If you are visiting Paris on a budget and looking for a low cost meal in the City of Light, forget the good old sit-down French lunch, head to a local bakery, bistro or food stand, and grab a sandwich. Perfect for a quick, inexpensive lunch in “Parisian style”, jambon-beurre and merguez-frites sandwiches will delight your palate without breaking your budget.
Every day 2.2 million jambon-beurre sandwiches are eaten in France! The fresh, crackly-crusted baguette stuffed with salty ham and spread with creamy butter is the French national sandwich. Paris is filled with so many bakeries and cafés, that it is difficult to say where you can get the best jambon-beurre in town. According to a survey published on the Le Figaro Magazine last year, the Crêperie du Comptoir, a tiny take away food shop in the Odéon area, makes Paris’s best jambon-beurre. Recommended by Paris-based blogger Rosa Jackson, Le Petit Vendôme, a traditional French café near the exclusive Place Vendôme, is another great place to get a delicious ham and butter sandwich.
The average price for a jambon-beurre sandwich in Paris is 3.27 euros and if you want to save money, you can still make your own French sandwich. For a perfect jambon-beurre, head to a traditional bakery for a baguette à l’ancienne bread, then to a charcuterie shop for jambon à l’os ham. And do not forget to spread Normandy butter on the bread slices!
If you are looking for halal food and like spicy cuisine, try a flavorful merguez-frite sandwich. It may not feel very Parisian, but this crusty baguette bread stuffed with French fries and chili-spiked lamb sausage used in Tunisia and Algeria is the North African-inspired French street food par excellence. For a “traditional” merguez-frites ask for harissa sauce, and if it is too spicy for your palate you can still choose between Dijon mustard, mayonnaise and ketchup.
The streets in Northern Paris are filled with merguez vendors, but you can find merguez stalls at any flea market and close to any university, concert hall and sport venue in the city.
More street food in Paris
More terrific French fast food snacks, such as crepe (thin pancake filled with either savory or sweet fillings), croque-monsieur (hot ham and cheese grilled sandwich with béchamel sauce), sandwich américain (baguette stuffed with hamburger and French fries), filled croissant sandwich, can be found everywhere in Paris. In addition, the French capital offers great international street food including Middle-Eastern kebab and falafel, Greek chawarma, take away pizza and Asian food.
Photo of tourist having lunch on the Pont Neuf, Paris, by fooishbar