As a world culinary capital, Paris celebrates its food traditions while trailblazing with the latest innovations. You can eat exceptionally well in the City of Light, from the classic neighborhood bistro to serious haute cuisine, like Le Jules Verne atop the Eiffel Tower (merci, Monsieur Ducasse!). It’s possible to dine where Napoleon used to eat (Le Grand Véfour in the Palais Royal and Pavillon Ledoyen where he met Josephine) or dip into culinary history around Les Halles, as the old covered marketplace (demolished in the 1970s when the wholesale market was moved to Rungis) is now seeing a food renaissance in the historic neighborhood.
Paris is where chefs from all over the world come to hone their skills, where street markets showcase tempting terroir-driven products that are ripe for the picking. Where else can you try Bresse chicken cooked in a bladder? (That’s a recipe by chef Eric Frechon at Le Bristol). Or the best onion soup you’ll ever taste — served on a plate. (That’s Christian Le Squer at Le Cinq at Four Seasons Paris). Needless to say, Michelin stars are sprinkled generously across the arrondissements.
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But for food-loving travelers who love to eat out, there’s the inevitable sticker shock. So is it possible to enjoy good food in the French capital without spending your very last centime? Thankfully, oui, particularly at the lunch hour, as many restaurants offer fixed-price multi-course menus. Not to mention the gourmet boutiques stocked with fine specialty goods — perfect for a picnic on the Seine.
Here, we round up some of our favorite Paris bites priced at $10 or less. A local scouts out affordable spots for cheese, coffee, crepes, oysters and pastries around the city. You can even toast to the craft beer movement on a scenic patio without breaking the bank.
Click through the photo gallery above to whet your appetite, and see more affordable food destinations below. Bon appétit!