IS GOOD TO KNOW WHEN YOU ARE IN FRANCE.
When do you leave a
tip? How late can you dine out? If you don’t find the answer to your
question about eating out in Paris in this list, don’t hesitate to let us
What time do we eat
Lunch is usually between midday and 2
pm, when the kitchen will go off duty. Watch out, as during these times,
service can be rather slow if you find yourself in a business area.
Parisians don’t dine until at least 8.30 pm as prior to that, time is
set aside for “l’apéritif”. If you’re used to eating earlier,
restaurants in the more-frequented tourist areas are open from 7 pm
onwards, although you won’t see too many Parisians at that time!
Alternatively, you can go for a lighter fare (salads, sandwiches or
pizza for example). You can eat late in the busier districts and many
restaurants stay open until after midnight, in particular the brasseries
who serve food non-stop. It’s a good idea to check opening times in our
information pages and to book a table in advance in order to avoid a
long wait at the more popular spots, especially at the weekend. The
majority of bars and cafés open early, around 7 or 8 am and close late,
sometimes not until 2 am, or even later if the establishment has a
Restaurants everywhere take all the
major credit cards: Visa, EuroCard, MasterCard, American Express. At
each transaction, the restaurant must give you a receipt which you
should keep safely. Only cheques drawn on French banks will be accepted
and generally proof of identity is requested. You can also pay in euros
of course, although it is best to avoid the larger denomination banknotes.
If you sit outside on the pavement or
terrace, prices will inevitably be higher. The difference varies
according to the place, but the establishment is obliged to display
their prices, both those at the counter (“comptoir”) or at an outside
In France all prices include service
and taxes, with approximately 15% of the price corresponding to the
service. However, if the waiter or waitress has been especially
attentive, you can leave him or her a tip to show your appreciation.
Around 5 to 10% of the bill is usual.
Beer or whisky?
Alcoholic drinks are on sale at grocers’,
wine shops or supermarkets. We must not forget though that alcohol
over-indulgence is not only bad for our health, it can also threaten our
driving licence (loss of points, considerable fines) and above all
endanger lives. Any establishment selling alcohol is not authorized to
serve children under 16 years of age. Drinks less than 15 degrees in
strength (wine, beer) can be served to under-18s, but not spirits and
liqueurs (whisky, vodka, etc.) Restaurants that do not have the
appropriate licence cannot serve alcoholic drinks except to accompany a
A custom imported from English-speaking
lands, it has been “happily” adopted by the French and is rife at the
time of “l’apéritif” (from 6 to 8 pm) when certain cafés and bistros
offer their best cocktails or wine by the glass at a reduced price or
sometimes “2 for the price of 1”.
Restaurants should have designated
smoking and non-smoking areas and the inevitable question “fumeur ou non
fumeur?” will be asked as you go in. Cafés and clubs remain the places
where this law may be not so strictly adhered to, and where the cigarette
as a leisure companion is very much in evidence. Mutual respect is
ultimately the only rule.
Before you book your table or meet for
drinks, ensure that the establishment of your choice will accept your pet.
Hospitality may include a Yorkshire terrier without necessarily extending
to a Saint-Bernard...
In busy tourist areas and in the top
restaurants, waiting staff will speak one foreign language or more.
English is the most common, but you’ll come across German, Spanish and
Italian too. Menus are translated into English and other languages if
the area is visited by tourists.
By Louise Marchand
Poetry, showmanship and expertise
distinguished signatures take the art of gastronomy to new heights. All
the big names in French cuisine have a Paris address: reinvention of
traditional dishes; fusion of herbs and spices, both savoury and sweet;
innovation and a touch of genius are the main ingredients at these
celebrated venues. Ambassadors of French cuisine, the top starred chefs,
ranked in the food guides, will receive you in their domains, where the
setting is often as spectacular as the bill. If dinner there is beyond
you, why not try their lunch menus, somewhat easier on the pocket but
usually taken by storm! Advance booking is essential, at least a fortnight
10, place de la Concorde 75008 PARIS.
Traditional .Seasonal menus.
"Egg blancmange with black truffles"; calves' sweetbreads and spaghetti
carbonara; "biberon" lamb in curry and coconut; beetroot foie gras;
scallops St Jacques and leek vinaigrette; candy-floss with wild
strawberries. Practical information:
A - Auber,
telephone number :
01 44 71 16 16,
01 44 71 15 02,
rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré 75008 PARIS.
Macaroni stuffed with artichoke, truffle and foie gras de canard with
parmesan cheese. Bresse fattened chicken flavoured with wine from the Jura
region, garden peas, pie in salad and grilled foie gras. Dark chocolate
zabaglione, hazelnuts in nougat, caramel with spices and Bourbon vanilla
ice-cream. Practical information:
elephone number :
01 53 43 43 00,
01 53 43 43 01,