Let’s face it: Paris is known for its food. From crêpes to sandwiches, you’d be hard-pressed to plan a trip to this gastronomical wonder without indulging in some of the world’s finest cuisine.
But this guide isn’t about 5-star restaurants where you have to take out a second mortgage to afford eating there. When I was in Paris, I was a broke college student, so I focused on places where I could get the most bang for my buck. And most of the time, that was at local cafés.
Without further ado, here are my favorite places to eat in Paris, without overdrawing your bank account.
This is, hands down, my favorite place to eat in Paris. You can get a sweet or savory crêpe and a drink for about 5 euros. In a city known for it’s expensive prices, this place is a blessing for your wallet. And the crêpes are simply delicious, too.
Address: 7 rue de la Harpe
Closest Métro station: Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame
If you’re visiting Paris during the spring, summer, or early fall, you have to make a stop at Berthillion. This ice cream shop has three locations on the Île St. Louis, across the bridge from the Île de la Cité, where Notre Dame is located. The café and the two stalls each with the same flavors, so if one is busy, just walk down the street or around the corner to another one. My favorite flavor was the mandarin sorbet, which I recommend enjoying while you sit on the bank of the Seine and bask in the Parisian sunshine.
Address: 31 rue St.-Louis-en-l’Ille
Closest Métro station: Pont Marie (right bank), Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame (left bank)
Liebaux made an appearance in last week’s post Visiting Paris 101: Where to Go, so I won’t repeat myself except to say this: You must visit this macaron shop. Seriously, you’ll regret it if you don’t stop in. As someone who’s tried a lot of macarons, I can safely say that these are the best I’ve ever had. I can still taste them, a year and a half later.
Address: 30 Avenue de Friedland
Closest Métro station: Charles de Gaulle-Étoile (RER A), Ternes (Line 2), George V (Line 1)
This sandwich chain is a good place to pop in for a quick, cheap bite to eat while you’re out and about. As a picky eater, I always ordered a plain old fromage et jambon (ham and cheese). Just make sure you get your sandwich warmed up (chauffé), since they put butter on in place of mayo. Unless you like cold butter, in which case you do you.
Address: multiple spots around the city, including near the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre
This charming café is perfect if you’re looking for a quintessential Parisian spot where you can engage in some people watching with a glass of wine, but away from the main crowds. It’s a nice mid-range option for lunch, which is when I went. Just remember that most French restaurants shut down from about 3pm-5pm, to prep for the dinner service, so order your food before then. After that, you can take your time and relax on the patio, but don’t expect to see your server often.
Address: 6 rue de la Vrillière, by the Jardin du Palais Royal
Closest Métro station: Sentier (Line 3), Palais Royal Musée du Louvre (Line 1, Line 7)
Whether you’re an Audrey Hepburn fan or simply looking for a nice brunch, Angelina has you covered. While it’s probably the most expensive place on this list, you do get a lot of food for the price. I recommend visiting here for breakfast or brunch, then grabbing a croissant or baguette from a bakery later in the day. You’ll definitely be full after you leave this place. Oh, and you can’t leave without trying their famous hot chocolate.
Address: 226 Rue de Rivoli
Closest Métro station: Tuileries (Line 1)