How & Where to Eat On a Budget in Paris

Paris is a culinary paradise with a rich gastronomic history and diverse culinary influences. With endless gourmet and Michelin-starred restaurants, it may seem almost impossible to eat well on a budget in Paris. But fear not. This list of the best casual restaurants in Paris will help you savor the city’s culinary treasures without breaking the bank.


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Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: Eating On a Budget, How & Where

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Paris Eating on a Budget (under €25)

Parisians take their food seriously. It is a city where food is not just sustenance but an essential part of life and culture. Parisians often take a two-hour lunch break at a sit-down restaurant to enjoy the meal. They read newspapers while sipping coffee (and smoking) on the terrace cafe. The irresistible aroma of a bakery allures you at every corner.

You are missing out on this cultural experience if rushing between tourist sites or surviving on fast food. 

It is not an understatement to say that quality authentic French food comes with a steep bill, especially in Paris. However, even on a budget, you can always find a way to have a proper dining experience. Let me show you how.

Here’s my strategies for eating cheaply in Paris.

Opt out of Hotel Breakfast unless included

If breakfast is included in your room rate, of course, take advantage of that. However, in my experience, Paris hotels always charge an extra €15-25 for a simple croissant, coffee and some ham and cheese. 

Hotel breakfast is convenient but overpriced for what it is. I would rather go to a nearby boulangerie or cafe. Pastries are very affordable in Paris, with a croissant about €1.5-2 (and they are heavenly!). Or, try tartine with butter – a typical Parisian breakfast. Either way, it will cost far less.

Go for Sandwiches at Boulangerie

Sandwiches are always an excellent option for lunch on the go. Parisian boulangeries offer diverse, inexpensive sandwiches made with fresh ingredients during the lunch hour. Even the simplest French jambon beurre (ham butter sandwich) is phenomenal! 

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: Eatly or Supermarkets

I went groceries at a local supermarket and made an amazing salad to eat at the hotel.

Dine out for Lunch, Eat in for Dinner

Like everywhere else, lunch is cheaper than dinner, even at fine dining restaurants. To take the wallet-friendly measure, dine out for lunch and eat in for dinner on the day you dine in for lunch. This way, you will still get to explore the culinary excellence of Paris and eat well while balancing your budget.

If you feel fancy, lunch is the time to dine out. Many Parisian bistros/restaurants offer a formule lunch (also prix fixe) – a course meal menu at a set price – similar to a business lunch or set menu. A prix fixe ranges around €20-30.

For dinner, think of easy take-outs from supermarkets, such as crêpes, wraps, maki rolls, etc. You may also find cold pasta, fresh veggies, cheese for salad, etc. If you go to Eatly in Le Marais, you can even take out pizzas, sandwiches, and warm pasta for dinner. Also, don’t forget to pick up some French wines because they are much more affordable in France (duh)!

Feeling uneasy about dining in alone? Check out my experience and tips in this solo travel to Paris guide >>  

Plat du Jour for the Best Value

Whether dining in for lunch or dinner, ask about the daily special. In French, it’s called plat du jour. It is specially prepared with fresh ingredients available that day and often the best value. But it is usually written on a chalkboard, so you may not immediately find it on the printed menu.

Where to Stay in Paris First Time | 10 Best Arrondissements to Stay in Paris for First-Time Visitors & On a Budget: Tips & Hotel recommendations, Things to Do in each area | #wheretostayParis #parishotels

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Explore Culinary Diversity

With the growing diversity in France, the culinary capital of the world offers a variety of international cuisines from all around the world. Exploring ethnic foods is all part of the diverse culinary experience in Paris. While I’m not suggesting all international eats are cheaper, I find certain ethnic dishes provide excellent value. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the delicious Vietnamese and Cambodian dishes in the city. I had the best pho in Paris (not in Vietnam; more on that below). Banh Mi sandwiches on French baguette and Cambodian noodle soup were all amazing and affordable. 

Another great example is Middle Eastern flavors. You will find some of the world’s best falafels in Le Marais – the Jewish Quarter of Paris. 

Paris Itinerary 4 Days | Day 3: Champs de Mars  | #paris #france #europetravel #parisitinerary #paristhingstodo #EiffelTower

Enjoy a Romantic Picnic

Going on a picnic is very Parisian and romantic. Stop by Carrefour or Monoprix to pick up finger foods and a bottle of wine. You are set for a picnic at the Seine or Canal St. Martin. Or, head over to the Champs de Mars in the evening for the sparkling Eiffel Tower view; this is the most affordable and romantic way to dine with the magical Eiffel Tower right before your eyes! 

Stay Away from Tourist Sites

Lastly, stating the obvious, stay away from tourist sites. If the restaurants are on Champs-Élysées, near the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe, be ready to pay the premium. (If you find any decent, cheap restaurant near the Eiffel Tower, let me know!) Get off the travel grind, and you can find cute little local places.

Best Food Tours in Paris

>> Paris Original Food Tour: Go all out for a French gastronomic tour. Wine, champaign, cheese, beef bourguignon, crêpe, desserts, etc.  

>> Montmartre Wine, Cheese & Pastry Guided Walking Tour: I joined this small-group tour to follow the foodie trail. But this tour is more than just a food tour. You will discover many hidden gems of Montmartre and mingle with other travelers at a sit-down wine and cheese tasting.

>> Saint-Germain Chocolate & Patisserie Tour: Indulge yourself with gourmet chocolates and pastries while discovering the historic Left Bank of Paris.  

>> Le Marais Food & Wine Tasting Tour: Discover local eateries and eat like a local in the famous Le Marais, dotted with tasty restaurants and shops.

>> Saint-Germain Food & Wine Tour: Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of the Left Bank while tasting French delicacies.

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: Les Philosophes

#1. Les Philosophes

Don’t mistake the restaurant as a tourist trap because of its location in the heart of Le Marais. Les Philosophes is a legitimate French bistro with a lively ambiance. As a typical bistro should be, imagine the aproned servers, daily specials on the choke board, trays of baguettes stacked on the corner, and smokers on the terrace. 

Les Philosophes has the best French onion soup. It was recommended by multiple sources (chefs, Parisian friends, etc.) and did not disappoint. I’ll go there again just for the hearty, cheesy soup! Also, check for the daily special (plat du jour).

Hours: 9 am (breakfast & brunch) – 1:30 am (drinks). Restaurant service: 12 pm – 1 am. | Location: Le Marais, Paris 4e [Open Google Map]

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: Bouillon Chartier

#2. Le Bouillon Chartier

Le Bouillon Chartier is a traditional brasserie serving classic French flares and one of the most affordable restaurants in Paris. Expect to find steak-frites, duck confit, escargot, foie gras, etc., as well as table wine in a jar on the surprisingly inexpensive menu.

This spacious restaurant with a lively ambiance offers a unique dining experience. Strangers can be seated to share a table. And the waiters write down your orders on a paper table cover, which serves as your bill later. 

Hours: 11:30 am – 12 am | Location: Paris 9e [Open Google Map] 

Paris Itinerary 4 Days | Day 4: Le Marais - Marché des Enfants Rouges  | #paris #france #europetravel #parisitinerary #paristhingstodo #Marais

#3. Marché Couvert des Enfants Rouges

​Marché Couvert des Enfants Rouges is a historic covered market with various vendors selling produce, cheese, flowers and street food. The food vendors feature a diverse selection of international cuisine, from Italian to Indian to Moroccan. There are tables and chairs to dine in. 

The market gets busy on the weekends. The best time to visit is the weekdays for lunch. 

Hours: 8:30 am – 8:30 pm (Sunday closed at 5 pm) Closed on Mondays. | Location: Haut Marais, Paris 3e [Open Google Map]

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: Chez Alian Miam Miam

#4. Chez Alain Miam Miam

Chez Alain Miam Miam is a famous sandwich shop in Marché Couvert des Enfants Rouges. It also serves crêpes and galettes.

The down-to-earth shop is best known for crafting simple, generous-portion sandwiches with high-quality cheese, ham and fresh vegetables. You can build your own sandwich. For carnivores, there are options of cooked ham, raw ham, pastrami, fish, and chicken, as well as yummy cheese. It also serves vegetarian versions. 

There is always a line at the market stand. Head to a nearby restaurant (5 minutes away) with tables and chairs.

Hours: 9 am – 5 pm | Location: Haut Marais, Paris 3e [Open Google Map]

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: L'as du Fallafel - The Best Falafel in Le Marais

#5. L’As du Fallafel

L’As du Fallafel is a Middle Eastern restaurant on Rue des Rosiers in the Jewish quarter. It has the best falafel in Marais. (Considering how many falafel stands are on the block, it is not a light statement.) Other popular menus include shawarma and kebabs. There is a long line during lunch, so be there early.

Hours: 11 am – 11 pm (Closed on Saturdays.) | Location: Le Marais, Paris 4e  [Open Google Map]

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: Mizon

#6. Miznon

Miznon is an Israeli eatery by chef Eyal Chani. If L’As du Fallafel serves more traditional Middle Eastern food, Miznon offers a creative version, like Beef Bourguignon Pita, and its signature grilled cauliflowers. The ambiance is also very young and hip. 

Hours: differ by location | Location: Multiple locations in Le Marais, Grands Boulevards and Canal St. Martin 

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: Les Foodies

#7. Les Foodies

Les Foodies is one of the most trendy restaurants in the Marais. The chic mid-century modern venue is eye-catching yet inviting, adorned with cobalt blue and olive green velvet couches, globe pendant lights, and Mondrian-style section walls. 

Chef Davide Galloni, a prestigious Le Cordon Bleu graduate, creates a seasonally changing menu with Asian-infused Italian food. It is a refined restaurant worth splurging on. But the weekday lunch has the best value with a 2-course meal for only €25, or 3 courses for €32. 

I had the most delicious, refreshing, and beautiful gazpacho here! 

Hours: 12 – 2:30 pm, 7 pm – 12 am  | Location: Le Marais, Paris 4e [Open Google Map]

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#8. Cafe Charlot

Cafe Charlot is a casual cafe on the busy corner of Rue de Bretagne. With the sunny outdoors and large-windowed greenhouse terrace, it has plenty of terrace seat choices, rain or shine. 

The cafe serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even late-night snacks, desserts, and cocktails with a diverse menu all day. I had a warm goat cheese salad (salade chèvre chaud; €20), which was amazing and fulfilling.

Hours: 8 am – 2 am | Location: Haut Marais, Paris 3e [Open Google Map]

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: Carré Pain de Mie

#9. Carré Pain de Mie

If croque monsieur is on your list, head to Carré Pain de Mie. It is a Japanese-owned modern bakery with a fantastic aroma of freshly baked pain. Croque monsieur (€18) is made with Japanese-style thick toasts, which are soft, dense, and chewy simultaneously. And it is filling. 

By the way, its modern bright restroom is noteworthy as clean, free public restrooms are a scarce commodity in Paris!

Hours: 10 am – 8 pm | Location: Le Marais, Paris 4e [Open Google Map]

Paris Itinerary 4 Days | Day 4: Canal St. Martin  | #paris #france #europetravel #parisitinerary #paristhingstodo

#10. Pink Flamingo

​Pink Flamingo is a pizzeria serving creative pizzas blending unusual ingredients. They are surprisingly delicious. I visited the Canal St. Martin location before they closed down and had a wonderful picnic along the canal with a pizza and wine.

Hours: 12 – 3 pm, 6:30 pm – 12 am | Location:  Le Marais, Paris 4e [Open Google Map] and Paris 12e [Open Google Map]

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: Presto Fresco

#11. Presto Fresco

Presto Fresco is a homestyle Italian restaurant in Les Halles. This cozy pizzeria serves delicious single-serving pizzas, pasta with fresh ingredients and gelatos. A pizza and a drink came under €20. There is always a line before the opening, so make a reservation. 

Hours: 12-3 pm, 7-11 pm | Location: Paris 1e [Open Google Map]   

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: Bouillon Racine

#12. Bouillon Racine

​Bouillon Racine is a classic Bouillon-style restaurant in the Latin Quarter. While similar in concept to Bouillon Chartier, you will find this art nouveau restaurant more elegant and sophisticated. It offers a great value Prix Fixe (€19.50) worth a try. 

Hours: 12-2:30 pm  7-11 pm | Location: Paris 6e [Open Google Map] 

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: Au P’tit Grec Crêperie

#13.​ Au P’tit Grec Crêperie

Au P’tit Grec is a super popular crêperie in the Latin Quarter. The customizable savory and sweet crêpes are made to order. The generous portion serving costs as little as €3.50 and no more than €10. There is always a long line – usually an hour’s wait. And there are no tables, so you will see many people standing and eating around the area. I took it back to my hotel to eat on the balcony. 

Hours: 10:30 am – 8 pm (Closed on Sundays.) | Location: Paris 6e [Open Google Map]   

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#14. Breizh Cafe

Breizh Cafe is another crêperie with traditional Breton galettes. While Au P’tit Grec is a food stand, Breizh is a sit-down restaurant. It specializes in buckwheat galettes and crêpes from the Cancale in the Breton region, where salted butter is famous. The menu goes beyond the usual ham and egg, offering original flavors such as smoked herring, poached peaches, etc. Wash down buttery treats with artisanal ciders; it is a French way to enjoy Breton galettes!

Hours: 9 am – 11 pm | Location: Multiple locations in Le Marais, Latin Quarter, Montmartre, etc. 

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: La Montagne Sans Geneviève

#15. La Montagne Sans Geneviève

Rue Mouffetard is one of the famous food streets in Paris. But my local friend suggested skipping the ones right off the street because most are overpriced. While searching for a more casual restaurant nearby, I found this cozy cafe bar with cute outdoor seating.

La Montagne Sans Geneviève is a little local cafe without tourists, serving excellent French food at a reasonable price. I had my favorite warm goat cheese salad, which was tasty. And the waitress was efficient even though the terrace was full.  

Hours: 8-2 am, Sunday: 9-2 pm | Location: Paris 6e [Open Google Map]

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: Le Boissonnerie

#16. La Boissonnerie

La Boissonnerie is a lovely little restaurant tucked away from Rue de Buci, one of the most charming streets in the fancy Saint-Germain-des-près neighborhood. The tile decors on the façade catch the eye. The laidback vibe inside is warm and welcoming. (The servers here are very kind!)

The intimate bistro offers incredibly tasty food with fantastic wine selections. It is always packed, so make a reservation. 

Hours: 12:30-2:30 pm, 7-10:30 pm | Location: Paris 6e [Open Google Map]

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: Bo Bun Vivienne

#17. Bo Bun Vivienne

Bo Bun Vivienne is a tiny Vietnamese restaurant inside the Passage des Panoramas. This casual, no-frill restaurant is easily overlooked in this lively covered passage lined with many other eateries. But it serves the best pho I have ever had! And the Vietnamese owner is very kind.

The piping hot Vietnamese rice noodle soup (€10) comes with fresh bean sprouts and mint leaves. The fait-maison (homemade) beef broth has a deep flavor, probably boiled for many hours. 

Hours: 12-10 pm | Location: Paris 2e [Open Google Map]

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: Vaudeville

#17. Vaudeville

Vaudeville is a classic Parisian cafe in the ritzy Bourse neighborhood. In the opulent brasserie in the 1920s art deco style, aproned waiters serve French classics (e.g., escargots and onion soup) and its signature seafood platter. The cafe has white-cloth tables inside with a bar table and a cozy covered terrace. Great spot for breakfast (formule: €13.50), lunch and dinner (formule: €23.90 or €29.90). Also, check out the daily special each day of the week.

Hours: 8 am-12 am | Location: Paris 2e [Open Google Map]

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: Carette du Trocadéro

#19. Carette du Trocadéro

Carette is one of my favorite cafes in Paris for chocolate chaud and macarons. But this cute cafe also serves a variety of menus all day long. For breakfast, check out viennoiseries like croissant and pain au chocolat. Opt for a salad, crêpe, sandwich or egg plate for lunch. Or even a French onion soup on a cold day.

The cafe has two other locations in Le Marais and Montmartre. But I like to sit on the terrace of Carette in Trocadéro with the view of the Eiffel Tower!

Hours: 7 am – 11:30 pm, Sat & Sun 7:30 am – 11:30 pm | Location: Paris 16e [Open Google Map]

Best Casual Restaurants in Paris - Eatly

#20. Eataly

Eataly is an authentic Italian market and restaurant venue. You can go grocery shopping to find produce and other Italian culinary essentials, such as olive oils, balsamic vinegar, etc. 

It is more than just a market. You will find a variety of Italian food and desserts. Think of pizzas, sandwiches, gelato, an Italian bakery, coffee, cheese and wine. If you prefer not to go to a restaurant, it is an easy alternative to grab something quick yet delicious.   

Hours: 10 am – 10:30 pm (Closed at 11 pm Thurs. – Sat.) | Location: Le Marais, Paris 4e [Open Google Map]

Best Night Tours in Paris

>> Night Bike Tour: This night bike tour takes you around the highlights of Paris when a load of tourists disappear. See the illuminated Paris at night.

>> Eiffel Tower Dinner Cruise with a Moulin Rouge Show: The Eiffel Tower, Seine dinner river cruise and a Moulin Rouge show in one night? That’s the best of three Paris night sceneries in one memorable night!

>> Solo Travelers Meet Up at a Bar: This is a perfect bar crawl for singles to mingle in Paris.

>> Speakeasy and Hidden Bars: Explore speakeasy bar scenes in Paris with travelers from all around the world.

>> Latin Quarter Pub Crawl: Enjoy the vibrant nightlife in the Latin Quarter with other travelers.


Bon Appetite!


Best Casual Restaurants in Paris: Eating On a Budget, How & Where