Paris pas cher: Chez Pim’s cheap eats guide to Paris

I’ve been getting quite a few emails asking for recommendations for inexpensive Paris bistros. I do have a long list of them, but I simply haven’t had the time to write about them all on Chez Pim.

I pride myself in my ability to appreciate good food at any price. I’ve been very lucky to have many opportunities to eat at the fanciest of tables, but even I <roll eyes> cannot eat like that everyday, so here’s a list of the other places that I love and would like to share with you. Trust me, eating well doesn’t always mean eating extravagantly, especially not in a food heaven like Paris.

I hope you find this useful, please consider this a humble holiday gift to you from Chez Pim. Thank you so much for spending your precious time with me here, and for the many words of encouragement in your comments and via email. You’ve helped made this a fabulous year, and I so look forward to the next year –I have so many surprises in store, stay tuned.

Paris pas cher: Chez Pim’s cheap eats guide to Paris

Paris Bistros
These are small bistros which generally have a small three to five-course menu ranging from 25-35€ and a reasonably priced wine list.

83 Rue Laugier 75017 M: Porte de Champerret
(01 40 54 97 24)
My current favorite. The chef has a good pedigree, and is cooking up a storm for just 28€ for dinner. The cooking here is hearty and delicious, and with a finesse that separates them from the rest of the field. The room is cramped but very cheerful and charming. One of the best price/value rapport in the city.

92, rue Broca
75013 Paris
(01 47 07 13 65)
A delicious new bistro, overseen by Yves Camdeborde of La Régalade fame. Very cute little space, run by a very agreeable African lady who speaks perfect English.

L’Os à Moelle
3, Rue Vasco de Gama 75015 M: Lourmel (01 45 57 27 27)
My parennial favorite. The chef is a Constant protégé. The menu here is still very refined, with at least 5 courses, each complex in its simplicity. They are on the higher price end of this group, with the dinner menu at 38€, but worth every penny.

Le Repaire de Cartouche
8, boulevard des filles du calvaire 75011 M:St Sebastien Froissard (01 47 00 25 86)

Here is another Constant protégé, in a space that looks like it could be an old hunting lodge. The cooking here is big and bold.
Chez Michel
10, Rue de Belzunce
75010 M: Poissonnière ( 01 44 53 06 20)

Yes, yet another Constant protégé, with roots from Brittany which show in the menu. When I am here I always order something from that region, his yummy Kig-ha-farz, a pot au feu of sort, with pork jowls (the Kig bit) and curious doughy dumplings with sweet raisins (that would be the Farz bit). A great spot for a meal before/after the Eurostar.
28 rue du Mont Thabor 75001 M: Beaubourg/Les Halles (01 42 96 28 18)
An ever popular spot for Anglo gastro tourists, but has managed to not let the quality goes down the drain even with the mainly non-local clientele.

Café Constant
139, rue
Saint-Dominique 75007 (01 47 53 73 34)
The first outgrowth in Christian Constant’s plan to take over rue Dominique. A simple neighbourhood bistro serving simple and good food. The clientele is a mix between high-rolling Le Figaro readers to local workmen.

Les Fables de la Fontaine
131 rue Saint-Dominique 75007 (01 44 18 37 55)
The newest of Christian Constant’s places on rue Dominique. This one focuses on fish and seafood. A lovely spot for a deliciously fishy lunch.

Mon Vieil Ami

69 Rue St Louis en l’Ile
75004 M:Cité (01 40 46 01 35)
Another favorite. This is a bistro outpost of the fabulous three-star Le Buerehisel in Strasbourg. The menu is not entirely Alsatian, but gives a nod to the general direction. Also on the higher price end of this scale (dinner menu 38€), and in a more refined -and highly designed- atmosphere than all the others. It is on the charming Ile St.Louis from where you could take a romantic and enchanting walk along the Seine to digest the meal.

L’Ami Jean

27, rue Malar 75007 M:Alma Marceau (01 47 05 86 89)
The chef here was once a sous chef at La Régalade while Yves Camdeborde was still cooking. The menu is very similar to La Régalade, robust, hearty food. They do very good game (wild meats) during the season.

À la biche aux bois
45 Ave Ledru-Rollin 75012 M: Gare de Lyon (01 43 43 34 38)

This place is always packed with locals. The tables are so closed together you’d think you are eating from a communal table –not that there’s anything wrong with it. The menu is completely void of pretension, the cooking is perhaps simpler than the others on this list, but no less tasty, and a great value at only 25€.

L’Avant Gout
26 rue Bobilot 75013 M:Place d’Italie (Auguste Blanqui exit) (01 53 80 24 00)
My friend Mr.Naughton is in love with the incredible 12.50€ lunch menu here. You get an entree, plat, a glass of wine, and coffee, all included for the price, the bargain of Paris in my opinion.
La Table de Lucullus
129 rue Legendre
M: La Fourche
(01 40 25 02 68)
Clotilde introduced me to this place, a favorite of hers. I’ve only had foie gras and chocolate here (such a hard life I lead), but they were so lovely as to warrant a mention in this list. The affable young chef Nicolas Vagnon is reportedly a wiz at fish and seafood. His specialty dessert, chocolate saucer with ginger ice cream is a delectable treat.

Ethnic Eats

Le Bambou
70, rue Baudricourt
75013, 01 45 70 91 75
Metro: Place d’Italie

This is my favorite Vietnamese place in Paris. I go there for a giant bowl of Pho, served properly with saw-tooth herbs on the side to be torn and thrown in the already fragrant soup. The best cure for food/booze/smoke-induced hangover that I know. Another favorite is a steamed crèpe with minced pork (Bun Cuon).

Les 4 Frères
Metro Menilmontant
For cheap and delicious couscous, order a salade méchui (or whatever other salade on the menu du jour) and a couscous maison (with a meat of your choice) and you should be all set. I have no address for this one, sorry, but it’s super easy to find. Take
metro to Menilmontant, get up to the street, look ahead and to the
right, just a few doors down, next to a North African supermarket is
Les 4 Frères.
L’étoile Kabyle
93 Ave. de Paris, Chatillon M:Chatillon
This is a very good Algerian restaurant, recommended to me by an Algerian cab driver in Paris. It’s a bit of a trek, all the way out the Chatillon, but worth the trip I promise you. The food is inexpensive and the portion enormous, bring lots of dining companions.

Portable Eating

Le Grand Epicerie
on Rue de Sèvres at Blvd. Raspail (1st floor of the Bon Marché department store)
Another perfect way to eat inexpensively and well in Paris is to buy ready-made items from food shops and eat them al fresco somewhere fun.
And for this I cannot think of a better place than le Grande Epicerie, the Mother-of-All épicerie, carrying everything from the fabulous black pig Ibérico ham to jelly beans. You will be dazzled by the plethora of choices, cheese, sausages, hams, patés, breads, and even desserts. But don’t let anything faze you, take your time, walk around, check out everything before you decide.
Here you could buy a baguette, some cheese, a bit of ham or sausages and even a bottle of wine and have a lovely picnic out in the nearby park with your sweetheart, all for less than 20€. I don’t usually buy desserts there though, I prefer to walk a few blocks over to rue Bonaparte for fabulous desserts from Pierre Hermé –they are not inexpensive, by any means, but entirely worth the price, and I would rather have one sublime macaron than a giant bag of cookies any day.

L’As du Falaffel

34 rue des Rosiers 75004 (01 48 87 63 60)
You can sit down or take a famous falafel to eat while strolling the Jewish quarter on rue de Rosier. The best fast food in the entire city, in my opinion. I once had a falafel as appetizer on the way to a lunch at Les Ambassadeurs. Yes, I am crazy, I know, but why do you sound surprise? 😉

Drinkable fun

La Cave de l’Os à Moelle

across the street from L’Os à Moelle
A wine bar extension of my darling L’Os à Moelle. There is no menu here, you pay 20€ and eat whatever on offer that day, buffet style. You could also pick up a bottle of wine from the bar to drink with your dinner, for the same price as a take-away bottle. The food is simple but delicious, the wine list inspired and full of wines from small artisanal makers, and the atmosphere friendly and fun. I love it.

47 rue de Richelieu
Paris, 75001 (01 42 97 46 49)
Another fun place for a few tapas items and a spot of drink, run by a funny Scotsman. The food -mostly tapas-ish items like duval sausages and great cheeses (with surprising English ones from Neals yard)- is good, and the wine even better. The bar man speaks perfect English, in case this is important to you.

Le Verre Volé

67 rue de Lancry 75010. M: Gare de l’est.
(01 48 03 17 34)
A tiny little place focusing on wines produced with natural methods, biodynamic, sulphur-free, etc. The list here is incredible if you are interested in those wines from small artisanal producers. The menu is small but always has interesting items to try, and you are actually required to eat something with your drinks here. Just my kind of wine bar. 😉

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57 Responses to “Paris pas cher: Chez Pim’s cheap eats guide to Paris

  • Vanessa said:
    December 25th, 2004 at 2:25pm

    What a way to civilise Xmas. Thank you Pim.

  • Cooking with Amy said:
    December 25th, 2004 at 4:02pm

    Merci beaucoup! I’m printing this up and saving it! Look forward to catching up over a meal soon.

  • david said:
    December 25th, 2004 at 4:06pm

    A list worth saving. thanks for sharing…

  • daniel said:
    December 25th, 2004 at 4:27pm

    thanks a lot, this is a very useful list 🙂

  • adrian said:
    December 25th, 2004 at 4:55pm

    Happy (belated) Christmas, Pim.

  • adrian said:
    December 25th, 2004 at 5:00pm

    Watch out for La Table de Lucullus, as it is no longer apparently owned by Nicolas…

  • haddock said:
    December 25th, 2004 at 11:01pm

    Do you know of Au C’Amelot on rue Amelot. Perhaps it’s not still there but when I ate there in the mid-late 90’s I thought it was run by Christian Constant. Or at the least one of his proteges.
    Had tried Chez Michel around then as well as Eric Frechon.

  • sandye said:
    December 25th, 2004 at 11:55pm

    dear Adrian,
    i remember reading about Au C’amelot in sandra gustafson’s Cheap Eats in Paris book from the late 90s and she mentioned that Constant had opened it when he was still at Les Ambassadeurs. i think later he sold it to one of his proteges and that’s when the name changed to “Le C’amelot”. at any rate i had a wonderful 3 course prix fixe dinner there with a friend in december 2000. it only seats maybe 20, but back then (with a fabulous exchange rate for foreigners) dinner for 2, plus a bottle of wine, 2 extra glasses of wine, and coffee, tax, and tip came to ONLY about $63!
    my question is: are there TWO christian constants? one the chef we are familiar with and another who’s the candymaker?

  • mary said:
    December 26th, 2004 at 12:25am

    thanks so much. i’m saving this list for my next visit to Paris!

  • gwenda said:
    December 26th, 2004 at 5:52am

    thanks for posting this list! 🙂

  • Su-Lin said:
    December 26th, 2004 at 6:22am

    Thank you, Pim! I’m awaiting my next trip to Paris already…whenever that shall be!

  • Vinography: a wine blog said:
    December 26th, 2004 at 7:36pm

    The Best Bistros in Paris

    There are few people I trust more on the subject of French cuisine, and in particular the institution known as the Bistro than my friend and fellow blogger Pim. Her blog, Chez Pim, is the envy of many an epicure, filled as it is with her frequent trips…

  • Jimmy said:
    December 26th, 2004 at 9:08pm

    Thanks PIM!!!!!!!! I just printed the whole thing. I’ll be there in 8 days! Can’t wait! Thanks again. Happy New Year…Jimmy-in-Seattle

  • Gracianne said:
    December 27th, 2004 at 1:54am

    Thank you so much for this Pim, and Merry Christmas to you! I have been reading your posts for a while, and, as a Parisian gourmande, I really appreciate the gift. I share your opinion on l’As du Fallafel, really one of the best, especially if you take away and eat on the beautiful Place des Vosges nearby. And I was at La Grande Epicerie last Thursday, looking for some ingredients for my Christmas dinner – you should have seen the candied fruits / stuffed dried fruits / little marzipan fruits display, a real work of art!
    Keep writing, so good reading you.

  • Pascale said:
    December 27th, 2004 at 2:50am

    Merry Chritsmas Pim and thank you so much for these addresses.

  • writersbloc gal said:
    December 27th, 2004 at 8:50am

    Pim, thank you so much. i’m off to Paris in a few days and this is a huge help!! merci bien!

  • Ester said:
    December 28th, 2004 at 2:23am

    Dear Pim,
    Thanks for all your ideas for 2005-restaurants-in-Paris travel (I’m trying to make it at least once a month.) In the 9th district, you should enjoy “Chez Georgette”, a little bistro as you like, owned by delicious women cooking fresh vegetables from Joel Thiebault and serving the most amazing Fontainebleau I ever eat -better than mine, grrhhh !

  • Grace said:
    December 29th, 2004 at 1:34pm

    Thanks for posting this…it’s going in my PDA. I was in Paris in July and C’amelot is still there…several friends had an excellent dinner there.

  • Bernard said:
    January 12th, 2005 at 11:43am

    Great info, pim. I’ll be renting an apartment practically around the corner from Le Grand Epicerie, so it looks like I’ll have lots of good ingredients/prepared items withing a convenient walk.

  • Pim said:
    January 12th, 2005 at 12:01pm

    Bernard: Nice, in which case you would also be right by Fromagerie Quatrehomme, who supplies cheese to Le Meurice. It’s fabulous, you should check them out. Just walk on Rue de Sèvres to the opposite direction of Blvd. Raspail, the cheese shop is just about a block or so on the same side of the street as le Bon Marché.

  • Jennifer said:
    January 20th, 2005 at 3:53pm

    Thank you for the recommendations. Although from the Bay, I’m now living in the City of Light. I finally got around to trying two of your recommendations.
    -Le Meurice was fabulous. The food was delicious, down to every bite. The service was outstanding. The wines were surprisingly reasonable priced. The small room is beautiful, in fact I felt as if I were eating IN the Chateau Versailles.
    -L’avant Gout – I went for the lunch special. Without a doubt it’s the best lunch special I’ve had in Paris. I started with a chestnut soup, followed with a pot au feu, had my glass of wine and finished with my coffee. The levels of service and the freshness of the ingredients were a pleasure had for low price of 12.50 euros.
    Thank you for the EXCELLENT recommendations!
    Would you happen to have any Mexican/Tex Mex/California Mexican recommendations for this great city?
    PS – Le Grande Epicerie carries the best ever loaf of 7-grain bread! L’as du Fafallel was already my favorite sunday lunch!

  • Tony said:
    January 25th, 2005 at 8:51am

    Excellent website! will consult it before our next trip to Paris. As a Juveniles/Willi’s Wine Bar alum, happy to see Juves mentioned. bravo.

  • Janet said:
    February 3rd, 2005 at 8:10am

    Pim, I’m SO happy I stumbled onto your blog! I’m visiting Paris 17-22 Feb 04, and this list will be VERY helpful. Thank you!

  • guillaume said:
    March 14th, 2005 at 3:09pm

    I am fascinated by your blog, how do you find the time to do all this ?
    I have 2 recommendations for you :
    1. l’Auberge du Clou, 30 avenue Trudaine (9th) 01 48 78 22 48. The atmosphere is really different, esp. on the 1st floor and the food is just good, inventive, and not too pricey (around E 25/30).
    2. Miss Betsy 23 rue Guillaume tell (17th) 01 42 67 12 67. It has just opened and the chef was a sous-chef at Gaya (near La Madeleine, one of the restarants of Pierre Gagnaire). The food here is very creative, but always with a reason (no chicken with Coke…). I had never seen any of the dishes on the menu for example. Lots of vegetables. Same sort of price (E 25/30)

  • Shari said:
    March 23rd, 2005 at 7:56pm

    Does anyone know the name of the bistro that is across the street from the Holiday Inn St. Germain des Pres (6e). It was on the corner of the Boulevard Raspail & Rue Rennes. Kindest thanks!

  • Andy in Oz said:
    April 3rd, 2005 at 8:17pm

    What a great discovery – will be back again later this year – thanks Pim!

  • Mark Craft said:
    April 12th, 2005 at 11:35am

    Chere Pim :
    Thanks for the wonderful suggestions, not just on this list but throughout your amazing site. We go to France often and, having now discovered your work (I’m a little slow in finding good things, it seems), we have designated our May 2005 trip to Paris “Le Voyage de Pim”. We’ll be eating mostly from your restaurant reviews.
    It was only on a trip in April 2004 that I discovered restaurant La Bamboche de Claude Colliot. It was fabulous. Unfortunately, that was just before Claude and his wife closed up shop and left Paris — hoping to make a big splash somewhere else. From what I can tell (from reading blogs) he has ended up in Sinapore. Do you know if that’s correct?
    Thanks, Pim.

  • annelie maria said:
    May 5th, 2005 at 5:18am

    Have you ever been to a resturant called Bistro des Oies at Rue Marie et Louise in the 10th? They have excellent goose-liver and duck. The two owners are known as les deux oies (big steph and little steph) are super friendly. Menu for 17-20 euros, closed the week-end, a decent wine list (no real killers but on the other hand, no trash). Try it and tell me what you think…

  • kim said:
    June 22nd, 2005 at 6:58pm

    I am so grateful for this. I will be in Paris for the month of July and I needed some cheaper but still good places to eat while there.

  • Steve said:
    January 22nd, 2006 at 7:19am

    I’ll be going to Paris when my kid’s (age 10 & 12) have Spring Break this March. This list of bistros should be helpful. Does anyone have any suggestions for “kid friendly” restaurants?

  • Brad Simpson said:
    November 2nd, 2006 at 7:04pm

    Great list and happy I came across it. L’Ami Jean is a standard for me and I always make it night on every trip to Paris.
    – Brad

  • paul anderson said:
    December 4th, 2006 at 8:30pm

    Overwhelming blog of consultancy.

  • Amanda said:
    February 2nd, 2007 at 1:08pm

    Pim, I just got back from my first visit to Paris, and my friends took me to the falafel place in the Jewish Quarter. Phenominal!!!!

  • David Jason said:
    June 3rd, 2007 at 11:41am

    Great wine List look forward to trying some of these next time I am on vacation.

  • Linda said:
    June 4th, 2007 at 8:12pm

    I am wondering if you can recommend a restaurant in Paris that has very good french food (but I really can’t eat fois gras), romantic, great wine list and (here is the hard part) open in August? We are going to be there in early August for our 15th anniversary and I can’t seem to find anything that will be open. We are staying in Versailles, but I think we would like to have dinner in Paris on August 8 for our anniversary (we even have a babysitter already for the kids!). Any suggestions would be welcome. I am very intrigued by the restaurants I have read about that are run by younger chefs, which sound like they have great food for more reasonable prices, although price is not really a concern.
    Thank you!

  • Peter said:
    June 17th, 2007 at 3:02pm

    Just back from a week in Paris, and two of our top three meals were from your recommendations – lunch at L’Entredgeu, and lunch at Fables de La Fontaine – both superb, in different ways. Thanks for the great tips! Our third great meal was dinner at Le Dome, but it’s in a different price category!

  • Juliette said:
    June 22nd, 2007 at 9:45pm

    ah, makes me ‘homesick’ for paris :*)
    another recommendation:
    super cute, small room, quite tucked away, with an open kitchen and a tiny, friendly staff. and the chef here is a self-taught woman… two things that are scarcer than hens teeth when it comes to france and dining! in fact when i went, it was her and a young woman in the kitchen. 31 euros for 3 course dinner, 19 for 2 course lunch with wine and coffee. 2 little things: my fish was ok but not nearly as good as the crazy pork loin w mustard sauce that my date had, and my fruit salad dessert was totally wierd… the signature carambar tiramisu, however, was great. i get the impression that the classic-leaning dishes here are more solid. check it out!!

  • Juliette said:
    June 22nd, 2007 at 10:16pm

    oh! and ABSOLUTELY check out L’A.O.C. (…. the very very very very best meats you can get, for the most part simply roasted on an enormous rotisserie and accompanied by potatoes and jus. unbelievable house charcuterie. i had a balls-to-the-wall meal there for two complete with nice wine, coffee, dessert, everything for under 100 euros. this is one of the best places i ever ate at in paris!!!!

  • Gavin said:
    June 27th, 2007 at 4:35am

    Hmmmmmmmm, I’m starting to drool! Can’t wait to get back over there.

  • jackee said:
    July 29th, 2007 at 8:36pm

    nice listing of paris restaurant. this list is helpful. the price is also inexpensive and sound look good. i always like french wines and foods.

  • tony said:
    August 13th, 2007 at 8:09pm

    nice restaurants and the price are also comfortable. in these days the restaurant are too expensive and the food and wine is tasteless.

  • sdgdfgrtty said:
    November 17th, 2007 at 11:33am
  • SDFuxx said:
    November 23rd, 2007 at 6:31am
  • Luc said:
    December 1st, 2007 at 5:38am

    Another brilliant and extremely useful post. I have just moved to Paris and will attempt to work my way through this list.
    I realise that this may be slightly off topic but does anyone know what happens around christmas time in relation to eating out. My mum’s visiting over the Christmas period and instead of staying in my rather small flat i’m hoping to do the traditional ‘fruits de mer’ on christmas eve and then something tasty on christmas day both at restaurants. Has anyone done this or even know if places will be open. If so, any recommendations?
    Thanks in advance

  • Ingijr said:
    December 5th, 2007 at 6:10am
  • Alex Gardner said:
    February 7th, 2008 at 4:25am

    What a great list – must have taken a long time to test and put together!
    Just wondering if anyone knows if all the recommendations are still up and running?

  • Alexandra said:
    September 12th, 2008 at 9:26am

    Thanx for the list but was wondering if you can suggest anywhere affordable(up to 50euros per prson) to eat for Christmas dinner… We will be approximately 20 people!

  • free games said:
    October 9th, 2008 at 7:34pm

    I’m also interested in finding an affordable place for two. Romantic preferably – we’re celebrating our 10th year anniversary.

  • Felicia D. said:
    October 22nd, 2008 at 5:36pm

    Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll be in Paris in February looking for inexpensive food. I’m going on an antiquing trip with these people: I have copied your list, now I have to match it up with my hotel location. Thank you, Felicia

  • Sharon Lord Greenspan said:
    December 28th, 2008 at 3:23pm

    Thank you for this list! We are in Paris now and cannot wait to try it all…

  • RecipeOfTheWeek said:
    April 13th, 2009 at 2:14pm

    This is perfect! It’s hard to find good restaurant references for people who are on a budget! Thanks!

  • Nick said:
    May 13th, 2009 at 3:02pm

    How I wished I visited your blog before going to Paris a fortnight ago! Had a really bad meal at Au Pied de Cochon (Highly over-rated) and was looking for a nice bistro meal. Well, will definitely try one of your suggestions when I hop back over the pond to Paris soon!

  • WenLin Soh said:
    July 4th, 2009 at 3:46am

    Thanks very much for this Pim. Was recently in Paris on a shoestring, and did very well at La Bambou and Cafe Constant. Here’s an account of it if interested.

  • nevada home security systems said:
    January 10th, 2011 at 6:03pm

    Great job here. I really enjoyed what you had to say. Keep going because you definitely bring a new voice to this subject. Not many people would say what you’ve said and still make it interesting. Well, at least I’m interested.

  • jo said:
    March 5th, 2011 at 4:31am

    pim, have you been back to paris recently? would love to see an updated 2011 version of this! we relied on this list (and were very grateful to you) when we were in paris in 2005 but it’s now a bit outdated sadly.

  • Gadgets Insolites said:
    April 6th, 2011 at 11:15am

    ben c’est simple, tu saute la cloture de 8m de haut avec les barbelés, ensuite tu passe les douves avec les crocodiles géants mangeurs d’hommes, puis tu passe au travers des détécteurs lasers pour arriver a la rivière de lave en fusion qu’il te faudra sauter, et enfin tu assome le millier de gardes armés, qui ont pour la petite histoire, droit de tirer a vu.

  • mary joyce lising said:
    October 13th, 2011 at 2:22am

    Thanks for this, I will surely visit one of the places you said.

    land Laguna

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