Best To-Go Lunch: L’As du Falafel (24, Rue des Rosiers, 75004) - € from Top 10 Places to Eat in Paris on a Student's Budget

Top 10 Places to Eat in Paris on a Student's Budget

Staff Writer

Best To-Go Lunch: L’As du Falafel (24, Rue des Rosiers, 75004) - €

Stephanie Randall

The Marais has been the Jewish neighborhood of Paris since even before World War II; these small apartment buildings were crammed with families. Today, it has the same reputation with the addition of boutiques, art shows, and many tourists. When strolling through the Marais on a Sunday (one of the few lively areas on otherwise quiet Paris Sundays), stop by L’As du Fallafel. Don’t let the inevitable long line deter you; these falafel are worth the hype, and the line moves very quickly. A waiter will make his way down the line to take order counts. The falafel are all made the same way, but once you get up to the counter, you can ask for extra cabbage or to hold the tomatoes. Walk through the quarter with your €5 chickpea feast and try to make room; you’re going to want to finish the whole thing. 

Best Plats à Partager: Verjus Wine Bar (52, Rue de Richelieu, 75001) - € / €€

Facebook/ Verjus

Verjus doubles as a wine cave and dining room, offering endless options to customers. The owners aren’t French, but are part of a young generation in Paris that is trying to introduce food with a difference flare. Food is served as petits plats, which are similar to tapas. For example, the bar offers celery root dumplings with dan-dan sauce, chives, and toasted peanuts, and even buttermilk fried chicken with Napa cabbage slaw and micro greens. This bar is great for ordering lots of little dishes and sharing with your group. Just be warned that you should keep an eye on how many things you’re ordering; while petits plats range from €4to €7, it’s easy to lose track. Wines are mostly €5 to €12 by the glass. Try Verjus for a great example of the Paris wine bar scene that won’t break the bank.

Lunch near the Eiffel Tower: L'éclair

Facebook/ L'éclair

Getting lunch near a tourist attraction is bound to be difficult. Tourist traps are everywhere, and you never really know if the prices you’re paying are pretty normal or totally outrageous. Rue Cler is a wonderful street around the corner from the Champs de Mars (the park surrounding the Eiffel Tower). It’s home to specialty stores — like a cheese shop, a butcher, and some prepared food shops — and claims to be one of the best markets in Paris. Grab a few groceries and a bottle of wine for a delicious impromptu picnic. Or, if you’re in the mood for more of a sit-down experience, L’éclair is a great option on this mostly pedestrian street. It has a variety of omelettes, tartines (open-faced sandwiches), salads, and burgers, all at reasonable prices less than €20. The cocktails and coffees are great, too, so even if you just want to stop for a few minutes instead of a full meal, L’éclair is a great choice.

Best Formule: La Place (2 Place Cambronne, 75015) - €€

Flickr/ savagecat

A formule is a prix fixe menu that allows customers to choose from an assortment of entrées (appetizers), plats (entrées), and desserts. There’s often a choice among "Entrée + Plat," "Plat + Dessert," or all three. One of the best formules in Paris can be found at La Place, in the 15th arrondisement near the Eiffel Tower. From a millefeuille of tomato and mozzarella to chicken in a grain mustard sauce, this brasserie is a great option for prix fixe menus after a visit to the Eiffel Tower, École Militaire, or Invalides. An appetizer, entrée, and dessert formule is €26.

Best Inexpensive Hip Bistro: La Pharmacie (22, Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011) - €€

Flickr/ Guillaume Baviere

Moments from the lively Oberkampf area, you’ll be able to spot La Pharmacie by its bright blue exterior. This hip bistro makes unique changes to classic dishes. A simple arugula salad is spruced up to an arugula salad with artichoke hearts and shellfish. Rabbit is served with fresh peas and carrots and a rhubarb sauce. Even the desserts have twists, like the sable Breton with rose cream, lychee, and strawberries. Instead of heading to hyped-up and expensive bistros, check out La Pharmacie for a great Parisian dining experience.

Lunch near the Place des Vosges: Le Petit Marché (9, Rue du Béarn, 75003) - €€

Caitlin Miller

Le Petit Marché is a great find near the Place des Vosges. Though the square is perfect for springtime picnics, on a rainy or slightly cooler day, head to this restaurant for some Asian-inspired French dishes. The Chinese salad is a mix of cabbage, sesame seeds, chicken, and wontons encompassing a delicious, crunchy salad. The lamb dish served in a cream sauce is so perfectly tender, it melts in your mouth along with the sauce. Le Petit Marché is perfect for those who may be tiring of classic French dishes; with its Asian flare, this restaurant keeps classics exciting. Appetizers are no more than €15, while entrées can head up toward €30. Ordering one plate will suffice; you’ll be licking your plate clean before you realize you’re perfectly full.

Best Location: Marcel (90, Quai de Jemmapes, 75010) - €€

Flickr/ easal

The Canal St. Martin attracts the younger crowd of Paris; cafés line the canal, and in the spring and summer, not a single seat along the edge is available because everyone has decided to bring some wine or beer to enjoy the beautiful day. Marcel is a great option along the canal; the food has an Indian flare, and the restaurant has a very cool vibe. The dishes average to be €15, not including rice, naan, or irresistible cocktails. But this atmosphere, delicious food, and beautiful location are worth sharing the extras.

Best Burger: Big Fernand (55, Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 75009) - €€

Facebook/ Big Fernand

Nothing hits the spot quite like a delicious burger. A hit among locals, Big Fernand offers burgers, fries, and drinks in a few different ways, all of which are just as delicious as the next. You may have to wait in a line, but as soon as you order, your food takes all of 30 seconds to be put on your tray and walked to a free table. You can create your own combination; burgers are €7, cheese is an extra €2, and vegetables are €1,5. What’s even better is to choose one of the delicious signature burgers with fries and a drink for €14 or a burger with fries, a drink, and a dessert for €16. Anyway you craft them, the burgers at Big Fernand are worth your time and money. 

Best African: Chez Omar (47, Rue de Bretagne, 75003) - €€

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There are few francophone countries in the world, but they are all unique in their cultures and cuisines. French-speaking countries in the northern part of Africa result in a fair number of French-speaking African immigrants in Paris. Chez Omar has one of the best couscous offerings in the City of Light. David Lebowitz raves about its roast lamb, though beef and chicken are also available. Vegetarian and meat dishes range from €11 to €26. The delicious steak frites dish attracts a large crowd, but it’s worth the wait. Try Chez Omar for francophone experience that doesn’t come from mainland France.

Best Crêpe: Breizh Café (109, Rue Vieille du Temple, 75003) - €€

Breizh Café

The crêpe is a Parisian staple; whether it’s grabbing a ham, cheese, and fried egg savory crêpe by Notre Dame or a Nutella and banana one for dessert in Montmartre, these paper-thin folded pancakes are the perfect inexpensive meal and can be found virtually everywhere. One of the best sit-down crêpes is at Breizh Café in the Marais, a restaurant offering buckwheat galettes (for savory options), crêpes (for sweeter combos), and 15 artisanal ciders, all for less than €20. This is perfect for anyone on a cheap budget; you get a bang for your buck with these crêpes filled with delicious ingredients.