7 tips to eat well and cheap in Paris

Esta es la versión en inglés de nuestro artículo 7 consejos para comer bien y barato en París

Before travelling Paris for first time we are very worried about the economic facts. We had reserved a good priced fligth and a nice not expensive hotel but everybody said us that we´re going to spend a lot of money there.
The truth after visit Paris was that we had dinner nicely everyday, we drunk good wine and we enjojed french gastronomy in a very rasonable prices. Do you want to know how?
Here are our 7 tips to eat well and cheap in Paris.

Montmartre dinner

Couples chating after a romantic dinner at Place du Tertre in Montmartre

  • Order your meals with “A Garrafe d’ eau”

When in Paris, do as the parisiens and…Do you know what a lot of parisiens do at the restaurant? They ask for draft water.
This is very usual and helps not to pay too much at the restaurant.The way is ask for “a Garrafe d’eau” (a bottle of water) with your meals instead of order Bottled water or a soft drink.
Having dinner with draft water and a glass of french wine will cost you some less less than the same meal ordering bottled water or a coke.

paris dinner

Our fist dinner at Montmartre: Potatoe salad and confit du canard.Restaurant Relais gascon.Price per person 16 € including a glass of wine.The water you can see is from the draft

  • Check the “formules”

Nothing in common with maths or complex operations.”Formule” is the french word to a “fixed priced” menu and almost every restaurant offers it.
In France there´re lunch time and dinner time “formules” (usually the second is most expensive)
and often they offer diferent combos to choose acording how hungry you are (see chalkboard)

french menu chalkboard

Chalkboard announcing diferent optionss for «fixed priced menus» in France.»Plat du jour» is confit duck with potatoes and cost 10 €, «Formule du Jour» (day combo) includes started, main dish and dessert for 12€, In this case the resturant offers too a «Menu du Jour» wich includes a glass of wine, two starters to choose, main dish, sweet dessert or cheese assorted for 14€

  • Enjoy the happy hour

Lots of cafes and pubs have a happy hour between 18:00 pm and 20:00 pm offering 2×1 in drinks.
I agree that paying 7-8 € for a normal beer pint is expensive but two at the same price is almost cheap specially if you’re tasting it in a stunning Latino Quartier terrace or in front the Pompidou museum.

Pompidou pub with happy hour

We spend a good time in this pub opposite the Pompidou museum.Look at the chalkboard announcing the happy hour.Pints since 4.40€! Do you really think Paris is expensive?

  • Use the fountains

A soft drink or a small bottle of spring water bougth near the Louvre Museum or around the Orsay could makes your “wallet shaking”
5 euros we payd for a very little spring water bottle at the top of the Eiffel Tower but never more! Solution: we kept the empty bottle in my bag to fill it in the nice and historical Paris fountains.


wallace fountain

Jorge refills water from a Wallace fountain.This fountains were a present from the bristish philantrope Ricahd Wallace at the end of the XIX century trying to avoid health problems in a time when water was more expensive than wine …Ummm that´s not too bad I Think


  • Look for hotels with breakfast included.

The “croissant” and “café o lait” land is not cheap at breakfast time. A simple french breakfast will cost you about 8-10 Euros.Make numbers with your hotel options and probably you can afford some euros having breakfast on it.

  • Crepes and Galettes

Creps are to Paris the same thing as hot dogs in NewYork or Kebaps in Istambul: a fast, tipical and cheap option up to 3 euros.
Creps are the sweets one where “Nutella crep” is the queen.Galettes are salty and filled with cheese, ham, etc…


Montmartre terraces at dinning time

Montmartre terraces at dinning time

  • Picnicking!

An assort of french cheeses enjoyed with good wine in an amazing enviroment will cost you about 7 or 8 euros per person.
In Paris there´re a lot of excellent parks and city markets and you can buy 20cl wine´s bottle with easy-open!
Bercy park, Bois de Bologne and Saint Martin Canal are some of the favourites places where the parisiens organizes picnic and…yes! picnic is a word with french origen .

picnic en paris

Pic nic lunch at Bercy´s park.A recient made baggette, 2 small bottles of wine, and a assorted selection of cheese and pate costed 15€ for two.

Eat well, tasty and changed in Paris don´t must be expensive.Using this tips and with a little bit control you´ll adore french gastronomy without suffer paying the bill.

text and photos©oviaxadoiro 2014

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