9 lovely and affordable bistros downtown Paris
A limited holiday budget can be a bore, but it must not be a reason for you to enjoy your holiday any less. Sure, when you compare your experience with what you see in James Bond movies, everything tends to fall short. But things do not have to be so dramatic. There are plenty of eating options that will allow you to enjoy lovely meals in a beautiful city like Paris, without having to hitchhike or swim back home. So why don’t we just start with those then? Below you will find a list of 9 small restaurants and bistros that offer great options for people on a budget. The great thing about them is that you do not have to travel all the way to the other side of the city, and you can still enjoy the attractions when you are done with your meal.
1. Breizh Cafe
Window of the Breizh Café in Paris (Photo by Cody and Maureen@Flickr)
A delicious savory galette (Photo by Kenejima@Flickrr)
Breizh Café is a creperie that promises a different type of “crepexperience”. You can find them at 109 Rue Vieille Du Temple in an area packed full of art galleries and in the vicinity of the Picasso Museum. The closest metro station is Saint Sebastien-Froissant. Their hours are 11:30 – 23, so do not plan on eating an early breakfast there. Prices range between €6 for the simplest sweet crêpe and €16 for the amazing galettes (savory crêpes with delicious toppings of salmon, cheese, onions, spinach and other fantastic combinations).
2. Bistrot Victoires
This is one of the most popular locations. Very appreciated by visitors, Bistrot Victoires is very close to the Royal Palace, just a few steps away from the Louvre. No wonder so many people end up eating here, at no. 6 Rue de la Vrilliere. Between the hours of 8 and 23:30 you can have any meal in an exquisite vintage French décor, alongside locals working in the vicinity. The prices set around €10 are very appealing also.
3. A la Biche au Bois
This is a bit of a splurge for the fixed budget but dining at the Biche au Bois can be an amazing experience. This place checks a lot of things on a foodie traveler’s list: in the heart of the city, near the Bastille area and metro station at no. 45 Avenue Ledru Rollin; and it is one of the very few places where you can still find game at an affordable price. Be careful, tough, when you plan on eating here but do not call ahead. They are open on Monday and Saturday from 7 to 23, but on the other weekdays they open at 12 then take a break between 2 and 7 and close at 10:45. They are closed on Sunday.
4. Le Petit Cler
Menu of the Petit Cler bistro
Le Petit Cler is located at no. 29 Rue Cler right between the Dome des Invalides and the Tour Eiffel. So if you are planning a walking tour in the area, this is a great place to plan a midday meal. The price range is budget friendly at €6 – €13.
5. Au P’tit Grec
This place is near the Jardin des Plantes and a walk away from the bigger Jardin de Luxembourg. It is a great place where you can get delicious paninis, sweet and savory crêpes at reasonable prices under € 10. You find them at no. 68 Rue Mouffetard.
Entrance to the Bouillon Chartier restaurant
You are getting a great deal with your dining experience at Bouillon Chartier. The restaurant opened in 1896 with the purpose of giving people the chance at a good meal and a decent price. 120 years later, you can still get a meal for around € 10 at no. 7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre.
7. Chez Papa
Entrance to the Chez Papa 2
Profiteroles at the Chez Papa bistro
Chez Papa is a chain of bistros spread all over Paris. They boast in combining South and Western cuisine and offering some of the largest salads. There are several locations, so if you stumble upon any of them, walk in with confidence. They are very popular and appreciated.
8. Cafe Panis
View from the window of Café Panis
Window seats at Café Panis
Café Panis is one the restaurants that offers you a great sight at dinner, lunch or whenever you decide to cross their threshold. It is located right across the street from Notre Dame and it offers an amazing view of the cathedral. Prices are great, desserts are delicious and the boeuf bourguignon will make you come back for seconds.
9. Le Depart Saint Michel
The Café Le Depart Saint Michel lit up by street lights
Situated right next to the Seine in a very circulated area, at no. 1 Place Saint-Michel, the Café Le Depart de Saint Michel is the perfect place where you can have a nice meal for a reasonable price without leaving the city center. Prices are about € 10 and you can find a wide variety of dishes from French to international. The service is fast and if you are lucky enough to catch a window table, you can watch the world go by.