So you’re planning a trip to Paris, but don’t have a fortune to spend…
After living in Paris on a very tight budget and a very large appetite, I’ve come up with the top five destinations for the foodie on the cheap:
1. Best Restaurant: Le Timbre
At 30 EUR per person for 3 courses at dinner, you can’t find a cheaper (and dare I say better?) Michelin starred restaurant. Le Timbre (lit: the postage stamp) is exactly what its name suggests: a tiny dinning room that seats only 24, with a kitchen only big enough for two.
Luckily, there are only two people in this kitchen that opens up into the dining hall: one of them is Christopher Wright himself, the head and only chef at Le Timbre (pictured with me, below). The other is the dishwasher.
You have to make reservations to even get seen at Le Timbre due to its size, but the restaurant will typically offer two dinner services each evening. The food is impeccable, the staff is English-speaker friendly, and the open kitchen makes it amazingly entertaining for any foodie.
2. Best Market: Marché des Enfants Rouges
Tucked away in the 3rd arrondissement (ah-rohn-deese-MAHN) of Paris, the Marché des Enfants Rouges (lit: the market of red children) is an outdoor alleyway filled with Parisian treats. You can get small meals and eat them on communal benches or grab some foodie-treats to-go.
Food artisans of every variety set up shop here and the locals are very friendly.
3. Best Event: Le Salon du Chocolat
Chocolate lovers unite! This multi-day chocolate extravaganza is not for the sugar-phobic. Chocolatiers from around the world come together to display their most tasty, creative, or just plain over-the-top chocolate creations.
The event features many tastings and samples along with some chocolate fashion shows and culinary presentations.
At 12 EUR/ day, the event can sell out fast, but the experience is unparalleled.
4. Best Ethnic Food: L’As du Falafel
So maybe you already think French food is ethnic, but for those of you looking for something outside of the European continent, I suggest grabbing a falafel from one of the many falafel stands on Rue des Rosiers in the Marais (4th arrondissement).
L’As du Falafel is the most famous, and in my opinion, the most tasty. I made friends with a few of the falafel-ers during my stay in Paris and they claimed these falafel sammies are better than any in Tel Aviv.
The nice thing about the Jewish neighborhood in Paris is that they stay open on Sundays when many other Paris shops have closed. The falafels are a cheap lunch at about 5 euros a piece and are unlike any I’ve had in the states.
5. Best Late-Night Fix: Au Pied De Cochon
Don’t be fooled by the white table cloths; this restaurant is open all night. The regular menu is on the typical Parisian price-point, but my favorite item is only 9 euros and a mean in and of itself: French onion soup.
This baby is massive and covered in bread and cheese. And oh, the broth – miam! Possibly my favorite French onion in all of Paris and available to warm noses even at 3am.
What are your favorite Parisian destinations? Let me know in the comments below!