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Apr 2, 2012 01:40 PM

Inexpensive Paris restaurant recommendations?

My husband and I are traveling to Paris next month and would love some recommendations for an inexpensive restaurant that we can enjoy on our first, jet-lagged night in Paris. We’re planning to go to Christophe, Septime, and La Ferrandaise once we've adjusted to the time, but we wanted to try
a restaurant that’s more of a hole-in-the-wall on night one.

We’re looking for a restaurant that serves humble, simple, French classics in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere, preferably one that caters to a local neighborhood. The food is more important than the ambiance, and we'd love to find something under 30Euro per person before wine.

A few years back, I went to La Chaumine Normande with a group of girlfriends and thought the food was great. I think it would fit our criteria above, but I haven’t seen anything posted on the restaurant in years. Has anyone been recently, and would you recommend it? Or is there something similar that would fit our criteria?

We’re staying in the Marais, but we don’t mind venturing out of our neighborhood.

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  1. Re Chaumine Normande, i sorta remember a resto with that name just off the place Verlaine on the Butte aux Cailles in the 13th. If that's the one, it's no more. But since the Butte aux Cailles is so delightful, I would return, especially during the day when the very French boy-meets-girl crowd is less bothersome, and seek out other restos like Chez Gladines on the rue des 5 Diamants or Le Temps des Cerises on the rue Butte-aux-Cailles or Les Cailloux on the rue des 5 Diamants.

    For your first night, I'd head straight to Chez Nénesse on the rue Saintonge in the 3rd. But you'd have to skip or share a few courses to meet your 30€ ceiling at dinner (but, at 16 or 17€, a real bargain at lunch). And closed at weekends.
    Option 2. L'Aller-Retour on the rue Charles-François Dupuis in the 3rd near République. But for carnivores only. Closed Sun-Mon.
    Option 3, l'Alcôve on the rue Didot off the rue Alésia, in the 14th. Maybe too far a trek by métro from the Marais but a fab hole-in-the-wall experience. Franco-Algerian barbecue. Meats and desserts are super-delish but veggies are pathetic.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Parnassien

      Yes, that was the restaurant. Too bad it closed, but good to know.

      Chez Gladines looks like a good bet if we head over on the early side. People seem to love the food, although I'm not sure if they love the food and quality, or just love the huge portions. I wish I could find more online about Chez Nenesse, as it looks like a very cute place with good, solid food. Is it fixed price and do they take reservations? Thanks for your help!

    2. Our first night in the Marais in May we will be going to Cafe des Musees on Rue Turenne. Added benefit is that they are open on Sunday. Another spot that isn't too far from Marais is Au Passage-wine bar that sounds very good.

      2 Replies
      1. re: macdog

        I've read a lot about both spots and they both seem well-liked. Is Cafe des Musees one set menu each night? We're not picky eaters, but I'm allergic to shellfish which can present a problem with one set fixed price menu. Au Passage looks well priced provided we stick to a few dishes! Thanks for the info.

        1. re: LaBuonaForchetta

          Café des Musées has enough menu options on the menu for you not to be stuck with shellfish.