Shhh. I’m about to tell you a secret. I can’t quite believe I’m going to tell you the address of one of the best places to get dinner without going broke in Paris. Café Med is located on Ile Saint-Louis, right behind Notre Dame Cathedral. The tiny island has one main street down the middle and a few streets that connect the Right to the Left Bank. The restaurant is on this main street (77, Rue Saint-Louis en l’Ile). We’ve been coming here since 1998 and, while there have been some changes over the years, this little restaurant remains an incredible value. There are several prix-fixe menus at extremely reasonable price points. You can get salé et sucré crêpe with a bolé of cider for about 10.50 Euros, or a three course meal for either 13.90 or 19.90 Euros. I’m a big fan of their curried chicken, but I also highly recommend the mushroom risotto or the smoked salmon crêpe. I always go for the prix-fixe menus, but I’ve been with others who have ordered their big salads and been very pleased with their meals.
Today’s expression, bon rapport qualité-prix (bohn rappor kal-e-tay pree) means “good relationship between quality and price.” This is a phrase you’ll often see in French guide books. It’s another way of saying that a place or product represents a solid value. You may be able to find a cheaper three course dinner in Paris, and you’ll undoubtedly be able to find meals of greater elegance and refinement, but for a dependable meal that’ll leave me with change from 14 Euros, I go to Café Med every time I’m in Paris. Just don’t tell anyone else, or I’ll never be able to get a seat myself.