Paris is more than just macarons and meringues, or coffee and croissants.
It is the umami of Asian cuisine, the waft of Middle-Eastern scents, the warmth of African soul food, the comfort of American classics, the proud traditions of Italian cooking, the spicy trails of Indian curries—and of course, those beloved French classics, too.
The best part? All of the above gastronomic delights are perfectly friendly on your wallet.
These five options for cheap food in Paris are proof that budget-friendly dining doesn’t have to mean subsisting on fast food throughout your stay. They also reflect the diverse makeup of the city, so rest assured that there’s something for all tastes.
1. Grande Mosquée de Paris
Any list of must-visit places in Paris is incomplete without the Grande Mosquée. Nestled in the hip 5th arrondissement, the mosque stands out for its Moghul architecture and Asian feel. As a bonus, it comes with a pretty spectacular onsite restaurant where you can refuel after your visit.
The restaurant has a self-service pastry counter as well as a kitchen that serves Middle Eastern repas. Once you’re seated, the servers come around with piping cups of mint tea or Turkish coffee. It is a potpourri of Middle Eastern flavors, with plenty to pick from.
Not sure what to order? Here are a few of our favorite bites:
- Basbousa (€4): An Egyptian semolina cake soaked in cinnamon syrup
- Kunafeh (€4): A Middle Eastern pastry stuffed with mascarpone cheese
- Chakchouka (€7): Also spelled “shakshouka,” this flavorful dish consists of poached eggs in a spiced tomato sauce
- Moroccan Salad (€7)
Insider’s tip: This is a great spot for a late afternoon snack, such as a pastry with a cup of mint tea or coffee (which will set you back less than €9). While smoking is allowed, this place does not serve alcohol.
2. Roomies Burger
Burgers are the ultimate comfort food. They may not be French cuisine, but they have definitely become a part of the Parisian DNA. However, most Paris burger joints have combos starting at €15, with limited, overdone choices.
That’s not the case at Roomies. Here, a veggie burger costs €10, a hamburger €11, and a bacon hamburger €12. That’s as far as the scale tips. Their veggie burger is just as delicious as their meat-based options—which is rare, even for Paris. The ingredients are locally sourced and of top quality, which definitely reflects in the taste.
Insider’s tip: When in doubt, go for the burger du moment. You won’t regret it!
3. Maoz Vegetarian
Paris is a city of meat lovers who take great pride in serving the best cuts and preparing the most comforting meat-based raclettes in winter. As a result, vegetarians can sometimes feel a little left out, and vegans even more so.
That’s where Maoz comes in. This place is a vegetarian haven with delicious, wholesome wraps (which are so good, even many hardcore carnivores are fans) and freshly made falafel balls. With wraps starting as low as €5, it does not get better than this. As if that weren’t enough reason to rejoice, they even serve some of the best açai bowls in town.
4. Le Fonio
African food has long had a niche following. Very rarely are the late night munchies associated with Senegalese cuisine.
After a night of partying, this is where you’ll find Parisians indulging their midnight cravings. The entrées start at just €3.50, which is why this place is always packed with students, tourists and young millennials looking for a bang for their buck!
5. La Petite Bretonne
Montparnasse is hands down the “Crêpe Centrale” of Paris, with several stellar options such as La Creperie de Josselin, La Crêperie Bretonne, and so on. But tucked in the backstreets of Latin Quarter is a true hidden gem: La Petite Bretonne. The owners are former managers of Josselin who have since brought their years of expertise to the fifth arrondissement.
Prices for crepes and galettes range from €4–€12, making La Petite Bretonne the ideal spot to enjoy Bretagne’s pride served in its true rustic form.
Insider’s tip: If you catch the husband and wife duo that own the shop, which you often will, ask them for their recommendations.Want our insider’s guide to eating in Paris? Just add your email address in the form below! ADD_THIS_TEXT
Maithili Chodankar is a freelancer and an entrepreneur in Paris. She is an ethical fashion Instagrammer with a penchant for words. She’s a foodie through and through. She’s recently turned vegetarian and hence knows best of both worlds. She enjoys travelling, playing the guitar and being a doting parent to her awesome pets.