There is a distinct difference between the Parisian local and the Parisian tourist. One pays social charges, the other arrives drunk on American Express credit.
Sadly, the majority of guides on the internet seem geared toward the latter, who have no qualms dropping upwards of €75 per head on dinner seven nights in a row.
As locals, we shop at the market and cook for friends. We generally don’t eat 7-course degustations with matching wine every Tuesday night. Le Chateaubriand is still a flavour saved for special occasions.
That isn’t to say that we don’t enjoy the art of dinner. We just don’t necessarily crave molecular gastronomy each time we want to eat somewhere with individual tables and napkins made of fabric.
So here are some of our favourite dishes, at some of our favourite restaurants, where you can often leave with change for a €20…
€16 Burger at Les Parigots
So many fancy burger joints in Paris, so little time. Do yourself a favourite and skip the Carharrtt-laden queues of the minimal-decor NY-inspired establishments and tuck into a Parigots burger laced with bacon. Chips in a cone, condiments on the table, just the way it should be.
Les Parigots, 5 rue du Chateau d’Eau 75010
€16 Boudin Noir at Le Verre Volé
Cold nights, warming wines and just-set slabs of Boudin Noir, nestled amongst potatoes mashed within an inch of their lives. It ain’t rocket science, but it’s the house-made Frenchy comfort food of champions. Feeling fancy on a budget.
Le Verre Volé, 67 rue du Lancry 75010
€17 Steak Tartare at Cafe des Musées
Our favourite Steak Tartare in Paris by a long long stretch, this glistening plate of protein arrives with everything to do-it-yourself. Generous as it is fresh, you aren’t going to need dessert if you eat all your frites.
Café des Musées, 49 rue du Turenne 75003
€20 Angus at Les Novices
Steak is everywhere in Paris. But this little killer bistro tucked up in Lamarck Caulaincourt does a kicking Onglet from Angus beef, with a slinky serving of Gratin Dauphinois. They also do some beyond-tender beef cheeks in the winter, with tiny little macaronis and peas.
Les Novices, 123 rue Caulaincourt 75018
*Obviously we are not vegetarians