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Dining and Drinking in Paris

Aug 18, 2007
Cafe Flore and Deux Magots are both great places to meet singles and locals willing to sit down and chat. Buy a fancy coffee and the newspaper and sit down for a bit. This is definitley not some hot pick-up spot, for that you'll need to try a bar. However, if you are either new to the area or just hanging out for a week or so, you are likely to get a good line on what you should see and do while you're in town.

Most people will tell you that wine and France go together like peanut butter and jelly. The legal drinking age in France is 18, yet you don't see many out tying on a buzz. The citizens of France typically drink as a social activity, not to get drunk. Wine and tapas bars are great places to to socialize and meet new people.

If you want a truly unique experience, try Lo Sushi, which has a rotating sushi bar where diners get to help themselves to the delectable sushi and sashimi. Try Bel Canto, a chain restaurant devoted to Opera songs. Each quarter hour, one or several waiters or waitresses stop what they're doing to sing an opera tune while accompanied by a pianist.

There are a few things to remember when dining out in Paris, or anywhere in France for that matter. As with most European countries, the tip is included in your tab. If you order food at the bar, stay at the bar because there is a difference in prices. If you sit at a table, you will not find yourself rushed through dinner as you are in America. Your meal may not come in what you consider the correct order; drinks, appetizers, main course, dessert, but you will get all your food.

The waitstaff at the restaurants can tend to be what Americans consider slow as they only worry about doing one thing at a time. However, this helps you to enjoy your meal and your social time with your friends and family. When you're finished eating you can say, "J'ai fini. L' addition, sil vous plait," which means "I'm finished. The check, please." You will not be expected to leave your table after your check is paid, it is yours for as long as you want it.

Remember, standard custom is to round up to the nearest euro since the gratuity is included in the check. Also, if you do not finish your food, do NOT ask to take it home. There are no 'doggy bags' in Paris and culturaly, it is considered rude to ask.

So, there you have it. A few great places to eat and a few tips to keep you fluent in the culture of dining and drinking in Paris. Enjoy your trip and enjoy the food!
About the Author
Gaizka Pujana is the co-owner of Barcelona Homes, S.L. which is a company
specialized in providing short term tenancy solutions in Seville and Barcelona through its
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