10 tips to follow when eating in a Parisian restaurant.?

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In Paris, a world city where three million people live side by side, some tips for eating out in restaurants in Parisian fashion

In Paris, a city-world where three million people live side by side, the codes of life in society are precious to know. Here are some tips for dining out in a Parisian style.

Café terrace service, Paris © DR – Fotolia

Canopies for restaurant facades © All rights reserved – Fotolia

1 .At what time?

In Paris, you can eat at any time… but not everywhere. Each restaurant has its habits and schedules . It is best to book and/or 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 still 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 continuous service, so they are open before 7 p.m.

2. How to dress?

Admittedly, we don’t dress the same way to eat in a bistro or a starred address. But either way, keep it simple. Parisian chic combines elegance, comfort and discretion.

3. Where to stand?

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’s 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!

4. What to drink as an aperitif?

As with clothes, it’s 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…

5. How to choose your wine?

In Paris, we like to show that we are wine connoisseurs! Pay attention to your vocabulary when talking to the sommelier: a “lively and dry” or “fruity and mellow” white, a “powerful and sunny” or “light and sweet” red… Don’t worry, if you don’t know wine, you can always ask for advice.

6. Are some services free?

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

7. 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.

8. What to do with his phone?

In Paris, they place it negligently on the table. Either way, theft isn’t inevitable, so it’s best to keep your phone warm  in your pocket or purse .

Parisians don’t have (too many) qualms about answering a call or sending an sms during the meal. Do not abuse it anyway, out of respect for your neighborhood.

9. Should I leave a tip?

In Paris, bar and restaurant bills already include service, so you don’t have to tip . Do it if you are satisfied with the service and the reception seemed warm to you. It is customary to tip  5 to 10% of the amount of the bill .

10. What to do with the flower seller?

On the terrace, you won’t escape the rose sellers, insistent but never aggressive. Do not deprive yourself of buying one from them, if it makes you happy to offer it to the person who accompanies you.

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