France is known for its rich cuisine … and oftentimes, you’ve gotta be rich to enjoy what France has to offer. But if you look hard enough in the City of Love, there’s an Eiffel Tower full of cheap and delicious restaurants where any budget traveller can sit down after a hard day’s sightseeing and have a decent meal for under €20. Here are just a few:
1. Chartier restaurant, Paris
Timeout calls Chartier “a rough and tumble old-world brasserie that serves up basic French fare at even more basic prices.” Chartier opened its doors in 1896. As one of the most famous budget restaurants in Paris, Chartier allows even the tightest of budgets to enjoy the glorious event that is a French meal. And the restaurant doesn’t sacrifice quality or skimp on size, either. You can eat a healthy portion for around €10.
2. Le Richer
Le Richer has character. Located in an old district called the 10th arrondissement, the area used to serve the working-class, but now has become the hip place to be. The mix of stylish restaurants and bars alongside Balkan grocers and old school salons make this neighbourhood the place to be in Paris. Le Richer is one in the mix. The three-in-one cafe, bar and restaurant offers one of the cheapest menus in the district. With starters like wild rabbit terrine and tomato-citrus mousse, you’re sure to have your taste buds tantalized. Lunch averages around €15, while a main dinner course about €16.
3. Bistrot Victoires
After you’ve spent a full day gawking at the masterpieces in the Louvre, take a stroll over to this lively little bistro. Walk inside and you’ll feel as though you’re in a postcard of Paris. The decor includes frosted glass windowpanes and globe lights, and the kitchen serves up delicious Gallic food, including grilled duck, roasted chicken and a side of steak fries. If you leave room for dessert, satisfy your sweet tooth with the profiteroles dripping with hot chocolate sauce. Trip Advisor gives this chic cafe a four-star rating, and a two-course meal runs about €20.
Landlocked does not necessarily mean seafood is out of the question. The French ports along the Mediterranean supply Paris with some of the best seafood in the world. More often than not, feasting on Parisian seafood can run you a pretty penny. But L’Ilot offers up the best crab, oysters, smoked fish – you name it – at the best prices. Yelp gives L’Ilot a four-star rating, and a two-course meal averages €20.
You can dine on a three-course meal in the heart of Paris for under €20, or you can pack it up in a picnic and head to the park. This small chain of three is served by three-star chefs, Emmanuel Renaut, Anne-Sophie Pic and Régis Marcon to name a few. These chefs were hired to make recipes which largely use organic produce, served in recyclable glass jars. You can enjoy a starter of coddled egg with red onions and lentils created by Pic or the shepherd’s pie by Marcon. For dessert, try a pistachio and black sesame cream crumble by the stellar pastry chef Philippe Conticini.