Paris Deals

There are a few ways to economize while visiting Paris. And with an exchange rate that’s not in our favor, these tips might come in handy. Bob’s favorite way to save a few euros is to order his espresso at the counter—a comptoir. You get the same great coffee, but you pay less if you’re willing to stand at the bar with the locals. This works OK at the beginning of the day when your legs are fresh. But for our afternoon coffee, when we need one, we don’t mind paying more for table service. However, you can also save a bit by finding a café or bar a few blocks away from the popular tourist areas where they tend to charge more.
But an espresso is a small item compared to a full dinner in a Paris restaurant. There are plenty of wonderful bistros and restaurants that can break the bank. To reduce our dining costs, we usually go out for lunch instead of dinner. You get the same Paris cuisine, but the lunch menu offers smaller portions and therefore, a smaller bill.
Then, you you can try Paris take-out for dinner. For instance, check out some great food stores on rue Mouffetard and take home some cheese, meats, olives, marinated veggies or other deli items. You can even get cooked items like chicken or pasta, to name only a few. We found an Italian deli with all the goodies to make bruschetta with the addition of some bread from Du Pain et des Idées. We had two light dinners for about 7 euros.
We also had another fantastic meal from our local Farmer’s Market. There you can buy rotisserie chicken and the amazing potatoes that they cook using the juices from the chicken. We also saw sauerkraut and large kettles of lentils and sausage that looked delicious. In our tiny kitchen, we were able to sauté fresh brussels sprouts to add a bit of green to our chicken and potatoes. This meal was also about 5 euros.
There are Farmer’s Markets in neighborhoods throughout the city. They are very popular and the prices are decent. Right now a lot of the produce is coming from Provence and Spain. They always have a few meat, fish and cheese vendors. Besides the rotisserie chicken and potatoes, and the lentils, they always offer various ethnic foods, depending on the district. Today we stumbled onto an organic market just across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. It was probably 4 or 5 blocks long.
We didn’t expect to find so many markets selling fresh produce this time of the year. But Paris doesn’t disappoint in the department of la cuisine.




About msraaka

I am an artist, writer and desktop publishing consultant living in the Pacific Northwest. After our first visit to Italy, my husband Bob and I have found ways to spend more and more time there and other countries in Europe. We love to travel, but especially to stay in one area and get a better sense of place. I love learning languages, so I continue to study Italian, French and Spanish so I can communicate a bit more with the locals. Even learning the basic greetings can make a big difference.
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2 Responses to Paris Deals

  1. Kelly Finnerty says:

    Ah- those fantastic French markets! Have you found your favorite falafel place in the Marais yet?

  2. Toby Sonneman says:

    The take-out food is such a great way to eat wonderful French & Italian cooking, without the cost of a restaurant. It’s a great travel tip!

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