Here is a list of the best restaurants in Paris that can be classified as budget eats…. the list takes in classic French restaurants as well as other international cuisine styles. So whatever your gastronomic preference is you can indulge your taste buds and stick to your budget on your Parisian holiday.
Le P’tit Troquet
It’s a pleasant surprise that one of the best budget restaurants in Paris stands right next to one of the most famous Parisian monuments; namely the Eiffel tower. This little bistro-like eatery stands in rue de l’Exposition that’s actually a shopping street.
If you want to economise choose one of the ‘menus’ i.e. entrée+ main course + dessert; all of these are very reasonably priced and filling. Le P’tit Troquet is known for traditional French food so ideally choose classic French dishes only. The foie gras, duck pate, aubergine with goat’s cheese are good choices for entrée and so is Boeuf Bourguignon (French speciality from the Burgundy region). The latter option is great for hearty eaters…flavoured with onion, garlic and mushrooms and generous spice the Bourgogne here is braised generously in red wine lending it a tempting flavour.
The Lobster Risotto is also incredibly well cooked. The dessert selection is nice especially the apricot soup, crème Brule and almond ice cream. The a la Carte menu has great options like the wild boar terrine with hazelnut, filet of Iberian pork, lamb shoulder confit. The menu changes weekly and there are daily specials.
The ambience is nice and casual and the pristine white exteriors distinguish it from the rest of the places around. Food presentation is also good but guests are usually not encouraged to linger for a long time… understandable as this is a small restaurant that’s much in demand at all times!!
Lunch menu (Entrée + Plat + Dessert) 25€
Dinner (Entrée + Plat + Dessert) 35 €
Restaurant open from 6:30pm – 10:00pm (Mon – Sat) and 12:00pm – 2pm (Tuesday to Friday); Closed on Sundays.
Le P’tit Troquet
28 rue de l’Exposition. Phone: 33 147 05 80 39
(Reserve ahead and you can get 20% off on bill)
This gem in the less touristy 6th arrondissement of Paris combines affordability with a famous history. This place has been around for centuries and has seen diners like Andre Gide, Hemingway Jack Kerouac, and Henry Miller. It even saw a moment on celluloid in Woody Allen’s famous offering “midnight in Paris”. This place stands quietly in the expensive Odeon area though but locals swear by its affordable soups, tarts, cakes and classic dishes.
Order traditional French food like Escargot bourguignonne, bread cheese, mussels, salads, pumpkin soup, Every Tuesday and Friday there is Hachis Parmentier (tastes similar to shepherd’s pie) with delish mustard dressed lettuce salad. Also, try the Blanquette de Veau…its very delicately flavoured and comes with a generous portion of Jasmine Rice. The cooking style, décor and even the staff attitude are in a time warp (in a nice way)…everything will remind you of 19th century.
The restaurant is charming in a rustic way with its red and white chequered tablecloths and classic crockery. The waitresses are nice and friendly and they help with translating the menu…lookout for the menu suggestions scrawled across the mirror. The floor really looks as if it has seen centuries of traffic and the walls crumble in a few spots so be prepared!! The bathroom is just literally ‘A hole in the wall’ so come prepared accordingly…all in all not a place for sophisticated expectations.
The house cat Emil is the star of the show…she draws in many cat-loving diners by the sheer force of her personality. Expect crowds…mostly students, business folks and a few tourists who are lucky enough to know it.
Lunch/ dinner (starter + main course + dessert) comes up to 20 euros approx.
Lunch only on Saturday Sunday
This is a cash-only establishment
Open from 12am till 2:30pm every day and from 7 pm till 0:30 am (except Sunday, 11:00 pm)
41 Rue Monsieur le Prince, 75006 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 43 26 95 34; Email: [email protected]
People who like filling and casual Asian food will love Kodawari. This delivers arguably the best Ramen bowls in Paris for the most competitive prices.
The ambience is superlative for a budget restaurant…there is a lot of attention to detail. Downstairs the hall is styled like a Japanese street food market (with special sound effects, paper lanterns and Japanese newspapers) while the upstairs is styled after a traditional Japanese house; two different ambiences in the same place.
The ramen noodle quality is superior but the menu is not very expansive…on an average, only 5 kinds of Ramen are offered here. Tonkotsu ramen with lots of pork slices and egg onsen is exceptional and so is the shio shoyu ramen with chicken, egg and pork. Try the range of Mojitos …yuzu, sake etc. and the range of flavour infused green teas.
The Tamago here is marinated for 48 hours as one of the waiters revealed when questioned about its awesome flavour. The seaweed salad and sesame black ice cream are very try worthy too. All ice creams here have egg in them so that might be an issue for some.
Be prepared to queue…this place is almost always full. It’s not advisable to come here if you have mobility issues or have small kids. There is not much empty space…the whole place is packed with tables so it’s a bit like a community meal experience. In Asian countries having your food with a lot of other people is a normal thing so the crowds only add to the authentic Japanese feel of the place.
12 euros for a bowl of Ramen; 2 euros extra for an egg
Restaurant open from 12.00 p.m. to 3.00 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.
29 rue Mazarine, 75006 Paris, France
Phone: +33 9 70 91 12 41
This is a no-frills busy restaurant that arguably serves the best Vietnamese food in Paris. The restaurant stands in the Little Saigon region of Paris near the metro station Tolblac and this area has tonnes of Vietnamese restaurants so there is plenty of competition around. The ambience isn’t that great…the neon red shiny sign outside is gimmicky and the insides are packed with tables and more tables. But the food makes it all worth it.
The menu here is limited; you will get Pho (Vietnamese style rice noodle soup) in 5 or 6 varieties and some appetizers and main course choices plus beverages. The Pho bowls come in a range of sizes; small, medium and big and the quantity is always abundant. A big bowl of their chicken and noodle Pho with oodles of Soy and pepper is the best medicine for the cold and rains that often plague Paris. The Beef Pho’s are very tasty with luscious stock, noodles cooked just right and lots of red chilli….guaranteed to make you sweat!!
Pho bowls come with delish sides like bean sprouts, chilli, lemon, basil and pickled onion. The rolls are very nice…spring roll, pork roll, steamed roll; all cooked to perfection. If you don’t like Pho then you can always order Bo Bun and banh cuon. If you like sweet stuff then the tricolour dessert che ba mau is great too. The menu has hardly any vegetarian options though and that’s rather bad as Asian food is usually veggie-friendly…the focus here is heavily on meat. Order old school drinks like Chinese herbal tea and red beans crushed drink if you don’t drink beer.
This place has indoor as well as outdoor seating but you are likely to find everything packed at all hours….and a queue outside the door. The staff don’t tell guests directly to leave as soon as meals are finished but they appear every 3 minutes to check on guests. Plates are cleared as soon as meals are done …in a sense the place suffers from its own over-popularity. The seats aren’t very comfortable and it’s hard to have a private conversation inside but if you are interested in just delicious food at cheap prices…this is super!!
A big bowl of Pho is around 8.6 Euros and a beer bottle comes around 3.8 euros… much more expensive than what Pho costs in Vietnam but very cheap when compared to food prices in the city of lights. This is a cash-only establishment.
9:00 AM – 11:00 PM, Everyday
Quartier Chinois 129 avenue de Choisy,
Phone: +33 1 45 83 61 15
L’As Du Falafel
(Middle East Jewish)
L’As du Falafel stands on Rue Rosiers in the heart of the Jewish neighbourhood in Paris. All the guidebooks say that this place serves the yummiest falafel in Paris. Lebanese food is healthy so if you want to avoid the normal calorie-rich French food then this is a good option. Look out for the large shiny green-lit storefront and don’t be confused by the smaller fake storefront that’s a little down the street (these guys also use the name L as du Fallafel with a different spelling).
The fare here is middle east Jewish rather than North African or East European so expect lots of garlicky fritters of chickpeas, creamy hummus, pickled red cabbage, salty cucumber slices, fried eggplant and piping hot harissa.
Vegetarians and vegans will love this place…the falafel provides a welcome break from all the meat-heavy menus in most budget eateries in Paris. Choose the falafel plate if you want variety in taste and the falafel Pita if you like Pita.
Non-Middle East food lovers will still love the fries and the hot sauce provided here. If you are a meat lover order the shakshouka with meatball or the shwarma lamb plate. The drinks menu is also impressive with options like Goldstar/ Maccabee Israeli lager (Israeli beer is completely try worthy), Orangina, etc.
There is inside seating and a takeaway section…prices are a little cheaper if you order take away and eat on the go. There is something about these jumbo sandwiches that make eating out a more attractive option with the teeth biting into fresh pita while hummus and harissa dribble down the cheek. In any case, if you have claustrophobia then sitting inside is not an option…it’s simply too crowded and packed with benches inside. In a street full of falafel shops it’s a little weird to have to queue for falafel here but then again the food is worth it.
With the kosher butchers, synagogues and bookshops around, eating out in the Marais Jewish quarters has always been interesting!! Always ask for extra napkins…you will need them!! This is a Beth Din certified kosher restaurant and is recommended by Lenny Kravitz.
The falafel sandwich is €6.50 and the shawarma sandwich is €9.
Sunday – Thursday: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
Friday: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM; Closed on Saturday
34 rue des Rosiers, Phone: +33 1 48 87 63 60
At Bien Bien you can find lots of options for vegans and gluten free foodies. Spring rolls made with rice pasta, sautéed rice dishes, zero wheat curry. The cooking style is mainstream Thai and you will see a lot of oyster sauce, dill sauce and Thai salt. Very few dishes use soy sauce and those are indicated expressly on the menu. The servers always ask dietary preferences beforehand and that’s a real blessing. Incidentally, Thai cuisine is great for lactose intolerant people…there are hardly any dishes with milk or cheese in it (again, a rarity in Paris).
Vegans will love the innovative use of greens…spicy papaya salad, stir-fried morning glory, green curry. Diners say that the veggie omelette, duck roast, Dom Yum Gong, kai kaprow, pad Thai, creamy red curry, peanut curry, chicken and cashew with red chilli are all superlative. Don’t finish your meal without the sweet sticky mango rice and a bottle of chilled Chang Beer.
The restaurant looks very simple from outside…red lettering on plain Beige storefront and the décor inside is quite old fashioned. The place is a little cramped inside but that’s standard for all Paris budget restaurants. The service is the star here apart from the tasty authentic Thai food…the waiters are bilingual and very attentive while taking orders. They make a real effort to know dietary and taste preferences. You will feel like coming back for more. There is an identical-looking Bien Bien 2 right beside the original shop….same owners, same prices and the same menu.
Meal for two with two starters, two mains a bottle of good wine will come up to around 60 euros
Open Monday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. Saturday from 7 p.m. to 1030 p.m.
30 bis, rue Bergere, 75009; Phone: +33 1 48 24 14 42
Buono Sano Bello Paris
This is a small family-run place that’s one of the rare Italian establishments in Paris that doesn’t serve Pizza. The Italian family is unabashedly proud of the authentic format of their menu and they have a limited number of staff who are informative and engaging. If you are willing to go off the beaten tourist track to enjoy a budget yet awesome original Italian experience then this is the place!!
Come here for the authentic homemade pasta and filling organic salads plus the great wine list. They basically offer a selection of homemade pasta with many different kinds of sauces. Either combine one of the 3 types of pasta with 5 different kinds of sauces on offer or choose from the small but thoughtful a la carte menu. There is spaghetti carbonara, pesto pasta, panna cotta with poached peas and tasty buffalo mozzarella and lovely cured meat starters with heaps of Italian cheese.
On the flip side, the menu is very limited but since everything is made from scratch and this is a small establishment… it’s understandable. The dishes are carefully curated and are almost gourmet quality. On really busy days it will be tough to get a table and the number of servers is also limited.
The restaurant is just two blocks away from Jourdaine metro station and is only half a km away from Parc des Buttes Chaumont.
Meal for two with starters, main and dessert will come up to around 50 euros
Open Monday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. Saturday from 7 p.m. to 1030 p.m.
14 rue de la Villette, Phone: +33 1 74 30 63 22
It’s easy to miss the rather nondescript looking red and glass storefront with simple lettering. Once you are inside its equally unimpressive with red mats, wooden tables and a little tacky décor. But the food speaks for itself at all times!!
You will always find My Noodles packed but it’s mostly the local crowd inside. A guy outside the store hand makes all the noodles that’s used inside so is fresh and incidentally great quality. The noodles are bouncy and not mushy and texture of the broth is fragrant and wholesome and not greasy like it’s the case at most budget Chinese restaurants.
Try the spicy beef and noodles soup…it has pleasantly hot broth with perfectly cooked beef slices, tofu, greens and lots of noodles; a complete meal in itself. Vegetarians will love the tofu and eggplant dishes…the flavours and spices are obviously authentic Chinese. you can choose between hot pots, noodle platters and sides like spring rolls and stir-fries.
The dumplings and spring rolls are good too and you can pack these up for quick bites on your Paris walking tours. The homemade lo mein, rice and ramen noodles are the stars of the show. Gluten intolerants may have a tough time…the restaurant has the tendency of putting in copious amounts of Soy sauce in food.
There is a decent selection of budget-priced wines and beers. Food portions are huge so come armed with large appetites.
On the downside like most busy budget places in the city, you are not encouraged to linger for long conversations post meals. The menu has a picture card style so you can actually visualise the food.
The location is close to Luxembourg gardens so this place is good for a quick meal after you are done touring exciting Montparnasse.
Most main dishes are priced between 10 to 14 euros.
Monday to Saturday: 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM
6:00 PM – 10:30 PM (all days except Tuesday)
Address: 129 boulevard du Montparnasse,
Phone: +33 9 80 85 85 65
If you are a lover of casual food…burgers, steaks, fries and are in Paris then you really can’t do better than Fermier gourmet. This charming rustic looking grill off Place Republique serves perfectly cooked meat cuts, fresh salads and sensational fries amongst other things. The ambience is bistro-like with roughhewn furniture, brick stylised walls and casual settings. Service is very fast and the menu easy to navigate.
The house speciality is barquettes (literal meaning is baskets) and you can eat them inside or take them away for savoury meals. The barquettes will have choices of meat (salmon fillet, duck, tenderloin, chicken, beef etc.) and some excellent coleslaw and pretty leafy salads. You can also order sides like homemade chips and grilled vegetables. There is a selection of house special sauces so help yourself to the ones that go best with the meal.
The staff is helpful. For example, they will smilingly suggest that the onion and mustard sauce complements Onglet Boeuf, Frites and Miel Moutarde well. The selection of steaks and burgers are not very extensive but everything is well cooked and well presented.
The portions are large and you might not have room for dessert which is a shame. There is lovely mascarpone filled with crusts of Oreo cookies and strawberries and superlative cheesecake. There is a good selection of organic juices and French beers…some of them are gluten-free!!
A complete meal i.e. a barquette with sides and fries will come up to be around 16 to 20 euros.
Open From 1:00 AM – 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM on Monday to Friday
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM and 6:30 PM – 11:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday
185 Rue du Temple. Near Metro Republique.
Phone: +33 1 56 06 92 50
(Casual Italian Pizzas)
There are some people who experience Pizza cravings no matter whatever city/ place they happen to be visiting. If you belong to this category then Pizza Julia in Paris is a real godsend. Authentic Naples style Pizza at super affordable prices and a staff that pays much attention to your choice of toppings and speak perfect English to boot.
Everything here is super delish…the four seasons pizza and the four cheese pizzas are the picks of the lot though. There are calzone, garlic bread and chocolate brownies too.
There is a narrow blue coloured open kitchen and you can straightaway look at how neat and clean the cooks are. It’s a treat to watch the chef make up the delicious fluffy pizzas and serve them straight out of the oven. There is very little space inside…only a few tables. A great idea is to buy your pizza and then take it to the nearby Canal St Martin and have a meal alfresco style.
Look around at the walls when you are inside…you will see multiple awards and trophies including the award for “world’s best vegan pizza”. There are a whole lot of people outside waiting for pizzas and that’s actually the best testament for the quality. This pizzeria participates in the world championships of pizza.
The base is crispy and fresh and the toppings are generous. Sometimes there are offers of free drinks with pizzas. The pizza dough is perfect and well-proportioned trim.
About 7 euros to 11 euros for a decent-sized pizza with nice toppings.
Open from 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM Tuesday to Saturday; 6:30 PM – 11:30 PM Wednesday to Sunday
43 rue de Charenton; Phone: +33 1 77 19 68 75