IN PARIS there's no shortage of delicious cuisine to salivate over, remember and want to talk about months later. Almost everything is drenched in butter. Dinner can take hours to savor with a seemingly bottomless bottle of wine. Where to eat on a budget though? I'd have to say "look around the corner" Paris is like a labyrinth. You can wander her winding streets forever so I've marked some of my favorite finds below using interactive google maps.
When going to the Notre Dame be mindful that there are two lines, one for the front entrance and one on the side to go up to the top. During tourist season the line to the top can be a 1-2 hour wait. I felt it was worth it when my company in line was my good friend Jenn and we needed to plan our trip to Panama. It's a good oportunity to read guidebooks and make plans for your next days or chat with your neighbours in line. It's nice to be with another person so you're able to make a run to a nearby snack food store (Click on map below to see store and legend).
View Paris - Notre-Dame day in a larger map
What's on this Fabulous Map I've made for you:
Three main attractions: Louvre, Notre-Dame and Pompidou center. Accompanying them are great places to eat, even on a budget, to satisfy your in-between sightseeing needs.
Notre-Dame 'to the top' line
Snack food Store
Tea by The
Eat a packed lunch
There are a lot of these tourist ready restaurants. The rule is medium filled restaurants are best. I've been taught by Parisians that you don't go in if it's full, don't go in if it's empty, get a vibe and a feeling then take a look at the menu and the specials.
If you have a microwave available to you and all that's on the brain is sleep, not finding food, then hit up a Picard early on for some healthy frozen meals. Once you know what to look for they're in most arrondissements. Check here: http://magasins.picard.fr/fr/ile-de-france/paris for locations. It's not a bad idea to stock up if you have access to a freezer and want to save money for other things.
There are also a lot of places to get a sandwich and fast food for only a couple euro. It might not be as satisfying to eat there unless following a crazy night out. Kebab places have awesome crepes though. Ranging from 3-5€ you can pick between savory and sweet. I'd recommend eating these close to the end of your trip because they're highly addictive.
Keep your eye out for small bakeries or boulangeries. You might think they only have pastries but they are usually the best place to stop for a quick tasty lunch. Small independent places with their own charm and specialties. Make it your mission to try all the mille feuilles or lemon meringue tarts and you wont be disappointed. These places also have their own mini sandwiches or pre-made salads that are only made to last that day, so supplies are low. It can be worth it to wait in line, it can mean it's a popular place.
Make sure you say: "Bonjour" and "Merci" and if you really want to practice French a "esque je peux prendre" & "s'il vous plait" is always very appreciated before ordering or pointing. Listen to the sentence here. You can even play it from your smartphone just before you order!
Hope you have a wonderful trip Kat! http://keepingupwithkat.blogspot.com Can't wait to hear all about it!