You won’t need much money, but you will need elastacised pants
What to do, see and eat in Paris when you’ve got only 24 hours, and the budget of a student.
Long regarded as the city of lights and love, Paris is also the ultimate food lover’s dream. Pretty much every street and every corner is lined with boulangeries, brasseries, cafes and restaurants; so much so that the variety of food establishments and eating opportunities they present becomes overwhelming. What’s more, if you’re a student like myself, you’ll understand the struggle of wanting to eat out at as many different places as possible but having to deal with a strict budget. If you find yourself in a similar financial predicament, while I one hundred percent recommend taking full advantage of the fresh food markets and cooking the majority of your meals, I think it’s just as important to ‘treat yo’self’ and dedicate some days to tasting the best that Paris has to offer.
Below is my 24 hour Paris Food Guide, which includes a couple of my top picks of places to eat, from breakfast through to dinner, that won’t see you going hungry or blowing too much of your budget in one go.
Wake up | 11:30 | Breakfast
To start the day, hop on the metro to Canal St Martin, a rejuvenated and hip neighbourhood. Once there, a visit to Du Pain et Des Idées should be your first port of call. This place is arguably the crème de la crème of all boulangeries in Paris. Head baker, Christophe Vasseur, takes pride in his profession and in the time-honoured and traditional techniques used to make the baked goods. If the majestic interior and irresistible aromas that waft through the bakery aren’t enough to have you sold, then their signature escargots, which come in a range of flavours such as pistachio chocolate and praline, will.
After picking up one (or two, or three) pastries from Du Pain et Des Idées, make sure to pop into hipster haunt Ten Belles for a takeaway cup of coffee. One of the many ‘new wave’ coffee cafes that have been popping up around Paris, Ten Belles has established itself as a popular spot for locals and tourists alike thanks to their use of locally roasted beans by Reveille and well executed brews.
With an assortment of goodies in hand, make your way to the Canal St. Martin and eat at your leisure along the banks of the Canal while taking in the surrounds. I would also recommend having a look in Artazart, an art and design bookshop that is meticulously curated and has an impressive selection of magazines to boot.
Du Pain et des Idées, 34 rue Yves Toudic, 75010.
Ten Belles, 10 rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010.
Artazart: 83 Quai de Valmy, 75010.
12-3pm | Lunch
Take the metro to Montmartre and prepare to burn off those pastries, as is certainly inevitable in a quartier with excruciatingly steep hills and steps! A place that was once home to some of the most distinguished artists such as Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh and Dali, Montmartre is such a nice place to simply lose yourself and feel inspired for a couple of hours. While the obvious must-visit landmarks include Le Moulin Rouge, Sacre Coeur and Station Abessess (the famous station featured in Amelie), I would also highly recommend making a visit to the Musée Montmarte and Jardins de Renoir.
After some exploration, make sure to pop into Soul Kitchen for a nourishing and wholesome lunch. The little canteen café is the perfect place to unwind, being quite reminiscent of the much loved laid back establishments in Australia. The food is homemade using organic local produce and quite decently priced. On a more specific note: I found throughout my travels that it is quite hard to find a good chai brew in the city, and in my opinion, Soul Kitchen happens to make arguably the best chai latte in Paris.
Soul Kitchen,33 rue Lamarck, 75018 Paris
3:30-6:30pm | Pick me up
What better way to top off a filling and delicious lunch than soaking up the sunshine? Hop back on the metro and act like a local by seeking out the afternoon sun: the Jardin des Tuilleries is the perfect place to do so. In addition, if you feel so inclined, Le Musée de L’Orangerie is nearby and not to be missed. While being filled with art by a range of impressionist painters, the main drawcard there is Monet’s famous series of water lily paintings. They are truly awe inspiring.
If you still have a little room left for something sweet, head over to the iconic Angelina tea salon and order their famous ‘chocolat chaud African’ to dine in or takeaway. While it’s costly at 6,50€ it’s a worthwhile experience for all those hard-core chocoholics (if indeed you can finish the generous serving!). Trust me when I say you’ll never drink a hot chocolate as decadent and luxurious as Angelina’s!
While in the area, I would also recommend taking a ride on the Ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde. Initially thinking it was a tourist trap, I was so glad I decided to take a ride; the views rival those atop the Eiffel tower and at 10€ per ride, it’s not too overpriced.
Angelina, 226 rue de Rivoli, 75001, Paris
7pm | Dinner
For dinner, seeking out a place that offers value for money is the best way to go, and while this may seem unachievable in Paris, it certainly isn’t impossible! One place that I visited on a number of occasions was Blend, a burger bar chain which has restaurants throughout the city. Now I know what you may be thinking: burgers? in Paris? What sacrilege! This was my initial thought, but turns out, gourmet burgers are très cool in Paris. Blend makes their burgers amazingly well (from the brioche bun tops to all the fillings), for a good price, and it beats resorting to McDonalds.
Drinks | ’til the Early hours
From here on out the night is yours. Knock back a few drinks and dance until 2am at the newly opened Brasserie Barbès which has a rooftop area perfect for summer nights. Alternatively, catch a film at the local cinema or a play at a theatre. Immerse yourself in all facets of the foreign culture, have fun and repeat the next day.
Blend, Various locations in Republic, Menilmontant, Argout and Beaumarchais
Brasserie Le Barbès, 2 bd Barbes 75018, Paris
Image credits: AFAR, Bon Appetit, Blend Burgers, Been Too Kind, Soul Kitchen, Park and Cube.
Matt Gavioli’s picks for shopping, eating and seeing in Paris.
When a famed restaurant in his home town closed, retail environment consultant and good food enthusiast Matt Gavioli took it as a sign it was time for a change.
The coolest concept store in Paris
It’s called Le Comptoir Général and I’m certain there’s no where else like it. During the day it’s a ‘ghetto museum’ and quiet eatery, while when night settles it turns into one excellent party.