Oct 30th, 2016, 12:00 PM

The Lavish Life in Paris (On a College Budget)

By Tess Hezlep
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Cocktailmarler
Embody "La Vie Luxueuse" on a budget of 14 euros—or even less!

Fine Dining

Au Petit Thai

Image credit: Tess Hezlep

Located in a splendorous corner of the Marais, Au Petit Thai is a bustling restaurant experience that appeals to all tastes. To quickly find a table, make sure to go early—around eight at the latest, as the restaurant will be full by 9:30. Prices here are higher than the typical student budget, but there’s a way around it: bring a few friends and order in a congenial, communal style. You can get endless egg rolls and gourmet pad thai for under twelve euros, if you order methodically. You’ll be so full you’ll have trouble moving. The atmosphere is very zen, filled with Buddhist art and decorations to soothe a busy mind. The restaurant is spread across two levels, with rose petals strewn across the tables. Their extensive menu is sure to have your mouth watering, and you can't make a wrong choice. After a long day of shopping in the Marais, you'll be ready to indulge in this luxurious Thai feast.

10, rue du Roi de Sicile, 75004

Telephone: +33 1 42 72 75 75

Hours: 12:00-14:30, 19:00-23:30

La Poule au Pot

Image credit: TripAdvisor

If you want to be transported to the romantic culture of 1930s Paris and feel the energy of the great writers, actors, and artists before you, then come here. They stay open until 5AM and never get too crowded. There are sheets of rustic bread waiting to be cut, and if you bring a friend and split their famous broiled chicken, you only have to worry about spending ten euros. It's the perfect place to take someone you really care about, or, better yet, the perfect place to go alone and gather your thoughts. Listen to some old French tunes under warm lights and feel the magical history around you. If you can’t sleep, go here. 

9, rue Vauvilliers, 75001 

Telephone: +33 1 42 36 32 96 

Hours: 7PM to 5AM, Tuesday through Sunday.

Le Dépanneur

Image credit: TripAdvisor

Located just a few blocks from Moulin Rouge, Le Dépannneur marks beginning of an up-and-coming, trendy quartier with a hip and folky crowd. Grab a glass of wine and enjoy an apértif around 5:30—but be prepared for the place to be bustling by 8:30. It's a very popular spot for all the young Parisians. The staff doesn't speak much English, so if you want to feel truly immersed in the romance of Paris, this is the place for you. The ivy strung with wavy light bulbs will keep a steady glow alive as the night approaches. Great for a lively Thursday night, if you don’t mind crowds. 

27, rue Pierre Fontaine, 75009

Telephone: +33 1 48 74 48 74

Hours: 10AM-2AM, every day.

Le Compas

Open until the late hours of the night, this brasserie is the perfect place to people watch on a very beautiful, charming street. Order an absurdly decadent truffle cheese board for only 8.50 and sit under a beautiful red awning strung with dazzling lights. Share your cheese board with a friend and discuss politics or philosophy over a glass of wine. After, indulge in their large assortment of ice cream flavors. Notice the people around you; Le Compas is always filled with young writers, old couples, and women of high stature. In their own way, they all look slightly famous. As an added bonus, the heating outside is very cozy, so you’ll be sure to stay warm as winter comes closer. 

62, rue Montorgueil, 75002

Telephone: +33 1 42 33 94 73

Hours: 6:30AM-2AM, every day

Bars & Nightlife 

Le Mansart

Le Mansart is a trendy bar that is always filled with a very young, hip crowd. It's close to Le Depanneur, so it’s the perfect place to go after a meal. Additionally, Le Mansart is always fun and lively; at some point in the night, you'll realize everyone around you has started to dance. Actor Pierre Niney goes there a lot, it's the perfect place to finally catch a glimpse of a French celebrity. Their long list of drinks is creative, yet affordable. Take a few of your friends and unwind with good music and a lively crowd—the clientele truly knows how to have fun while still being classy. It's truly lavish. 

1, rue Mansart, 75009

Telephone: +33 1 56 92 05 99

Hours: 9PM to 2AM, every day

The Experimental Cocktail Club

Image credit: Camilla Craig

If you want to feel classy and on top of the world, Experimental Cocktail Club is the place. Its truly the chicest of the chic.  Its small and classy, with black furniture and a hipster DJ that plays mixes of EDM with soft jazz, all while perched on a vintage piano. The crowd is cool but not snobby. You should look nice, but you don’t have to look like you’re going to a club. The cocktails are, in fact, quite experimental. Try the Old Cuban, a cocktail made with mint, ginger, and citrus, for 14 euros. It may be fancy, but the experience of the drink, the environment, and the joy of feeling like a VIP will all be worth it. Experimental is great for treating yourself or taking someone out for a fancy date. I would suggest avoiding the place on a Thursday or Friday; there is often a slight wait outside, as the establishment is small and they want to keep things authentic and classy. If you’re in the mood, try going on a Monday night, around 10PM, and start your week off the Experimental Cocktail Club way.

37, rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002 

Telephone: +33 1 45 08 88 09

Hours: 7PM-2AM Monday-Thursday; 7PM-4AM Friday-Saturday