1. Chartier Paris
Address: 7 Rue du Faubourg-Montmartre, 9th
Phone: +33(0)1 47 70 86 29
Open: Mon-Sun, 11:00 am-3:00 pm; 6:00 pm-10:00 pm
Web : http://www.restaurant-chartier.com
This legendary Belle Epoque restaurant draws constant crowds for its elegant turn-of-the-century dining room (seating over 300 people), gregarious wait staff (who scrawl orders out on white paper tablecloths), and, above all, the inexpensive, traditional, and decent fare. The menu is classic (beef bourguignon, sauerkraut, sea bream, etc.). Sides are as low as 2 Euros/ approx. $2.70, main dishes are about $8-$10, and three courses can be enjoyed for approx. $20-$30. A must.
2. Le Marquis Paris
Address: 3 Rue Beccaria, 12th arrondissement
Phone: +33 (0)1 43 41 56 77
Open: Tues-Sat, noon-2 pm; 7:30 pm-9:30 pm
Web : http://www.le-marquis-restaurant.com
This gastronomic kitchen specialized in southwestern French cuisine offers authentic and budget-friendly lunch menus. A fixed menu with a starter, main course and dessert is 18.90 Euros (approx. $25), while seasonal plats du jours are 11.90 Euros/approx. $16). Wine by the glass is 3.50 Euros/ approx. $4.60. Specialties include ham persillade with balsamic vinegar, filet of pollock with fennel, and chocolate-pear clafoutis.
Dinner menus are a bit steeper, but great value as well.
3. Au Duc de Montmorency Paris
Address: 46 rue de Montmorency, 3rd arrondissement
Metro: Rambuteau or Arts et Metiers
Phone: +33 (0)1 42 72 18 10
Open: Mon-Sun, 8:30 a.m.- 9:00 p.m.
This humble market-style bistro near the Centre Georges Pompidou is well-known for its creative, freshly-prepared plats du jour, tasteful salads, and decent-to-very-good wines served by the glass for next to nothing. The owner, Laurent Delcros, formerly served in posher kitchens, and brings know-how and a pinch of audacity to classic French bistro dishes. Set menus (glass of wine included) run at around $15-20, and “plats du jour” are often under $12.
4. Le Bistrot d’Andre Paris
Address: 232 Rue St. Charles, 15th arrondissement
Phone: +33 (0)1 45 57 89 14
Open: Mon-Sat, noon-2:30 pm; 8:00 pm-10:30 pm
Web : http://www.lebistrotdandre.fr
Known as one of the city’s prime spots for la bonne vieille cuisine française (good old French cuisine) at modest sums, this restaurant offers classic Paris brasserie ambiance. Near the Parc André Citroen, Le Bistrot d’Andre’s decor is awash in automobile nostalgia.
Specialities include hearty classics like duck confit or cassoulet. Expect to pay 12-20 Euros/ approx. $16-$27 for plats du jour. Lunch menus will set you back approx. $20.
5. Chez Stella Paris
Address: 3 Rue Therese, 1st arrondissement
Phone: +33 (0)1 42 96 22 15
Open: Mon-Fri, noon-2:00 pm; 7:00 pm-10:00 pm
This friendly nook near the Opera Garnier offers creative and tasty salads and classic dishes for slim prices. 12 Euros/approx. $16 will allow you a three-course meal featuring simple favourites like pepper steak, herring with potato salad, or crème caramel. The owner and wait staff are well-known for their affability, and the non-smoking rule will please anyone who wants to avoid smoke interfering with the flavours. Reservations are recommended as this is a popular spot.
6. Le Petit Picard Paris
Address: 42 Rue St Croix de la Bretonnerie, 4th arrondissement
Metro: Hôtel de Ville
Phone: +33 (0)1 42 78 54 03
Open: Tues-Fri, noon-1:45 pm and 8 pm-11:30 pm; Sat. 8 pm-12 am; Sun, 8 pm-11 pm
This cosy gay-themed restaurant in the heart of the trendy Marais neighborhood proves that hip doesn’t have to be synonymous with overpriced. In a neo-kitsch setting (Greco-roman statues and bold colours abound), one can procure a very decent lunch menu that includes starter, main course, dessert, and a 1/4 bottle of wine for approx. $18-$30. Le Petit Picard has been noted for its generous portions and cheerful service.
7. Chez Gladines Paris
Address: 30 Rue des Cinq Diamants, 13th arrondissement
Metro: Place d’Italie
Phone: +33 (0)1 45 80 70 10
Open: Mon-Tues, 12 pm-3 pm and 7 pm-12 am; Wed-Sat 12 pm-3 pm and 7 pm-1 am; Sat. 12 pm-4 pm and 7 pm-1 am; Sun. 12 pm-4 pm
This relaxed and always-bustling kitchen in Paris’ village-like Butte aux Cailles neighbourhood offers quality French Basque-style meals for around $10-$20. Hearty dishes like potatoes with ham and cantal cheese, enormous mixed salads, or cassoulet await. Two caveats: neither reservations nor credit cards are accepted, so arrive early and bring cash.
8. Polidor Paris
Address: 41 Rue Monsieur le Prince, 6th arrondissement
RER: Luxembourg (Line B)
Phone: +33 (0)1 43 26 95 34
Open: Mon-Sat, 12 pm-2:30 pm and 7 pm-12:30 am; Sun. 12 pm-2:30 pm and 7 pm-11 pm
Web : http://www.polidor.com
This is a legendary Paris bistro where luminaries like Hemingway and Andre Gide once occupied the tables. Open since the mid-19th century, this is one of the rare places in the overpriced Odeon area where one can find solid traditional cuisine that’s not exorbitant. Lunch menus available for 9 or 18 Euros (approx. $12-$24). Polidor’s home made pumpkin soup, tarts and cakes are especially recommended. Credit cards not accepted.
9. Chez Papa Paris
Address: 206 Rue Lafayette, 10th arrondissement
Phone: +33 (0)1 42 09 53 87
Open: Mon-Sun, 9:00 am-1:00 a.m.
Web : http://www.restaurant-chez-papa.com
Chez Papa has several addresses around the city, and is nearly always packed and boisterous. Known as one of the city’s best spots for copious French-southwest style salads and main courses, one can feast on delicacies such as magret de canard (duck breast) with leeks, or pan-seared foie gras with gingerbread crumbs for under $25. Lunch menus are a better value still at approx $15. Wine by the glass is budget-compatible, too, at under $5.
10. Chez Germaine Paris
Address: 30 Rue Pierre Leroux, 7th arrondissement
Phone: 33 (0)1 42 73 28 34
Open: Mon-Fri, 12 pm-2:30 pm and 7 pm-9 pm; Sat. 12 pm-2:30 pm
This unpretentious family kitchen in the generally-posh 7th district offers up simple, classic dishes like gratin dauphinois, pork with lentils, or herring with potatoes in a laid-back, intimate setting. No frills here, but French bistro favourites that won’t compromise your budget. There is a set menu at 14 Euros/approx. $18.60 that includes starter, main course, and dessert. Portions are generous and the service is reputed to be friendly.