Richard Nahem, an ex-New Yorker living in Paris, leads private insider tours showing visitors the Paris most of them never see on their own (www.eyepreferparistours.com), and also writes a popular insider's blog www.eyepreferparis.com.
We know dining in Paris can be expensive and the top starred restaurants command a 300-400 euro price tag per person for dinner. We have gathered a list of some of our favorite bargain restaurants that serve excellent two and three course lunches for less than 25 euros per person, half the price of one appetizer at a star restaurant. You’ll discover that dining well in Paris doesn’t have to break the bank.
Located on charming street in the Latin Quarter close to the Seine, Le Reminet tops our list of the best bargain lunch in Paris. For a mere 14.90 euros you can indulge in a three-course lunch with more than ample portions. You are given two choices for each course with appetizer offering a salad or soup, main course offering a fish or meat and a dessert or cheese course. We sampled a piquant sweet potato soup spiced with ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg to start with followed by a plump chicken breast cooked in its own juices served with fettuccine. For dessert we split a lovely plate of Camembert, Pont l’Eveque, and chevre cheese with salad and a scrumptious cream puff stuffed with vanilla pastry cream.
The atmospheric interior has crystal chandeliers, deep plum walls, velvet banquettes, and gold gilt mirrors.
3 rue des Grands Degres, 75005
Open everyday 12PM-3pm,
14.90 pre-fix is only served Monday to Friday
Reservations recommended 01 44 07
Le Bar A Huitres
Seafood and oyster lovers will revel in the freshest, mostly local caught fish at Le Bar a Hutires. Outside, waiters are preparing the famous raw seafood platters by piling oysters, clams, lobsters and crabs on silver platters with crushed ice.
The Parisian Lunch menu at 26 euros per person is offered Monday to Saturday and includes an extensive list for the starter and main course. Appetizers include classic French fish soup, grilled sardines, 6 Grand Cru oysters, escargot, and for the main course, Mussels in white wine sauce, Label Rouge Scottish salmon, North Atlantic cod, and for non-seafood eaters, Steak Tartare. Dessert is a mini-three-course affair, the Coffee Plaisir, with a cup of espresso, chocolate mousse, and a cat’s tongue butter cookie. It’s a luxurious dining experience with fine white china and table linens, and crystal wine glasses.
Le Bar A Huitres has four locations in Paris.
Open daily for lunch.
If you want to hang with the hipsters, head to Pierre Sang Boyer in the trendy Oberkampf area. No reservations are taken, so diners start lining up at 11:45 to snare a spot at the counter-seating-only restaurant for lunch. Song has adapted the latest food concept in Paris, the surprise menu: diners are not offered a choice of dishes, only a single dish for each course, and the twist is they are only told what they ate after the dish is served. The chef is sympathetic to food allergies and restrictions, so you can make your request known before you order. The menu changes daily, so even if you return to the restaurant, you will never eat the same dish twice.
Song is Korean and has worked in restaurants in France and England before he opened his Paris location, combining east and west flavors together in a creative manor.
A two-course lunch is 20 euros and three courses 25 euros. For adventurous eaters only, picky eaters stay home.
55 rue Oberkampf, 75011
Open Tuesday to Saturday, lunch 12PM to 2PM
France has a large Lebanese population and the two countries have close ties. Authentic Lebanese restaurants are in most areas in the city and we discovered a terrific one in the St. Germain area. Assanabel offers a full range of Lebanese delights but their specialty is the mezze plate, a smattering of different appetizers served on one platter. We shared the mezze platter for 37 euros for two people and the hot and cold appetizers included hummus, baba ganoush, tabouleh, lemon marinated chicken wings, an assortment of savory pastries, and falafel.
The lunch was satisfying and delicious and there was no need for a main course. A tray of almonds soaked in water, pickled turnips, and green olives and a silver dish with thin flatbread and pita bread was served before the meal. Dessert was a platter of fresh cut refreshing watermelon, perfect for cutting the spicy aftertaste of the lunch.
38 rue Jacob, 75006
Tel. 01 42 96 89 85
Lunch is served 7 days a week