What To Eat & Drink In Paris If You Travel On A Budget

The city of love and magic has the right of being one of the most expensive places in the world. We are ready to pay any price to surround ourselves with romance and sophistication. After your favourite travel backpack is full of berets and striped T-shirts is packed, it is time to get down to earth and think about more practical things. Even if you do not plan to go to a restaurant every day, your trip still can be full of exciting culinary discoveries. You’ll see that a simple picnic can be as romantic as a dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant if you pick the right food and place. Here’s a guide for those foodies who want to fall in love with Paris but don’t want to spend all of their money on exquisite dishes.

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Sweet Dreams

The French cuisine is often associated with a smell of freshly baked bread, croissants, and lots of calories. You will not find a bigger variety of sweets, pastries, cakes, cookies, and other kinds of desserts elsewhere. It seems like people here are obsessed with making their ‘la vie en rose’ even more delightful than it already is. Being a tourist surrounded by the endless number of sweet seductions, you will have to give up at some point and try something. Paris is the right place to forget about your diet and try the world-renowned desserts. These are the mandatory things to enjoy:


The variety of flavours will blow your mind. The French can create the most delicate and tender eclairs with heavenly taste.


Financiers are almond tea cakes that will take your breath away. They are often flavoured with chocolate or vanilla.


At some point of your journey, you might think that macarons are following you. They are everywhere in Paris and all of them are delicious.

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A freshly baked croissant is as important as the rising sun in the morning. You can pretend to be French by soaking a croissant in a cup of coffee and eating it very fast until it’s not completely ruined.

Quick tip: For those who can’t imagine their lives without coffee, there are some rules you have to follow. Firstly, you can’t go to a restaurant during a lunch or dinner time just to drink a cup of coffee or tea. There are pastry shops for that. Secondly, you won’t be able to drink a cup of coffee after 8 o’clock in the evening. Maybe it’s due to a French culture or something else, but the only place to have that hot beverage in the evening is Starbucks. Thirdly, if you do not have cash on you and plan to pay for your beverages with a credit card, make sure your bill is more than 15 Euros. Otherwise, you will be asked to pay in cash or order more.


There are ice-cream and cream-filled profiteroles in Paris. You can choose a traditional or innovative version or try both.

Salted butter caramel

You’ve never tasted a caramel better than this one. A famous chef Henri Le Roux has found the new way of improving the classic version and you simply have to try it.

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Romantic Picnic for 10€

To stay within the budget limits during your culinary journey, you can download one of the travel apps. They are easy to use and will help you to spend as much as you plan to. If you are not travelling alone, a lovely picnic near the river embankment or at the Pièce d’Eau des Suisses lake can become one of the brightest memories of the trip to Paris. It will not cost you more than 10€ but the experience will be priceless. If you visit one of the Parisian supermarkets like Carrefour, your shopping list for 2 persons can look something like this:

  • baguette – 0.60€
  • pate – 0.75€
  • Camembert cheese – 1.05€
  • sliced meats – 1€
  • cherry tomatoes – 1€
  • cream cheese – 0.70€
  • pastries – 1.80€
  • bottle of wine – 3.05€

And do not worry, it is allowed to drink alcohol in public places in Paris. As to what wine to choose that is not too expensive but is very tasty, here are some of the names you can consider:

  • Terre de Saint-Louis – 3.80€
  • Cabernet D’anjou – 4.30€
  • Muscadet – 5.60€

The additional things you can take with you is a blanket to sit on and disposable tableware. You can then enjoy the view of the beautiful city eating the food locals buy for themselves. If you are in the mood for markets, you can buy some fruits and vegetables there. French markets are one of the places of interests for tourists not without a reason. The abundance of delicacies there is beyond all the expectations.

You can buy freshly-made local products from the different regions of France. If you are visiting the other parts of the country, make sure to visit as many local markets as you can. The ones near the sea or ocean will impress you with fresh oysters and mussels at a fair price.

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