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Paris: 7 cheapo food spots that do one delicious thing extremely well

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Pralus Patisserie Paris
Monsieur Pralus is known for his delectable praline-encrusted Paululine. Photo: John Weiss

It’s market day and the Parisians go from the fruit stand to the cheese shop to the butcher – such a quaint way to shop, right?

Well, actually, you’re just as likely to find Parisians going to the Monoprix or Carrefour supermarkets for a one-stop fix on all groceries, so this image is a bit dated, but it still exists!  Stores that excel in cheese and wine abound, as do a slew of other boutiques, our “one-trick ponies” that perform that one trick extremely well.

Here’s a list of our favorite budget-friendly specialty stores in Paris:

Praline Brioche: Pralus
35 Rue Rambuteau, 75004
Website

Some bakeries excel at croissants, éclairs, macarons, and all other delicious pastries.  But sometimes, the sign of a truly great sweet is the fact that it’s virtually the only one that a bakery will produce.  While he does make chocolate and some macarons, Monsieur Pralus is renowned for his signature pastry. Head to his shop in the Marais for his Praululine—a delectable brioche studded with crunchy pink pralines. A sizable loaf is €5, but it’s no ordinary bread.  It’s the only of its kind in Paris, even if other bakeries have tried to imitate it!

La Pistacherie Paris

Stock up on salty treats at La Pistacherie. Photo: col.b

Pistachios: La Pistacherie
Various addresses
Website

A store dedicated to the pistachio?  Why not?  With several locations, this is the place to stock up on the salty treats with variations of roasted, toasted, and spiced nuts.  It’s not particularly charming, exotic, or French for that matter, but there is something simply nutty about it.

Cupcakes: SugarDaze
20 Rue Henry Monnier, 75009
Website

Paris is cosmopolitan, dare we say global, and the cupcake craze was a visible sign of changing times. The original cupcake baker in Paris now has a storefront over by Montmartre serving the city’s best adopted pastry from the New World. SugarDaze produces an authentic American cupcake with some fun French twists, making it a favorite among foreigners and locals for perfect buttercream-topped delights.

Popelini Paris

Popelini packs an entire store with cream-filled choux pastries. Photo: Salisasaki

Portuguese Pastries: Comme à Lisbonne
37 Rue du Roi de Sicile, 75004
Website

We’re still not sure how this place is open, selling the best pasteis de nata in the city, but we’re sure glad it’s here. For a mere €2, the custard-filled pastry is one of the most prized cheapo-friendly exports from Portugal, and with a boutique relying solely on these confections, they must have a formidable following.  Don’t forget to have a bit of cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Cream-filled Choux Pastry: Popelini
29 Rue Debelleyme 75003
44 rue des Martyrs 75009
Website

How do you dedicate an entire store to cream-filled choux pastry?  We’re still not sure, but with two chic addresses in Paris, Popelini is doing it, and they’re doing it well.  Chocolate, lemon, and rose-flavored choux are among the tasty choices available, though a flavor of the day keeps things exciting without breaking the bank.

Relais d'Entrecote

The Relais d’Entrecote chain serves steak frites… and only steak frites. Photo: Micheal Sanger

Steak Frites: Relais d’Entrecote
Various addresses
Website

Menus can be confusing or even intimidating for the casual tourist.  Even when they are in English.  But at Relais d’Entrecote, you only have one choice: how would you like your steak?  The restaurant serves up an affordable fixed-price menu that never changes, steak and fries, and the best part?  The waitresses come around for a second helping of both, swimming in their secret herb sauce.  It’s perfect for picky eaters, or for those who know they want steak!

Chocolate Fondue: Les Fondues au Chocolat
45 blvd Saint Germain 75005
Website

While not one of Paris’s fanciest chocolate makers, this little boutique offers ceramic pots of fondue that are ready to be melted and enjoyed.  Dark, milk, and white chocolate varieties flavored with hazelnuts, lemon, sea salt, and caramel are just some of the choices available.  The pots travel well and make great gifts that can’t be snacked on, minimizing the risk of eating the chocolate before making it home.

Your favorite patisseries, restaurants or other food shops?

Have a “one-trick pony” to add to our tasty round-up? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

Also in our guide: Planning a trip to Paris? Be sure to swing by our Paris guide for many more tips on ways to save on your trip, including budget hotel suggestions, transit tips and more.

About the author

Bryan Pirolli

About the author: With his college diploma fresh off the press, Bryan Pirolli headed for Paris and four years later he’s still there. A journalist and a tour guide, his main M.O. is pursuing a doctorate degree in communications at the Sorbonne Nouvelle. Bryan regularly travels on a budget, experiencing the best of European culture while still trying to make rent.  So far, so good. You can follow his adventures on his blog: www.bryanpirolli.com.

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2 Responses to “Paris: 7 cheapo food spots that do one delicious thing extremely well”

Doug Clark says:

Your picture caption says – “The Relais d’Entrecrote chain serves steak frites… and only steak frites.” Entrecrote – what a typo! Not eating that one!!! :)

Ha! Sorry about that — and thanks for the catch!

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