.
        It also has a L'occitane and an Oliviers that always cost me as my wife CANNOT walk past those.
        Of course you also have more expensive options to try and a search of this board should give you more pointers.
        Just on Rue St Louis alone you have probably at least 6 or 7 quality options.
        We have generally stayed in and around the 7th and eaten there for dinner.
        Next time in early July we are staying close to the Islands and are looking forward to trying some of these that we have only looked at and wanted to go to such as Mon Vieil Amis and Le Tastevin.
        Hope this helps

        1. re: nealrover

          Neal, a belated thanks for all your useful information! I don't know how I missed your reply earlier. I'm looking forward to trying Cafe Med and Mon Vieil Ami too. Hope we have good weather.

          1. re: Aleta

            Thanks for the acknowledgement and I hope you have a great trip - keep some good weather for us in a couple of weeks !
            3 weeks on Saint Louis en L'isle sounds wonderful and gives you plenty of time to try some of the excellent food options around there - i'm sure you will establish a favourite or two that you will return to in that length of stay.

    2. Neal, you could really enjoy a unique Paris experience for very little cash at Chartier, one of the old workingmen's caf├ęs where occasionally you will even share a table with strangers. The food is basic and good, and you will see a slice of French life that you won't forget. It is at 7 rue Faubourg Montmartre, website

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bigtigger

        Yes thanks for that.
        We have looked in a couple of times and it does seem like one of those places you do have to try.
        Tried to go once when we went as a family - but ended up at Hard Rock Cafe due to popular request.
        Children do make you try all the gourmet places!
        Fortunately the choices are now all our own.