I'd feel cheated if I traveled to Paris and could only afford to eat in bistros. Or drink coffee at a café standing up at the bar. (It's cheaper than sitting at a table.) Or order only pâté sandwiches and Beaujolais at wine bars. But with the dollar so weak, many of the city's newest and most ambitious restaurants are ludicrously expensive. You want dinner at La Table de Joël Robuchon, the superstar chef's latest ingredient-driven outlet? Get ready to pay about $130 a person.
But I discovered on a recent trip that restaurants in Paris are still a great value no matter the cost, because the overall experience is so satisfying. In place after place, I found the freshest ingredients, endless creativity and waitstaff who were knowledgeable without being arrogant. Getting reservations was easy, too, now that the discouraging exchange rate is making Americans thin on the ground. (At press time, the exchange rate was 78 cents to the euro.) Even so, it helps to know where the best bargains are. Here, my strategies for dining out on a budget.
Book a Table at a Grocer's