Top 5 Paris on a Budget Restaurants

All of us love Paris.. who does not love one of the most romantic places on earth? Unfortunately, the most romantic place on earth can take its toll on your pockets especially if you live, work and earn in Asia but want to travel and enjoy the sights and sounds of enchanting Paris. Well, talking to my buddy who lives there, I recently found out that hey, traveling around France need not be that expensive. You just need to know where to eat/stay. Anyway, here with today’s Travel Tip is a fun loving girl-friend of mine, Marlys from Paris!

More of a joyful gourmand than a sophisticated gourmet, I’ve always preferred the informal and good hearty meals, even in Paris of the haute cuisine fame. All the hype over this or that French restaurant with famous  or upcoming chefs doesn’t excite me. The meals I’ve had in the two or three “famous”,  even starred, restaurants have actually failed to  impress me.

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I have often been asked to recommend restaurants in Paris away from touristy areas, serving good food and providing value for money. Here are five of my preferred ones, listed from the priciest to the downright cheap. Some would say these are not “sophisticated” choices, but small and big appetites are guaranteed to be sated for very little outlay. No nouvelle cuisine here, I promise..

My Top 5 Paris on a Budget Restaurants are :

1. Au Pied de Cochon – Being Asian myself, I like pig trotters in various reincarnations. This one  was made famous by a restaurant that has existed in Paris for donkey’s years, its history going back to the time when Les Halles was the wholesale fresh market supplying the whole city  with produce (meat, fish, fruits and veggies). Their original clientele were the market workers. Today,  mainly tourists flock there, hence the rather pricey à la Carte dishes. Even then ‘pricey’ at this restaurant is relative (definitely cheaper than the posher joints), and at this place you can choose to take the set menu at € 16.50. A real bargain and the food is great!

No. 1Exterior Au Pied de Cochon


2. Le Petit Bofinger – I can recommend this place without blinking an eye for the quality of the food, the venue, the service and most of all the price of their menus : huge mains for only €19.50 with a glass of wine, or € 26 with half a bottle of wine & dessert. Tough to beat!

No. 2 Exterior Le Petit Bofinger


3. Le Relais Gascon – It was once listed by Time Out for ‘value-for-money’ meals. Everyone we’ve introduced to this place keeps coming back, plus recommends it to friends. Salads are the specialty but the set menu at €15.50 is hard to top considering this is supposed to be a “touristy” restaurant ( available only Mon. to Fri. Lunchtime)

No. 3 Le Relais Gascon


4. Salon de The  Wenzhou – Le Monde reviewed it once and the owner of the cafe still has the clipping on their shop front to prove it.

No.  4 Salon de The WenZhou

Here, one can partake of Chinese cuisine of the Wenzhou region of China. This very same street in Belleville is famous for being the birth place of Edith Piaf.  It was a gutter in Belleville where she was born!

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5. Finally, the downright cheap (and my current favourite) – the Sri Lankan restaurant Muniyandy Vilas.

No. 5 Exterior Muniyandy

My Tweep friend Courtney (@AboutParis) introduced me to this place, serving hot spicy Tamil meals from as low as €3.50. We brought Dave and Deb, the famous @theplanetd couple to try it out. Four big appetites and we still got change from €25 (+ a doggy bag to boot). The food and service here is excellent.

feast at Muniyandy

Oh ‘ghee’ z, now I’m hungry..!


About this week’s Guest writer:

Parisbuff teamMarlys is half of team @ParisBuFF . Michael is the other half, author of the guidebook Paris Movie Walks. Both Marlys and Michael are based in Paris and more than happy to give budget tips to people visiting Paris and France.

When I first asked Marlys to be a guestwriter on Cumi & Ciki, she went “Oh dear, I don’t have any photos!” But then, within that same week she said – “fear not Ciki, I will jump on my bike and go around town to photograph the shots you need..”, and she did just that. What a sweetie!

Follow Marlys on twitter : @ParisBuFF

Check out their website: Paris Movie Walks


  1. Indispensable info! Thanks for sharing. Will def. keep these joints in mind when in Paris.

  2. Good, affordable Chinese food in Paris? Devil’s gonna love that! 😀

  3. Great work Marlys and thanks for giving us adventure travelers some frugal places to eat in an expensive city.

  4. ooh, this is helpful! will be off to paris in september, so that 24-hour pork restaurant sounds delightful. breaded pig trotters, here i come! 😀

  5. This is really useful stuff! Planning a trip to Western Europe in the not-too-distant future and can use any insights which will help manage the burn to the pocket. Conversion still hurts like hell though! :-S

  6. nice info indeed….need to save a bit cost when dine in europe! thanks for the info

  7. This post is indeed helpful for travelers on a tight budget who wish to visit the City of Love~!! Would definitely keep this in mind when the opportunity comes for me to fly to Paris one day =) Great photos @ParisBuFF! Keep it up Mei! Your blog is surely one of the best! =)

  8. Hopefully I can afford a holiday to Paris soon. These places look good! :)

  9. This is so helpful! Will be visiting Paris for the second time in two weeks. This time, I’m definitely going to eat well! 😉

  10. Number 5. I always found french food over rated. Chocolate mousse being an exception :)

    The French supermarket can offer up a lot of good food for those on a super budget. But for a romantic meal the above will certainly save you some $ too :)

  11. Really useful-visiting Paris soon- Thanks for taking the time Ros xx

  12. I’m not visiting Paris any time soon but I bookmarked this anyway because posts like these are priceless.

  13. Paris…I have not been to any Europe countries! But then, I can’t stand the cold so it might actually be a good idea to stick to SEA. Still, one has to tour Paris once right? ;p

  14. LOL, yea its getting pretty expensive these days but at least one can eat cheap:D

  15. I been to this restaurant previously Le Petit Bofinger…I would never forget the tender and juicy taste of french braised duck!

  16. Great photos and tips! I’ll have to check out the Sri Lankan restaurant in Paris. The dishes look delicious…

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