Dining and Drinking, Paris

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  • not worth it !!!!!! be careful not to order it !!!
    not worth it !!!!!! be careful not to...
    by jlanza29
  • Dining and Drinking
    by leanne_pearc
  • Dining and Drinking
    by kris-t
  • iaint's Profile Photo

    Café Richelieu

    by iaint Written Feb 13, 2013
    entrance

    It’s in the Richelieu section of the Louvre.

    €20 for “breakfast”. A cup of coffee. A wee orange juice. 3 minuscule pastries. I should have had a bread roll too, but I guess they wanted to push the boat out with their rip-off and “forgot” it.

    I wasn’t sure about that until I checked their menu online later. It explains why I was given butter & jam.

    Service was very good. Clearly part of the scam. Smile and be nice to the idiot tourist.

    I suppose it would be boring to spend 4 days in Paris and not be ripped off once...

    Unique Suggestions: See below.

    Or go hungry.

    Fun Alternatives: Either try the self service places in the Pyramide before you start your tour, or grab a coffee & croissant somewhere normal before you get there.

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  • Cute corner french cafe rip-offs

    by mrjester Written Aug 5, 2012

    when you go about paris these attractive french cafes on every corner seem so attractive they tempt you to stop in and sample what they have to offer. well you must be careful because these establishments are all almost identical in respect to food and drink offered and their treatment of tourists. several things to keep in mind. do as the parisians or you will be terribly overcharged. my suggestions, drink a bottle of wine and tap water. Do not drink coca cola (only tourists drink this!) so it will cost you 5-6 euros for 200 ml! don't drink large beers, or beers in general! way overpriced (suspiciously the same price everywhere, price-fixed?) ! beware of the extra 1euro a drink charge (barely visible in the fine print of the menu) added to every drink after 8pm!!! remember, these cafes have 50+ years of vulturing off of tourists, it is now an art form!check you bill for extra items that you did not order (i've been charged for beers i didn't drink)! never order anything you do not see the price!

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    Coffee Prices

    by leanne_pearc Written Jun 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In Paris restaurants must display their menu prices in the window or in easy view for the public. We found places that did not have their coffee prices listed would completely rip us off. At one place we paid 9.50 Euros for one coffee and one short black seated at the bar!

    Unique Suggestions: Enjoy the coffee!

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  • jlanza29's Profile Photo

    the "French Breakfast"

    by jlanza29 Updated Mar 25, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    not worth it !!!!!! be careful not to order it !!!

    Ok..I have to admit....I was wondering what was so special about the "French Breakfast" that I saw advertised everywhere we went sooooo.....as a typical tourist (the first time I went to Paris was in 1999)(I have been to Paris 10 times since) I sat down at an eatery and ordered a "French Breakfast"....and boy will that be the last time I ask for the "French Breakfast"....for 20 Euros....you get a crossiant, butter, 3 ounces of hot chocolate, 3 ounces of orange juice and a small baguette bread !!!!!! I really thought the waiter was kidding when he told me that was it !!! ARE YOU KIDDING !!!!!! 20 Euro's.......the waiter probably laugh as I had the word tourist ALL over MY FACE !!!!!!!! Ignore all the signs and pick your self up 10 pastries and a gallon of Orange juice and have it on a sidewalk watching the world go by for 10 Euros !!!!!!! McDonald's is a lot better for 3 Euro's !!!!! and if you must have bacon, eggs, bread, the FULL AMERICAN version of breakfast..be ready to PAY thru the ROOF...going rate was 35 euro's for an American style breakfast !!!!!

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    Be clear

    by kris-t Updated Dec 18, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When you order anything in cafe make it specified that you don't need any extras. Or you will get some thing like a few crousans in the basket (about EU 1.30 each) with your coffee or chips with the beer.

    Unique Suggestions: Sure it will increase your bill too.. for price of the whall basket...

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  • Cheapskatin' in Paris

    by sputnik906 Written Sep 1, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cheapskatin' in Paris

    Did you silently scream "quel horreur" when you saw the bill after downing a couple of drinks at a restaurant? Or get frustrated when you can't find affordable grub near the Eiffel Tower? Chances are, well, you just didn't find the right places to go. Or know the rules. Don't be put off- Paris can be affordable, and often in the most unexpected arrondissements. So stop trying to sweet-talk your way through with the waiter. Just take the bill, pay and don’t look back. Unless the waiter/waitress is breathtakingly cute and somehow asked you for your phone number.

    Mind you, I'm no expert, but after living in Paris as a stagiare for almost 2 years and living on a pittance, one is bound to know a thing or two about hanging out in the city with 5 €(fine, make that 10) in your pocket.

    Here's a few tips on how to live cheap (whether for a day, a week, or more) in Paris.

    We all know how the French (and francophiles alike) are obsessed with their daily Joe. The rule of thumb is obviously trying out coffee in a Parisian cafe. The most important thing, however, is to know where you stand in a bar. If you are that short on cash and still want that Parisian-cafe-experience, drink your coffee au bar. Going straight up to where the bartender/barista/owner is and drinking your coffee there can save you anywhere between 50 cents to 2€. Often there are stools at the bar- and no Parisian dozes off into space at their coffee like people at Starbucks do, anyway. Stay more than 20 minutes at the bar and er…well, pay up is your option. Call me a know-it-all, but I'm the only person I know who's stayed more than 20 au bar (because I am terribly, terribly cheap).

    Second thing to keep in mind: call. it. right. Ask for your coffee the way a Parisian would. I haven't seen anyone getting ripped off because of lacking access to this lexicon, but I have certainly seen the quality of their cafe decrease as a result (indicator: amount of chocolate sprinkle or whipped cream on a cafe viennois. Very scientific). Don't ask for an espresso unless you want to buy a Nescafe machine, for god's sake. That cup of magic black brew is a cafe. A macciato is a noisette. A latte is a creme. And cappucino is well, a cappucino. If you want a latte with lots of whipped cream on it? It's not creme avec...er, creme, but a cafe viennois. And a carafe (jug) or a verre d'eau should come for free with every coffee. You might need to ask for it, but every Parisian restaurant should serve tap water for FREE, coffee or no coffee with the order.

    If grabbing a cafe and people-watch on a terrace in Saint Germain is your thing, be reminded that it IS an expensive area of Paris. If you insist on going to Les deux magots for your cup, a cappucino there is probably 5€. A salade probably at 15. So make sure you got bills in your pocket. Some restos (that’s right, they call ‘em resto!) don’t take credit card if your bill is too small. There are other options, too. Take a walk around the area. From the exit of metro Saint-Germain de Pres, Near the Cathedral and the rue de Rennes there are quite a few cute bars. Hop in during happy hour and you might be pleasantly surprised. The true finds, however, lies near the Academie Nationale de Medecine and the Ecole des beaux arts. You'll be happy to find a 1.2€ espresso ("Café") in the bar aux deux academie; or, a 1.50 € machiatto ("noisette") in a cute little bar on the corner of rue des beaux-arts. And there are few others like them, too. There's a secret joy to be surrounded by students and researchers from the ENA or the Academie while stealing a peek at the cute guy scribbling in his sketchbook on the stool next to you. Yes, I am that shallow.

    And on your way to get there, don't forget to hop in Ladurée- the French landmark of dessert heaven. Go to this location to buy macaroons and you'll skip the line at their store on the Champs Elysée.

    The best thing about hanging out in the Saint-Germain area, however, is having a picnic on the Pont des arts. A wooden bridge normally filled by young people and beer-sellers, it is the best place for a relaxing picnic, a read, or a short break- all for free- while enjoying a magnificent view over the Seine River and the Rive gauche of Paris. Keep in mind, however, that there are no supermarkets near the Pont des Arts, so go with a sandwich (better yet, bread and cheese and wine) to enjoy a lovely evening before ka-chingin' it in the Parisian night life.

    Let’s continue with beer, grub, sandwiches, fromage and everything in between in our next encounter. Mais oui.

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    “Menu Touristique ”

    by csordila Updated Nov 28, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Menu prix-fixe

    It is more difficult to eat badly in Paris than in many cities, but there are places which look for a fast profit at the expense of the tourist who will never return. Avoid signs that say “Menu Touristique ” – they may be fine, but places that attract local people are far better.
    .

    Unique Suggestions: Most restaurants have several set menus (menu prix-fixe ), as well as à la carte , from which you order separate dishes. By law, menus must be displayed outside the restaurant. Set menus, which may include wine, are usually excellent value, the cheapest one often costs as cheap as €7.00.

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    Bert's

    by iaint Written Jul 30, 2009

    This is a food & drink outlet - cafe style - at CdG Airport. I had the misfortune to use the one at terminal 2G (no choice) but I noticed one at terminal 2E as well.

    I paid an incredible €9.90 for a 50cl bottle of San Pellegrino water and a smoked salmon sandwich. Now I know the £ is low against the €, and I know inflation in food prices in France has been very high in the last 12 months, but "rip-off" is the only way to describe this.

    Had the sandwich been good I might have accepted the price a bit better. However, the bread was dry and they used a minute piece of salmon, carefully arranged and packaged so that it looked the opposite.

    If you have a choice, avoid this place.

    Unique Suggestions: Check prices carefully, and don't take a pre-packed sandwich.

    Fun Alternatives: Bring your own food & drink to the airport!

    I used the Air France business class lounge in T 2E on my return trip, and it offers a great selection of sandwiches, drinks & snack.

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  • Restaurant to avoid

    by ocean8282 Written Oct 22, 2008

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I had a holiday in Paris this June. After shopping at the nearby mall, we went to this restaurant
    Cafe de l' Opera for lunch. The service I received is horrible! They didn't allow us to share our food and worse still the attitude of the waiters was terrible. After a heat argument over the sharing of food, they chose to ignore us when we waved to them to get butter. The food at the restaurant isn't nice either. The duck they served is not fully cooked. The experience at the restaurant totally spoils my holiday mood.

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    ATTENTION: DIFFERENT PRICES FOR A SMALL COFFEE

    by nygaston Updated Jul 1, 2007

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You must know there are generally 2 or 3 prices in a café or a bar:
    1/ bar, comptoir (the cheapest price, but often w/o any chair)
    2/ salle (you have a table and a chair, and can stay for hours)
    3/ terrace (you can seat outside), very expensive in the touristic areas, but it's so nice in summer

    ATTENTION
    and sometimes, there is a fee after 9pm...

    Examples of prices for one expresso café (in 2003-2006):
    1/ 1 to 2 Euros
    2/ 2 to 4 Euros
    3/ 4 to 7 Euros, it's sometimes the price for a small lunch in Paris !!!!!

    Unique Suggestions: IMPORTANT
    You must always watch your values (cell, money, ipod, iphone, etc...) and your bags when you are at the terrasse or in the metro
    Mostly if you sit near the door !!!

    Some "french" boys are very very fast to catch your purse then run away ....
    .

    Fun Alternatives: Bring few cash with you, just enough for each day.

    You can buy some drink, ice cream, cakes then go to the Luxembourg Garden.

    FREE SEATS
    Many chairs are available, it's like at Bryant Park - NYC, and there are music concerts in summer (week-end) at 10am and 2pm.
    or walk along the Seine river or on the Island (Ile de la cite).

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  • Billed for a wine I didn't order

    by jiveatfive Written May 17, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This was my fifth time in Paris.
    I trusted Michelin and Frommers guide and made a reservation at “Aux Lyonnais”. They promised that “after a meal here, you'll know why Lyon is called the gastronomic capital of France. [...] The day's menu is based on the freshest produce in the market that morning. Inventiveness and solid technique characterize such dishes as parsleyed calves' liver, pike dumplings (the best in Paris),...”

    What did I find? A simple salad, charcuterie and boudin noir, mediocre quenelle et ecrevisses. Excuse me, but where is the inventiveness? While I like charcuterie and boudin noir there is no need to go to a restaurant to try it, you buy it at the grocery store and eat it straight; there is no need to pay 40$ for that.

    But the worst was yet to come. The wine list started with a 29 € “Bourgogne Pinot noir” and went on with much more expensive wines. I ordered the first one. To my surprise, at the end of a disappointing dinner, I received a bill charging 112 € (152 $) for a Gevrey Mugneret that I didn't order. I pointed that this was a mistake but it happened that they had served me this expensive wine and I hadn't noticed it. They pointed to the bottle and insisted that I had been served that wine and had to pay for it. How could I prove that it was their mistake? Am I supposed to record myself when ordering? Am I supposed to ask for a written copy of my order and keep it to prevent this kind of assault? Am I supposed to check carefully the bottle label just in case they make a mistake and change the wine, or the year?

    I've been five times in Paris and about a dozen more in France, and never encountered a scam like this. I will go back again but I wonder whether travel guides can be trusted any more.
    I encourage everybody to travel to Paris and enjoy french cuisine in the thousands of restaurants that are doing a honest job, but be warned about wasting your time and money at “Aux Lyonnais”.

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  • Billed for a wine I didn't order

    by jiveatfive Written May 17, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This was my fifth time in Paris.
    I trusted Michelin and Frommers guide and made a reservation at “Aux Lyonnais”. They promised that “after a meal here, you'll know why Lyon is called the gastronomic capital of France. [...] The day's menu is based on the freshest produce in the market that morning. Inventiveness and solid technique characterize such dishes as parsleyed calves' liver, pike dumplings (the best in Paris),...”

    What did I find? A simple salad, charcuterie and boudin noir, mediocre quenelle et ecrevisses. Excuse me, but where is the inventiveness? While I like charcuterie and boudin noir there is no need to go to a restaurant to try it, you buy it at the grocery store and eat it straight; there is no need to pay 40$ for that.

    But the worst was yet to come. The wine list started with a 29 € “Bourgogne Pinot noir” and went on with much more expensive wines. I ordered the first one. To my surprise, at the end of a disappointing dinner, I received a bill charging 112 € (152 $) for a Gevrey Mugneret that I didn't order. I pointed that this was a mistake but it happened that they had served me this expensive wine and I hadn't noticed it. They pointed to the bottle and insisted that I had been served that wine and had to pay for it. How could I prove that it was their mistake? Am I supposed to record myself when ordering? Am I supposed to ask for a written copy of my order and keep it to prevent this kind of assault? Am I supposed to check carefully the bottle label just in case they make a mistake and change the wine, or the year?

    I've been five times in Paris and about a dozen more in France, and never encountered a scam like this. I will go back again but I wonder whether travel guides can be trusted any more.
    I encourage everybody to travel to Paris and enjoy french cuisine in the thousands of restaurants that are doing a honest job, but be warned about wasting your time and money at “Aux Lyonnais”.

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    Don't supersize!

    by cherrybug Written Jan 25, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the popular tourist areas (e.g. Next to Notre Dam) there will be busy and bustling coffee shops. We jumped off the metro and headed into one for a quick coffee before we visited Notre Dam.

    On arrival the extremely over friendly waiter took our order for coffee. We told him we wanted two coffees. He reiterated to us - oui, two large coffees. we didn't click, he brought us two extremely large coffees (in a soup bowl sized cup) and an extremely large bill to accompany it.

    Surely the biggest and most expensive coffee I've ever had...

    Unique Suggestions: Watch out for the subtle supersizing!

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    Berthillion Ice Cream

    by Bainbo Written Jan 22, 2007

    Well, the guide said it was an ice cream store with over 100 flavours of ice cream.

    Unique Suggestions: The guide was wrong, it was an entire street of different ice cream stores selling 10 flavours each.. My girlfriend and I were severely disappointed as I seriously consider my stomach to be my second mind. Waste of a Metro ticket also!!

    Ever seen that scene from Eurotrip the movie? The beach scene?.. well, the ice cream vendors saw we were tourists and I swear they could have started running after us as well.

    Fun Alternatives: Get an ice cream from any normal retailer and save money from the Metro ticket =)

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  • Paying for extra food you didn't order

    by skellerina Written Jan 17, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Make sure you are clear about how much food you want to order. We mostly had positive experiences with Parisian dining, but it seemed that some places deliberately brought us (and charged us for) more food than we wanted. For example, a pizza place near Montmartre brought two pizzas when we only ordered one, and the server insisted that we pay for both (When two pizzas for two people was a ridiculous amount of food!) Other places charged us for extra croissants we didn't order, etc. And if you forget to ask for a carafe of water (une carafe d'eau), expect to pay 3,50 Euros for a small bottle.

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