Eating out in Paris can be expensive.
However don't believe people when they say you can't do Paris on the cheap - you can!
The key is to stay away from the beaten tracks and the obviously expensive Champs Elysees. Around the lesser visited quarters especially, there are many cheap and yummy restaurants to be found. The key is to order from the Prix-Fixe menu, and NOT off the A la Carte menu unless you want to pay an arm and a leg. In many places a three course meal can be found for about €15. This way you can sample the food cheaply and is usually more "French". Ask for "une carafe d'eau" (oon karaaf doe) to get free tap water.
Self catering in Paris
Budget travellers will be very pleased with the range and quality of products on offer at the open air markets (e.g. the biggest one on Boul Richard Lenoir (near the Bastille), Rue Mouffetard, Place Buci, Place de la Madeleine and over the Canal Saint-Martin in the 11th or in any other arrondissement). If your accommodation has cooking facilities you're set, especially for wine and cheese, a decent bottle of French wine will set you back all of about €3-€5, while the very good stuff starts at around €7. Bottles for less than €3 are not recommended. Keep in mind that the small épiceries which open until late are more expensive than the supermarchés ( Casino, Monoprix, Franprix, etc). For wine, the price difference can be up to €2.
Buy a baguette, some cheese and a good bottle of wine and join the Parisian youth for a pique-nique along the Seine (especially on the Île Saint-Louis) or along the Canal Saint-Martin. The finest food stores are Lafayette Gourmet in the Galeries Lafayette or La Grande Epicerie in the luxury department store Le Bon Marché. They are worth discovering. You will find a large variety of wines there, otherwise try wine stores such as Nicolas or Le Relais de Bacchus (all over the city).
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Based on a work at Wikitravel.org & Traveldudes.org.