Parisian restaurant

10 tips for eating in a Parisian restaurant

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  1. At what time?

In Paris, you can eat at any time … but not everywhere. Each restaurant has its own habits and hours . It is preferable to book and / or to go before 8 p.m. to a popular address if you hope to find a place there. Be careful, after 10:30 p.m., many restaurants close their kitchens! You will always find a  restaurant open in the middle of the night , but the choice will be more limited. If you prefer to dine early, some restaurants offer non-stop service, so they are open before 7 p.m.

  1. How to dress?

Of course, we don’t dress the same when going to eat in a bistro or a Michelin-starred address. But in any case, keep it simple. Parisian chic combines elegance, comfort and discretion.

  1. Where to place?

Even in very busy establishments, Parisians always do their best to get a quiet table. And at the slightest ray of sunshine, the rule is to rush to the terrace , even if it is only 13 degrees outside. Up to you !

Note that the dining rooms are non-smoking areas , but the terraces are often invaded by smokers. Avoid if you are allergic to cigarettes!

  1. What to drink as an aperitif?

As with clothes, it is best to keep it simple. In addition to the classic choices, do not hesitate to test the latest Parisian trends in terms of aperitif: spritz, cocktails, aperitivo …

  1. How to choose your wine?

In Paris, we like to show that we are a wine connoisseur! Take care of your vocabulary when speaking to the sommelier: a “lively and dry” or “fruity and mellow” white, a “powerful and sunny” or “light and soft” red … wine, you can always ask for advice.

  1. Are some services free?

You can always ask for a carafe of water at the restaurant, even if the waiter will offer you mineral, still or sparkling water first. The jug of running water is of course free and once it’s empty you can even request a new one! In France, cutlery and bread are also served free of charge. The same goes for the appetizers offered at the start of a meal by some restaurants.

  1. Are there menus for children?

Some restaurants offer special menus for children. They are less expensive, less filling and the dishes are adapted to their taste.

  1. What to do with his phone?

In Paris, it is placed carelessly on the table. Either way, thefts aren’t inevitable, so it’s best to keep your phone warm  in your pocket or purse .

Parisians do not (too) have any qualms about answering a call or sending a text message during the meal. Do not abuse anyway, out of respect for your neighborhood.

  1. Should I leave a tip?

In Paris, the additions of bars or restaurants already include service, so you don’t have to leave a tip . Do this if you are satisfied with the service and the reception felt warm. The custom is to tip  5 to 10% of the amount of the bill .

  1. How to deal with the flower seller?

On the terrace, you will not escape the rose sellers, insistent but never aggressive. Do not hesitate to buy them one, if it pleases you to offer it to the person accompanying you.

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