I recently discovered Paris OffBeat, a company that caters trips around Paris based on your personal interests and budget to help you see Paris like a native. Founder and owner, Ludovic Yken, sat down with me to discuss how Paris OffBeat is a great option for students who are visiting Paris or who are looking to explore the city they calling home while studying abroad to see Paris like the Parisians do.
AB: What kind of trip itinerary would you recommend to students traveling around Paris on a budget?
LY: Paris is one of the most expensive cities in the world but there are some tips to avoid spending a fortune. Food is always expensive and it’s very hard for students to find a good and cheap restaurant. Here are the top 3 restaurants that I recommend for students that won’t break their wallet!
Frenchie To Go (http://www.frenchie-restaurant.com/en/frenchie-go)
9 rue du Nil
After the launch of popular restaurants « Frenchie Le bistro » and « Frenchie The Wine bar (with those delicious tapas) », what can the Parisians expect from Gregory Marchand with this new restaurant Frenchie To Go? We have to acknowledge that every time he regales us with his highly flavorful food, your taste buds explode within two bites. Well, this is still the case here. Marchand delights foodies with his spin on hot dogs, sandwiches, fish & chips, and much, much more to eat in house or enjoy via take out. This is haute couture, tailor-made, gentrified “street food” which has been transformed. Marchand’s fish & chips or hake replaces haddock with extra fries and tartar sauce- exceptional ! In short, it’s really top tier pastries and food. Congratulations to Greg and his talented team. Guaranteed to enjoy.
5 rue Clisson
Finding a really good restaurant with really good food for only 15 € in Paris is a challenge. But the search is over as Tempero is here! This bistro has it all: a lovely setting; a warm welcome; and perfect service and cuisine that exceeds all expectations. Not to mention an international staff including a charming, Italian waitress and a remarkable team of foreign leaders. Tempero’s menu is fresh from the market and offers a variety of meat, fish, and vegetarian dishes. Upon being seated at a table, you are seduced by the sumptuous bread and appetizer of a bowl of cold beef broth with foie gras seasoned with coriander, chives and onions, and raw salmon miso. Aside from the delectable flavors, the appetizers are a pure delight overflowing with finesse and balance. Its risotto with porcini mushrooms, bib, cream potatoes and chanterelles are extremely pleasurable to the taste buds! The original pear poached, stewed eggplant and vanilla ice cream is a super, sweet treat.
35 rue des Annelets
It’s premium quality, down home cooking with yummy sauces and seasonings. Ludovic was seduced by the charm of mini-room adjoining a private yard and by the friendly welcome of Naoufel. In the kitchen, Redha (the owner’s brother) plays second chef. Excellent organic Gamay (great French red wine) accompanies a stunning lens-haddock and radish salad and variation around the burrata and beets. These are two colorful and very palatable dishes. The back of hake, onions, potatoes and broth pea pods and pork cheeks, plump and tender like a cherub, mushrooms, butternut and smoke emulsion are also delicious.
Thanks for sharing those suggestions!
AB: Do you offer something special for students like discounts, packages, events?
LY: I know how difficult it is to be a student and try to have a a nice life in Paris. I tried it myself for a few years. My wish is that everybody can afford to use a service like Paris Offbeat. I offer a 15% discount for students- just send me an email with the your major and where you’re going to school in Paris. It’s that simple!
AB: Are you able to create a trip itinerary for students who are studying abroad in Paris and are not sure what to see/where to go to have a native experience?
LY: This is exactly the mission of Paris Offbeat : Understanding a traveler’s needs to meet their expectations and wishes. Students often seek places where the young Parisian twenty-somethings hang out, where the best parties are and the cool, trending places that don’t cost a fortune. I know where they can find all of them- I’ll give them my secret spots!
AB: What piece of advice can you offer foreign students studying abroad/visiting Paris for the first time?
LY: First, don’t be afraid of the size of Paris. Contrary to popular belief, Paris is a small city for a capital. Students must be curious and explore all areas of Paris. When you spend so much time in Paris, you can not limit yourself to the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre and Saint Germain. You must discover the areas around Bastille, République, Place d’Italie … Be adventurous and visit all the districts!
AB: Is there any district/ attraction in Paris that is student oriented?
LY: The triangle of intersecting streets rue Oberkampf, Jean-Pierre Timbaud and Saint-Maur is the place where students go on Thursday and Friday nights. There you’ll find funky bars such as L’orange Méchanique, l’Alimentation Générale ou l’Internationale which has a very electric atmosphere. And the music and festivities are allowed to continue up to two in the morning!
Paris Offbeat is Twenty in Paris approved. Visit www.parisoffbeat.com and contact Ludovic to plan your next trip to Paris or to learn something new about your host city while studying abroad.
Ludovic Yken is the founder of Paris Offbeat, a 100% online guide that organizes your customized trip to Paris off the beaten path. Contact him to discover Paris like a local.