Being in one of the most expensive cities in the world, you want to eat authentic and cultural foods, but do not want to break the bank. After multiple trips to Paris and some research prior, we have found a few favorite spots to eat that hold the authentic and price value for budget travelers alike! Everything from our favorites cafes, classic french cuisine restaurants and even something for your sweet tooth.
We quickly found FOOD is a great way to experience different destinations and make memories around the table. In Europe, the dining style is so much different than where we are from (USA). Although we have a love and passion for good food, we also want to save money while we can, so we felt obligated to share with you some places to check out that can do both.
Some are flat out delicious and some are cheap, but every place we have listed below, WE LIKED, for one reason or another! We hope this guide helps as your Paris Food experience.
There are so many to choose from, but Madi and I were on a mission to find some of the most spectacular cafes in the area. We would never have enough time to create the ultimate list, but we have a wide variety of personal experiences. Cafes with character, charm, and elegance. Others tell a long tale and some that cannot be missed, even if considered ‘touristy’.
CAFE DE FLORE
I am a sucker for stories. Naturally, the history/story of a location plays a large part in my rankings. This café happens to be rich in history, actually, one of the oldest cafes in Paris and draws attention from others because of past clientele. In the heart of the city, off Saint Germain Boulevard, you can watch Paris go by. Although it is now a hotspot for tourists, the ambiance still requires a visit.
LES DEUX MAGOTS
If you can imagine while enjoying the newspaper and espresso you are where Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso rubbed elbows.
This is declared the oldest café in Paris. It started in 1686. Some say you go for the menu, while others say you will stay for the art and high chandelier ceilings.
Yet another café that gets their fame from the past famous persons that used to take their coffee and cig breaks. People like Picasso, Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
CAFE DE LA PAIX
We had a tough time figuring out if this was a café or a museum. Come for the ambiance, stay for the ambiance. This gourmet café is a great stop during the afternoon for a break after long walking. Some say dinner is great, but stop in and check out the Opera House, my favorite free “attraction” in Paris.
LE MOULIN DE LA VIERGE
Located in the 15th ARR.
CAFÉ-COFFEE Tip – Coffee is cheaper when you stand at the bar. Most cafes are bar styled, if you choose to sit, the coffee becomes more expensive with service charge. Something I wanted to point out for the ones that haven’t been or did not know.
LOCALS RESTAURANTS – BUDGET FRIENDLY
LA PETITE ROSE DES SABLES
This is a very intimate experience, one I have never had before. It is very comparable to eating at Grandmas house, the service is very sweet and the food is authentically homemade. The duck is classic.
Located in the 9th ARR. this restaurant leaned on good service and reasonable food, they now have a landmark restaurant that still rests on those values. A place you can go for everything, romance, family, or friends. Chartier has so much soul, authentic dishes and provides you with efficient and fun service all for a price you are willing to pay.
LE PETIT VENDOME
Some say this is one of the best meals they had while in Paris. A sandwich on the go is highly recommended. All for a good value this a great place to stop for a quick lunch, but also a hot spot for dinner time. 7-9 Euro.
This sandwich shop is better known than most for a great lunch. There is usually a line, but that is what you expect for good cheap food. Order a sandwich and continue on with your day. Servers are friendly and speak English, this is a deal in PARIS you cannot pass up. Not far from Notre Dame.
A bakery in Montmartre, this is an ideal place to enjoy lunch outside. The prices are very reasonable and the pastries are truly incredible (like many places). Service is prompt, just a solid spot to grab and go.
A special restaurant for a great value (11E-20E). The atmosphere is usually busy, but what is best about this modest place is the portions you receive. If you are hungry, can’t decide on dinner, aren’t picky and not looking to spend, I would highly recommend this place (us most of the time lol). Recommended by a Parisian himself.
CAFE DE L’INDSTRIE
You can truly eat any meal here. From the outside this place doesn’t look as quaint as others on the main drag, but there is something to say about a place that is locally worn. Hands down one of the better experiences. You will never battle for a table and a solid cheap option that still manages to bring you good food in a great environment.
LA CREPERIE JOSSELIN
Savory Crepes and desert crepes. Must try both. A very cool place located in Montparnasse. A local crepe restaurant is also important to try along with the vendor stands along the street. A very busy place with many locals.
LE BARON ROUGEA
Wine Bar with a large selection. This is a super unique experience, one you should try if you are looking to have a romantic night or something a little more relaxed. Located in the 12 ARR. if you are sick of coffee, join the locals after their work shift.
At the bottom floor of Galeries Lafayette you will find this place. Not what you expected huh? This is the place to come for chocolate and macaroons! A French delicacy
You can also eat dinner here, very affordable authentic dishes and also offer a buffet. This is a very modern take when comparing to most restaurants in Paris, but many come for the speakeasy. Walk down the stairs and knock on the book shelf.
This is recommended by every tourist and every local. Some have the misconception that if a place is well-known, it can instantly be pronounced a tourist trap. Laduree is a luxury and in most cases, there is a line, but you must try it, even if it is 10E for 4 macaroons. Again, this a French delicacy, you came for the macaroons.
Were you waiting for ICE CREAM? People absolutely rave about this place and unfortunately, I have never been, but after looking through ten pages on TripAdvisor I didn’t see a bad review. If you check out their pictures the ice cream almost looks as though it has a taffy consistency. Take this ice cream on your stroll around Saint Louis. Let me know how it is.