Baguette originates from France and it probably can be voted as its national food. So I did come across a boy while commuting, he was most likely local, as he ate his french loaf on the metro (you would get a hefty fine in Singapore for eating on the train, I guess the French probably don’t mind the breadcrumbs). I wasn’t sure if he had cheese to go with it, it felt as if he did, as well but it certainly was telling me how much the locals like their baguettes. You can find them in any local boulangerie (French word for bakery). I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love the smell of oven fresh breads. Though quite frankly, baguettes never made it on my favorite foods list, since they’re usually served cold and are always too hard to sink my teeth into. Cheap food isn’t that difficult to find in Paris afterall, huh?
2. Croque Monsieur
Being in the city a lot means walking past the mainstream fast food chains a lot as well. Find McDonalds on the left of the sidewalk, get drawn to the familiarity of their menu, always looking as if the same one two blocks away from your home, but lo and behold – there is an amazing variety of sandwiches tailored to locals’ taste. You’ll come across a ham and cheese toast serving for less than 2 euros. Just order it. I don’t know what better cheeses there are than Kraft’s, believe me this one was so terribly good, the Croque McDo made quick lunches more than satisfying especially so when you’re busy trying to cover the museums in the day. What I loved: the crisp of the soft toast, the warm melted cheese over the ham within.
Everyone needs a sweet treat to make the meal. Definitely almost necessary for me since I was, afterall, in France. I won’t say no to colorful treats. Besides, I love any food with a crispy outer over a soft chewy center. My favorite Macarons would be from Pierre Hermes, which can be found in major departmental stores, usually for the price of 1 to 2 euros each. Amazing flavors and colors. A good cheap alternative would be the macarons at McCafes selling for half a dozen for 4.50 euros. I’ve tried them, and to be honest, they were really good for the price! With savings, you can easily splurge a little (about 6.90 euros for a cake!) in a patisserie such as the famous Laduree.
Snails are not just found in the gardens. Snails are best served with pesto in a French bistro. Escargots can be found in practically every French restaurant in Paris. These snail starters are not expensive and you can order them in dozens. Resist licking the pesto sauce off the plate, because proper dining etiquette is very much appreciated in Europe. We had these yummy escargots at a restaurant located off a corner facing Montmarte.
5. Steak Frites
If you’re running out of budget, or, if you’re saving your euros for extra sweet treats like pain au chocolat, eclairs, and savory quiches, there’s nothing better than a stomach filler of grilled beef and fries. We’ve tried this at a bistro around a corner near Montmarte before we took the climb up to see one of the best views of Paris. The steak frites makes one of the top few items to order when you’re looking for cheap eats in Paris. Although I’m pretty certain you’ll be able to find better steak frites if you opt for a Michelin star restaurant.
If this, to you, doesn’t sum up what I think of cheap food finds in Paris, then why not tell us what you think could have made the list?