it's easy to spend $$$$$ where do the common folk of Paris eat?????
Will be spending 3 weeks in Paris in March - need to live "on the economy" - not interested in "imported cuisines" (where did Paris on $5 a day go?????) so more looking for neighborhood restaurants where the food is filling and the price within reach of a semi-retired clinician and a retired teacher - thanks in advance - BTW we will be staying in the 18th with Metro passes and sturdy shoes
I enjoyed the food and the prices at Domaine de Lintillac. Go for the cassoulet and the confit de canard.
Some of the purveyors at the Galleries Lafayette food market have places to sit down and eat. While you're there, splurge on some Bordier butter to enjoy in your hotel room after your morning runs to your neighborhood boulangerie.
Go to a Breton creperie. There are many throughout Paris.
And finally, since France includes DOM TOM, a Creole restaurant is technically as French as anything, so no need to cry out 'importation.' Just eat and enjoy.
Domaine de Lintillac
10 Rue Saint-Augustin, Paris, Île-de-France 75002, FR
Yes, Paris on $5 a day is ancient history. But we can do a better job of steering you to your best options if you can give us an indication of what you are willing to spend for the main meal of your day. That suggests the question of whether you are willing to eat your important meal at lunch rather than evening.
Most folks eat in their own kitchens -- eating out every day is just beyond the budget of the majority of people.
For lunch, a lot of people eat in the company cantine (if the company is big enough to have one) -- or they head out to the nearest cafe, sandwich shop, and yes, McDonald's (by the score) for lunch.
For dinner, it's usually small neighborhood cafes and restaurants, or they cook or warm something up.
If you're in an apartment, your options are far better -- shop in the wonderful markets, buy a roast chicken from a butcher or traiteur (they're the best!) - and buy what's in season. The things that are in season are visibly the freshest and the cheapest things in the store more often than not.
The frozen-food chain Picard also has very good frozen items that don't require a great deal of time or skill in the kitchen (vegetables, soups, full entrees - including stuffed whole salmon, gorgeous desserts)
While l find the potatoes perfect with the roast chicken, l have always found the chickens to be overcooked. granted l like my chickens moist, even a bit of dry will put me off, but the rotisserie style produces overcooked, OTOH if these same traiteurs have a lamb shoulder going, they can be great more often.
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What a lot of people do is take advantage of the lunch "formule", which are widely available fixed price menus. Most will let you choose two or three courses, and depending on where you go and how fancy you want to get, it could range from 9 to 25+ Eur. You can also get a reasonable breakfast "formule" with coffee and pastries for 2 to 5 Eur. If you're like me, the two meals earlier in the day will keep you quite full for the majority of the day, and then if you feel peckish, just pick up a baguette and some paté or cheese at a local store.
There are a few local places that I think are quite decent for the price. Chez Prosper in the 12th, around Nation, is a good example. The portions are generous, food is of decent quality, and the price is reasonable. This is not gourmet fare, but any stretch, but a very typical Parisien bistro experience. You will still drop around 30 Eur per person for a 2 course meal and a glass of wine each (not sure if that is within your budget). Be prepared for insanely long lines, though. But essentially, you will need to be in some of the less touristy parts for a decent meal at reasonable prices.
I know it's a steal compared to many (most) of the places discussed on this board, but 30 € for two courses would be a splurge for the "common folk" of Paris. Maybe for mdwardmalp, too… As mangeur said, it'll be hard for us to help if he/she doesn't come back with some more information.