No matter whether you walk along the Seine, take pictures of the amazing Notre Dame or climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, you will eventually get hungry while visiting Paris. This is a perfect opportunity to try a Paris bistro.
Find a place you will like. If you are attracted by the crowd, the name or the air, pick a bistro which tempts you and keep in mind that you don’t have to go for the one recommended by the hotel.
Look for the bistro menu and see if it is available in other languages than French. If you cannot tell if the place serves what you would like to eat it is better to look farther.
After you make up your mind about the place find a free table and sit. If you are dining by yourself make sure you get a book or a newspaper to read while you are at the table. It is something very common to see Parisians reading during meal time; so relax and enjoy the experience.
Ask the waiter about the menu. Many bistros offer special menus which include wine, appetizer and desert along the main course. So you will have to pay less than if you order them separately.
Of course, you will have to make sure you can afford the meal and the tips. As the tip goes you don’t have to leave a very generous one unless you were really pleased by the service. In Paris, many bistros have a special service tax which includes the tip.
Choosing the right place to eat in Paris has a lot to do with the service too. No matter how amazing the place looks at the first glance, it is better to walk by it a few times before deciding. There are many reviews online discussing the arrogance of the French waiters and the not so delightful feeling of being treated with superiority.
You have to keep in mind that every bistro has its very own personality so it is better to choose one that fits yours.
When choosing the bistro, you should consider one that is not very crowded. This way the waiter will have more time to spend with you while you order; this is important if your French is not that good.
If you don’t like something – whether related to food or treatment – do not be afraid to complain. Bad food is something that has nothing to do with language or culture; and bad behavior should not be tolerated either.