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Feb 18, 2009 05:06 PM

Tribe of foodies on a budget

My husband and I are treating 3 grown children to a week in Paris in March. (1 is studying there, living on the north end of the 3rd, the rest of us are flying the rest of us over to visit her. We'll be staying in an apartment in the NE of the 2nd.) While we're so happy that we can do this trip, we're trying to keep a handle on expenses. We are all foodies, meaning we really appreciate good ingredients and skillfully prepared, delicious dishes. (Yes, we all cook.) 2 of us are mostly vegetarian. That said, we're looking for suggestions! A bistro meal for 5 of us at 40-60 euros each will work for 1 or 2 nights. We also need ideas for cheap dinners and lunches. We love all ethnicities and are anxious to try 1 of the couscous restaurants. Also considering L'As du Fallafel--would it be a good dinner place? Any recommendations for nearby take-out or nearly finished meals we can eat in? Thank you Chowhounds!

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  1. Go to l'Ami Jean and La Régalade and cook home. L'As du Fallafel and Chartier of course are also great options. Wally le saharien for couscous, or l'Atlas for a more traditional one.

    2 Replies
    1. re: souphie

      Love L'As du Fallafel in the always Julien is spot on!
      You might see Lenny Kravitz there too..

      1. re: Beach Chick

        But not really a dinner place - better to take away.
        IMO the one opposite L'As is better, less hyped, but very good.

    2. Fairly close to where you're staying (close being Bellville, and the nearest metro is Oberkampf) is Au Trou Normand, a very neighborhoody, young, bistro with very solid food, friendly staff. The magret is faulous, as is the lamb tagine. 9, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud. My wife and I make a point of hitting it every time we're in Paris. Feels like we're part of a 'local' joint.

      8 Replies
      1. re: carleton

        Thank you for the suggestions! L'As is already on our list. Do we need reservations for Au Trou Normand?

        1. re: citysusan

          We are also mostly vegetarians and here is a list of cheap veggie places we frequent:


          Pure vegetarian Indian food. 12 euros per person for dinner.

          2) Tien Hiang
          92 Rue du Chemin Vert (75011) (at Rue St. Maur, between Metro Voltaire and St. Maur)

          A Buddhist vegan restaurant. Their Vietnamese dishes are very good but stay away from their pho.. Around 15 euros per person.

          3) I wrote about it in another thread but there is a Lebanese cafeteria right outside the Odeon metro station. We spent about 22 euros for two and we still talk about how much we liked the food. We got there close to midnight and people were steadily walking in for take-out.

          4) Raspail bio market on Sunday. Yes it's as bobo as it can get but I love shopping there. We usually spend about 40 euros and have enough food for 3 days.

          1. re: kikisakura

            Thanks for the rec of krishna bhavan. We ate there yesterday for lunch and LOVED it. Wonderful food, spicy!, and ridiculously cheap. A true Chowhound find!

            1. re: kikisakura

              I give up, kikisakura. I couldn't find your posting about the Lebanese cafeteria. Since I'm meeting a friend tomorrow at the Odéon métro station, I'd really like to know!

              I`ve also put krishna-bhavan on my list, for dinner with a friend who lives near the Gare de l'Est. However, I don't know if she'd go for a purely vegetarian meal.

              Great posts.

              1. re: RandyB

                Just, FYI, Krishna Bhavan is totally dry -- no wine or beer.

                1. re: Cookingthebooks

                  Ah, I never even noticed since I go for their lassi then masala chai without a second thought.

                  Now Randy, I've only been to the Lebanese place once and we were pretty desperate for food as it was so late and I was starving. We got out of the metro and needed to find an ATM which we found right away. While I was waiting, I went down the street (as in 5 steps down from the ATM) then found the Lebanese cafeteria. Sorry, didn't write down the name but it also said Lebanese cinema? They have meat and chicken dishes as well.

                  Their vegetarian plate was 11 euros and it had almost enough food for both of us. They said we only had 25 minutes to eat but we probably finished everything in less than 10 as we loved everything on that plate and the cheese puffs were also perfect. With two glasses of wine and complimentary pastries, our bill for two was 22 euros. Very warm and attentive service despite the cafeteria setting.

                  We'll certainly return there soon so I'll see if the food is still good or we were simply starving.

                  Now another "dry" place but for true veggies, not such a good idea as I detected meat flavor in their vegetable stew. Anyhow, our friend who grew up in Morocco but have lived in Paris for the last 20 years took us there and he thinks they have the best couscous in town. Pretty cheap too. We had more than enough food for 3 of us and the bill with extra tip was 35 euros and they gave us mint tea on the house:


                  (for both positive and so-so reviews


                  The place is filled with regulars and I don't know if I'd have felt comfortable just walking in but the owners are actually quite friendly and one of the brothers chatted up with me in English. We haven't returned because of the meat issue but I heart their couscous.

                  1. re: kikisakura

                    Kikisakura, just want to thank you again for the Krishna Bhavan rec. I've now been here twice -- I love this place!!! Here are some pix on my blog:


            2. re: citysusan

              I've never made reservations for Au Trou...but we've always arrived a bit early. For a group of 5, you might want to do so. Also, don' t know that I mentioned it in the first post, but you'd be hard pressed to spend more than 30 euros per person at Au Trou, wine included.