By Bryan Pirolli in Paris—
A culinary capital renowned for its elaborate pastries, steak frites, cheese and wine, Paris isn’t by any means perfect. Recent investigations revealed that many of those carefully prepared dishes that tourists dine on in restaurants are nothing more than reheated frozen meals (more on that here in English). Zut alors…
Diners looking for a cheap meal (under €15, let’s say) can often be tempted towards some of the inexpensive prix fixe menus boasting large choices of dishes with markedly unseasonable flavors. The result? It’s likely to be a mediocre meal that has, often, been microwaved.
But fret not, it’s not like all restaurants in Paris are doing this! There are plenty of affordable options for good, fresh, natural, and even organic options if you know where to look…
12 Rue Trévise, 75009 Paris
We’ve talked about their burgers, but SuperNature has so much more to offer. Fresh, seasonal foods, organic options, even a veggie burger are all on the menu without breaking the bank. In between a freshly pressed juice and a tasty yet light dessert, try any of their veggie-heavy main dishes or stop over for brunch on the weekend for some homemade granola and a selection of organic bread and jellies.
Merce and the Muse
1 bis rue Dupuis, 75003 Paris
With a selection of quality coffee and surprising desserts, this little American-run shop in the upper Marais also has a selection of homemade quiches and salads made from products delivered straight from the market every morning. While fresh and often organic food is the order du jour at Merce’s shop, don’t forget to grab a carrot cake or other tempting dessert. Ask for it to go and enjoy a picnic in the nearby Square du Temple.
30 Rue Charlot, 75003 Paris
Also in the Marais district, MOB may not have any tables, but it offers patrons an entirely vegan-menu that can be enjoyed in the Square du Temple a few blocks north or the gardens at the National Archives right down the street. This is the place to enjoy a French take on vegan burgers, “chicken” nuggets, and a variety of cookies and cakes. I’d go back for the citrus cake and for the delicious the yucca fries with the accompanying sauce—a great change from the frites that so many places serve.
24 Rue Cail, 75010 Paris
If you want to explore another side of Paris, head north towards the Gare du Nord to check out the vibrant Indian community in Paris. Krishna Bhavan is a favorite for inexpensive, but delicious vegetarian Indian food. The spices and flavors will make you forget that there’s no meat, and the price of a generous meal (with gulaab for dessert, of course) will leave you plenty of money for your pastry fix in the morning.
Bob’s Juice Bar
15 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris
A staple of fresh food in Paris, Bob’s Juice Bar sells a selection of freshly ready-made salads and pastries along with the signature squeezed juices and smoothies. Today it is a mecca for health foodies in Paris, and the owner has even has several cook books out in French about smoothies, muffins, and most recently his book on his favorite New York pastries. A must if you’re in the Canal Saint-Martin area.
Your favorite fresh food in Paris?
Where else do you suggest for a fresh, healthy, but inexpensive meal in Paris? Share with us by leaving a comment!
Also in our guide: If you’re also hungry for an affordable hotel in Paris, stop by our city guide to read objective reviews of our favorite hotels, all of them visited, inspected and reviewed by our editors. Read more in our Paris guide.