How to Eat Good & Cheap In France

March 25, 2016

How to Eat Cheap In France


You’re a stylish jet-setter who’s committed to travel. You need to see, feel, taste, touch, but your coins are limited, so you don’t go as frequently as you would like to. You can’t afford to. But when you do go, you submerge yourself in the destination’s culture as much as you possibly can. Those are the globetrotters we’re talking to. Sound like you? Keep reading

When in France, eat like the French. Don’t be afraid, you can pull it off, we have faith in you! This is not only to fully embrace the culture, but often grubbing this way will save you a few coins. American food, mainly fast food chains (especially McDonald’s) ends up costing more than what you’re used to paying for fast food back home, because…

1) The conversion rate
2) It’s American! Eateries of this sort are typically more expensive in France
3) That all beef patty with lettuce, tomato and cheese, just may be remixed on a baguette and a bit more chic than what you get in the states, and in turn, more costly.

How to Eat Cheap In FranceA Garden Cafe in France

Want our advice? Scout out cute cafes to make quick lunch stops. We like:

1) Au P’tit Grec for crepes
2) Tien Hiang for vegans
3) L’As du Fallafel for falafel 
4) Chez Alain Miam Miam for sandwiches
5) Happy Nouilles for noodle bowls
6) El Nopal Taquería for tacos
7) Chez Papa for salads
8) Berko for cheesecake

best crepes in paris Crepes at Au P’tit Grec, 68 Rue Mouffetard

And, yes, you are on vacation, but this doesn’t mean you have to eat like a Parisian Princess the entire time (even if you have it to spend). Buy a fresh baguette, variety of cheeses, fresh veggies from the farmers market and a nice selection of cold-cuts, you’ll have the fixings for a pretty tasty sandwich. The beauty of these fixings is that they last for more than just one meal. We learned very quickly in France that this was the easiest way to save the most money.

best salami sandwich in FranceSalami Sandwiches Are Always a Good Idea

Finally, timing is of the essence. We suggest eating out in the afternoon, then enjoying a meal back at your hotel for dinner. Dinner tends to more expensive than lunch and breakfast in France, plus, the dining experience can be a bit elaborate. Europeans love to dine! We’re talking seven-course meals, a never-ending supply of wine, small talk, a smoke, then more food—one day, just not now. You’ll blow your budget in a few nights splurging on culinary experiences like that.

best eats in paris Duck with Green Olives at Allard in Paris’ 6th Arrondissement

However, if you do decide to eat out after dark, go with friends. It’s a great way to engage with locals—the French love their food and fashion, and natives probably have intel on the tastiest cafes for a stiletto on a dime. Order family style and try a variety of French foods at one time to satisfy your palette.  A possible bonus, locals love showing off their homes to foreigners. If, and only if, you make good friends with a group that has good energy, they may invite you over for a meal. If you feel safe, accept the invitation just remember to return the hospitality in some way.


-Durga Ghosh



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