Best Affordable Restaurants for French Dishes in Paris
The French capital is renowned for being on the pricey side, and finding the affordable places to eat in Paris takes a bit of research. But with so many delicious French dishes to try and unusual French delicacies for the more adventurous foodies, don’t settle for somewhere below average just because the price is in budget. When in the City of Light, if you look hard you can find some real gems - cheap restaurants in Paris that serve traditional French food to perfection. Beef bourguignon, moules frites, or even steak tartare or escargot, we’ve found out where to get the things you must eat when in France at the best affordable restaurants in Paris. Bon appetit!
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For traditional comfort food, around €10
Traditional French dishes are usually large, rich plates of heartwarming food to feed the soul. Beef bourguignon, coq au vin, confit duck or roast chicken served with a side of perfect potatoes and a tasty sauce - a few simple yet classic dishes of France that you really must try when in Paris.
At Bouillon Chartier, you can count on a beautifully cooked French meal for just a fraction of the price of the usual places. For the seriously reasonable price of just €10,60, their duck confit isn’t just one of the city’s cheapest classics, but it’s also one of the best. Beef bourguignon costs just €9,70, and the foie gras entree is only €7,50 - you really can’t go wrong! If you plan on heading to Bouillon Chartier for dinner, make sure you get there early or you could be queuing well around the corner!
For steak tartare, €10,90
Steak tartare is a French delicacy made up of ground raw beef and seasonings to give it the delicious flavour so many people love it for. This dish may not be to everyone’s taste, but once you get past the unusual texture, you might find you actually quite enjoy it! If you fancy trying something truly French and a little bit different, Bistrot Victoires does a fantastic steak tartare served with crispy chips, and it’s priced ideally for those that aren’t sure or who are on a budget.
€10,90 is all a generous portion of steak tartare costs at Bistrot Victoires - that’s a price you certainly won’t find anywhere else in Paris!
A la Biche au Bois
Mmm, snails. Another French special you can’t leave Paris without sampling. Unlike frogs legs, escargot really is a common dish found in French bistros, so you’ll never be short of opportunities to try them! A la Biche au Bois is a cosy spot near Canal Saint Martin, famed for its local food including a generous portion of escargot de bourgogne as an entree.
At a very reasonable price, a la Biche au Bois serves 12 garlicky snails as a starter, rather than the usual 6. Don’t be scared off by the thought of this dish! Give them a try - we bet you’ll even enjoy them…
Académie de la Bière
For moules frites, €8-9
When looking for the best moules frites in Paris, Academie de la Biere is a hidden gem! It may be a beer bar, but really it’s all about their giant bowls of mussels and fries. Here the French dish is served in a variety of styles including their famous moules Rochefort which has an exceptionally tasty blue cheese flavour. Savour the taste and dunk your chips once you’ve made your way through the enormous pile of fresh mussels you’re served. And, of course, order one of their many different beers to wash it all down. There’s a reason people come back again and again, and order the moules each and every time!
For steak frites
Steak and chips, a classic combo and one the French nail every time. The only thing is, in Paris it’s usually pretty pricey - that’s unless you head over to Le Bastringue where the steak is huge, the chips delicious and the sauces are to die for! The reasonable prices are just an added bonus!
Tucked away right by the canal, Le Bastringue is a local favourite and quintessentially Parisian in every way. Dinner service gets seriously packed and yet you’ll barely find a tourist inside, so make the most of the authentic atmosphere and try the steak frites next time you’re in Paris.
For cheese and wine, €16
For authentic cheese and wine that won’t break the bank, L’Affineur is a great little spot. At €16 for a selection of 5 cheeses and a glass of wine, it may not sound the cheapest but you can be guaranteed some of France’s tastiest cheese, and with a vino included? Sounds good to us. Split it with a friend and order a charcuterie board to go with it to get the real Parisian experience. Cheese and wine lovers, you won’t find many more affordable yet delicious options in the city!
For creme brûlée, €5,50
For those with a sweet tooth, leaving France without indulging in the country’s famous dessert is simply criminal. Creme brûlée; the one made up of a deliciously creamy, vanilla bottom and a hard caramelized top with a satisfying crunch, nothing beats it.
Bistrot des Victoires excels in a lot of quintessentially French dishes with an extremely reasonable price tag (as we’ve mentioned above). Head here for a Parisian dinner, but be sure to leave room for their incredible creme brûlée at the end. Just €5,50, light and perfectly sweet, Bistrot des Victoires hits the spot the whole way through a three course meal.
Le Petit Fer à Cheval
For tarte tatin
If you’re after a truly French tarte tatin that’s no frills, no silly price, just melt in the mouth deliciousness, Le Petit Fer a Cheval is a must. Located in the Marais area, the tarte tatin has been this eatery’s highlight for years. People come from all over to get a taste of the speciality dessert! It’s handmade each day and served with fresh cream which goes perfectly with the beautifully caramelized apples - just be warned, it’s always a sell out.
Don’t get there too late or you’ll more than likely be left disappointed with none left for you to taste, but for the best tarte tatin in Paris, making your plans around this beauty is completely worth it!
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Article by Darcy King