Although many backpackers long to go through France to see the city of lights and to partake in their delectable cuisine, many skip this country primarily because of the costs that may be incurred. Although the country is well known for its beauty, style and class, it is also known for its exorbitant prices. However, backpackers, even those on a limited budget, can survive in Paris. They just need to avoid the restaurants at Champs Elysees and find alternative places to eat that would give them a flavor of France, at a fraction of what it would usually cost.
You can start out by having a meal at Restaurant Perraudin, a popular hangout of Parisian students. Restaurant Perraudin is located at the center of the Latin Quarter and you can partake of a hearty meal for about €12.00.
If spending €12.00 for one meal is too much for you, you can walk down Rue de Montparnasse and look for Crêperie Row. This street is lined with Breton eateries and a crepe meal (whether as a dessert or as a main dish) costs about €7.00 each.
If you want a meal composed primarily of baguettes, you can look for the Pomme de Pain, which is along the famed Champs Elysees. Despite being located in a posh neighborhood, the combo-meals are surprisingly quite affordable.
Assuming you’re on a strict “nothing more than €5.00 for a meal” budget, you can still survive in Paris. Just go to Rue des Rosiers, a street known for their two-fisted pita-bread sandwiches. These sandwiches are stuffed with eggplant, salad, falafel and costs about €4.00.
You can also go to the 24-hour café called Café Panis, which is located across of the Notre Dame Cathedral and are known for their delectable crepes. On the average, a crepe costs €5.00 (still within your budget).
If you get tired of eating French cuisine and would rather have a taste of the cuisine of other countries, there are several places you can go to. If you go down Rue de la Huchette, you can have a taste of Persian (not Parisian) cuisine. The Avenue d’Ivry and Avenue de Choisy are known to house Asian restaurants that serve good quality food at very reasonable prices. The Arr is an Asian restaurant located near the Pompidou Centre where you can get a 2-course meal for only €6.00. The Metro Belleville is another street known for Asian cooking. And if you are hungering for Middle Eastern cuisine then, drop by Boulevard de Belleville and buy all the snacks and mint teas that you want.
When you’ve gotten tired of eating cooked food (or if your budget no longer allows you to eat at restaurants or bistros), you can go fresh. The Montorgueil Market and the Boulevard des Batignolles are good places where you can buy fresh fruit and pastries. To satisfy your sweet tooth, visit one of the bakeries lat the Mouffetard Market.
If you’re not picky about the places where you can grab a bite to eat, you can sit down at any of the local cafeterias in the Les Halles neighborhood, near the Arc de Triomphe, or the Carrousel du Louvre. These places offer French and ethnic cuisine at fairly moderate prices.
You will not go hungry when you backpack through Paris – you just need to be resourceful. If you’re at a loss, you can ask the locals where it’s best to eat or better yet, look around and explore. Remember, sometimes the greatest finds are discovered by accident.