10 of the Best Affordable Restaurants in Paris

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The City of Lights isn’t always so light on the wallet, at least according to CNN, which ranked Paris as the seventh most expensive city in the world in 2023. But, luckily, this global gastronomic capital has an abundance of eating options in just about every price range, including plenty of reasonably priced places. So, to help you out, we’ve gathered a list of our personal favorite affordable restaurants in Paris.

The Best Cheap Eats in Paris, France

1. La Collective Parisenne

While there is no shortage of cafés in Paris, the café-tabac (café with tobacco kiosk), as the hub of community activity in many neighborhoods, is becoming increasingly rare. Chef, painter, and experimental filmmaker Claude-Rivel Sondé set out to recapture that spirit of community when he left his prestigious position as a chef at the restaurant of the Museé Jacquemart-André to launch La Collective Parisenne.  “I wanted to create a place that would promote a sense of community, creativity, and conviviality around good, affordable food,” Chef Sondé told me. As I enjoyed a delicious plate of sausage with split red lentils, the eclectic mix of neighborhood residents, local office workers, tourists, and regulars stopping in to say hello made it clear that the chef had achieved his goal. The walls are adorned with pictures of Paris photographed by a local photographer, and as I finished my chocolate chip banana cake dessert with a cup of coffee, a neighborhood book club settled in to take over the space after-hours. The menu consists of a prix-fixe each day: two courses for 10€, or three courses for 12€.  While the selection may be limited, this eatery is huge on great food, warm vibe, community spirit, and value.

Address: 70 Rue François Miron, Paris 75004

Pricing: 10€ (two course menu) 12€ (3 course menu)

2. Ginsburger Vegetarian Superstar

Ginsburger, which looks like what you’d expect from an American-style burger joint in the charming historic Marais district of Paris, serves up the best veggie burgers I’ve found in Paris (or anywhere, for that matter). On a diner-style burger grill in the front, the cooks are constantly busy flipping five types of veggie burgers, including the classic Ginsburger (pickled onions, lettuce, tomato, secret house sauce), and the Holy Smoked (smoked “cheese” onion jam and Jack Daniels BBQ sauce). Thin smash-burger type patties, smothered in home-made condiments, are nestled in a fresh brioche burger bun with a heaping helping of crisp fries, making for a very satisfying meal that is easy on the wallet.

Address: 13 Rue du Roi de Sicile, Paris 75004

Pricing: 10€ – 20€

3. Bouillon Chartier

Classic boeuf bourguignon (photo: Bouillon Chartier)

Through the late nineteenth century, eating out at restaurants was mostly limited to upper class Parisians of means, until the concept of the Bouillon changed that. These large and boisterous eateries offered simple French fare based on a bouillon (soup made from boiling meat, fish or vegetables), where for the first time shopkeepers, servants, and blue collar workers could enjoy a dining experience within their budget. There are only a handful of these Belle Époque eateries remaining, with Bouillion Chartier being the best and most famous. This is the place to go if you want a taste of Paris of the past, with surprisingly reasonable prices that haven’t caught up with the present. The sizable menu includes authentic French cuisine favorites, such as céleri rémoulade (appetizer), choucroute (main course), and Mont Blanc (chestnut paste pastry for dessert). Appetizers range from 1€ to 7.50€, main dishes begin at 7€, and desserts are between 2€ and 4.90€. You may want to bring a pair of earplugs, because the hustle and bustle, which is part of the fun, can get pretty loud.

Address:  59 Bd du Montparnasse, Paris 75006

Pricing: 10€ – 20€

4. Bouillon des Vignes

Bouillon des Vignes might not have the cavernous size, all-day continual menu, or historical connection that would technically make it a Bouillon style restaurant. But this vibrant dining spot in the Batignolles area shares the authentic Bouillon’s focus on good affordable food in a convivial setting. I would challenge anyone to find another place that serves up a plate of delightfully delicious and crunchy frites (French Fries) for just 3€!

Address: 45 Rue des Moines, Paris 75017

Pricing:  20€ – 30€

5. Popotes Cantine Respectueuse

Gravlax bowl at Popotes (my bike securely locked on the fence within view).

The word cantine (canteen) literally means a school, company, or factory cafeteria, but when used to describe a restaurant it refers to a type of casual and inexpensive eatery that one might frequent regularly.  Since they typically draw people of different ages and classes, cantines tend to place an emphasis on community building. Former IT entrepreneurs Julien Lefeuvre, and his business partner Guillaume Meaud, wanted to create something more socially meaningful and rewarding than tech products, so they came up with Popotes Cantine Respectueuse (which translates roughly to, “respectful mess hall cooking canteen”). The create-your-own-salad-bowl based concept serves delicious dishes in a casual ambiance with a laid-back vibe. There’s a strong emphasis on locally sourced ingredients, as well as mindful regard for artisans, producers, staff, and customers. Their Cajun chicken dish is 10.80€, same for the pulled pork with hoisin sauce, and the excellent yuzu gravlax bowl that I enjoyed was 13.90€. Desserts are decidedly American-style, featuring a variety of cakes and cookies.

Address: Multiple locations, including 18 Av. Mac-Mahon, Paris 75017

Pricing: 10€ – 20€

6. Chez Gladines Saint Germain

Potato cheese casserole at Chez Gladines

On a recent lunch out with my expat pal David, we used his restaurant litmus test to choose where we wanted to eat. He suggests you look at the diners, and ask yourself, “Do they look happy to be there? Are they engaged with their meals and with each other? How is the chewing – mechanical or attentive?” The lunchtime crowd at the Basque bistro Chez Gladines on Boulevard Saint Germain passed the test – they were clearly having a good time – so we decided to grab a table on the enclosed terrace, where we enjoyed a gratifying meal. Among the most reasonably priced choices you’ll find appetizers averaging 6.50€, large salads for 10.50€, and a choice of four potato and melted cheese casserole dishes for around 8€ (ham optional). Main courses include Basque chicken for 14€, brandade de morue (cod with cheese and potato casserole) for 14.50€, and a Basque cassoulet for 17€, to name just a few.

Address: 44 Bd Saint-Germain, Paris 75005

Pricing: 20€ – 30€

7. SoHo Trattoria

While it may not be authentic French food, even in Paris it can be hard to resist great pizza! As soon as you step into Soho Trattoria, the heady aromas of baking dough and melting cheese wafting from the open wood fired ovens signal that you will leave happy and satisfied. The crust is just the right combination of chewy and crunchy, while never getting soggy in the middle, despite the numerous toppings and zesty tomato sauce. The classic margherita pizza at 7.90€ is as appealingly priced and generously portioned as it is tasty. The heart-shaped Bella Regina – with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, prosciutto, olives, and mushrooms – is the priciest, at 16.90€. There are plenty of non-pizza options here as well. I’ve often ordered the veggie poke-bowl, a hearty mix of grains, vegetables, greens and avocado. 

Address: 33 Rue Saint-Jacques,Paris 75005

Price Range: 15€ – 30€

8. Chez Loulou

Just two blocks from the Pompidou museum you’ll find Bistro Chez Loulou, from Egyptian-born restaurateur and host-with-the most, Franck Felifel, a master at the art of serving up good food, entertainment, and ambiance at great prices. The walls and ceilings of the restaurant are covered with art, including an autographed Jean Cocteau piece, to create a funky, relaxed atmosphere, and there is live entertainment (from music to poetry slams) most nights and weekends. In addition to the long à la carte menu, Chez Loulou has a wide array of prix-fixe menus. Breakfast starts at 3€ for a croissant and coffee, and runs to 9.90€ for fresh squeezed juice, eggs, a breakfast pastry, and a hot beverage. There are three-course lunch menus for 16.90€, and a full dinner menu for 21€.

Address: 63 Rue Rambuteau, Paris75004

Pricing: 10€ – 30€

9. Polidor

Photo courtesy of Polidor

You’d be hard-pressed to find a restaurant in Paris that is this big on old school charm, with low prices that are a throw-back to another time.  Frequented over the years by the likes of Verlaine, Rimbaud, James Joyce, and Hemingway, Polidor has been a favorite of artists and writers seeking a good meal on a struggling artist’s budget for nearly two centuries. Little has changed about the restaurant since that time. They continue to serve traditional French cuisine such as duck parmentier (15.50€), boeuf bourgignon (19.90€), and clafoutis for dessert (6.60€).  Polidor also has extremely appealing prix fixe options, with a three-course lunch for 15.50€, and dinner for 25€.

Address: 41 Rue Monsieur le Prince, Paris 75006

Pricing: 15€ – 30€

10. Le Merci

Warm smiles greet you, and you’ll leave smiling with satisfaction at Cambodian restaurant Le Merci.

The second arrondissement – with street after street of boutiques, passages (covered shopping arcades), museums, and restaurants – is one of the most vibrant and exciting neighborhoods in Paris. This is where you’ll find Le Merci, and you’ll be thankful you did. It’s a clean, no-frills eatery with a limited menu that’s big on flavor and value.  With three appetizers, three main courses, and three desserts to choose from, making your choice will be easy. After a satisfying meal here, you may find you have a bit more to spend, and luckily this is a great neighborhood for shopping. Stay in the spirit of great value at G. Detou, where you’ll find wholesale prices on everything from Valrhona chocolate to teas, jams, condiments, spices, and all manner of cooking and baking ingredients. Afterwards, be sure to check out the terrific deals on some of the best vintage clothes in Paris at Vintage Century two doors down.

Address: 29 Rue Poissonnière, Paris 75002

Pricing: 10€ – 20€

Other Affordable Restaurants in Paris

There are choices a plenty for good affordable food in Paris, so it’s worth including a few honorable mentions: Restaurant Daya (North African food in the 11th), Creperie Hermine (crepes in the 16th), La Reserve du Terroir (tapas in the 4th), and Maison Perchée (French Mediterranean tapas, great vegetarian options).

Philip Ruskin is an External Lecturer (ESSEC Bus. School), Consultant (food & travel marketing), writer, drummer and regular contributor to Frenchly. He loves to bike around his adopted hometown of Paris. Find him here, on Instagram.  All photographs by the author, except where indicated.

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