Dining in Paris

Being the capital and the largest city of France, Paris offers more than enough choices for your desire for food. Restaurants are all over town, from upscale hotels to friendly restaurants. If you love good food, you will find great happiness here. Paris has a lot to offer.


Your hotel may provide you with complementary breakfast, or at an extra charge. A typical French breakfast may include any combination of fruits, fruit juice, coffee, baguettes, croissants, assorted pastries, and more. To avoid an overwhelming price in your hotel, you can choose to have breakfast meal with a genuine Parisian atmosphere on most street cafes. They will usually cost only at a fraction of the price charged in hotels.

Lunch & Dinner

The serious food in Paris is not served until lunch, which is generally served from noon until 2:30 pm. Many restaurants close for dinner preparation after 2:00 or 2:30 pm. Dinner is roughly served from 7:30 until after 10 pm., as most Parisians have their dinner late, around eight o'clock. A typical main meal will include a starter, frequently some type of salad; a main course with vegetables; and cheese, followed by the desert. Throughout the day, you can also choose to have a meal at a brasseri, where you will get simple, freshly cooked meals, drinks and snacks throughout the day.

French Cuisine

France has a more diverse and developed cuisine than most other countries. Food in France and in Paris has many different styles. There are staples, like bread, cheese, and coffee. Bread, especially the baguette, is very common, and there are dozens of different styles and sizes of bread. Each with their own name, own texture, and varied use. In fact, aside from bread and water, the most common accompaniments to a French meal are wine and cheese:

Wine is the most popular alcoholic drink in France, and the choice varies according to region. Wine can be different as it is produced in the seven distinct wine regions of the country. Unlike other countries, in France wine is considered a standard part of everyday meals, and is neither expensive nor reserved for special occasions. With everyday meals, ordinary wines are served, although it is expected that the style of wine match the style of food.

In addition to its use in cooking, cheese is often served as a course in itself. Cheese in France is known to be superb. Hundreds of varieties of cheese are manufactured over France, including delightful ones by small factories. Cheese can be served after the main meal but before dessert. This typically consists of a platter with three or four different cheeses, from which guests can slice pieces according to their preferences. Sliced breads are typically provided at the same time.

French cooking involves a large number of techniques, some extremely complicated, even if it takes a long time. French food will not tolerate shortcuts in regard to these fundamentals. Parisians take their meals seriously, and when dining in Paris it helps to show up in a relaxed frame of mind, and not be in too much of a hurry. It would not be a surprise for a meal in a restaurant to stretch on for hours, or for a dinner to last past midnight.

Money Matters

Restaurants in France can be quite costly. Nevertheless, French law dictates that prices would have already included service. Hence, a 12 to 15% service charge is normally already added to the bill in hotels, restaurants and bars, but it is still a routine to leave small tips with the payment. Rounding off the bill and leaving some change is usually good practice. If you wish to have a light lunch, head for the cafes, which usually have tables outside when the weather is nice. One would expect sandwiches and other snacks, traditional baguette, cheese, and alcoholic drinks to be served here.

Food from Other Cultures

In addition to just enjoying French cuisine, food in Paris is not restricted to traditional French delights. Cuisine from all over the world can be found in Paris, including Indian, Asian, Middle Eastern, and other international tastes. Paris is enriched by restaurants of exotic cuisine.


Nightclubs are everywhere and in even the furthest corners of France. Their style and music vary widely from one place to another. Nightclubs have a fixed closing time of 5:00 am. As an alternative to a nightclub, there are many late-night bars and cafes. In Paris and the regions, theaters offer a wide variety of shows from great classics to light comedy, from one-man shows to cabaret.


Summer weather may tempt you to plan a picnic as well. You can put together a wonderful feast under the sun at any of the many food markets scattered throughout the city. It would be a good idea to have a picnic on the grass to enjoy the relaxation of travelling.

In Short

Plan your meal times, so that you don't feel like rushing at the end. Dining in Paris and France will be an exciting, rich and tasty experience. If culinary delights are your thing, then a holiday in Paris is definitely the way to go.