Paris Travel Planner   Saving on Meals in Paris, France
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in Paris are not expensive if you know how to find them. Here's what you need to know.




Here are tips for saving money when buying food and drink in Paris.


Drinks (coffee, wine, beer, etc.) cost less if consumed standing at the bar in a café rather than sitting at a table. Sidewalk tables are usually the most expensive (but delightful) places to eat and drink.


Ordering à la carte (individual dishes from the price list) is more expensive than having the daily menu (3-course set-price meal), one of the daily formules (starter + main course, or main course + dessert), or a plat (du jour, plat garni), a main-course with side items all on one plate.

For wine, ask for a pichet (pitcher), the house wine, a drinkable and bargain-priced vintage served by the glass (12cl to 14cl), small pichet of 25cl (2 glasses), medium 46 to 50cl (4 glasses), 75cl (a standard bottle, 6 glasses)), or 1 liter (8 glasses). Not all restaurants offer pichets, but you won't know until you ask.

Soft drinks (cola, lemon soda such as Sprite, mineral waters) are often as expensive as beer or wine.

Un carafe d'eau, a flask of tap water, is yours at no charge, as is a refill of your bread basket.


Paris markets, both street markets and covered markets in buildings, have places where you can consume market products and simple meals at low prices. More...


Buy bread in a bakery, cheese and wine, beer, soda or water in a charcuterie or grocery store, and head for a bench along the Seine, or for one of Paris's lovely parks and gardens.

  Snack menu, Paris, France
  You can eat cheaply in Paris...

Fancier alternatives: buy anything you want à emporter (to take away) from a restaurant or café, or drop in at a boulangerie-patisserie (bakery-pastry shop) or traiteur (delicatessen, shop selling prepared dishes) and buy one or two items. You'll even find sushi.

Bottles of drinks such as fruit juice, soda, mineral water, milk or wine can be bought at good prices in grocery stores such as Monoprix and Franprix.

Street Food

The cheapest way to eat in Paris is from vendors on the street. Lots of choice:

—All manner of large, filling sandwiches, including panini, even falafel

—Salty (main-course) or sweet (dessert) crêpes sold rolled up in paper and ready to take away

—Huge, thick slices of pizza with all sorts of toppings

Quiches and other baked meals-all-in-one, hot or cold

Paris Restaurants

Paris Cafés





Street Food

Coffee in France

Restaurant Etiquette


Paris Girls Secret Society, a novel by Tom Brosnahan


Omelet in Paris, France

Above, omelette, pommes frites, salade, pain, et vin rouge: simple, inexpensive, satisfying.

Below, cheese dogs: chacun à son goût...

Cheese dogs, Paris, France

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